Recent Posts

Lockdown activity for kids (and their grown-ups)

You’ll find them in Christmas crackers and The Hobbit. We all love a riddle (except for Gollum when he can’t work one out!). Why not try out the p|arts ‘Riddling at home!’ lockdown pack with your kids. It can be downloaded here: http://p-arts.co.uk/lockdown-activity-for-kids-and-their-grown-ups…

Surviving the pandemic…

In his report the Medical Officer recommends ‘the immediate breaking up of all the schools at Royston, at Foxton, and at Thriplow.’ It starts with a sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. Within a day a rash develops on the stomach or chest and…

Finding Roger Britten…

KJAR Boyz Choir in the recording studio

Proceeding up-stairs we came first against a printing press, with which an intelligent looking African was printing off copies of a handbill…

Herts Guardian, Agricultural Journal, and General Advertiser
Saturday 17 May 1856

I was not looking for Roger, but those words in an article about a small-town exhibition had me hooked.

– Why was there a presumption that an African shouldn’t be intelligent?
– What was the journey that had brought him here?
– Surely, he wasn’t an exhibit?
– Why did the newspaper think he didn’t warrant a name?

And so the search began and the Roger Britten slowly emerged…from British Guyana to Royston Hertfordshire, from collector’s piece to the Queen’s printer. 

Read the full story (part 1 & part 2) on the Hertfordshire Memories website.

And hear the song that KJAR Boyz Choir wrote about Roger, who like every printer wanted to make a good impression.

In Black and White | Roger Britten | Royston’s Printer

In Black and White | Roger Britten | Royston’s Printer

I’m excited to be able to share details of a project that I have been collaborating on with the composer Jenni Pinnock and artist Stacey Leigh Ross for Black History month (October). Some time ago – while looking for something else – I came across…

Witch-hunter General

Witch-hunter General

When the Royston Crow dropped onto the doormat this afternoon, it came as a bit of a shock to see my ugly mug staring back at me. On page 4, there’s an interesting article written by Bianca Wild for Local and Community History Month. It…

Cracked Voices pamphlet

Cracked Voices pamphlet

ISBN 978-0-9524753-2-3
48pp
One Tree Publishing (UK)

The Cracked Voices 48 page pamphlet featuring the stories and poems from the lost borderlands of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire is now on sale.

Proceeds will go to help with the restoration of Royston Parish Church which was badly damaged by fire in December 2018.

The pamphlet is available to buy from Royston Library, Royston Museum and No3 Royston. you can also buy it online.

The CD of the song cycle will also be available from 31 January 2019.

Curiosity killed the cat

Curiosity killed the cat

If you believe some blogs, the cat was first killed at the turn of the 20th century. Wikipedia claims that the saying first appeared in print in 1873 but a brief search of the British Newspaper Archive reveals it was in common usage in Ireland…

National Writing Day 2018

National Writing Day 2018

27 June 2018 is National Writing Day. Thanks to Creative Royston, I am delighted to be leading workshops over two consecutive mornings on 26 & 27 June with students from Greneway and Roysia Schools. We’ll be exploring non-fiction writing in the run up to Creative…

Facing Rob Roy

Facing Rob Roy

Exhibition
Thursday 13 September – Saturday 6 October 2018
10am-4:45pm
Royston and District Museum
FREE

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Walter Scott’s novel Rob Roy, this one-off pop-up exhibition explores the changing faces of Scotland’s ‘Robin Hood’. From Macready to Liam Neeson, from Barcelona to Broadway. Vintage playbills, cinema lobby cards, illustrations and twentieth century comics explore the constant recreation of the Scottish folk hero.

Pop-up talk by Graham Palmer,
Saturday 15 September 2018, 11am
Royston and District Museum
FREE

In books, films and musicals, Rob Roy has been celebrated for centuries as a ‘highland rogue’ but just how much is true? Discover the layers of fiction that have ensured this eighteenth century’s outlaw’s survival into the 21st century.

Graham Palmer is a freelance researcher and writer.

 

Finding your voice

Finding your voice

It is said that every poet should find their own voice. But perhaps not every poet should use it – or not in public, at least. Reading your work in to an audience is not the same thing as reading it at home. No matter…