Welcome to Felixstowe Scribblers

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Felixstowe Scribblers Next Meeting

Our Next Meeting.

A reminder that our next meeting is on Tuesday 2nd October at 7.30 pm in the Café Libra at Felixstowe Library. Start time is at 7.30pm with the 500 word homework theme being 'Confessions' with the 1,500 open themed work by Pat and Dave.

Don't forget that a tiebreaker is currently taking place to provide a winner of the Online Scribblers competition with Candour Typist (Rosie) vying with Morag for the honours.

Currently our website is unavailable and Alex is investigating. The weblog is not affected.

Until Tuesday,

Keep Scribbling!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Website problems

Currently our website, http://felixstowescribblers.com is out of commission. We apologise for this problem but hope it will soon be resolved.


Hello from Online Scribblers!

Well what can I say? What a close run thing our summer writing competition has turned out to be with both Candour Typist's entry "Normality" and Morag's "Suspicious Minds" ending with exactly the same number of votes! I can tell you that Morag is a published novelist whilst Candour Typist is an up and coming young writer who has already won two competitions.

The voting was held open for a couple of extra days in case any additional support would produce an outright winner but the votes remain tied. For the first time we will run a tiebreaker for these two entries only.

Members are invited to cast a single vote for one entry or the other. The tiebreaker will run for seven days only when the suspense will hopefully be eased and a winner announced.

I must say that all entries were extremely good reads and very impressive work by everyone. It is a shame there can be only one winner but part of the fun is taking part and remember, next time it could be your turn to win.

For now though I ask if you will give up a few minutes of your precious time to vote for the work you consider the best, either Normality or Suspicious Minds. Exciting times!

Vote Now!!!!

Vincent West
25th September 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007


Plight of children's hospice revealed
East Anglian Daily Times
19 September 2007

HOSPICE bosses must raise nearly £11,000 a day this year to care for some of East Anglia's most seriously ill children, it has been revealed.

East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) faces a bill of £4.9million during 2007/08 to run its three hospices in Ipswich, Quidenham in Norfolk, and Milton, near Cambridgeshire.

The organisation will only receive £1m (20%) of its costs from statutory organisations and must rely on voluntary donations to raise the remaining £3.9m.

EACH provides expert care for children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions and cared for 302 children last year - 79 at its Ipswich hospice.

Simon Hempsall, EACH's marketing and communications manager, said: “This year we anticipate it will cost in the region of £4.9m to run the services across three hospice sites. Only a small proportion of our funding comes from statutory sources, which means the income from our supporters is absolutely vital.

“The majority of our costs are not for specialist equipment but for delivering the care and support so vital to the children and their families.

“At EACH, we aim to maximise the quality of life for children with a life-threatening condition and to support their families.”

He added: “Some children may only have a very short time to live, perhaps only weeks or months, others may reach young adulthood but our aim is always the same - to enhance their quality of life and support their family.”

Caz Wilkinson, from Felixstowe, understands the value of children's hospices to families. Her 12-year-old son, Jack, who died after losing a courageous fight with cancer, regularly fundraised for EACH with his family.

Although Jack never used the service himself, his mother has received bereavement help from the Ipswich hospice since his death and has vowed to continue raising funds for the charity in her son's memory.

“Jack knew he had been ill and wanted to support other children with life-threatening illnesses. He was quite an incredible young man,” she said.

“If people going along in their own lives just spare a little thought for the families who are living with these illnesses and just do a little something, it means so much.”

The charity is appealing for support from the public ahead of National Children's Hospice Week, which takes place next week and is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The children's hospice movement began with Helen House in Oxford which opened its doors in November 1982.

There are now 41 operational children's hospice services in the UK, including the three in East Anglia run by EACH.

The charity's hospices not only provide end of life care, they also offer respite care which enables parents to take a well-earned rest from their care responsibilities, bereavement help, music therapy, specialist play, physiotherapy and occupational therapy and information services to relatives.

Anyone interested in supporting EACH or organising their own event can contact the fundraising officer on 01953 715559/01223 205180 or visit www.each.org.uk.



A reminder that online voting for the summer competition closes this Sunday 23rd September and, with two entries currently sharing the lead, it is important to cast your votes for your two favourite entries. The winner will be announced on Monday 24th September.

Vincent West



In the Chair: Dave.

Apologies for absence were received from Alex who is in Italy and Kay who has a prior engagement.

In attendance were Dick, Rosie, Tony, Pat, Trish, Liliane, Ally, Ken, Peter, Margareta, Barry, Ruth, Morag, Stephen and Dave.

A warm welcome to Pat who has had some short stories published whilst she was living in Kenya. Currently Pat has a diarist style novel which she is hoping will be accepted for publication.

It was nice to see Margareta at a meeting once more. Living in Vienna, Margareta has attended meetings when able to do so and in the past contributed homework to be read whenever time was available.

Scribblers News:

Ally is settling into her new home but is having problems getting a telephone line fixed and waiting for delivery of new furniture. We wish Ally and her partner every best wish for this new stage in their lives.

When we heard that Louis was moving we assumed that he was moving closer to his work in the London area. Seems that he is moving a bit closer to Felixstowe so hopefully we may see him more regularly, work permitting of course!

The Bill Budner Trophy has been engraved with the current holder’s name and was again presented to our young, worthy and proud winner Rosie. The photo, courtesy of Barry, shows Rosie holding her trophy .

Message for Rosie from the Scribblers - It’s only on loan, you know!!!!

We have heard from Kate who is still slowly recovering from her operation in April. Although unable to drive at present, it was nice to learn that she has been able to spend some of her time recuperating in France. Kate has continued writing short stories and poems and has decided to publish a book of her poems and probably her novel as well. Once she is able to drive again she will be back in Felixstowe at Scribblers.

A message from Caz about the recent Jack Wilkinson Memorial Walk in aid of Cancer Research . She says:

“Please do me a huge favour and thank Morag, Ruth, Tony, Scott (and not forgetting Aimee) for coming along and walking 9 miles in Jack's Memory, on the 9th September.

“Dick deserves a mention too as part of the Committee, he was doing a wonderful job making sure we were all kept in order!

“Jack would have been very touched, as we were, to see so many Scribblers all supporting us and Cancer Research UK. Of course they are not just Scribblers but friends too.

“We hope the event will have raised hundreds of pounds and on that note I would also like to say thank you to Peter and his wife and you Dave for your sponsorship.

“Please forgive me for not attending but one of these days I'll come along and surprise you all but not quite yet. Once again many thanks to all of you for your support and friendship always.

“Lots of love.


The Christmas Social: It was agreed that this would again take the form of a meal and, as before will be held on Tuesday 29th January 2008 at the Grosvenor.

The last meeting before Christmas will be a light hearted affair when members are asked to bring along some goodies to begin the festive cheer.

Meetings in January: Dave to ask the Library to book the Scribblers in on the second and fourth Tuesday of January 2008 with the AGM due to take place on 8th January and the next Bill Budner Anonymous Competition due to take place on 22nd January.


Remember to visit our weblog that can be found at http://nar8or.blogspot.com and our official website at http://felixstowescribblers.com Don’t forget that if you have any news of our old friends, or if you have some news you would like to share, then let us know and we will circulate it and include it on our weblog.

Don’t forget our site at http://onlinescribblers.com, where the open themed competition for members has closed for entries with online voting is now taking place. With the latest news that Rosie and Morag’s entries have currently attracted the most votes and are tied in first place, why not read the stories and vote? Voting closes on Sunday 23rd. and the winner will be announced on Monday. Contact Vincent West for details of membership at organiser@onlinescribblers.com

The 1,500 word open themed homework assignments.

Ruth: Family Snap: The second chapter of her novel surrounding Cath, a woman who was mugged going to buy a pint of milk. Subsequently four years of her memory was lost which Dr Charles, a memory loss therapist with his own issues, is trying to help her recover. Well written words that provoked healthy discussion.

Liliane: Every Little Bit Helps: At times a quite hilarious account of two children desperately wanting to raise cash for charity. They started by selling the newly born kittens many times over, tried to raffle Grandad’s parrot then sell Miss Leonora’s books before charging for tours of their house and gardens. Enterprising mirth from Liliane’s family saga.

The 500 word homework assignment on ’Bulbs’.

Dick: Not Too Much To Ask: Mac and Ted start a gardening scam and buy up trays of bulbs which are dyed to make them colourful to the suckers at a car boot sale. All goes well until it rains...

Rosie: Sated: A quite dynamic work that is full of vivid description and holds the attention of the listener with its flowing account of the effects of achieving the much criticised and deadly model size zero.

Stephen: Those Three Days: A tremendous twist that placed the events of Easter in the present day with journalistic cameras and flash bulbs recording the heretic carrying his cross to his own crucifixion and the media follow up when the body went of Jesus went missing.

Tony: Inside the Semi-detached Cave: The title alone tells the story of how Tony’s fantasy epic of a book is based entirely on homework themes. Another hilarious work that sees Alleyrogs clumsy wife Peasher get her foot stuck in a bucket and breaks the light globe.

Pat: The Old Soldier: A lovely story about Muriel deciding that Percy would become her handyman. Outside were trays of bulbs that Percy was told to plant. Some in the flower bed, some in the vegetable plot. Simple work that would reveal his gardening potential in the spring.

Trish: Daffodil Yellow: Thought provoking tale about Charles Eddy buying some daffodil bulbs for his granddaughter Verity. She heard his car approach and Charles gave her the bulbs explaining they would be yellow in colour. Verity though, was blind and wanted him to describe the colour.

Ally: Dark Stranger: A story that could easily lead into a novel. Tara awoke thinking she heard her young daughter out of bed. The light was out and so Tara opened the bedroom door when the stranger grabbed her and clasped her round the mouth. Tara’s husband came home but she couldn’t warn him…

Morag: Turning On The Light: More fine words from Morag! Neil was meticulous and he had left everything tidy, marked and easy to find in the garage. The phone rang as she tried to take the old bulb out . It was Neil wanting to return home…

Ken: Bulb: A real tale from Ireland. Flash bulbs exploded. The mountains parted opening up the lovely view before them. There was knocking from the boot, but it was locked. His wife got out of the car walked round to the boot and shot three bullets into it..

Peter: There Are Bulbs And Bulbs: Molly was in hospital and Harold was the cause of the visit. The hallway was full of splintered wood and glass. The note left in the hall asked him to change the bulbs. Behind the door was the tray of tulip bulbs that should have been changed for daffodils.

Margareta: Bulbs in Romania: In the schooldays they were digging and sorting out the bulbs. At Harvest Festival a young couple were making dips and sauces for the party but something was very wrong with the onions - in fact the couple had used the special tulip bulbs in error.

Barry: A Sight For Sore Eyes: Floaters in the eyes, bringing back memories of younger days, reading in bed by torchlight, not wearing goggles on the pillion of the motorbike. In Australia the bright sun and the dust. Looking back we should have cared more for our eyes.

Dave: Everlasting Light: A World War One widow in her cottage - the light fails, she calls for her departed to help and the light comes on. Seventy years or more later the cottage is discovered, light still shining and mummified corpse gripping his photo..

Now here’s a real life irony, getting home after the meeting the bulb in the bathroom decided to flash into darkness…and my daughter’s bedroom light also decided that enough was enough! Both on the same night and curses that they always seem to fail at night when you can’t see a hand in front of your face…..

Thanks to Liliane for collecting the key once again.

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 2nd October in the Café Libra at Felixstowe Library. Start time 7.30 pm.

The 500 word homework theme is ‘CONFESSIONS‘. Could this subject reveal some long hidden secret from a murky past? The subject certainly whets the appetite!

Pat and Dave will write the open themed 1,500 word homework assignment.

So until next time….

Keep Scribbling!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Our Next Meeting

Our next meeting takes place this coming Tuesday 18th September in the Café Libra at Felixstowe Library. Start time remains at 7.30pm with the 500 word homework theme being 'bulbs' and the 1,500 work by Liliane and Ruth.

The Bill Budner Trophy should have been engraved by now and will be presented again to Rosie.

The Jack Wilkinson walk in aid of Cancer Research was successful and raised a great deal of money for the charity. A report from the Ipswich Evening Star is shown on our weblog.

Don't forget that voting is currently taking place for the Online Scribblers competition and Morag is currently leading the field.

Until Tuesday,

Keep Scribbling

Walkers raise cash in memory of Jack - from the files of the Evening Star

WALKERS raised hundreds of pounds for a charity by taking part in an event in memory of a 12-year-old boy who died after losing his courageous fight with cancer.

Members of the Felixstowe fundraising committee for Cancer Research UK agreed the annual triple walks should carry Jack Wilkinson's name to mark his bravery and the caring he showed for others.

Jack's mum and dad, Caz and Karl Wilkinson did the event's nine-mile circular walk - leading off the walkers as they set off from the start and finish point, Foxgrove Retirement Home, High Road East, Old Felixstowe.

Cancer committee chairman Richard Bradshaw said: “They really enjoyed the walk and were thrilled that we had named it after Jack.

“They brought Jack's dog along, too, to join in, and I am sure Jack was there walking with them in spirit.”

More than 35 people took part in the nine-mile walk around the town and seafront, and a smaller number did the 1.5 mile walk. No-one this year took the five-mile walk.

It is not yet known how much has been raised but Scott and Amy Fairburn raised more than £400 between them.

A woman suffering with arthritis did the 1.5 mile walk and felt so well she then did it twice more.

“I think overall the day was a great success - it was perfect conditions for walking,” said Mr Bradshaw.

“We are very proud to have named the walks after Jack because he was such a brave and caring youngster, who always put the wellbeing of others before that of himself, even to the very end of his short life.

“We hope even more will take part in future years to help us raise money to fight this horrendous disease.”

Jack, of Fairfield Avenue, Felixstowe, was first diagnosed with a rare form of bladder cancer when he was just two years old.

The family moved to Felixstowe from Wiltshire in 1997 and for the next eight years everything seemed fine as Jack's disease went into remission.

But in April 2005 they were hit with the bombshell that the cancer had returned. Scores of tests and trips to hospitals followed and then last year the family were given the news they had dreaded as doctors said he had only a short time to live. He died last year.

What do you think of dedicating the walks to Jack's memory? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

Thursday, September 06, 2007


The future looks very rosy for our rising young star Rosie at Felixstowe Scribblers! Already a winner of the junior writing competition held earlier this year in memory of Bill Budner, Rosie overcame the experience of the opposition with her captivating story Wooden Roses.

As all entries were anonymous, her entry was read out by Dick, and collected the votes to relieve the first holder, Tony, of the trophy.

Well done Rosie! Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007



For all your research and information for writers

visit your local Felixstowe Library

and the Suffolk Record Office .





In the Chair: Dave.

Apologies for absence were received from Morag, (holiday) Ally (moving house), Scott (dancing) Ken (housework!) Judy (off sailing).

In attendance were Tony, Rosie, Kay, Ruth, John, Alex, Trish, Louis, Liliane, Dick, Peter, Barry, Stephen and Dave.

A warm welcome to John, an elderly gentleman who stays at Ruth’s parents hotel a few times each year. John writes poetry although his family don‘t appreciate his talents! Invited along to the Scribblers he jumped at the chance! Pretty good as he must be the eldest person we have had at our meetings. John is in his nineties and although quite hard of hearing, took an active part in our meeting. Of course he will be welcome to come along whenever he is in Felixstowe.

It was also nice to see Stephen again after missing several meetings and Rosie back from her holidays.

Scribblers News:

Dick reminded everyone the Jack Wilkinson Memorial Walk whilst some Scribblers produced sponsorship forms for the walk that takes place next Sunday, 9th September. Details from Doreen Giff by emailing dorndg@talktalk.net.

Ken (Matthews) sent apologies for missing the last few sessions. He was off for a few weeks that included a little holiday and lot's of ticks on the list of things to be done around the house. Ken was going mad giving up the chance to challenge Tony for 'his' trophy, but he’ll get it next time!

Denise at UNESCO in Paris was on the Breakfast Show at Radio Suffolk last Saturday. Wonder if anyone heard her? Denise, who has worked at UNESCO for many years is due to retire in 20 months time and looks forward to writing for herself instead of others! She sends her wishes to the Scribblers.

Some good news from Judy. Although summer has whizzed past for her, she has been busy preparing her book for publishing as well as finishing my next book on Burma. In between she and Ron have spent a great deal of time on their boat - and were due to set sail again today (Wednesday) for around three weeks. Pretending she’s taking a sabbatical, she hopes to be back later in the year with, we hope, her book.

Caz wrote a poem for Memory Day for the Ipswich Children's Hospice and was asked if it could be used and she managed to read it out on the day. She also wrote a piece about her experience of the support received by EACH since Jack died. They have asked if she is happy for them to use her work in their Newsletter and their publicity for Children's Hospice Week (15 to 22nd Sept). Of course if anything she wrote will encourage someone to give their time or money to such a worthwhile cause then it will have been worthwhile.

Had a message from the Lost Scriptwriter Ken (May) - of Lost Sock fame. He says he no longer has his stall in the Britton centre but has opened up a small shop in the old High Street (Genesis Crystals and Reiki Treatment Centre) which is at the opposite end of the town to the Britton centre. Things are slow but they are moving forward which is always a good sign.

So, he says, all is going well apart from his writing which he hasn’t done much of and finds it frustrating. He’s hoping that when the shop settles down and there is a little more routine (or a ‘make a mint and retire‘) he will get some more time. At the moment he gets up about seven on a Sunday to try and get a couple of hours writing in before the world starts to demand his attention. He recently discovered a web site called short talk http://www.shortalk.co.uk, that takes short stories and turns them into audio. They pay around £75 for a thousand words he believes and it looked pretty good. From what I remember from Scribblers there is plenty of talent that could be earning a few quid.

He’s just been informed that the Lost Sock is on TV - and asks ‘What have we done eh!’

Ken wishes to say hello to all the Scribblers. He still misses the group and suspects he always will.

Have a message from Dick about our friend Christine who hasn’t been along to a meeting for a very long time. Poor Christine was suffering from acute dental problems at one stage although we are saddened to hear that her eyesight is very bad now and it is making it impossible for her to write. One day she might like to come along to a meeting to listen to our stories but would obviously nee transportation to and from the Library.


Remember to visit our weblog that can be found at http://nar8or.blogspot.com and our official website at http://felixstowescribblers.com Don’t forget that if you have any news of our old friends, or if you have some news you would like to share, then let us know and we will circulate it and include it on our weblog.

There is also our site at http://onlinescribblers.com, where the open themed competition for members has closed for entries and online voting is now taking place. Already Rosie, Morag and Dave have attracted votes so why not log on to the site read the entries If you are not already a member then contact Vincent West for details at organiser@onlinescribblers.com

The Bill Budner Trophy

The competition for attending writers to win the Bill Budner Trophy drew thirteen anonymous but excellent entries covering both poetry and prose.

With some of the work a little darker than last time there was certainly a high standard that left everyone wondering who had written which work. The format of the competition enabled all writers hear their words read out by another Scribbler and proved to be another very useful exercise in seeing how others perceive our work.

In the sequence of events the following gives the title, the reader then the writer followed by a few words about the entry. The writers were not revealed until after the winning entry had been selected by an anonymous vote.

1. Over The Edge. Read by Ruth. Written by Barry. A tale of escape from the Institute, the rape of a woman after she had been strangled and the murder of the ruthless assailant.

2. Avalon. Read by John. Written by Trish. A poem of bitterness and scorn.

3. Morning Sunshine. Read by Alex. Written by Tony. |Watching and desiring the beautiful gypsy girl, the protagonist enters her caravan; his head spins when the devil-like man appears.

4. Caught In The Act. Read by Trish. Written by Kay. The children’s birthday party and the boring magician who makes everything disappear, including bad tempered birthday boy Brad.

5. City Girl. Read by Louis. Written by Liliane. Girl likes boy and meets his competent and close knit family. She is a city girl. They live in the country. A marriage proposal and the anguish in making her decision.

6. In the Clouds. Read by Liliane. Written by Peter. Dialogue between friends applying for the same jobs, their discussions about qualifications and suitability and a missing invitation.

7. Wooden Roses: Read by Dick. Written by Rosie. Waking moments, the woman beside him with the concerned gaze. She left the hospital room. He fell asleep, the machinery keeping him alive.

8. Hotel Christina. Read by Peter. Written by Ruth. The sea view from the window, the town and shops. Mask in the cabinet, Christina allowed out at night, journalistic link with outside world. Plague. The suffering and hallucinations.

9. The Winds of Autumn. Read by Barry. Written by Alex. Graphic descriptive comparisons between the ages, what the Victorians think of the present generation. Embittered and stunted generations.

10. Not Much Fun. Read by Dave. Written by Dick. Planning a wartime raid on a German camp taking out a high ranking German. Luftwaffe airfield too close for a RAF attack and the precision planned ground attack suffers losses. Their target escaped.

11. Reflections. Read by Tony. Written by John. Reflections, a really enjoyable, well written rhyming poem.

12. Views From A Bus Stop. Read by Rosie. Written by Louis. Waiting at a bus stop. Martha by her side. Bus late. Broken down Volkswagen van. Woman doing her scratch card. Martha happy. The bus arrived.

13. Vendetta. Read by Kay. Written by Dave. Husband and her sister having an affair. Jealous wife carries out a series of avenging actions on husband . Wife seeks divorce. Her sisters husband seeks retribution.

After counting the votes the first three were announced. The winner of the Bill Budner Trophy was revealed. None other than our deserved young member Rosie with her extremely well written work Wooden Roses.

In second place, almost doing it again - but not quite! - Tony.

Third place went to Barry.

Congratulations to Rosie!

Wednesday. Barry sent in an email and photograph of the new champion receiving her trophy. Barry says he had trouble with his eyes again. He thought the picture he took at the Library was good, it turns out to be only good of Tony; his handing of the cup to Gina Lollobrigida instead of Rosie should make the national dailies! The picture is posted on the weblog!

Thanks to Liliane for collecting the key once again.

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 18th September in the Café Libra at Felixstowe Library. Start time 7.30 pm.

Rosie selected the 500 word homework theme ‘BULBS’.

Ruth and Liliane will write the open themed 1,500 word homework assignment.

So until next time….

Keep Scribbling!

Monday, September 03, 2007



The year is flashing by and summer, such as it has been, is drawing to a close. We’re in September already and so, with nights rapidly drawing in, we might find ourselves confined to our computer screens.

I am pleased that we had eleven entries for the summer short story competition which really is splendid especially as they have been posted from far and wide - Australia and Ireland as well as from the Felixstowe area. So thankyou to everyone who supported the competition and best of luck with your entries.

In my humble opinion the standard is remarkably high and I am pleased to say that online voting is now in place for you to register your choices. Each member is entitled to cast two votes, and, if you have entered your own work, you may of course vote once for your own. Dave at Felixstowe Scribblers reckons that it’s the only way I’ll get a vote!

If you didn’t enter then you are still very welcome to read the entries and cast your votes. Every entry deserves to be read!

To vote, simply go to the competition page as usual and follow the instructions there. Recognising there are many words to be read with all the entries, Debs and I have agreed to close the voting on Sunday 22nd September. The winner will be notified and announced the following day, so the very best of luck and may the best entry win!

One of our members, Rochelle, has suggested using a picture as a subject for the next competition and sent in a couple of possibilities. Dave tells me that another of our members, Belinda (writingbee) set a homework for Felixstowe Scribblers based on a photograph that she submitted. The visual topic added to the creativity and fun and though Belinda flew back to Australia, all the results were forwarded to her. Such a competition whets the appetite so I hope when the time comes, you will enjoy entering!

If you have any ideas you would like Online Scribblers to adopt then please let me know and I will do my best to oblige. You can always email me at organiser@onlinescribblers.com or PM me in the forums.

Here’s to success!

Vincent West

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