Guestbook Volume 7

November 2008 - December 2009

Note: The most recent emailed messages are entered at the top of the list.
Guestbooks 1 to 6 have the messages entered in the order they arrived.
By reversing this, checking for new messages is easier - although reading through them later may be a little more difficult !

From: Sarah Wareing
Posted: Wednesday 9 December 2009 12:01

About a year ago I started searching out all the Romney Marsh titles I didn't already have.
Thanks to GGB and Amazon, I was able to locate every title except "A Wing is Blowing". I managed to track down a copy in German, which I bought. I read it and found one or two really irritating things about it - for instance they had made Tamzin a brunette and attributed words to Meryon to the effect that he didn't like her ponytail. Meg became a male dog - for no reason that I can think of, because there is a word in German for a female dog". It just didn't read like Monica's work. I put it away on the bookshelf and resolved to buy the English version as soon as it became available.

Now at last thanks to GGB I have got my hands on the English version. What a difference! This was Monica's real writing. I read it avidly first, then fetched out the German version and read it again alongside the Engish version. Apart from a lot of the local dialect, which they had just not attempted to translate, there were chunks of the text omitted. Crucially, part of the final sentence in the book was left out.

I still have the German version, but if anyone would like to have it, let me know. They can have it for the cost of the postage.

If anyone wishes to email me they can do so on my private email address - scwareing(delete this bit and the brackets)

Sarah Wareing

From: Sally Bourne
Posted: Saturday, 14 November, 2009 20:08

Dear John,

May I please use the Guestbook to thank Fiona Birchall for her Kind remarks about the "Personal Introduction" I wrote for "A Wind is Blowing".

Kind Regards,

Sally Bourne.

From: Fiona Birchall
Posted: Thursday 5th November 2009

received my copy of A Wind is Blowing a couple of hours ago and have just finished reading every word.
I was 22 and working in a library when it was first published, and have always remembered it as an excellent story in every way: probably because the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association has from my early teens been my favourite charity.

I'm writing this comment for the Guestbook to thank Sally Bourne for her most moving and courageous introduction to the book. She and her children must be very proud of David and what he - and they - have given to two strangers, who will never forget him.


Thank you for saying this, Fiona. Sally's 'Personal Itroduction' to the book is so touching that I find it difficult to write about. (John)

From: Susan Winn
Posted: Thursday 1st October 2009

Well, the MEAS Rye Harbour day has come and gone, and for those who attended (about 28 in total) a good time was had by all. The weather was lovely, the castle very interesting, the stroll out to the Lifeboat House was eventful (shame about the key) and the visit to the church with ‘the roof like an up-turned boat’ very moving.

Thanks to Barry, Jacqi and Philip for the time and interest that they gave in showing us around these places, and giving us more local knowledge into the life of the village and its inhabitants.

Thanks again to them and all those who made it such a special day by coming and sharing the day.



and from Joyce:

I echo all that Sue has said and hope we can do something similar next year when the Lifeboat House may be more accessible.
It was a fascinating day and so good to see by now familiar faces and meet new ones.

Thanks to everyone who came. There will be a report in The Martello 5. Anyone who came and who is reading this, if you have any photos or memories of the day you would like to share, please send them in.


PS Have just seen that Girls Gone By have announced publication of Brian Parks' biography of Monica Edwards on their site.

Apologies to all, especially Sue, as this entry got lost early in the month - Grovel, Grovel . . . John

From: Elizabeth Drury
Posted: Tuesday 29th September 2009 4:00pm

I am sorry to have missed the M*E*A*S visit to Westling earlier this month. I do hope it went well, I am looking forward to hearing about it.

Best wishes to all


Same here, I couldn't get there either. From what I've heard it was a very good day - with more than 25 gathering this time to explore the landscape of so many happy memories. It won't be the last get-together I'm sure. Just give Sue and Joyce chance to recover !
I shall make sure I'm on the next - Punchbowl, Westling or wherever !! John

From: Veronica Keywood
Posted: Thursday 6th August 2009 1:45pm

Hi John

I've just acquired via Ebay 2 editions of "From the Punchbowl". In one of them there is an article speculating on the true identity of Jim Decks and some photographs of a possible contender.
I have to say I wasn't too bothered about this but the fisherman in the photographs is holding a white cat.
I wonder if this is the cat referred to in "Wish for a Pony" at the Sailors Institute which had survived a shipwreck and was said to be 20 years old?

I'm off to Rye next weekend to see the Dungeness Sound Mirrors. I might see if I can persuade my husband to come on a viewing of the vicarage while we are there!

Best wishes.


I'm sure that it is one of the insprations for 'Billingham', Old Jim's cat. It is a phtograph taken by Monica of the local character 'Crusty' Crampton. There was a lot of Crusty in Old Jim as well.

Sean Edwards emailed Richard and I several of his mother's photographs and other 'scraps' way back. They are in the 'scrapbook' on the site (look for Crusty Crampton or Scrapbook in the Index.)
It could well be an albino cat as Mrs Clench's was in the book, but I can say no more than that. Perhaps Brian Parks can help, he has gathered lots more information on this character - and others - in the Romney Marsh Companion and it does sound, to me, like one of 'Crusty's' anecdotes. (the Companion is - still available etc etc)

From: Wendy Farrington
Posted: Monday 3rd August 2009 7:25pm

Dear John

Joy Wotton asks why Roger and Meryon are friends, but I always thought the connection was Roger being a cousin of Rissa's, rather than just a friend of Meryon.

Will have to do some re-reading to see if this is explained more clearly somewhere.

Kind regards

Wendy Farrington

I've been puzzling as well - how many people do you think are heading for the bookcase to do some re-reading !

From: Joy Wotton
Posted: Wednesday 29th July 11:56am

Dear John

A reply for Rosemary Myers, which you might want to post to the Guestbook or just to her?

I am sure you are correct about the picture of what I called net-sheds in DOLPHIN SUMMER. It just shows that one should not always accept information from passing locals!

Thanks, Joy, It had me a bit puzzled, that one ! A local with a sense of humour maybe . . .

From: Joy Wotton
Posted: Wednesday 29th July 11:52am

Dear John

Here's a question for the Guestbook.

Why are Meryon and Roger friends? They live in different places (Hastings and Winchelsea), they are in different years at school (usually a barrier to friendship in itself), Meryon is plainly very clever, Roger is just a nice lad.
Reread MIDNIGHT HORSE at the weekend and found myself wondering about this.


From: Sue Winn
Posted: Friday, 24th July, 2009 14:51

Has anyone got an audio tape of any of the radio interviews that Monica Edwards has taken part in? And if so, would they be prepared to send me a copy if I provide a tape?


From: Joyce Bailey
Posted: Friday, 24th July, 2009 14:50

Hi John and all

There have been a few delays with The Martello 4 due to various unforeseen circumstances but all being well will be posted out within the next week. It will include details of the M*E*A*S visit to Westling/Rye Harbour on the 12th September 2009. The basic schedule is meet 10.00am Rye Harbour car park, then go off to Camber Castle (Cloudesley Castle) for guided tour, return to Rye Harbour for people to do what they want for lunch – two pubs and a café or bring a picnic and pray for the sort of weather we had last September on the Punchbowl Day – as unfortunately the village hall is not available; then a look round the inside of Rye Harbour Church and the lifeboat crew memorial in the churchyard followed by a walk to the old lifeboat house. See you there – we hope!

Best wishes - Joyce and Sue

From: Sue Curnow
Posted: Friday, 24th July, 2009 10:27

Dear John
I have just had a look in at the site after a while and see that the vicarage is for sale! I hope there is some protection order on it so that new owners cannot pull it down.

I had the privilege of staying in the vicarage in 2002, not in Tamsin's "room" which was for the son of the household but nevertheless it was a joy to be in the house so to speak.

The visitors book had to have some drawing left in it reflecting memories of Monica's books, where is that I wonder now? I shudder to think what I drew, very poor artwork I must say.

I do hope the old house gets a new lease on life and that the new owners appreciate the significance of what they are buying. Does the marketing of the house mention that Monica Edwards lived in it?

Sue Curnow in NZ

From: Brian Parks
Posted: Tuesday, 21st July, 2009 18:38

I don't know if Shelley does look in, but Brian Parks does and I should think that the floor-plan of the farm house might be in Brian's book when it comes out - the Companion I should think, which will presumably appear when Girls Gone By start publishing the Punchbowl books.

Indeed! The biography will contain elevation drawings made by Eva Webb in 1952 and floor plans should be included in the Punchbowl Companion – but you’ll have to wait a year or three for that. GGBP have informed me that the Biography will be published “at about the same time as “A Wind is Blowing”.


From: Rosemary Myers
Posted: Monday, 20 July, 2009 17:19

Dear John,

I had a good walk around the OV in early May before it came onto the market and can tell you that there IS a side window in the sitting room, omitted in sale details and there ISN'T a back bedroom window - just the bathroom, loo and landing. Estate agent taking details may have been to Conqueror before doing layout!

Poor Tamzin would have crashed to her death in Summer of the Great Secret if the penthouse roof was built as you have shown. It runs all the way along with no central break so she survived to have more Marsh adventures.

I'm sure that people will be rushing to view the mysteries of Tamzin's attic but I can tell you that it has a delightful little iron fireplace in it, and of course, a stunning view!

There was also a rather worrying picture of net-sheds on p.51 of Dolphin Summer. To my puzzled eye it looked rather like an allotment or the paint testing area by the Old Lifeboat house. Whatever, it is a singular shed, not plural. Can anyone give information on this?

Best wishes, and I enjoy your newsletters,

Rosemary Myers

Thank you, Rosemary, I shall 'correct' the drawings eventually - thanks for the corrections. I agree with you that the photograph in Dolphin Summer looks to me very like like that paint-testing area . .

From: Judith Wilson
Posted: Saturday, 18 July, 2009 10:24

Subject: Vicarage Sale

Couldnt we have a group viewing of the vicarage? [ although as a Yorks person I wanted to go around Flambards [ie Sawley Hall] when for sale last year and my request was ignored by estate agents] This might be the only chance we have to get inside.
I am 'available' to join a group next Sat , as we're at the Royal International at Hickstead.

BTW As a lover of houses, and Punchbowl books in particular, I've been trying to work out the floorplan of Punchbowl Farm, but have various questions, eg If the cellar goes directly from the kitchen, where is the door?
In The Unsought Farm Seans bedroom has a stone window lengthened and was on the south side [gable end] of the house- on what floor?
Is 'Lindseys' bedroom [presumably the one that had been a granary] on a lower level than the other bedrooms?
Would Shelley Edwards, if she reads these mails,like to put my mind at rest? A floor plan would be great!
I notice Punchbowl farm is listed grade2 and therefore on the English Heritage site - it looks very small and dinky!

I don't know if Shelley does look in, but Brian Parks does and I should think that the floor-plan of the farm house might be in Brian's book when it comes out - the Companion I should think, which will presumably appear when Girls Gone By start publishing the Punchbowl books.
As to a trip around the Vicarage - I shouldn't think that the agents would be interested unless a sale was possible !

From Julia Edwards
Posted on: Friday 10th July 2009 4:36pm

Hello to everyone,

What a good idea from Pamela - a timeshare! Or, could make it into a Children's Author's Museum/ Bookshop/ Girls' Gone By Escape from 21st Century......

I know the outside of the 'vicarage' well; spent my entire childhood only about 10 miles away, though have never seen inside, like some lucky souls.

Best wishes,


From Pamela Ellis
Posted on: Tuesday 7th July 2009

Re the sale of ‘Westling’ vicarage – wouldn’t it be great if 52 ME fans could club together to buy it as a timeshare? That way each one could ‘live the dream’ for a week a year!

Only a fantasy, I know …

Pamela Ellis

It would only be £8,653 and 85p each . . . . . .

From Janice Kersey
Posted on: Sunday 28th June 2009

As a young girl and then a teenager I read as many of Monica Edwards books as possible either by buying them, getting them from the library or swapping with my friend Jane. We were both avid readers and fans of Monica's books. We were pony mad and found the stories of Romney Marsh and the Punchbowl fantastic.

I still read the books I have, even now, altough I am in my early sixties now. It is to that end that I hope to purchase all the books that I actually do not own, so I can read them again. I do hope this site may be able to help me.
I will also of course be purchasing the biography when it is ready.

Many, many thanks to Monica for giving me so many pleasurable hours of reading in my youth. These are precious memories to me.

With regards

Janice Kersey

From Jill Goulder
Posted on: Wednesday 17th June 2009

Hello all
- I wondered whether you knew that the vicarage at Rye Harbour is for sale?
What an awful shame that it can't be bought as a shrine....

Best wishes

Jill Goulder

From: Joyce Bailey The Monica Edwards Appreciation Society
Posted on: Thursday, 28 May, 2009

Hi John

Just a brief email to say Hi and to let people know that Martello Magazine no 4 will be coming out at the end of June and will include details of the MEAS visit to Westling/Rye Harbour on 12th of September and Gillian Taylor's Mastermind experience.

I've just ordered my copy of Dolphin Summer; one of my favourites, as I'm sure it is with a lot of ME readers.

Well done Julia for her lucky find of The Unsought Farm.
I still daydream that I'll find The Wild One.....


From: Julia Edwards
posted on: Sunday, 17th May 2009

We have a small secondhand bookstall here in Winchester run in one of the buildings attached to the cathedral. I have a rummage there from time to time, and today to my surprise and delight there was a copy of The Unsought Farm. It's not a first edition and the binding is shabby without a dust jacket , but I have an elderly father who is still an expert bookbinder and may be able to make it respectable again! I have read a library copy, but it's great to own a copy at last.

It was good to see others at the Punchbowl get-together last autumn. A very enjoyable day.

Best wishes to all,

Julia Edwards

It was good wasn't it ? I'll try to get down to Rye Harbour in September it was wonderful last time.

From: Jeannie Terblanche
posted on: Wednesday, 26 November, 2008

Dear John

What an absolute treat to discover the Monica Edwards website! I have done not a stitch of work all morning since discovering it! A friend in the UK sent me an article about the sale of Christine Pullein Thompson’s family home and this led my thought processes to Monica’s books which I was passionately devoted to as a pre- and early teen, living in Leeds, Yorkshire. I started riding at 11 and was equally passionately devoted to horses for the next eight years, and all the Rye and Punchbowl Farm books were read and re-read avidly.

I wrote to Monica Edwards, must have been in the early 1960s, to tell her how much I enjoyed her books and she very kindly took the time to write back to me and told me about Shelley and Sean, the farm and other family details, and sent me some photos which I still have somewhere. I will unearth them, scan them and send them to you as they may be of interest to the many people who want to know more about Monica. We kept in touch for several years, eventually through Christmas cards, and then I lost touch with her but always remember her fondly.

I am now 60 and live in South Africa, but have visited the UK several times over the last few years – my elder daughter lives in London. Next time we visit I’ll drag my partner down to Rye and will no doubt have some explaining to do!

Thank you for all the work you have put in to setting up the website, now that I know about it, it will no doubt remain a distraction from work.

Kind regards

Jeannie (nee Carr)

I waited to receive the photographs before entering this email. Jeannie duly sent me scans - and agreed to my sharing them with you. They will appear in the next issue of Ferry Hut News (Number 8) Which will be out very soon. John (March 2009)

This page is part of the Monica Edwards Website. To enter this site by the front door, click here.