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4 Jan 2021: Neil Interviewed on BBC Radio Berkshire

Neil was interviewed about his latest book, FOR THE LOVE OF RADIO 4, today. If you missed it, here is the full interview. Thank you Stuart for making this available to us.
We have received a substantial gift in the will of our former Life President, Barbara Smith. That she decreed how we should spend her legacy, to pay for some top speakers and to have a party to remember her, is no surprise. This unexpected gift shows just how much the Circle meant to her. It was after her husband of 40 years died, that she started to write and attended several courses both in Oxford and Reading. It was after a course at Theale Green School that she founded the Thames Valley Writers’ Circle so that the course members could keep meeting. Even after she had relinquished the position as our Convenor, she continued to work ceaselessly for the Circle, and we were pleased that she could still be with us and contributing until the final illness took her away. Barbara was adept at sweet talking some of the top writers in the country to come and talk to us. People like Colin Dexter of Inspector Morse fame. Robert Harris, author of
best sellers like Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii and many more. Brian Thompson, who wrote for stage, radio and television and whose memoirs, Keeping Mum and Clever Girl were both award winners, Mike Walker, an author and the UK’s finest radio adaptor, won a number of Sony Awards. Ironically, none of these guests ever required a fee. By having a party, Barbara wanted us to have fun, for that is what she was about – having fun. An example was the year she gave us all an A4 sheet with photos and drawing of all types of bugs and told us the optional homework for the summer break was stories or poems about bugs. On return, the members voted for their favourites but that was not enough for Barbara. She produced four clockwork caterpillars and the top four writers had to wind them up and line them up for a race on the table to see who would get the prize. Barbara said the party was so we would remember her. Barbara, how could we ever forget you.

25 Jan 2021: Barbara’s Legacy

by Dick Sawdon Smith

9 Feb 2021: Arthur Redway Memorial Competition Results

There were 15 entries to this year’s event. The general view was that the standard was very high and picking the top three was a very difficult task. The results were: 1st After the Storm Sarah Flint 2nd Calling Les Williams 3rd The Lighthouse Janis Doughty The full list of entries and the authors is on the Library 2021 page.

23 Feb 2021: Six Spoons of Sugar

The title is the ration of sugar allowed during WWII. The book is Richard’s reminiscences as an evacuee during the war. He read the prologue and part of the first chapter to us at last night’s meeting. The reading provoked quite a bit of discussion. If you would like to follow up the discussion or weren’t there but are interested in matters WWII, you may like to know that Richard will be reading more of the book next week (time permitting) and that the book is still available. You can buy Six Spoons of Sugar from many online sources including Amazon and eBay. Just Google ‘six spoons of sugar richard holdsworth’.
The book is also available as part of a collection from the REME book shop. To purchase online, go to: https://remeshop.org.uk/product/book-bundle/
Click the Play button (bottom left) to hear the interview

30 Mar 2021: Chris Mundy Memorial Competition

This year’s event attracted a record number of entries. All agreed that it was very difficult to to pick a winner with the quality being so good. All the entries can be read in the Library on the 2021 page. …and the winners were… Noticing
1. David Baldock
2. Colin Ferguson
3. Janis Doughty
Noticing
Broadstairs Nostalgia
The Hospital Waiting Room

28 Apr 2021: Donation Revives Heedlesham Project

Barbara’s grand daughter, Christie, has donated £250 to the Circle for us to use to honour her memory. It was decided at our last meeting that we would use this generous gift to cover the cost of publishing our Heedlesham saga. This was an excellent idea of Sally's and it is very fitting that the money will be used for a collaborative piece of work, something that Barbara was always keen to promote. We have a few chapters to go to finish the project, so contact Les if you would like to help. If you have already contributed to the project, it doesn’t bar you from having another go. You can refresh your memory of Heedlesham via the Library’s Home page.

4 May 2021: Notes from the Zoom Meeting

Richard showed us a piece he has had published in the Rolls Royce and Bentley Drivers magazine. How many of our members are RR or Bentley drivers? Not many owners, I’d wager. Rob  has found an on-line writers’ service which could be of interest to our members. It’s called Jericho Writers, and they describe themselves as:  “a worldwide team of writers who offer everything you need to help you write, edit and get your book published”.  Wear your best specs when looking at this site. Their favourite colours for text seem to be pale blue and pale grey. We welcomed two prospective members who attended the meeting. Lucy Chapman, who writes crime thrillers and Caitlin Forde, whose main interest is song writing. Check out YouTube for examples of Caitlin’ work, search for ‘you me and the harmony’ - the band she writes for and performs with.

11 May 2021: How Many Guns in a Salute?

by Walter At our last meeting, the subject of 21/41 gun salutes came up and the question was asked: why 21 guns, why 41 guns? The number of rounds fired depends on the occasion, the social or military rank of the person being honoured and where the honour is being performed. An extreme example was shown in a recent TV programme about the Tower of London. In 2019, the Queen’s birthday occurred during the state visit to the UK by Donald Trump. The occasion was celebrated by a 103 gun salute fired from the Tower. This was made up as follows. The salute for the Queens Birthday is 21 rounds fired. A further 20 rounds were fired because the salute was fired from a Royal Palace (the Tower is a Royal Palace). 21 rounds were added to show loyalty to the monarchy by the citizens of the City of London. A further 41 rounds were fired in honour of the visiting head of state. Overall it took 17 minutes to perform. I just thought some would like to know!

22 Jun 2021: Barbara O Smith Trophy

Results

At last night’s Zoom meeting we started to read all the stories and critiques from the competition which had been judged by Iain Pattison. The winners were announced as follows:
Congratulations to our winners and well done everyone who submitted a story. It was a very strong field of 17 excellent works. Thank you for spending the time to enter. The Barbara Olive Smith cup will be presented to Les as soon as we can get together again. Sally will source some appropriate prizes for 2nd and 3rd places too.
3rd Mosaic by Joyce Robinson
1st Journeyman by Les Williams
2nd Sanctuary by Sarah Flint
EMAILS
© Thames Valley Writers’ Circle
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Send in your news items to webmaster@thamesvalleywriterscircle.org
Click the Play button (bottom left) to hear the interview

4 Jan 2021: Neil Interviewed on BBC

Radio Berkshire

Neil was interviewed about his latest book, FOR THE LOVE OF RADIO 4, today. If you missed it, here is the full interview. Thank you Stuart for making this available to us.
We have received a substantial gift in the will of our former Life President, Barbara Smith. That she decreed how we should spend her legacy, to pay for some top speakers and to have a party to remember her, is no surprise. This unexpected gift shows just how much the Circle meant to her. It was after her husband of 40 years died, that she started to write and attended several courses both in Oxford and Reading. It was after a course at Theale Green School that she founded the Thames Valley Writers’ Circle so that the course members could keep meeting. Even after she had relinquished the position as our Convenor, she continued to work ceaselessly for the Circle, and we were pleased that she could still be with us and contributing until the final illness took her away. Barbara was adept at sweet talking some of the top writers in the country to come and talk to us. People like Colin Dexter of Inspector Morse fame. Robert Harris, author of best sellers like Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii and many more. Brian Thompson, who wrote for stage, radio and television and whose memoirs, Keeping Mum and Clever Girl were both award winners, Mike Walker, an author and the UK’s finest radio adaptor, won a number of Sony Awards. Ironically, none of these guests ever required a fee. By having a party, Barbara wanted us to have fun, for that is what she was about – having fun. An example was the year she gave us all an A4 sheet with photos and drawing of all types of bugs and told us the optional homework for the summer break was stories or poems about bugs. On return, the members voted for their favourites but that was not enough for Barbara. She produced four clockwork caterpillars and the top four writers had to wind them up and line them up for a race on the table to see who would get the prize. Barbara said the party was so we would remember her. Barbara, how could we ever forget you.

25 Jan 2021: Barbara’s Legacy

by Dick Sawdon Smith

9 Feb 2021: Arthur Redway

Memorial Competition

Results

There were 15 entries to this year’s event. The general view was that the standard was very high and picking the top three was a very difficult task. The results were: 1st After the Storm Sarah Flint 2nd Calling Les Williams 3rd The Lighthouse Janis Doughty The full list of entries and the authors is on the Library 2021 page.

23 Feb 2021: Six Spoons of Sugar

The title is the ration of sugar allowed during WWII. The book is Richard’s reminiscences as an evacuee during the war. He read the prologue and part of the first chapter to us at last night’s meeting. The reading provoked quite a bit of discussion. If you would like to follow up the discussion or weren’t there but are interested in matters WWII, you may like to know that Richard will be reading more of the book next week (time permitting) and that the book is still available. You can buy Six Spoons of Sugar from many online sources including Amazon and eBay. Just Google ‘six spoons of sugar richard holdsworth’.
The book is also available as part of a collection from the REME book shop. To purchase online, go to: https://remeshop.org.uk/product/bo ok-bundle/
Click the Play button (bottom left) to hear the interview

30 Mar 2021: Chris Mundy Memorial

Competition

This year’s event attracted a record number of entries. All agreed that it was very difficult to to pick a winner with the quality being so good. All the entries can be read in the Library on the 2021 page. …and the winners were…
1. David Baldock
2. Colin Ferguson
3. Janis Doughty
Noticing
Broadstairs Nostalgia
The Hospital Waiting Room

28 Apr 2021: Donation Revives

Heedlesham Project

Barbara’s grand daughter, Christie, has donated £250 to the Circle for us to use to honour her memory. It was decided at our last meeting that we would use this generous gift to cover the cost of publishing our Heedlesham saga. This was an excellent idea of Sally's and it is very fitting that the money will be used for a collaborative piece of work, something that Barbara was always keen to promote. We have a few chapters to go to finish the project, so contact Les if you would like to help. If you have already contributed to the project, it doesn’t bar you from having another go. You can refresh your memory of Heedlesham via the Library’s Home page.

4 May 2021: Notes from the

Zoom Meeting

Richard showed us a piece he has had published in the Rolls Royce and Bentley Drivers magazine. How many of our members are RR or Bentley drivers? Not many owners, I’d wager. Rob  has found an on-line writers’ service which could be of interest to our members. It’s called Jericho Writers, and they describe themselves as:  “a worldwide team of writers who offer everything you need to help you write, edit and get your book published”.  Wear your best specs when looking at this site. Their favourite colours for text seem to be pale blue and pale grey. We welcomed two prospective members who attended the meeting. Lucy Chapman, who writes crime thrillers and Caitlin Forde, whose main interest is song writing. Check out YouTube for examples of Caitlin’ work, search for ‘you me and the harmony’ - the band she writes for and performs with.

11 May 2020: How Many Guns in a

Salute?

by Walter At our last meeting, the subject of 21/41 gun salutes came up and the question was asked: why 21 guns, why 41 guns? The number of rounds fired depends on the occasion, the social or military rank of the person being honoured and where the honour is being performed. An extreme example was shown in a recent TV programme about the Tower of London. In 2019, the Queen’s birthday occurred during the state visit to the UK by Donald Trump. The occasion was celebrated by a 103 gun salute fired from the Tower. This was made up as follows. The salute for the Queens Birthday is 21 rounds fired. A further 20 rounds were fired because the salute was fired from a Royal Palace (the Tower is a Royal Palace). 21 rounds were added to show loyalty to the monarchy by the citizens of the City of London. A further 41 rounds were fired in honour of the visiting head of state. Overall, it took 17 minutes to perform. I just thought some would like to know!

22 Jun 2021: Barbara O Smith

Trophy Results

At last night’s Zoom meeting we started to read all the stories and critiques from the competition which had been judged by Iain Pattison. The winners were announced as follows:
Congratulations to our winners and well done everyone who submitted a story. It was a very strong field of 17 excellent works. Thank you for spending the time to enter. The Barbara Olive Smith cup will be presented to Les as soon as we can get together again. Sally will source some appropriate prizes for 2nd and 3rd places too.
3rd Mosaic by Joyce
1st Journeyman by Les W
2nd Sanctuary by Sarah
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