Born and brought up a Buddhist in rural Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, K.W. Ranatunga had the benefit of a good education and support of his teachers throughout his formative years, from the village school, through the secondary school to the University of Ceylon. Winning a scholarship, he then proceeded to travel to Bristol University in the UK in 1966 for postgraduate studies and returned as a married man to begin his career as a University Academic in Colombo. However, within five years and with support from his postgraduate supervisor, he returned to Bristol University and worked in the Physiology Department, and also raised a family.
Now retired and still living in Bristol, he has decided to write this account of his journey and the trials he faced as well as the successes he ultimately achieved.
Stephanie Manuel was a divorced single mother when in 1988 she conceived the premise for Stagecoach Performing Arts. Always having a passion for the stage and so taking her children to drama and dance classes, she had the idea of weekly sessions for children that would incorporate the three disciplines of acting, dancing and singing, one hour of each, one after the other in one session. Finding the financial support to set it up, she opened her first class in Richmond. The concept mushroomed and soon friends opened more schools and eventually the classes spread all over Britain and even overseas.
The development of the business, which evolved into a franchise operation, was a remarkable achievement by Stephanie and her team, but it was the children and young people who benefitted the most. Even if the classes did not lead to a performing career, which they often did, the students learned poise and self-confidence that they might otherwise have lacked, to carry forward into any walk of life.
Thomas, son of “The Gatekeeper”, Robert of Norham is detested by his oldest brother, also Robert. One particularly nasty incident, when Robert falls foul of Thomas’s unusual talent, does nothing to lessen his animosity and leaves Thomas with no choice but to leave the castle, his home.
Taking the opportunity to help in the civil war against the Welsh, which is being waged by the Princes Llewelyn and Daffydd against King Edward I, Thomas and his elder brother, John, lead a mercenary war-band from County Durham to the Welsh Borders. Using the experience gained whilst being squire to his great-uncle and namesake, a renowned Templar knight, he trains them to be fighting men. The war-band proves itself to be a force to be reckoned with and its leader shows himself to be shrewd, resourceful and a useful pawn for his King.
He also meets one Gwyneth ap Iornwhenn when she is suspected of spying for the Welsh, but after he is able to help her recover her late husband’s estate, they become close.more
Working out of the Essex Police Headquarters at Chelmsford, newly promoted DI Dave Calloway finds himself rekindling an old friendship with DS Bob Hand. Together, they investigate recent and cold killings that are mysteriously linked to a brutal robbery at a jeweller’s, 17 years before. The Landlord of The Fallen Oak public house in Whitechapel, East London,
John Garron knows more than he is telling about the dark events of the
past and Calloway knows it.
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