Saturday, 21 July 2012


Even the torrential rain on Wednesday11th July couldn't deter a hardy bunch of writers attending the last Worthy Words Workshop meeting of the term.  These meetings are held at Worthing Library on the second Wednesday of the month 2-4pm. Many thanks to all who braved the weather, and an extra special thanks must go to Julie who left her sick bed to attend, and to Sue who started off with good intentions but was driven back by the rain, feet squelching in trainers, and clutching an inside out umbrella! Where is our great British summer? What a dedicated bunch we are! 
   The theme for the meeting was how to turn any visit or journey into a travel article or a setting for a short story or a novel, and judging my the lively discussions it gave most a few ideas to work on. Each member received a handout on the subject, which included: Nonfiction: Understanding the readership of the magazine you are aiming at, the content, the various markets and how to specialise within the travel trade on subjects such as food and drink, garden and gardening, arts and crafts, folklore and the quirky and the unusual. Fiction: Have a genuine feel for the place you are going to use as a setting, take lots of photographs and look at the local history of the place if you are historical writers.Wendy advised everyone to do some research before the visit, and to make sure you included in your suitcase the following: 
   Research information
   List of things they need to find out.
   Camera, spare batteries and a spare memory card.
   Notebook or holiday journal – write in it every day, not only where you have been and what you have seen, but the feel of the place, the people, and anything that strikes you are interesting – similar to what you would do when you sit and people watch.
  A supply of pens, pencils and a spare notebook or two and finally...If you take a laptop write up any notes each evening in point form.  Also download any photographs from your camera so you have plenty of space. A list of all the current writing competitions, together with a 'Summer Challenge' were handed out to ensure that everyone was kept active until the next meeting in September.  Anyone in the Worthing and surrounding area that is interested in any aspect of writing, do contact Wendy  for more a friendly chat and more information.  Worthy Words Workshops resumes on Wednesday 12th September.  Looking forward to seeing you all.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Friends of Worthing and Broadwater Cemetery

A belated New Year's resolution to myself - I must keep this blog up to date as so many exciting things are happening at the moment!
It has been another very busy month for me charging around Worthing, delving into the archives, acting like a tourist and looking for anything unusual to photograph for my book Not a Guide to Worthing. Shame the weather has not be kinder to me. July 7th saw me taking a tour organised by the Friends of Broadwater and Worthing Cemetery. These free monthly tours, during the summer months, are a must for anyone interested in history and the people who helped to shape this great town. Each one is themed - July we were lucky to have two, Seafarers and Worthing Mayors - truly a delight  for me as many of the people featured also had a place in my Shipwrecks of Sussex book, including Worthing's seafaring disaster, which happened on 14th November 1894. The Zadne, a steamer carrying coal from south Wales to London got into trouble during a hurricane storm.  On the horizon was spotted a sole survivor in a lifeboat, but within metres of the shore the boat flipped over, and he was drowned.  During the course of the day all the bodies were washed ashore. One body was repatriated to south Wales and the reminder, including two that was not identified were buried in a mass grave in the cemetery.
 Don't miss 'The Friends' Open Day on Saturday 4th August which starts at 10.00am through to 3pm, and includes three fantastic tours: Religious Figures who greatly influenced what happened in Worthing, a Military Tour concentrating on those who served in all conflicts, and a General Tour based on the guides own selection of interesting people buried in the cemetery, plus stalls, refreshments, booklets and much, much more.  I am looking forward to the day, and hope to see you there too.