Sunday, January 11, 2015

The new name for the old Westerman Seminar - see previous entries

Shock!, Horror! The Westerman Seminar has a New Name

As some of you may know, for the past few years I have struggled with the name of the annual Westerman event in Portsmouth.  The Westerman Seminar, as it has been known, was a title which I gave it when we staged the first seminar back in 2011.   Criticisms have centred around whether the word ‘seminar’ puts people off by sounding too academic and stuffy; those of you who know the event will confirm that it is far from that. 

The new event title is The Ripping Yarns Literature Day.  This will allow us to continue to keep Percy F. Westerman firmly at the heart of the event, but give us the opportunity to include and welcome other authors of the same genre and to explore some of the topics covered in the mix of ‘Ripping Yarns’ style adventures. 


Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Annual Westerman Seminar 2015

 The Ripping Yarns Literature Day
A special day of talks and presentations celebrating the life and works of Percy F. Westerman, his contemporaries and the 'golden age' of adventure writing for children

Saturday 14 February
10am  -  4pm

 The Memorial Library
The Portsmouth Grammar School

 A full programme of talks, discussions and displays


Whatever next: an update on new research into Percy F. Westerman
by Nigel Gossop

Biggles and the Hun: Learning to fly, quickly!
by Alan Blatchly

Living Together Again: a look at three books all set , Back Home, Cuckoo in the Nest and A Spoonful of Jam.  These books are set in 1945 and 1947.
by Michelle Magorian

The Black and Grey: Children's Fiction of the Two World Wars.
by Dennis Butts

Diving for Treasure: the real pioneering science of deep-sea diving.
by Dr John Bevan

Westerman and the Great War: Fact and Fiction.
by Nigel Gossop
Places at the seminar are £15.00 and include a buffet lunch.  To book, please contact The Westerman Yarns:
email. or Tel: 023 92 37 55 94.

 We are only a 10 minute walk from Portsmouth Harbour Station and free parking on site

Portsmouth Welcomes Home the Forgotten Author

Percy F. Westerman celebrated in his home city of Portsmouth with an exhibition at the Portsmouth History Centre in the Central Library.

The exhibition ‘Ripping Yarns’ and the Tale of the Forgotten Author charts the life and works of Portsmouth born children’s adventure writer Percy F. Westerman. 

Portsmouth promotes itself as ‘The Home of Great Writing’ and Westerman’s contribution was significant, but this is the first time our touring exhibition has been shown in his home city.

Nigel Gossop, the founder of The Westerman Yarns said “I am delighted that the Portsmouth History Centre have chosen to host this exhibition; this is a wonderful opportunity to show Westerman’s work to a wider audience.  Percy loved Portsmouth and often used it as a location in his books.”

The exhibition dates are from Monday 5 January until Monday 2 February, 2015.   Opening hours will follow Portsmouth History Centre normal opening hours, please check their website for details.

There will be a talk entitled A Lifetime of Writing Adventures at 11am in the Doyle Room at the Portsmouth History Centre on Tuesday 20 January at 11am.  Admission to the talk is free, but advanced booking is advised and can be made through any Portsmouth City Council library.

The Portsmouth History Centre
Central Library
Guildhall Square

In addition, Cosham Library is hosting a ‘one-day only’ exhibition Westerman’s Great War Adventures on Friday 23 January from 10am – 4pm with a talk entitled Fact and Fiction, Stories from the Great War at 2.30pm.  Admission to the talk is free, but advanced booking is advised and can be made through any Portsmouth City Council library.

Cosham Library
Spur Rd,

If you are planning a group visit to the 'Ripping Yarns' and the Tale of the Forgotten Author exhibition, I am happy to meet with groups for a short presentation/talk.  Please contact the Portsmouth History Centre who will be happy to arrange this.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Westerman Yarns Newsletter

The next edition of the Westerman Yarns Newsletter will be sent out very soon.  To be sure of getting yours, join the Friends of The Westerman Yarns by following the link in the right-hand column.  There are no fees or subscriptions to pay and your details will not be shared or sold to any other organisation.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The new Westerman panel in Wareham

Michael Spilman (left) and Eric Axford (right) performing the dedication

Thank you to everyone who attended the dedication of the new visitor interpretation panel on the River Frome at Redcliffe, Wareham, marking the position of Percy F. Westerman’s iconic houseboat home ‘The Barge’.
The new visitor interpretation panel on the River Frome - close to
 the Redclyffe Yacht Club

A full write-up of the dedication event will feature in the
November edition of The Westerman Yarns Newsletter.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dedicated to Percy F. Westerman

On Wednesday 23 July, 2014 at 2.30pm, we would love to see as many people as possible at the dedication of a new visitor interpretation panel in memory of Percy F. Westerman.  The panel has been installed alongside the River Frome close the Redclyffe Yacht Club at Wareham which was founded by Percy and who was their first commodore.

The panel marks the position of Percy F. Westerman's iconic houseboat home 'The Barge' and details a little of the life of this extraordinary writer of more than 170 adventure stories for children. 

The panel has been arranged by The Westerman Yarns in partnership with the
Wareham and District Development Trust with sponsorship from Arne Parish Council, Purbeck Mobility, Redclyffe Yacht Club, Viridor Credits and Wareham Town Council.

Our thanks also to Nigel Barnes (Redclyffe Farm), Dorset County Council Rights of Way and the Environment Agency for their kind support with this project.
The dedication will be performed by Wareham residents Eric Axford and Michael Spillman who both knew Percy and his wife Florence and who have supported the interpretation panel project from the start.

The Redclyffe Yacht Club is about a 10 minute walk from the South Bridge at Wareham. Start your walk from the south side of the river, opposite the Old Granary public house.