Had great fun today meeting a reporter and photographer from the local paper with a group from my village called the Hawkesbury Writers. This small band of writers has lovingly compiled a second volume of community history, The Next Generation, due for publication at the end of the month. The first book in the series, A Monument to Hawkesbury, was published in 1985 and still sells well. Its profits have benefited community groups for all ages, from Playgroup to the Evergreens (senior citizens).
The writers interviewed the older villagers to come up with a fascinating first-hand account of how village life changed between 1920 and 1985. The account is a startling reminder of how much society has changed within the villagers’ lifetime.
Having become involved only towards the end of the project, I wrote a brief contribution to the book about the arrival of mains water in the village, having recorded the memories of an elderly neighbour who died in 2000. I used to spend hours listening to her tales and just wish I’d had the foresight to write them down after every visit! A true writer should never go anywhere without a notebook and pen – or a mini voice recorder, if that’s how you prefer to work. Proofreading the final copy of the whole book was truly a pleasure.
This book has been published with the assistance of a grant from the Quartet Community Foundation. If you are considering publishing a book related to local or specialist issues, it’s well worth investigating the availability of grants from relevant organisations and trusts.
There will be further celebrations for the launch of the book on Sunday 28th November, when a small party will be held in the village hall, attended by the writers, many of the villagers they interviewed, and friends and neighbours who are keen to snap up copies hot off the press! Then it will be on to the next project – a record to take us up to the millenium. A great achievement for a great village community. Hats off to Hawkesbury Upton!