Writing news

Shakespeare Street launch party!

Shakespeare Street was officially launched on Tuesday at a party in Amersham’s Cafe Africa. In the photo (taken by Angela’s husband Keith) we are all saying ‘sausages’ I think, and it includes all but one of the members of Just Write: Richard Hopgood was excused on the grounds of having moved to Gloucestershire… Back row, left to right: Cathy Salmon, Bob Gasking, Graham Blundell, Phil Tysoe, Chris Payne, Angela Haward (whose husband Keith took the photo), Vicky Trelinska. Middle row, left to right: Emma Darke, Chas Burton, Stuart Tennant, Carol Hall, Debbie Hunter, Liz Losty. Front row: Nikki Kelland, Lesley Close, Linda Cohen. But the star of each row is our gorgeous new book!

Lots of guests bought copies of the book, getting our fundraising for the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted off to a flying start. Bob Gasking, an ambassador for the Hospice, spoke about the need to raise funds and the need to raise awareness of just how little of the Hospice’s funding comes form the NHS (19% and falling).

Bob’s ‘boss’, Cathy Salmon, the Hospice’s Head of Communications, said a few spontaneous words after Bob, and we were delighted that she was able to join us.

We were also delighted to see Mimi Harker, ex-Chair of Chiltern District Council, and to hear her say such kind things about Just Write. Her comments echoed and amplified her words which introduce the stories. She isn’t in the photo as she was busy taking her own photos – and organising us to look this good!

We were very glad that Chas Burton, illustrator, and Graham Blundell, typesetter, were also able to join the fun. Working with Stuart, they have produced a book which is so much more than the sum of its parts.

It was lovely to see Victoria Rodden at the party: she gave us such a lot of food for thought at a recent Monday-night meeting. She isn’t in the photo either…

Finally, two people whose contributions made a huge difference to the book could not join us: Janet Mears is a proofreader extraordinaire, and Melissa Scott-Miller allowed us to use two of her paintings of north London Georgian houses. You were both much-missed.

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