Connect with us
https://thefelixstowemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Get-your-mag-to-your-door.jpg

Books & Literature

A View of Felixstowe from the Bath by Dick Moffat

Published

on

Following the chance finding of a nineteenth century visitors’ book for The Bath Hotel, this potted history unearths the fascinating story of Felixstowe’s first and foremost luxury hotel. Beginning in the 1840s, and the brainchild of one of the Cobbold family, it ends in 1914, being completely destroyed by a fire started by two suffragettes, just before the outbreak of the war. Here’s an interview with local author, Dick Moffat.

What inspired you to write this book?

Well, isn’t it ironic that we celebrate the suffragettes burning down the finest hotel at the time, and one of the most iconic buildings in Suffolk, but we don’t celebrate The Bath Hotel as such. It was one of the earliest prestigious hotels in the country, certainly in terms of the seaside; people would travel from all over to either holiday or convalesce.

The two suffragettes, prior to burning down the hotel, had caused a string of incidents while travelling down the coast from Lowestoft, including the pier in Southwold, so it’s likely the pier in Felixstowe was their target, but with security being tight they obviously chose the next most important structure in the town.

According to visitors’ books for both The Bath Hotel and The Cliff  Hotel, the former, up until 1907, was managed by George Quilter and his daughter. Following an altercation with Lord Tollemach, the then owner, Quilter built and  moved to what was referred to as Quilter’s Cliff Hotel, now Cliff House. Many of the original guests appear to have moved with him, again according to the visitors’ book, this time for The Cliff Hotel.

The Bath Hotel Book is packed with the names of the great and good, and many chose to include watercolours, pen and ink drawings, poetry etc. It is also possible to trace the origins of the golf club, the cricket club and the tennis club through various entries.

Where can we buy your book and where will we see you next?

You can purchase the book from Poor Richard’s Book Shop, 17 Orwell Road.  It will also be availabe at the Felixstowe Book Festival. I’ll also be talking at the library for the  

Felixstowe Book Festival

www.felixstowebookfestival.co.uk.

Books & Literature

Local Book Launch: Myth and Mischief in Allenby Park

Published

on


This wonderful book offers three stories, three poems, a story for children, and the watercolour, Allenby Park by local artist Charles Nightingale on the cover.

Five authors, with links to Allenby Park, including award winning Lesley Glaister, fictionalise the mysteries and history of Felixstowe’s small park.

The foreword, by Dominique Roche, introduces Joan Rich, to whom the book is dedicated, and her links with the park. Written before the outbreak of Covid-19, no-one could have predicted that 101-year-old Joan, who worked for many years at Felixstowe General Hospital, would be a Suffolk hero by the time the book was launched. Joan is walking the paths of Allenby Park 102 times to raise money for the NHS.

Price is £5.99. Profits go to Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Continue Reading

Books & Literature

Book Review: The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde

Published

on

A book review by lovely local, Janine, a.k.a. The Felixstowe Book Dragon.

I’m a big fan of authors like Terry Pratchet, Robert Rankin, Jasper Fforde, and Tom Holt. Books written within the realms of the ridiculous, that make me smile, definitely get my vote. So when a new book by Jasper fforde comes out, about a society of anthropomorphised rabbits, I’m definitely on board.

The premise is really interesting. Decades ago an unexplained event led to a bunch of rabbits morphing into humanoid form. They’re still rabbits in essence, but just the size of humans and with the ability of human speech. Well these rabbits bred like the proverbial rabbit, and cut to present day where there are millions of anthropomorphised rabbits living in Britain. Still being the ‘sub-species’ though they live and work in a lesser capacity than most humans. 

This book is a very intricately woven story about the prejudices that the rabbits face, their efforts to overcome it, and their ultimate acceptance that things are never going to change. Interspersed with the usual Fforde humour, where Humans are often referred to as ‘Fudds’ (a reference to Elmer Fudd), and a detailed description of the ‘Beatrix potter’ clothing range. There are also some harsh ‘close to the bone’ observations. Our protagonist works for a certain government department as a ‘spotter’, his job is to go through the database and identify certain rabbits. It’s a special skill, as to most humans, ‘All rabbits look the same’. ​At a time when the subject of racism is very much in the forefront of everyones minds and in the news every day, this is an interesting book. He’s not making light of the subject of racism, far from it. His jibes are more at the state of the UK and it’s various political and ethical issues. For example, in the book there is a group called ‘TwoLegsGood’ a supremacist factor. This group, on finding out that a certain rabbit has committed an act that THEY consider a crime, drag him from his house in the middle of the night and ‘jug’ him! This involves upending him in a forty-gallon drum of cheap gravy that had been seasoned with bay leaves, celery, thyme, juniper berries and red wine (I see you smiling there!)  It is later discovered to be a case of mistaken identity with TwoLegsGood showing no remorse, under the presumption he’s a rabbit and is bound to be guilty of something. 

Funny right?

Now take out the fact the victim is a rabbit and the drum is filled with cheap seasoned gravy, and it’s not so funny anymore, it’s actually a serious and reprehensible crime. 

That is the beauty of satire and the genius of this book. 

A well thought out piece of satiric writing tackling the ‘hot potato’ subject of race. A light-hearted read with a serious message. 

Regards,

Janine

Continue Reading

Books & Literature

Felixstowe Online Book Festival a Resounding Success

Published

on

George Alagiah

From temporary studios of laptop computers, microphones and lights, set up in the home of authors and interviewers, the Felixstowe Book Festival’s venture into the online world was a tremendous success. 

Meg Reid, the Festival director said,

“What a wonderful weekend! A feast of diverse and varied talks watched by people from all over the world. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to taking Felixstowe Book Festival online and to everyone who has sent such lovely appreciative messages. On our Facebook page we can see that over 8,000 people watched some or all of the online Festival and that figure is still rising as all of the videos are still on Facebook, and the Festival webpage, to watch or watch again.”

Felixstowe Book Festival  had people tuning in from Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Jacksonville Florida, California, Australia, Cape Town South Africa, Ontario Canada, Shanghai, Omagh Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Paris, North Yorkshire, Devon, Basingstoke, Nottingham, Berkhamstead, South Godstone Surrey, London and (closer to home)….Norfolk, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Hadleigh and… Felixstowe. 

The Festival went live through entertaining interviews with Paul French, Liz Trenow, Nick Cottam, Carol Drinkwater, George Alagiah and Harriet Tyce. A fascinating evening was spent with Brontë expert Nick Holland on Friday evening and Martin Bell mused on his life and career on Saturday evening. The weekend was peppered with video insights into the days in the lockdown lives of some favourite authors. The younger festival fans enjoyed story readings and drawalongs to keep them busy. 

“All in all, our packed programme provided some much-needed literary sustenance to everyone during one of the strangest and most stressful year of our lives. Next year’s festival will be held on the last weekend in June and we hope to be back at our home at The Orwell Hotel, Felixstowe.”

The festival organisers raised over £1000 from donations via JustGiving and the festival was also supported by local sponsors.

A huge thanks to all participants!

Images provided by Felixstowe Book Festival

Rachel Sloane and Carol Drinkwater

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 Birdy Publications Ltd, trading as "The Felixstowe Magazine" and "The Felixstowe App". All rights reserved. 7 Bell Yard, London, WC2A 2JR