Monday, December 11, 2017

SNOWING HARD, BUT COULDN'T MISS THE EMMANUEL CAROL SERVICE AT BILLERICAY


Such a beautiful background for our Carol Service at Billericay's Emmanuel Church



Royal Air Force Air Cadets from 2393 Squadron were on hand to assist Reverend Carr to meet and greet parishioners who also beat the weather
Billericay's Emmanuel Church  Minister  Reverend  Paul Carr with two friends at last night's glorious Carol Service


Friday, December 08, 2017

SAD NEWS ABOUT OUR FAVOURITE MAYFLOWER MORRIS MAN TONY MOTLEY

Tomorrow, we say goodbye to our very good friend TONY MOTLEY.  We have shared so many wonderful events over the last twenty years.  Watching the performances enacted by the marvellous MAYFLOWER MORRIS MEN  has always been such fun and Tony's colleagues have added merriment and sparkle to so many of our traditional events in Billericay and all over Essex.  We will miss our lovely Tony and offer sympathy to his family.
Tony Motley and Ken Smith


Thursday, November 30, 2017

OUR LATEST SPECIAL GUEST ON PHOENIX 98FM RADIO IN BRENTWOOD NOW STREAMED AROUND THE WORLD

It may have been snowing outside, but Phoenix 98fm Presenter, Michelle Ward,  made sure our BOOK CLUB guest, the writer and magazine editor CAROL CANNAVAN and I were warmed up with hot orange chocolate as we whisked through the myriad of topics we had prepared to chat about during Michelle's morning radio show.
During November, both of us have been reading, reviewing books, giving talks and signing our wares, alongside writing our own material. It has all been rather hectic.  Carol, of course, has been editing our super SWWJ magazine, packed full of exciting writerly things coming up in the New Year.  

Do check out Carol's upcoming news regarding her book which has been revised and I believe there will be some rather good news for apprentice (and professional) plumbers - a vital and most necessary career.

 I've just heard that Carol has a promotion on the e-book version between 1st and 5th December – it can be downloaded freely.  Here is the link: A Career in Plumbing – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Career-Plumbing-Carol-Cannavan/dp/1518688128/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= – the e-book is usually £5.75 and the paperback is £9.99.

Oh, I forgot we are also making a film linked to my latest book  BARKING & DAGENHAM FROM OLD PHOTOGRAPHS and I have been given permission to interview some of those doughty local folk I met two or three years ago.  Watch this space!



Thursday, November 23, 2017

RESEARCHING AND HAVING FUN AT HAVERING MUSEUM 19 HIGH STREET, ROMFORD

Congrats to Ellen & Peter Owen at Havering Museum and their hardworking team for last night's enjoyable annual Corporate Evening - brilliant way to showcase a museum (or any place for that matter) in a congenial atmosphere, good food and the opportunity to network with friendly local business folk.
 
Their history hubs are fascinating and well worth a visit, particularly with Titantic and Suffragette links (both topics I am researching), so many thanks to Havering Museum and their vibrant Chamber of Commerce & Industry friends and supporters.

www.haveringmuseums.org.uk 
 
 


Sunday, November 12, 2017

THE SONS OF THREE COUNTRIES REMEMBERED

Taking their bow!  Playwright Dawn Knox (blue dress) with Stephen Metcalfe MP (far right), Basildon Mayor and DOT Production cast plus volunteers and Bob Sheridan and his team
Saturday 11 November was such an appropriate date for the final part of the FORGET NEVER PROJECT - SACRIFICE AND LEGACY which commemorated the centenary of the Great War.  The Woodlands School auditorium at Basildon was packed!


 
Local MP Stephen Metcalfe started this project in 2014 with support from Basildon Borough Twinning Association and Basildon Borough Heritage Group, alongside a dedicated group of volunteers from the local community and schools in the area. Since it started, the project has reached out and touched thousands of people's lives, not only in Basildon Borough, but also in their twin towns of Heiligenhaus, Germany and Meaux, France.

My fellow SWWJ member Dawn Knox was the author of this highly individual play which saw its fourth performance last night. It has attracted enormous audiences in the above twin towns. Three individual young men are remembered. George Burnett from Wickford in Essex; Albert Kiekert from Heiligenhaus and Louis Vallin from Meaux.  We learned about this trio of militia and their families; their hopes and dreams and we know, from archived letters, that none of them wanted to kill their contemporaries in this 'War to End all Wars'. Alas, the English and German lads died in the trenches; the French boy lived to tell his tale.

The performers from DOT Productions were superbly directed by Andrew Lindfield and the actors: Natalie Scotcher who played the narrator/nurse, Zac Hamilton - George Burnett;  James Le Lacheur - Albert Kiekert; Christopher Walthorne - Louis Vallin and Andrew Linfield the British Sergeant.  The pianist and composer was Senne Jonckers and soloist was Neel Hannes.  They had travelled from Belgium and joined the group Fricklesome Amset consisting of Peter Klaus, Hannes Johannsen, Rike Ullenbaum and Sebastian Zimmermann provided glorious music. The students of  Lee Chapel Primary School and the Woodlands' School choir were the tops. What a superb group of young people and what a wonderful performance! 

                                                                 

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

HELLO NEW YORK TIMES - APPRECIATE YOUR INTEREST IN OUR ESSEX TOWNS

Just a little gathering of some of our excellent Essex writers attached to the Brentwood Writers' Circle which celebrated its 75 years of membership last year. Check out their website and learn some fascinating history.
image courtesy of Julie Gowers)
www.brentwoodwriterscircle.org
www.swwj.co.uk

 
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BILLERICAY'S MUSEUM IS OUR SECRET GEM - LOCAL HISTORY REALLY MATTERS

With thanks to the editor of The Resident whose monthly journal keeps Billericay's residents up to date on community matters. For more detail of The Cater Museum at 74 High Street, Billericay, check out our website
www.catermuseum.co.uk

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

WRITERS GALORE! A NEW AUTHOR'S FACE ON PHOENIX 98FM'S BOOK CLUB, ESSEX

Sylvia Kent and Brian Hughes MBE
A warm welcome was extended yesterday to Brian Hughes, our first legal author to take his place in the Phoenix 98fm studio Book Club chair.  Brian is working on the last draft of his new book, a memoir,  which already has hit the 300,000 word mark.  Brian knows the Phoenix 98fm studio well, as he appears on several programmes weekly with Scott Ross discussing legal matters, but yesterday, the majority of Book Club, was dedicated to his new book project expected to be published early next year. As yet, untitled.

Presenter Michelle Ward, assisted by Oli, were amazed to learn of Brian's past history with so many adventures and life changes, which resulted into a lively discussion and promoted several calls.

Brian Hughes MBE Oliver and Michelle Ward, our presenter
We also discussed the current books which Billericay Readers' Group are reading, the Society of Women Writers and Journalists' London events - exciting times ahead - and, of course, Brentwood Writers' Circle activities - all perfect connections for those who are thinking of writing their own books.   Do keep your eye on www.swwj.co.uk  www.brentwoodwriterscircle.org and, of course, www.phoenixfm.com