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My aim in writing “Cheshire Cheese and Camembert” was to take some of the younger characters who appeared in “Blessèd are the Meek and “Twenty-six Nil” and place them in a more modern setting, ie. the early years of the 20th century. The turbulence of the period between 1913 and 1919 made for a vibrant background: the suffragette movement, the Easter Rising in Ireland, the Russian Revolution, not to mention the Great War.

Inevitably the war had the greatest impact on families like that of my narrator, Charlie Knott, but I did not want to turn my novel into a war story. Reports of events in northern France come only from newspaper reports or more graphically from letters from Charlie’s son Alfred.

As Charlie has left Hyde for work by the docks at the eastern end of the Manchester Ship Canal, the town of Hyde is less of a feature than in the previous books. However, perhaps I should have made at least a brief mention of the sacrifice Hydonian men and women made at that time. 710 men of Hyde who gave their lives are commemorated at the cenotaph on Werneth Low, a windblown hill overlooking the town and the great pattern of distant boroughs. It is one of my favourite places in the world.

  • Writer's pictureBrent

Blandford Rotary Club competition

It was an honour and a pleasure to attend the Blandford Rotary Club’s Short Story Competition 2016 Prizegiving Evening recently as a guest speaker. It was the first time I have ever been invited to do anything like that, and certainly the first time I have ever been introduced on stage as “a successful local author”.

I enjoyed listening to a dozen or so finalists reading out their stories to the audience of around a hundred, then I tried to come up with some encouraging words, reminding them that, as judging of writing is so subjective, there would be winners on the night, but there would be no losers.

Congratulations to treble winner Paula Harmon (below, with hands full) and thanks are due to Adrian Ford of the Blandford Rotary Club for organising an excellent competition, an inspiring evening, and for inviting me to attend in the first place.



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My aim in writing “Cheshire Cheese and Camembert” was to take some of the younger characters who appeared in “Blessèd are the Meek and “Twenty-six Nil” and place them in a more modern setting, ie. the

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