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Syrup and Cyanide

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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A Collection of Poems

The poems in this book were written over a period of about 50 years.
They are not in chronological order but in sections under various headings. Some have appeared previously in Poetry Space.

 

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The Wizard

In a world like the one we know, and yet not so, Frank Turner is a young man with some unusual talents who wants to become a wizard. He leaves his home in Sedgemoor to be trained by a wizard in another town, and meets Robyn and her father and travels with them.

Robyn is a little older than Frank and wants to become an adventurer, and so after Frank has received his basic training, and some rather disturbing information, they join up with Alun, Thor and Doug and go to seek their fortune. They meet with some success but not without killing some Orcs they came across. They also discover that things are not quite as they seem politically.

Robyn and Frank fall in love and eventually return to Sedgemoor as a married couple, but things become a lot more complicated, and they have to set out again. This time things don’t all go their way and they make some shocking discoveries.

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Lucky Seven

John H. Wagstaff lived a remarkable life, one that would no longer be possible to live in a changed world. This is his account of his earlier life, including his daring escape with six others in a rowing boat at the fall of Singapore. A man of his times, he displayed the self-effacing attitude so typical of men of his class and education in those days. The family learned of his amazing escape from a telegram which he sent to his cousin Sidney Hogben in Jerusalem (where he was working in the Education Department) as follows:

“…….john captured sheila evacuated january self escaped rowboat going strong wagstaff.”

This was not quite accurate as in fact John’s escape had resulted in his losing over 3 stone in weight!

A student at University College London, in Spring 1933 John H. Wagstaff won a scholarship which consisted of a free return trip to Australia where he worked as an engineer, and stayed and worked on ranches there.

In 1934 he arrived in Papua New Guinea where he spent a year working at a mission as an engineer looking after their boat engines, electric lighting plant, hospital telephone system, sawmill engines etc. He returned to England in 1936 and applied for a job in Malaya, where he worked until the Japanese invasion in 1942. He escaped to Colombo with six others and then on to Durban in South Africa to rejoin his wife and son David, who had been born in Durban, and who he had never met. He and his wife Sheila went on to have a daughter, Diana, who was born in Mombasa. They returned to Malaya after the war, via England.

They lived for two years in Kuala Lumpur and eventually returned to England in 1953. He divorced and remarried and had many happy years with his new family. He died in 1998 aged 87.

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