Guestbook: Volume 3

November 2004-October 2005

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Thursday, October 28, 2004, 08:56 AM

This is a bit like being the first to sign someone's autograph book - "By hook or by crook" etc etc. Anyway, I've taken advantage of the half-term break and visited Romney Marsh, taken lots of digital pics and I've designed the front cover of The Romney Companion. It's at the bottom of the page of my website at For those of you familiar with the lifeboat memorial, you may spot something a little odd about the picture!

From: Joyce
Posted on: Tuesday, November 02, 2004, 09:12 AM

BrianI have just returned from holiday to discover the puzzle has been solved and I quite agree that shoehorning 'Fred' into the chapter and having him take part in flooding the marsh spoils the whole momentum of what was the best chapter in The White Riders. Also, I've only just worked out what a 'twoccer' is!BTW, when indexing your excellent Punchbowl Companion did you pick up in The Outsider that Lindsey is in two places at once? (Apologies if you did include it in PC)She is comforting Diccon upstairs and making the tapestry with Roger downstairs!Lastly, am I right in thinking that Jim Decks mentions being able to swim at the start of the RM series but later is not able to swim? Best wishes - Joyce

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Wednesday, November 03, 2004, 07:47 PM

Well Gor blimey and sink me fer a bottle-nosed dolphin! You're quite right and I'd never noticed before: Lindsey is with Diccon and hears the sounds of "Roger and Lindsey muttering over their tapestry" (Outsider page 207)!! I don't remember reading at any point that JD could swim but I'll check (perhaps he was exaggerating). I have discovered that both Snowey Peplow and Thomas Upjohn lived a solitary existence in their box-like cottage. Also Tamzin seems to have been in Hindhead for Punchbowl Midnight at the same time as being in Westling for Hidden in a Dream!! And who on earth were Walter Galley!! (mentioned twice) and Mrs Upjohn??

From: elizabeth williams
Posted on: Sunday, November 07, 2004, 12:39 AM

Old Jim claims that he could swim in Chapter 9 Wish for a Pony. " Swim? Aye! Dive and all.........", but I don't believe him.

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Sunday, November 07, 2004, 02:32 PM

"Ar, me neither, gal. Reckon that ferryman's jest a bag of ole wind!". Jim can't have been able to swim or he would surely have jumped in the sea to save Jimmy in The Nightbird. Another discrepancy is the original Hookey Galley. In some books he is described as Hookey's great-great-grandfather and in others as his great-grandfather. The name Hookey may have come from Charles "Hookey" Southerden, one of the victims of the Mary Stanford disaster.

From: Harriet
Posted on: Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 07:23 PM

I love this site!! Everytime I come back to it I spend hours enthralled!As usual I have a question, and although Im positive that Brian has answered it before in his Companion Im afraid I can't wait until Christmas which is when I have been promised it! Anyway I'll stop rambling...Did Lindsey ever receive the filly foal, Sun Rose, that she was promised in NO MISTAKING CORKER? I know it was mentioned in the first few Punchbowl books, but did it ever materalise? If not why not? Thank you for putting up with my constant queries!!Harriet

From: harriet
Posted on: Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 07:45 PM

Is there any chance that any one would be able to loan me a copy of 'STORM AHEAD' or 'THE WILD ONE'? I completly understand if not, but I do promise that I would take the utmost care with them and they would be returned promptly and in exactly the condition that they were sent. I would appreciate it so much as these are the only two that I have never read, or even seen for that matter!!Thankyou Harriet

Posted on: Thursday, November 11, 2004, 07:05 PM

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Thursday, November 11, 2004, 07:58 PM

Hi HarrietYes. I do answer that question in the Punchbowl Companion. I won't tell you now or it'll spoil your Christmas reading! BTW I am currently halfway through indexing the last book in the Romney series (Dolphin Summer as I started somewhat perversely with A Wind Is Blowing). The process of indexing throws up lots of questions, some unanswerable and others guessable. I am currently trying to establish the location of the Deeproses' Harbour Farm. It is not in the same place as the "real" Harbour Farm which is out towards Winchelsea Beach. I believe it be a fictional location somewhere in the region of Tram Road just behind the Vicarage. There are lots of clues, particularly in Storm Ahead. Any thoughts, anyone?Brian

From: Sue Curnow
Posted on: Saturday, November 13, 2004, 07:50 AM

Good heavens you people! I am amazed at the fine toothcombing you are able to glean from the books. I thought I was an expert but I'm now hiding in my burrow. I have enjoyed all the debating on the recent postings. I am getting quite an education. And to think that when I re read the books I am just absorbed into the world of the Marsh or the Punchbowl and don't even notice where Lindsay is or if Tamzin is in two places at once. But do keep up the talk, it's fun to read but not too much from you Brian, get on with your Marsh companion! Sue

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Tuesday, November 23, 2004, 08:24 PM

I'm currently formatting the text of the Romney Marsh index (which is now called The Romney Marsh Companion, by the way). Lots of pictures still to be tracked, inserted, edited etc but it's starting to look like a real book now. Meanwhil, here's a quicky trivia question: In which book is Roger about the same age as Diccon?!!

From: Kate
Posted on: Tuesday, November 30, 2004, 12:56 PM

Received your book this morning, Brian, but I'm not allowed to read it until Christmas! It looks wonderful....If Tamzin is in Hindhead at the same time as 'Hidden in a Dream' is set,then, as she arrrives in Hindhead before school term ends, does this mean that she can't be in Westling to write 'The Westling News' (Strangers To The Marsh)? And, if she has been staying at Punchbowl Farm, should she really have gone to Castle Farm during the outbreak of foot and mouth in No Entry?

From: Gary Burgess
Posted on: Saturday, December 04, 2004, 04:51 PM

First off great site. Like others thought I was the only one who read these books. Secondly, who owns the copyright to the books? If Goodchild are no longer publishing them could we "the fans" publish them. I know it is a bit of work but I am sure we have some experts among us who could make it work if we believe in it. What do others think?

From: Joyce
Posted on: Tuesday, December 07, 2004, 09:53 AM

Can anyone who is a member tell me if they have received issue 4 of the Society's magazine yet? I haven't had anything yet and got no response to an email I sent a while ago.Apart from worrying over this, my mind is otherwise distracted by yet another of Brian's devilish little questions. Can I have a clue Brian? I have been looking through RM books but perhaps you have been naughty and it is in a PF book!Best wishes - Joyce

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Tuesday, December 07, 2004, 09:59 PM

No. I haven't received Issue 4 yet either. I haven't emailed Richard for quite a while though. Hope everything's ok, Richard.Joyce - No, I do mean a RM book rather than a Punchbowl one. In the book in question, Roger shares a similar dietary peculiarity to Diccon (hope that hasn't made it too easy!!). Everything is proceeding very well with the Romney Marsh Companion. I've found the EXACT Lucy Kemp-Welsh picture referred to in Wish for a Pony and I've discovered a contemporary postcard picture of Pelorus Jack - the New Zealand dolphin from Dolphin Summer plus lots of other goodies!RegardsBrian

From: Joyce
Posted on: Wednesday, December 08, 2004, 02:49 PM

Brian - Thanks for the message. It would seem then that issue 4 has not been mailed out yet and like you I hope that all is well with Richard. Now you have got me thinking madly about whether I can recall Roger ever eating salt or emulsion! I'll mail again if I find the answer. It's always a pleasure to look through the books.BTW, in answer to your query about location of the Deeprose farm: I have a source of information that says "Opposite the Vicarage and up Tram Road was the way to Saunders Farm where we could go with a quart bottle or can and get them filled with milk for tuppence." That quote is from a Bessie Pope, which is interesting, though her maiden name was Bourne. Hope that's of help.Best wishes - Joyce

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Wednesday, December 08, 2004, 06:06 PM

Wow! Thank you so much Joyce. I had already worked out that Harbour Farm must be at the end of Tram Road but having a name for the farm really does confirm it. Where did Bessie Pope's quote come from? Was it from one of Jo Kirkham's Rye history books, as I have exchanged a number of emails with Jo who has been extremely helpful. Now you're making me feel guilty about the Roger/Diccon question!! There is a slight catch, but you're on the right track with salt and emulsion! Kind regards Brian

From: Joyce
Posted on: Thursday, December 09, 2004, 06:31 PM

Hi Brian and anyone else who might be reading. I might have to concede defeat soon as I am going cross-eyed, but will try and crack the puzzle in the next few days. Christmas shopping, turkey buying etc will soon take over and I will no longer have the time for enjoyable perusing of old books!You're quite right, Brian, that info is from a book called Bygone Rye Harbour, edited by Jo Kirkham. I've only just obtained it and if I come across any more snippets I think you'd like, I will send them to you - probably via your own email, if that's ok. Something to be going on with (if you don't already know)- the name of the Martello Tower is 'Enchantress'and its number is 28!Best wishes - Joyce

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Friday, December 10, 2004, 12:48 PM

Many thanks for the info, Joyce. The Rye Harbour booklet is out-of-print but Jo Kirkham is very kindly sending me a photocopy. Now for the Roger/Diccon question.....What I DIDN'T say is that there is a book where Roger Lambert is about the same age as Diccon Grey!! There! That's almost given it to you!Happy huntingBrian

From: Sylvia J. Hunt
Posted on: Sunday, December 12, 2004, 03:02 AM

May I suggest that you remove the e-mails that clearly have no relation to Monica Edwards or her books. It is indeed sad that some unscrupulous characters will make the wrong use of a respectable web site, hiding behind the name of a children's author and naturalist.

From: John Allsup
Posted on: Monday, December 13, 2004, 08:16 PM

Apologies for the delay in removing these advert emails. I have no 'phone at the moment, having just moved into a tiny cottage and the telephone company have let me down, so I'm having to use a friends' telephone line. I'll try and find a way of stopping the emails getting in. Cheers, John

From: Catherine Wuidart
Posted on: Wednesday, December 15, 2004, 06:01 PM

If, as reported, the Bodleian in Oxford print their books on line, will this include The Wild One? It is from there that my library got me a copy to read. Not as good as having the book but it would be an option.

From: John
Posted on: Tuesday, December 21, 2004, 04:59 PM

I'm without a telephone line until January 6th or so, so I can't easily remove the above advertising message. Sorry about this. And I've some good news about the books . . . But you'll just have to wait ! All the very best to you all and let's hope the coming year will be good, Sincerely, John

From: judith wilson
Posted on: Thursday, December 23, 2004, 04:49 PM

What a wonderful site! Brings back such memories!I loved those stories in the 1960s , and although I was brought up on a farm I took alot of things for granted. The Punchbowl stories gave me back the sense of wonder working on the land with farm animals .I am very lucky in that I married a farmer and have continued to enjoy living with dairy cows and horses. I am just amazed that other people are equally appreciative of these stories.I kept most of my old Armada paperbacks -thank goodness!

From: Jane
Posted on: Thursday, December 30, 2004, 04:32 PM

Hi everyone, am a huge fan of Monica Edwards and love this site - its so interesting and friendly!! As im sure everyone here knows the rare ME titles, im thinking A WIND IS BLOWING, WILD ONE, STORM AHEAD etc, are near impossible to get hold of let alone afford, and i was wondering if anyone / any website / fan club had any electronic or paper transcripts that they would be willing to share with poor penniless people like myself??!! I am hoping that the angels of Girls Gone By my at some point re-publish the books, but until that day are there any alternatives? I know a couple of people have asked if they could be lent copies, but lets face it its not very practical, so if anyone knows of other sources.....?!Thanks for reading my ramble. Jx

From: Gary Burgess
Posted on: Sunday, January 02, 2005, 10:16 AM

A paperback copy of Storm Ahead just sold for 71.57 on ebay. Madness!!

From: Jane
Posted on: Tuesday, January 04, 2005, 07:47 PM

Re: storm ahead - my feelings exactly Gary!!

From: Veronica
Posted on: Wednesday, January 05, 2005, 08:17 PM

I have more or less stopped buying Monica Edwards and other authors I collect on Ebay on principle. While there has een a lot in the media about the wonders of buying and selling on Ebay, prices for her books and other authors have risen considerably as a result. I'd rather buy them directly from a bookseller.The value and rarity of the books also means that they are less likely to be read by children, their original readers. My niece, who is nearly eight (about the age I was when I was given "Wish for a Pony") enjoyed Wish for a Pony and for Christmas I gave her "The Summer of the Great Secret", though it was not a very good copy. She was very polite about being given, what seemed to her a tatty old book! I have my original copy of Summer of the Great Secret which is too fragile to lend and a first

From: John
Posted on: Thursday, January 06, 2005, 12:47 PM

Sorry, folks, BT have let me down again, and it will be weeks before I get a telephone line. I shall beg access from friends, but it will be only occasional I'm afraid. However, there is good news to come: Girls Gone By publishers are to republish Monica Edwards books. The family have agreed, and, probably next year, they will start to publish her books agin as new paperbacks, using the original text and illustrations. I'll let you know more later . .

From: Kate
Posted on: Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 07:31 PM

Excellent news about those wonderful people at Girls Gone By!

Posted on: Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 10:49 PM

Absolutely delighted to read about the reprints from Girls Gone By. any chance of the doing the Jill books by Ruby Ferguson as well?Has anyone else seen that today on Ebay someone is offering a photocopy of "Storm Ahead" for sale. This surely breaches copyright. Is there any way of letting the publishers or Mrs Edwards' family know about this?

From: Elizabeth Williams
Posted on: Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 12:10 AM

The GGB website indicates that Storm Ahead will be published later this year at a price of 9.99. Personally I'd far rather they did an unabridged Nightbird first, but this will be a great start.

From: catherine wuidart
Posted on: Friday, January 14, 2005, 06:01 PM

Like everyone else I am so glad the books are being reprinted. It's good to think they can be enjoyed by a wider readership as well as by those of us with memories of them from the past.

From: Sue Curnow
Posted on: Sunday, January 16, 2005, 08:16 AM

Have just caught up with the guestbook as been on holiday. Great news that the books are going to be re published and maybe this event will bring down the ebay prices? Will check out their site to see if they have a publishing order. Does anyone know if their is one and will they be doing the complete Marsh and Punchbowl books? Cheers Sue

From: Harriet
Posted on: Sunday, January 16, 2005, 03:54 PM

Storm Ahead is the only one that GGB have announced so far. Going on past behaviour they normally publish the rarer titles first. Im just so glad that they have the publishing rights as I agree that paying 72 for a PAPERBACK is entering the realms of the ridiculus - I like books that I can read, at that price I would have hardly dared breathe near it!!

From: Sylvia J. Hunt
Posted on: Sunday, January 16, 2005, 09:55 PM

I am delighted to hear that Monica Edwards' books are to be republished, and I hope that they will be distribute throughout the public and school libraries of Britain. However, who is this publisher "Girls Gone By"? I cannot find it listed anywhere!Perhaps Storm Ahead is a suitable title to begin with, bearing in mind the increasingly violent weather we have experienced in recent years, particularly the hurricane here in the NW Highlands of Scotland last week. I shall certainly look forward to reading this book.

From: Harriet
Posted on: Monday, January 17, 2005, 10:05 AM

GIRLS GONE BY: are publishing venture who reprint 20th Century girls stories, particularly those that are difficult to find. The books are trade paperback with the original text and illlustrations. Excellent quality at an affordable price(9.99). And now i'll stop sounding like a press release and say that they are a dream come true to many fans like myself who would otherwise never get to read / complete collections of childrens books that are near impossible to find let alone at a reasonable price!!

From: John
Posted on: Sunday, January 23, 2005, 11:30 AM

I've fiddled with the guestbook and hopefully it might have eradicated the adverts problem. If not: it'll take some tme to sort out and apologies meanwhile . . . John

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Thursday, January 27, 2005, 06:39 PM

Just a quick note to let everyone know that the Romney Marsh Companion is now available. Just click on the Punchbowl Companion link on the left and navigate to my website. In the Romney Marsh Companion you will find the answer to my question above (In which book is Roger about the same age as Diccon?) - and you will probably feel like giving me a good kicking for playing such a rotten trick!!!

From: Sue Curnow
Posted on: Friday, January 28, 2005, 07:12 AM

My copy of The Romney Marsh Companion has safely arrived in NZ (thanks Brian) This is another masterpiece! What a marvellous effort, Brian. I have had a wee dip into it but it is a long weekend here for our anniversary day and I have promised myself a quite read away from everyone. Last bit of peace and quiet as the school term starts over here on Tuesday. Thanks for the link to Girls Gone By. Sue

From: Joyce
Posted on: Tuesday, February 15, 2005, 05:13 PM

Just to break up the irritating spam messages, really, but it would be interesting to know which books ME readers think are the best books from the two series, or the most satisfying in terms of plot etc. I am very keen on Hidden in A Dream for its element of psychological mystery and I like The White Riders best for its optimism and characters' recklessness. Out of the Punchbowl books I love Black Hunting Whip and Spirit of Punchbowl Farm the best - maybe it's the supernatural touches. The one I like the least is Frenchman's Secret, but I've never quite analysed why. Anyway, as I said, the purpose of this is to put something different on the message board, but anyone else like to offer their favourites?Best wishes - Joyce

From: Sharon
Posted on: Friday, February 18, 2005, 01:14 PM

What a great site, I thought only my Mum and I read her books. I don't profess to be a book collector just a fan of her books for the feel good factor they gave me as a child. I lived in the country and horse mad, Mum gave me "Wish for a Pony" then read "Summer of the Great Secret". After that I know I read more from the school library but rather stuck for the titles that were about Tamzin Gray inparticular as I'm sure I've not read all of them. This will be an easy one for you regular collectors but after 25 years my memory is hazy, can someone be kind enough to let me know the titles that are based around Tamzin Gray? Thank you

From: elizabeth williams
Posted on: Friday, February 18, 2005, 09:27 PM

Sharon, if you take the link to Richard Wright's website "From the Punchbowl" you will find a list of books featuring Tamzin Grey under "Romney Marsh". She is also featured in Punchbowl Midnight, The Cownappers, The Outsider. This isn't a site for collectors, but readers. If you want to read the books, but not collect them, look back through previous guest books for suggestions. This website doesn't always have the spam problems. I am sure that John will correct the problem when he has a phone line!

From: Sharon
Posted on: Monday, February 21, 2005, 11:24 AM

Thank you Elizabeth, both me & Mum will be on the look out for the other titles now and we both fancy a trip down to Rye!

From: John
Posted on: Tuesday, February 22, 2005, 01:20 PM

Sorry about all the SPAM. All being well I'll get a 'phone line in this Friday and be able to delete the 'messages' as well as update other bits and pass on the latest news !Meanwhile, thank you all for your patience.

From: John
Posted on: Wednesday, February 23, 2005, 01:42 PM

BT now tell me that it will be 'after the week-end' before they connect me. The bad weather has held them up. The line was supposed to be connected on the 13th of December ! So more patience needed, apologies, John.

From: Kate
Posted on: Sunday, March 06, 2005, 05:48 PM

I was bought two of the Goodchild reprints/rewrites for Christmas and, having now read them, wonder whether I am correct in presuming that the Merrow's lookering pony Tinkle was in fact renamed Star in the Goodchild version? Was there any reason for this?The dj for the Goodchild edition of 'Midnight Horse' refers to it as the second of the Romney Marsh books, after WfaP. Was there any reason why 'Summer' was not reprinted? (I think Summer is a much finer book than MH)

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Sunday, March 06, 2005, 07:59 PM

Good to see you back online, John. Thanks for the kind comments. If anyone out there has any letters from or memories of personal contact with Monica Edwards I would be most grateful for any contributions. Please email me at the above address with any details.

From: John
Posted on: Monday, March 07, 2005, 08:30 AM

Re Kate (above). You know, it had never occurred to me that they might not have meant to republish 'Summer of the Great Secret'. Like you, I do like that book very much; I've just reread it. How odd.

From: Richard Wright
Posted on: Sunday, March 20, 2005, 08:50 PM

Hi John - congratulations on the phone line! I imagine you must now be answering lots of emails... Any chance of your new email address?Issue no.4 of the Punchbowl magazine is finally out. I have already had some complimentary comments, much to my relief, as I'd been looking at it and re-reading it for so long that I was sure it was going to be boring. I'm glad to be wrong.Issue 5 already has quite a bit of material, and I am planning a Society visit to Rye Harbour for next September. That means it has to be published by June.Thanks for continuing with this endeavour - it's a great resource for everyone. Best wishes.

From: Tricia
Posted on: Monday, April 11, 2005, 08:29 PM

I'm new to this site, having been told about it by a friend. I have all the ME books (although not all the short stories). Some of them I bought with book tokens given for birthdays/Christmas when I was a child - many years ago. I've enjoyed her books so much, I even called my daughter Sarah Tamzin!

From: John
Posted on: Thursday, April 14, 2005, 07:18 AM

I'm off to Dartmoor today for the Saville Gathering: I'll be away for a week probably so if Spam messages arrive here, my apologies: I'll remove them as soon as I get back ! Cheers, John

From: Henrietta
Posted on: Saturday, April 16, 2005, 12:48 PM

Re Kate's Tinkle/Star question. I haven't read the Goodchild version but I know that ME ocasionally lost the plot (see RW's latest "Punchbowl" mag. However, the Goodchilds did tend to political correctness and "tinkle" is a well-known euphemism known to children......

From: Harriet
Posted on: Sunday, April 24, 2005, 02:15 PM

I wonder if Summer of the Great Secret was also a victim of so called political correctness when Goodchild was re-publishing the books? Not my personal view - SotGS is one of my favourite books- but maybe the plot was considered too volitile??!!! Just a thought.........

From: Joyce Bailey
Posted on: Monday, April 25, 2005, 05:12 PM

Looking at the DJ on my Goodchild copy of The White Riders the blurb advertises Wish For A Pony and The Midnight Horse as the first two Romney Marsh stories, thus airbrushing Summer of the Great Secret out completely! SOTGS is one of my favourite Romney Marsh books, one I re-read often but I think you're right, Harriet - the smuggling theme was probably considered inappropriate. One funny thing, in TWR, the labourers are changed to Spanish workers, presumably not to offend the Irish - but they still whistle Tipperary! Best wishes - Joyce

From: Julia Edwards
Posted on: Monday, April 25, 2005, 07:18 PM

Very impressed with this site, which I only discovered recently. I grew up in Kent, on the E Sussex borders and went for many visits to Rye, Rye Harbour and Winchelsea as a child, often trying to identify the 'places in the stories' . It is only recently that I've discovered the Rye Harbour significance . I shall be back down there when I visit my father again. I hung on to a few of my ME titles, and now discover that they are the rarer ones. I wrote to ME after she published 'A Wind is Blowing, and she replied saying she thought it would be the last '......about the Marsh folk'. I kept the letter, and am glad I did''

Posted on: Friday, May 20, 2005, 08:34 PM

I seem to get completely Malcolm Saville when I click on "Extra".

From: John (Allsup)
Posted on: Friday, May 20, 2005, 09:29 PM

Oh Ye Gawds !! I've overwritten the 'Extra' File with the Saville one. I shall have to see what I can do to retrieve it. I do apologise . . . (Panics, Stage Left . .)

From: John
Posted on: Friday, May 20, 2005, 09:36 PM

(Enters, much relieved . .) Thank goodness for that; all is reinstated and the 'Extra' file is once again the correct one ! Once again, apologies to you all, Cheers, John (Exits mopping brow and with a thirsty gleam . . )

From: katie
Posted on: Thursday, June 02, 2005, 03:30 PM

Hello all, does anyone know when the GGB reprint of Storm Ahead comes out?

From: Joyce
Posted on: Friday, June 03, 2005, 08:50 AM

According to GGB's own web site, Storm Ahead is due to be published in June (now!) but can be pre-ordered. There's a link to GGB on this site. Cheers - Joyce

From: Judith
Posted on: Sunday, June 05, 2005, 06:31 PM

Having looked unsuccessfully for The Unsought Farm on Amazon ,and twice been outbid on ebay for that book , it was beyond belief that I found a copy, first edition , thpough a little worn , at my local car boot sale for the princely sum of 20p!!! Last weekend I sat in our hammock and read it from start to finish, lovely. For my 50th birthday this spring , we went down to Thursley and walked until we found the farm - it was wonderful.

From: elizabeth williams
Posted on: Friday, June 24, 2005, 08:31 PM

Robertson books inform me that publishing of Storm Ahead is slightly delayed until July

Posted on: Tuesday, June 28, 2005, 07:21 PM

Hi, Finally after loving the books for 25 years I will see Punchbowl Farm next Sunday (that is assuning we mange to find it!) has anyone any tips on where to go/ what to see etc. unfortunately I zam in process of moving so all my books are packed except Wanderer and that doesn't relly help!

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Wednesday, June 29, 2005, 09:29 PM

[Sorry, don't know your name] A lot depends on which direction you are coming from, how far you want to walk and the weather on Sunday! I would suggest you enter the Punchbowl at the Youth Hostel entrance (off the A3 to the north of Hindhead), park at the Sugarloaf car park and walk in a general northerly direction until you find the farm. Scenery in the Punchbowl is breath-taking at this time of year. Best of luck. Brian.

From: Joyce
Posted on: Thursday, June 30, 2005, 07:37 AM

John - Did you know there's a lengthy entry written by Josephine Pullein-Thompson on Monica Edwards in the Oxford National Dictionary of Biography (vol 17)? My local big library, Hendon, has the complete Dictionary and I was delighted to find an entry for Monica - I had half expected her not to be in there, as other similar writers I was researching were not included, but there she is. Apologies if you have already mentioned it somewhere on your site, but I thought it might be of interest. Best wishes - Joyce

From: John
Posted on: Sunday, July 03, 2005, 07:35 PM

Thanks, Joyce, I had no idea that she had made that austere publication. Following your tip I had a dive into the County library headquarters and dipped into it. A good write-up, but one error at least ! Thanks for the information. Brian has emailed me with an accusation that I was responible for the entry on Monica in the internet's 'Wikipaedia'. Not guilty. Anyone confess ?

From: Joyce
Posted on: Monday, July 04, 2005, 09:31 AM

Hi John and everyone - Glad you were able to follow up on the dictionary tip. Now, like Brian I too initially thought you were the Wikipedia contributor but I must admit the entry didn't sound like you somehow. Somewhere at the very back of my mind is the name Robin Carmody who has written about Monica Edwards here and there and whose name comes up quite a bit on the web. The same Wikipedia entry is on a biography site, but that too is anonymous. Sorry, if it's not Robin but I do have a feeling there's a connection. Best wishes - Joyce

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Monday, July 04, 2005, 07:31 PM

I have it on VERY good authority that it was Richard Wright who updated the previous very sketchy entry on ME. Very thorough, Richard. Well done

From: Eve
Posted on: Monday, July 04, 2005, 08:11 PM

Brian, Thanks (forgot to enter my name last time!) Had a lovely walk around the Punchbowl and the farm starting from the NT Cafe in Hindhead (I'm used to running half marathons so distance was not a problem!). Punchbowl farm was fantastic and Smallbrook and the Keepers Cottage (which I assume is the right one?). Really put some of the book episodes in to perspective (eg Wanderer when they are out in the Punchbowl at night). Surprised at the size of the punchbowl (BIG!) and how small the farm was really - although just how the map in the book shows. Rye Harbour next!

From: Joyce
Posted on: Tuesday, July 05, 2005, 09:04 AM

So the mystery of Wikipedia is solved, thanks to Brian. May I add my praise, a very good entry. I think Robin Carmody wrote an obituary (The Times)and that was the bell ringing in my mind - falsely, as it turns out. Brian - on your visits to Rye have you seen there is a little close of modern residential houses/flats named Meryon Close, quite near the station? This intrigued me and I took a photo of the name plate (yes, I am that sad). Best wishes - Joyce

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Tuesday, July 05, 2005, 06:20 PM

I'm pretty sure that Meryon was the surname of a 19th century Rye mayor, hence Meryon Court. It is well-known that ME found the name on a Rye tombstone. Trivia time again: Meryon is an anagram of...?

From: Joyce
Posted on: Wednesday, July 06, 2005, 09:11 PM

Cheers, Brian - everyone. I had entertained the idle thought that a local councillor responsible for naming new residential areas was a ME fan in his/her youth! Meryon is an anagram of Romney! But, do you know what? I would never have seen it if you hadn't mentioned it. Best wishes - Joyce

From: Elizabeth Drury
Posted on: Wednesday, July 06, 2005, 11:33 PM

I have recently visited Rye Harbour, while there I read 'Hidden in a Dream'. Is it possible to see the interior of the Martello Tower? It was good to see the harbour still in use by fishing boats. Are the Tramways that once ran round the village mentioned in any of the books? Would be grateful for any information . With Thanks Elizabeth

From: Joyce
Posted on: Thursday, July 07, 2005, 08:44 AM

Hi Elizabeth I visited Rye Harbour recently for about the third time. On previous visits it was possible to get right up to the Tower's moat but I don't know if anyone has ever had access to the inside in recent years. On my most recent visit I saw it had been fenced around, which at least stops people dumping litter and scrap in the moat (how dare they!)or prevents children falling into it..I really like Hidden in a Dream, one of my fave RM books. Brian's the man to tell you about the tramlines. Best wishes - Joyce

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Thursday, July 07, 2005, 01:31 PM

Gosh! I hope your faith in me isn't misplaced, Joyce! I'll do my best. To my knowledge, the tramways (and indeed, Tram Road) are not mentioned at all in the books. The only mention of the single-line Southern Railways track leading down to the Harbour is in "Wind is Blowing" (page 18): "Mrs. Fairbrass changed down for the twisting corner where the old single-line railway crossed the road on its way to the harbour." The twisting corner, by the way, was smoothed out in 1972.

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Tuesday, July 12, 2005, 05:14 PM

For those of you wondering why Joyce and I are blethering on about trams: the original tramway was constructed in 1859 to transport huge (8 ton) concrete blocks at the end of Tram Road ultimately to Dover Harbour. About the same time (or a little later) a spur was made on the line running to Rye Harbour shingle beds to provide additional aggregate for concrete making. Also, this aggregate was used as ballast to weigh down ships returning empty from Rye. The holes made by the ballast extraction form the present-day Nature Reserve lakes and ponds. Brian

From: Joyce
Posted on: Wednesday, July 13, 2005, 10:33 AM

Brian - everyone - it's interesting what you say about the tramways. The first time I visited Rye Harbour I was really dismayed by the oil refinery (if that's what it is) and the factory units and industrial plant along the approach road. On subsequent visits I've been able to blot them out and appreciate the more pleasing aspects recognisable from the books. But, in the introduction to the RM Companion Brian points out that Rye Harbour has always had an industrial side, which ME sometimes acknowledges. I suppose she had to write around the unattractive bits and on visits it's best to ignore them. Now that I know from Brian's research that RH was never really a classic choc box village I feel better about the gruesomely unattractive approach road! Hope this makes sense. Joyce

From: Diane
Posted on: Friday, July 15, 2005, 01:34 PM

I have had a letter from Charles Bosher, son of Jonathon and Wanda who kept the Old Vicarage at Rye Harbour - Tamzin's Vicarage and the childhood home of M.E. herself. Many of us who post here know the Bosher's first hand as we have stayed at the vicarage which has done bed and breakfast for many years. Charles tells me that Wanda passed away unexpectedly about 3 weeks ago and Jonathon is in hospital having suffered two strokes. Needless to say, the b&b is now closed so it would be pointless and unkind to pester the family with requests for accommodation.

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Saturday, July 16, 2005, 08:19 AM

I was shocked and saddened to hear Diane's news. I stayed with the Boshers in February and was charmed by their friendliness and down-to-earth simplicity. I'm sure all readers of Monica Edwards' books would join me in sending their heartfelt sympathies to the Bosher family.

From: John
Posted on: Saturday, July 16, 2005, 02:26 PM

I can only endorse what Brian has expressed. Please pass on all our sympathies to the family when you reply Diane.

From: Joyce
Posted on: Monday, July 25, 2005, 10:51 AM

I can only add my sympathies to those already posted here. I have never stayed at the Vicarage B&B, but was really saddened by the news and know that those who did stay there and got to know the owners, like Brian and lots of others, must feel very upset. I recently found a book called Exploring Canals and Waterways, which caught my eye because the text and illustrations are by Geoffrey Whittam. (I'm assuming it's our very own GW, but you know what they say about when you assume you make an ass out of you and me.) It's a really nice little book (1968) and needless to say the illustrations are charming. Interesting to see his work with his own text.

From: John
Posted on: Tuesday, July 26, 2005, 07:35 AM

Hi, Joyce, yes I'm being very tardy: I've scans of that Canals book and, would you believe, 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' by Geoffrey Whittam. I traced them last June, but haven't got around to adding scans to the site yet. My life's been very upheaved this last year and I've got rather behind-hand. Keep your eyes open . . I also have 'The Cave' by Richard Church with Gw illus . .I shall get them done soon, promise !

From: joyce
Posted on: Wednesday, July 27, 2005, 08:33 AM

Hi John - Sorry, didn't intend to give the impression I thought you were tardy - far from it - I am always impressed by the sheer amount of background info you have on the site. Have you got any further with your research into GW? He seems to have been a very versatile artist. I saw on Amazon a few books by GW, one of which was something to do with Canada and others about rivers. Sounds like you've been pretty busy with moving etc. Best wishes - Joyce

From: John
Posted on: Wednesday, July 27, 2005, 08:14 PM

Oops ! sorry. That last message came out wrong ! I wasn't inferring that you were criticising me Joyce, but rather I was recognising my ongoing guilt at my slowness in adding stuff to the site. There's quite a lot of bits and pieces to be added, I'm just find it hard to get started. Hopefully I'll get a proper grip again soon !

From: Jane
Posted on: Tuesday, August 02, 2005, 12:23 AM

I have searched in vain for copies of "A wind is blowing" and "The wild one" and could never afford the ones I have seen on ebay.Does anyone know of copies that may be borrowed or hired or anything really? I would so love to read them. I have read/got most of the others, particularly the Punchbowl series. Thanks Jane

From: Joyce
Posted on: Tuesday, August 02, 2005, 09:13 AM

Hi John - Jane - everyone. Jane, Girls Gone By are republishing the two series, unabridged and complete with illustrations plus new introductions. It's a mouthwatering prospect for those of us with incomplete collections. I have all the books with the exception of 'The Wild One' (though I have read it under house arrest in a library)but thanks to this site and Brian Parks know that some of the Armadas have some original text cut. 'Storm Ahead' has just been published by GGB with 'No Entry' next. We may have to wait a while for TWO etc but it's good to know they will be available one day. Best wishes. Joyce

From: Penelope
Posted on: Wednesday, August 03, 2005, 07:43 PM

Dear All, Its so lovely to discover this site, particularly the wonderful news about planned re-prints, and the Guestbook showing that I am not the only middle-aged person still enthralled by MEs books. My first was a present, The Cownappers, and subsequently I bought all those I could find with my 25 p per week pocket money at Sandon Saddlery. I still have them and have managed to add to them recently by buying at TopsyTurvey they have proved quite a good source. Coincidentally on remarrying I discovered that my new husband was a Malcolm Saville fan, so we have recently started exploring Romney Marsh with a double agenda! Although I had a rural childhood my parents were townbred, but these books gave me a love of farming and country life which has endured - I could never be happy living in a town.

From: Eve
Posted on: Wednesday, August 03, 2005, 08:32 PM

Lovely unexpected surprise on a day off - my copy of Girls Gone By Storm Ahead arrived!! Already started reading as I've not read SA before. got to say the additional writing at the front from Shelly Edwards and others very interesting. Hopefully they will publish many more ME.

From: Catherine
Posted on: Friday, August 05, 2005, 07:23 PM

Hi Penelope - I also used to buy at Sandon Saddlery; that brings back lots of memories. Love the intro and pictures in GGB Storm ahead; can see I will be buying ME books I already have just to see the intros if they go on doing these.

From: Jenny Hepworth
Posted on: Saturday, August 06, 2005, 05:40 PM

My son found your excellent site for me when searching, for 'Frenchman's Secret' and 'Storm Ahead', on the internet. These two would, I thought, complete my set of Romney Marsh and Westling stories which my mother gave away!!!!!! I was excited to discover,from your title details, that I had made a mistake and I have another book to look forward to - one I never owned and have never read - The Hoodwinkers. What joy - at least until I discovered how rare and expensive it is. Any idea when it will be re-published?

From: Sallie Randall
Posted on: Sunday, August 07, 2005, 04:36 AM

Dear John, how lovely to find a website devoted to Monica and her books. I loved her books from the time I discovered them at around the age of nine, (fifty years ago) I still have some of my originals and have started to collect some of the titles I lost over the years. Occasionally I re-read and am once again transported back to a childhood of freedom and delight. Many thanks. Sallie

From: John
Posted on: Sunday, August 07, 2005, 05:47 PM

I think that the reason for many of her books being so scarce is simply that lots of owners hung on to them. Unfortunately, some mothers discarded them ruthlessly! Although 'Hoodwinkers' is in Book Club as well as original edition, it's still quite difficult to find/afford. I don't know when Girls Gone By will reprint . . maybe a letter to them is called for !

From: Julia Edwards
Posted on: Sunday, August 07, 2005, 05:48 PM

I was very sorry to see the sad news about the owners of the vicarage guest house in Rye Harbour. I have never stayed there, as my childhood home was Tenterden (not many miles away), and I visit the Sussex Edwards 'haunts' with my father when I visit him in Kent. We were there in May and I thought the place looked very 'shuttered' up. I wonder if there is any more news? I am interested that 'Wild One' and 'A Wind is Blowing' are still so sought after. Sadly there were no illustrations in the latter, and the dust-wrapper is disappointing. They are the only hardback 'Edwards' I kept from childhood, but now I am slowly gathering the other titles together again.

From: Joy
Posted on: Thursday, August 11, 2005, 07:29 PM

Is anyone aware if the COLLINS BOOK CLUB editions are abridged? I have been checking out the excellent infomation that this site offers (congratulation by the way) but was unable to reach a satisfactory conclusion! I am thinking in general terms concerning both lots of books, but in particular NO ENTRY bearing in mind its republication in November. Thanks.

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Thursday, August 11, 2005, 10:17 PM

Hallo Joy. As far as I am aware the CHILDREN'S BOOK CLUB editions are unabridged (as John confirms on his Collecting Monica Edwards Books page). Not so the Collins Pony Library Library editions which, I think, are photographic reproductions of the (abridged) Armada editions. Best wishes. Brian.

From: John
Posted on: Friday, August 12, 2005, 07:39 AM

Agreed, Brian. The Collins Pony Library edition of 'Wish For a Pony' has minor alterations to text but is not really abridged; probably because the Armada edition was likewise unabridged. Which reminds me, I have to complete the 'Abridged' notes sometime since I've had a Goodchild copy of HIAD for a long time now . . .

From: Joy
Posted on: Saturday, August 13, 2005, 11:47 AM

Hi! Apologies John, Ive just found the abridged page - I was in too much of a hurry to check out the results page!! My fault. My thanks to both u and Brian for such a quick response. J.

From: Pat Menon
Posted on: Saturday, August 13, 2005, 02:49 PM

Telling someone this morning about what it was like to be an only child in the fifties, I remembered my intense immersion in the world of families and horses created by Monica Edwards. The memories were so strong that I just had to check the Web to see if she was remembered by others. And here's the proof that she is! Pat

From: Claire Lee
Posted on: Thursday, August 18, 2005, 05:25 PM

Shouldn't really be doing this as I'm at work therefore supposed to be working (!) but I just have to say congratulations to all at Girls Gone by firstly for saving the work of this marvellous author from obscurity and for doing such a complete and professional job on Storm Ahead. I started reading Monica's books nearly 30 years ago when I was about the same age as Tamzin in Wish for a Pony. I have all of the Romney Marsh Series except A Wind is Blowing,The Hoodwinkers and Operation Seabird and all of the Punchbowl Farm series except the Wild One. I'd also like to congratulate you on your website too - I'm glad to see there are others who baulk at the e bay prices too...

From: Gaie Brown
Posted on: Friday, August 19, 2005, 10:07 PM

Just to say I agree with all that Claire said - GGB have done a great job and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading Storm Ahead again - the last time was about - oh - quite a long time ago! Well done to all who've raised the Monica Edwards profile to the point where it's now perfectly OK to own up to reading children's books, since so many others out there are doing it too!

From: Joyce
Posted on: Saturday, August 20, 2005, 11:50 AM

Just wanted to add another congratulations to GGB. I do have 'Storm Ahead' but it's still a delight to have the reprint with lovely preface by ME's daughter Shelley and introduction and background by Joy Wotton. I was surprised to read how different ME's own father was to his fictional counterpart, the Revd Gray, but it goes to show how brilliant ME was at devising characters. Looking forward to more. Keep those presses rolling, GGB! Joyce

From: Lesley Morgan
Posted on: Tuesday, August 23, 2005, 06:25 PM

I've just found your site and I'm delighted to know that there are others just like me out there! I'm thoroughly enjoying re-reading the books I own and have hopefully purchased another 3 today. Most of mine are very tatty, much read and well loved Armada paperbacks which I bought as a child, some are even held together with string but have all their pages still. Thank you for a wonderful site

From: Malcolm Steward
Posted on: Saturday, August 27, 2005, 10:08 PM

I camped on Punch Bowl Farm both alone and with my family and knew Monica and her family quite well, also Mr Force. I have a couple of letters from her (somewhere). I have of course got nearly all her books. Unfortunatly I leant my copy of The Unsought Farm to some-one and it got lost. Monica had signed it for me, as well.

From: josephine ford
Posted on: Monday, August 29, 2005, 09:01 AM

"heck said Edward" was used a lot in our family. My former husband, Edward Ford, was a pupil at Charterhouse school and went to the Punchbowl Farm regularly. The "heck said Edward" was referring to him-in either the Cats of Punchbowl Farm or the Badgers of Punchbowl Farm. Last night Monica was featured on the BBC World Service, presented by Pam Ayres and it jogged my memory and prompted me to see if there was any information on the www-I was delighted to see that there was-lovely! all the best Josephine.

From: John
Posted on: Monday, August 29, 2005, 10:49 AM

The Pam Ayres programme mentioned above is available to 'Listen Again' on the BBC Website; Radio 4; Arts and Drama. It is 'With Great Pleasure', originally broadcast on Radio 4 , Thursday 25th August 2005 at 11.30am. I am listening to it as I write. There is not much about Monica, but a welcome mention ! Thank you Josephine.

From: Agnes
Posted on: Monday, August 29, 2005, 04:59 PM

I have just discovered this great site thanks to the new Storm Ahead edition. I loved the books as a child living on a farm. Unfortunately Mother gave the books away after I left home. Maybe someone has one of my originals! Found a bookshop with 20 books in this weekend and was astounded at the prices!

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Tuesday, August 30, 2005, 08:16 AM

Hallo Josephine. The "'Heck,' said Edward" quote is from "Badgers of Punchbowl Farm" (page 31) when Hula the Burmese cat, along with plaster lumps and dust, fell through the ceiling onto his bed in the middle of the night. I think "Heck" was quite restrained in the circumstances! If you have any memories from your husband's times at PBF do please contact me at the above email address. Regards Brian

From: john mccartney
Posted on: Monday, September 19, 2005, 09:40 PM

Excellent site! Thanks. I'm currently going through a late second childhood and have re-read my Monicas. I'm missing quite a few - as a child I borrowed them from the library -so I look forward to republication. Power to your elbow.

From: Annie Orton
Posted on: Friday, September 23, 2005, 01:34 PM

Our local library was able to get copies of The Wild One and A Wind is Blowing in for us to read (from the Bodleian Oxford). We were not allowed to take them out of the library, but my 11 year old daughter and I went in and read them over a few days, swapping the books over as we finished each one.

From: Jennifer Ward
Posted on: Tuesday, September 27, 2005, 10:48 PM

I am really pleased to hear that all the books are to be re-published - a good writer, enjoyed by all ages still.

From: Iain Peden
Posted on: Thursday, September 29, 2005, 12:18 PM

Having collected the whole Punchbowl set in the mid 60s I am now introducing my 9 year old daughter to them. It helped finding most of them (Amada editions) in a box in the loft. Super site - which has brought bac many happy memories.

From: Barbara L. Wong
Posted on: Tuesday, October 04, 2005, 03:12 AM

Thank you so much for all the great work you have done. I am dizzy withthe information you have supplied. I think all the sections you have done are great. I also buy books just for the old illustrations I remember from my child hood including all the Pullein-Thompson's i.e. Anne Bullen,Sheila Rose etc. I am collecting the Malcolm Saville books too. Looking back, it was a great era for childrens books and I am glad I was there to enjoy it.

From: Judith Rømcke
Posted on: Saturday, October 08, 2005, 03:42 PM

As a child I loved ME books and collected them all, but somehow missed the last two. I have lived in Norway for many years and when I visit family in England have tried to find a copy of "The Unsought Farm", without success. Having now found this website, I see there is a real chance of getting hold of the book and others which I didn't know existed! Thank you!

From: Joyce
Posted on: Wednesday, October 12, 2005, 04:40 PM

Brian - just wanted to say that I have had your RM Companion for some time now but have just really properly read through the chronology you have constructed. I bet your mind is still whirling - I know mine is! I have tried to think of a way that Tamzin could have been at Punchbowl Farm and then back to Westling in time for all the other adventures that year, but, you're right, we just have to accept the fact that Tamzin led, literally, a double life that summer! My reading of the books for the first time in the 70s (and this might be true of a lot of ME readers) was not in the series order and perhaps that's why the anomalies in time and space weren't as apparent as if I'd read them in their proper sequence. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed your detective work. Joyce

Posted on: Thursday, October 13, 2005, 08:17 AM

Thanks Joyce. I have completely recast all the sections of the Romney Marsh Companion for the GGBP version (to be published early next year). I've discovered that many of my lucky guesses are confirmed in ME's notebooks (e.g. the reading order of the Romney Marsh books). Also I believe the real Jim Decks has at last stood up!!

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Thursday, October 13, 2005, 04:22 PM

Sorry - that last post was from me - too early in the morning!

From: Joyce
Posted on: Saturday, October 15, 2005, 07:58 PM

If you were a Monica Edwards character half the day would be over by 8.17am! Going back briefly to things happening out of sequence I read an interesting interview with the 'Sharpe' author in the Telegraph's Arts&Books section - he said that because the books were so popular he had to write more and because of historical nature had to work them into timeframes already covered by the previous novels, which led to terrible plotting problems. I think ME managed it really well apart from the odd blip. When I read the Bunter and Jennings books I just accepted that both characters had been at school for about a total of 70 years. Best wishes everyone - Joyce

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Sunday, October 16, 2005, 03:59 PM

Not if you'd been hob-nobbing with those dastardly Westling smugglers the previous night! :-)

From: joyce
Posted on: Sunday, October 23, 2005, 11:38 AM

Brian - or anyone who might have this info - do you know if there is a train station within reasonable walking distance of Devil's Punch Bowl? I need to balance my visits to 'Westling' with a visit to PF and although I do drive would prefer not to make the journey from North London by car, if poss - driving back through London can tarnish any day out. We usually visit the Devil's Punchbowl on our way back up the A3 from annual Isle of Wight holiday (we're very set in our ways!) but 13 year old son is reluctant to go for great big hike, and it's usually hottest day of the year, so three visits so far have been frustratingly short. Thanks for any info. Joyce

From: Brian Parks
Posted on: Sunday, October 23, 2005, 04:54 PM

Hi Joyce. Depends on how far you want to walk! Milford Station is probably the closest but not all trains stop there. Haslemere station is, I would say, your best option then you would have to walk up Bunch Lane and over Gibbet Hill to get to the Punchbowl. Quite a walk - alternatively, you could always get a taxi from Haslemere up to Hindhead then walk from there. Good luck - Brian.

From: joyce
Posted on: Monday, October 24, 2005, 09:37 AM

Thank you very much, Brian. I will let you know how it works out. From the look of the weather - typical for half term - I might have to wear waterproof clothing! As I said, I have only ever been on what is usually by chance the hottest day of the year. Best wishes. Joyce.