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Monday, 27 December 2010

New Year, New Novel

Bring on 2011...

 A hypnotic mix of love, loyalty, heartbreak and revenge -  my new novel is set in the German Occupation of the Channel Islands during World War Two.  It tells the story of Lydia Le Page, a young and carefree student who joins the resistance after the Germans almost destroy her family. Forced to sleep with the enemy she has  one enduring hope that keeps her alive on the paradise island that has become her prison.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Memories of a Christmas baby

My father wanted to call me David.  Until he saw me,  that is.  'It's a girl' he announced on that long ago Christmas Eve in Guernsey, 'but I wanted a boy!' Apparently I stuck two fingers in my mouth and went back to sleep. My mother's response is not on record.

Friday, 3 December 2010

An Icy reply...

Today's snow reminds me of my first job as a cub reporter.  I was standing outside the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, freezing to the spot, when I caught sight of the Press Officer.
'Mr Davies!' I yelled. 'Have you got a minute?'
'Not now,' he said, brushing me aside, 'I'm waiting for the chap from the Gazette.'
'I am the chap from the Gazette,' I replied, smiling sweetly.
Those were the days......

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Island at War

Guernsey is in the news again. Scores of secret files, hidden away since the 1960's show for the first time the appalling treatment of deported islanders during the Occupation - particularly if they were suspected of any form of resistance.  The documents tell  of people who were forced to listen to fellow prisoners being decapitated by guillotine in German prison camps. This  provies, without doubt,  that conditions were far worse than first imagined.  I wonder if there is anyone out there who still remembers?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Remember Harry Brown?

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Searching for 'The Guernseyman'

(An extract from the BBC Radio Guernsey website)

Harry Brown
Harry Brown wrote The Guernseyman following the Occupation
Just after the Occupation many evacuees returned to Guernsey, one of them was a 19-year-old with aspirations to be a journalist - Harry Brown.
To further his ambitions he put together a regular magazine called The Guernseyman.
In November 2009 his daughter Marilyn Chapman, who now lives in the UK began searching for a copy to help with a book she was writing.
In June 2010 Marilyn visited the island to see some copies.
During the Occupation Harry was sent to the north of England and as a teenager got a taste for journalism working in Manchester.
Marilyn said that on his return to Guernsey, aged 19: "He worked in the tax office and got very frustrated so he decided to start a magazine, which he called The Guernseyman."
After writing the magazine for more than a year Harry was offered a job with The Guernsey Star, a local newspaper at the time in competition with The Press, where he worked until the paper folded in the 1960s.

Marilyn Chapman
Marilyn had not seen a copy of the magazine since she was 10 years old
Following her appearance on BBC Guernsey in November 2009 Marilyn was contacted by Deputy Janine Le Sauvage who had spoken to the daughter-in-law of one of the original contributors who had some copies of the magazine and Amanda Bennett at the Priaulx Library where they had some copies in their archives.
After seeing some copies Marilyn said: "It's an amazing publication, way ahead of its time... the idea of the paper was to put a thorn in the side of the States."
She explained that it was particularly interesting as it helped show how life in Guernsey was starting to return to normal following the Occupation: "After the war people were still suffering, still traumatised and suddenly this magazine is here showing that there's life here again."
A large part of the publication was given over to reader's letters and Marilyn said the issues raised seemed to be those that come up time and again: "People are having the same old gripes about no parking and too much traffic... one complained of youths on motorbikes drinking tea!"
Marilyn followed in her father's footsteps and is a journalist living in the UK. She is writing a book set in Guernsey around the time of the Occupation and will be using her research on the Guernseyman for her writing.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Guernsey goes to York

This Guernsey girl spent the day in York at the Society of Authors' Northern meeting and came home raring to start a blog! So if  journalism is your thing, or writing novels, if you're interested in the  history of the Channel Islands, or you just have a crazy sense of humour -  then read on!