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May 2024 From the author’s desk…

2 May, 2024 in From the author's desk

The Coronation, no not last year but the one before in 1953…

Ruth had secured two seats in the hospital lounge where Uncle Isaac used to work – she had actually won them in the hospital’s Coronation sweepstake.

Later on, led by his mother, he crossed through the crowded canteen, full of people holding glasses, cigarettes or both and all talking very loudly, even shouting. They all seemed to have red cheeks and many had a sheen of perspiration on their pallid foreheads. He was the only child present and felt trapped in the forest of white medical coats and nurses’ uniforms towering over him.

Being on the domestic staff, Ruth didn’t know anyone and so was greeted by no one as they threaded their way through the dens canopy of smoke and noise, into the staff lounge. All the sofas and armchairs had been removed, replaced by rows of canteen chairs with very little room between each. Those as the front were already occupied, so they took two at the back.

Facing them stood the television, placed on a pyramid of canteen tables stacked on top of each other. The first thing that struck Yann was how small the set was, it was tiny, much smaller than the one in the Liberman house. He wondered how he would see anything, before realising a large square magnifying lens had been fixed in front of its screen.

The room hushed as a man formally advanced from the front row and witched on the set as though it was the start of a magic show. The tiny screen lit up with a greenish light and the commentator’s reverential tones overlaid the images.

‘…and as I look at this vast throng of Her loyal subject from the four corners of this United Kingdom, her Commonwealth, and indeed, the world who have flocked to pay homage to their beautiful young Queen. The whole might of British industry is here, short stocky coalminers from deep below the South Wales valleys, alongside burly ship builders from the great yards on the Tyne, used to hammering white-hot rivets into steel plate of our mighty Navy. The tough men from Sheffield who made this steel. All standing shoulder to should with our colonial cousins, spanning a third of the globe. Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan…’

Why did they always mention these countries in the same order? Perhaps it was because of the test matches and the cricket.

‘Class and rank forgotten on such great State occasions…All men are equal, master, servant, professional, shopkeeper, labourer…’

What nonsense, Yann thought, to suggest that anyone ever forgot their class in England.

 

An extract from chapter thirty one of – ‘ Go Swift and Far – a Tale of Bath’ The first book of The Westcott Chronicles

From the Noticeboard

April 2024 From the author’s desk…

4 April, 2024 in From the author's desk

Never far from the headlines, Housing – 70 years ago – just three miles from Bath… The bus dropped them off at the main gates and Yann was lulled into…

March 2024 From the author’s desk…

5 March, 2024 in From the author's desk

The Film makers will soon be returning to Bath…   After an excellent lunch, which Johnson insisted on paying for, Isaac headed away from the Circus, towards the Royal Crescent….

Reviews

“Hard on the heels of ‘Go Swift and Far’ comes this hugely enjoyable sequel and another success for Westcott”

Jack Jenkins

‘I loved this book. Full of fascinating history, very exciting and I look forward to the sequel.’

Sarah Lewis

‘What a superb follow up to Go Swift and Far! Born and raised in Bath the highly descriptive locations and quality of writing allow one to truly live and feel part of the story. Eagerly awaiting book three!’

Helen Beer

‘A masterly weaving of ambition and growing conscious both personally and publicly.’

Anna Jacka-Thomas

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