Guestbook Volume 8

January 2010 - December 2010

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: William Morris
Posted: Sunday 19th Sept 2010

I have checked the texts of Spirit Of Punchbowl Farm, with a First Edition in one hand and an 'Armada' in the other. THE 'ARMADA' IS NOT ABRIDGED, so far as I can see. Hope that helps clear up the confusion. If you have the 'Armada' then the only thing you are missing, is an illustration of a foal from the title page.

William Morris.

Thank you William - this does go on and on doesn't it ?
If you look in Collecting above or via Index also above - you will find a section on abridged books - we did a search back in 2003. The Results page shows the books we checked and you can see it agrees with your conclusion.
I recently had a conversation with Brian on the subject - in which I mentioned that I had been convinced that the Armada 'Spirit' was abridged until we'd done this check back in 2003, and he agreed that there was nothing cut from at least the first 5 chapters.

By the way - any further information about abridged editions - let me know and I'll update the page ! John

From: Alison Harvey
Posted: Saturday 4 Sept 2010


I hope to join the Punchbowl Farm walk next Sunday, 12 September, however I have a slight problem in that I do not have a car and will need to get to Thursley by public transport from London.
I am planning to come down by train obviously, however I understand there are no buses on a Sunday.

Is anyone else on the walk planning to come by train and would be willing to share a taxi – assuming we can get one? Or alternatively is anyone coming from the local area, or passing close by a local station, and would be very kind and pick me up from the station?


Alison's email address is (delete the percent sign before using)

From: Joyce and Sue (M*E*A*S)
Posted: Sunday, 18 July, 2010 18:46

We had some information a few weeks ago from someone we know at Rye Harbour that the Vicarage was indeed sold to an individual who has added a smart new pair of wooden gates to the original entrance, tidied up the garden, cleared the overgrown shrubbery around the back of the kitchen area and has applied for planning permission to add a garage.

That's all we know, but it has definitely been sold.

Joyce and Sue

From: Pippa Lloyd
Posted: Wednesday, 7th July, 2010 13:37

Hello everyone!

Does any one know the outcome to the 'recent' sale of The Old Vicarage please? As far as I can tell the house is no longer listed for sale by Phillip Stubbs.......

Was the house sold?

Has the agent changed?

Was the house sale withdrawn?

Any information would be greatly appreciated, thank you all

Pippa Lloyd, UK

Apologies for the delay - I'm on some tablets that make me even more dopey than usual and I hadn't checked the email address link for ages. Pippa gave her email address, but I haven't added it to prevent her being inundated with spam - and anyway we all want to know the answer to her question - what has happened ? Replies via the guestbook preferably, Cheers, John.

From: Angela Porter
Posted: Sunday, 6th June, 2010 09:36

Dear John

I am just completing my collection of Monica Edwards books with the GGB copies, but many of my early hardbacks look extremely battered. When collecting my other love, EMBD's Chalet School, someone suggested covering them in photocopied dust wrappers and my much-loved books now look beautiful. Does anyone from the MEAS do this? I bought the EMBD dust wrappers at about £1 each from another enthusiast (plus p+p), so if there was anyone I certainly wouldn't expect them to be provided free.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Angela Porter.

I haven't added Angela's email address - but will pass it on to anyone who wishes to reply - without being inundated with requests from other coverless folk!

From: Judy Mills
Posted: Saturday, 5th June, 2010 21:14

Some years ago I decided the only way I was going to get Strangers to the Marsh was to buy the Goodchild edition - what a disappointment! I later bought a Goodchild White Riders, more as a comparison, having other editions as well. Again, it didn't have the right 'feel' to it, and the updating was incongruous. (Thankfully I found a Collins Strangers in a charity shop for 30p - tatty, but I want it to read, not look at!)

Recently I retired and totally bemused my colleagues when I asked for copies of the ME Biography and the GGB Operation Seabird as part of my leaving present. Both books had me enthralled and I am now just about to order The Wild One, I hope before they're all sold out. Full marks to Brian Parks and to GGB - but forget the Goodchild versions!

I still live in hope of finding my few missing 'old' editions lurking in a charity shop somewhere...

Judy Mills

From: Rose Humphreys
Posted: Thursday, 27 May, 2010 17:58

Hi John
I've just discovered your website, thanks to Jane Badger.
I was lucky enough today to find not one but two rarer (I think) MEs in hbk. The first was most exciting as I don't already have it: Fire in the Punchbowl. I've checked your list of titles to see if this is a first - it would seem so as it has green boards, silver lettering, sadly no dw, and 1965 as the date of printing. However the illustrator is Geoffrey Whittam who you only mention as the illustrator for the 1967 ed. Perhaps you can confirm which it could be?

The other find was The Wind is Blowing, also hbk but with dw this time. 1969. I already have this one, in v similar condition so I guess I'll be selling one of them on soon. But still delighted to find another ME. We generally pay relatively little for old books in South Africa unless the shop has gone internet mad and thinks they can charge those prices and still have a sale. Those of us in the know do buy GGBP occasionally (I have bought Elsie Oxenham and Antonia Forest books from them), but we hold out for local buys as they are much cheaper. The rand-stirling exchange rate is horrible!
Thanks for the website, I'll be checking it out sometimes to keep in touch.
Best wishes,
Cape Town

Thanks for pointing out the uncertainty on the page. I'll have to change that, soon, and hopefully remove some doubt. Please, all of you, let me know if there's anything similar you spot - I aim to remove doubt, not create it ! Cheers, John

From: David Frost
Posted: Saturday, 22 May, 2010 8:13

Hi John

I came across the Monica Edwards site via a link on the Rye Harbour page of the Rye Parish Church site, so I thought I'd take the opportunity of introducing myself.

I am to become the Team Rector of Rye (which includes Rye Harbour) in September and I would like to say that we will always be delighted to see Monica Edwards fans.

Both my sisters read her books and I remember seeing them on bookshelves at home. I have never read one, but I think I'd better start!

I feel that I have some strong links with you all. Not only am I moving to Rye, where I have worked before, but I did most of my growing up in Godalming, which is the nearest town to Thursley. For a year my family home was in Hindhead and I spent a lot of time in and around the Punchbowl!

Best regards

David Frost

Currently Vicar of St Stephen's, Bexhill-on-Sea
Rural Dean of Battle and Bexhill

Team Rector designate of Rye

From: Joyce Bailey
Posted: Friday, 14 May, 12:00

Hi John and all

Just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who came to the M*E*A*S Punchbowl Day on a very wet 2nd of May. Sue and I had a really great time and it was lovely to see familiar faces and meet new members.

I think everyone enjoyed the rainy walks and the afternoon with Brian’s book-signing and Monica Edwards-related display. The Facebook page which Brian has set up following discussion at the Punchbowl Day has some photos of the event and our previous visit in 2008. I love the postcards/photos of old Rye Harbour and Brian’s recent photos he took for the Romney Marsh Companion.

We will be putting a full account of the Punchbowl Day in the next Martello. We are planning the next event – this time at Rye Harbour – and will announce the details in due course.

Anyone who couldn’t come on 2nd May might like to know that William Morris is doing another Punchbowl Walk on 12th September.

Best wishes to all - Joyce

Contact details for William are available by the link on the 'Welcome' page - via the picture of the valley, and also on his page - see 'Index'.

From: Brian Parks
Posted: Sunday, 9th May 2010, 19:07

Hi John

As you’ve probably heard, we had a really enjoyable day last Sunday and your presence was missed by all.

As we were walking round the Bowl several people mentioned Facebook and whether a fan page could be set up on there. I’ve done that now and already Julia Edwards, Joyce and Elizabeth Williams are fans. Could you possibly mention it somewhere on the website please so that others who are already on Facebook will know about it? We should be able to use the page for announcing M*E*A*S meetings, new GGBP re-issues posting photos and just general chat.

Slightly confusingly, there are currently two Monica Edwards pages on Facebook – one automatically generated by Facebook as a community page – this one is just a straight copy from Wikipedia. They both have pics of Monica Edwards from back of Badgers of Punchbowl Farm but mine has the uncropped version. The link to mine is:

but I think you have to be signed in to Facebook to see it.



It seems to work OK without being signed in. I've avoided Facebook and similar for ages - Grumpy Old Mannishly. I may have to change. Anyway - although there are no doubt bits I shan't see - the main link works. Well done Brian, this, I should imagine, will be as immediate as the Guestbook was in its early days. I'll add other links from the site soon.

From: William Morris
Posted: Saturday, 8 May, 12:47

May I say thank you, to every one who shared the day at Thursley last Sunday, for their good company. It was such an enjoyable day.

Our walk, and the get together in the Village Hall afterwards, made up another memorable M.E.A.S. event. Thank you Sue and Joyce (especially for the hot drinks ready when we got back to the Hall ).

For those who enjoyed the walk, and for those who missed it, we are going to do it all again on Sunday, 12th September, 2010. See you there ?

William Morris.

From: Veronica Keywood
Posted: Tuesday, 4 May 13:30

Just like to take the opportunity to thank Joyce, Sue and William on a lovely day on Sunday despite the rain. The detour up the side of the valley was well worth it, I know now what a badger's set looks like and it was very interesting to see some more of the places mentioned in the books. Tea, and the chance to warm up and meet some more members of the MEAS was very enjoyable too.

Veronica Keywood

From: Julia Edwards
Posted: Monday, 3 May, 2010 16:03

Hello to everyone,
Many thanks to Joyce, Sue and William for arranging various parts of a good get-togther at Thursley yesterday. It was a very wet day but I think everyone enjoyed meeting new and old friends again. Having a book-signing by Brian was great too!

Best wishes,


From: Wendy Farrington
Posted: Saturday 24th April 20:20

Dear John

How interesting to learn that a Bonaparte Gull visited the marsh in March (your comment not at all pompous by the way). I was there in March with my husband and walked from the vicarage out to the old life boat hut, but sadly did not see, nor would have known if I had, the rare gull.

We also walked out to Camber Castle; how lovely the Marsh is - and, I imagine, pretty unspoiled in this area.

Kind regards

Wendy Farrington

Thank you Wendy, I only wish I lived nearer myself. There's a quiet, lazy, feel about the area even with the caravan site so close. So quiet that the activities of the White Riders seem very understandable, and indeed not too extreme, in response to the Holiday Camp development.

From: Veronica Keywood
Posted: Wednesday 21st April 2010

Hi John

I don't know if you or anyone else who visits the Monica Edwards Website also looks at the Wild Rye website. In March they had a rare visitor, a Bonaparte gull and there is a picture of it. This is the gull that Tamzin finds at the beginning of Operation Seabird and is stolen by the bird expert.

Nice to know that they still visit Romney Marsh now and again.


Thanks, Veronica, there's a link to the site on the 'Links' page - but I haven't been on it for a while - lovely, as you say, that the bird's visit reflects the enduring relevance of the author's work. Does that sound pompous?

From: Brian Parks
Posted: Sunday 12 March 2010 12:20

Just to let everyone know that with the new Street Map view in Google maps it is possible to take a virtual walk up from Thursley village to the grass triangle by Punch Bowl Farm. If you type GU8 6QD into the “Search Maps” box then drag the orange person (at top left of screen) onto the map you will enter Street Map view for Thursley. Click on the arrows on the roads to travel along them.

You can also stroll (virtually) around the streets of Rye and Rye Harbour – you can go along the Hard to the William the Conqueror! The post code for the pub is TN31 7TU – type this in to explore the village.

I haven’t explored Rye itself yet but I’m betting you can go up Mermaid Street and probably explore Winchelsea to find the “house with green shutters”…

Here is the link:


From: Joyce Bailey
Posted: Monday 8th March, 2010

Hi John
Just to let you and anyone who is interested know, M*E*A*S’s next event is a Punchbowl Day on Sunday 2nd May 2010.

We decided to not have this during the main summer holiday months because we had a lot of requests not to because of people going away in the summer. This is now on the same day as William Morris’s walk and William has kindly agreed to make his walk part of the day.

There will also be another couple of walks running (if that’s the right word) at the same time i.e. a shorter walk or a sedate stroll round the village. Once everyone has returned we can have packed lunches/teas/quiz in the Village Hall and outside in its gardens if the weather is good.

The other reason for having it earlier is we wanted it to closely follow the publication of the biography as we are going to have a book signing!
Please bring your copies of Brian Parks’ biography of Monica Edwards to have them signed by the author. (I have finished reading it now and, as you predicted, can say that it definitely did not disappoint…)

We will be sending details of the Punchbowl Day in a covering letter with the forthcoming Martello (at the printers now) but the basic plan is to meet at Thursley Village Hall car park (the hall is booked from 1pm to 6pm but cars can be parked there all day) at 10.00-10.30am. William’s walk sets off at 10.30am and the other two walks will set off around 11am.

Best wishes – Joyce

From: Elizabeth Williams
Posted: Friday, 19 February, 2010 10:07

I see that the next ggb Monica Edwards will be The Wild One in April /May. It means that my copy can stay at home now.
I hope that they will publish the Punchbowl Farm books where unabridged editions are difficult to find- not the ones that Goodchild missed out. This is usually the books that didn't have CBC editions.

I'm now quietly twitching waiting for the biography to arrive.

Elizabeth Williams

Me too ! I'm sure that the intention is to republish them all - and with the full text as written, not the abridged versions produced for many of the Armada editions and the Goodchilds. John

From: Jo Kirkham
Posted: Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Dear John,

Some years ago I had quite a lot of correspondence with Brian Parks about the series I edit called 'Rye Memories' - and one Volume which he used in particular - called 'Bygone Rye Harbour.'
I received a copy of his 'Romney Marsh Monica Edwards Companion' last week for a birthday present - and I see he says it is out of print.
I have mislaid both his postal and e mail address and wonder if you could possibly tell him - and your members - that it is back in print in an illustrated edition - at £6 including p&p from me.
All proceeds go to buy books for the Rye College Library (which was 'Thomas Peacocke Community College' until it was renamed last year.)

Incidentally - I really enjoyed Brian's 'Companion' - it is a really lovely book.

Many thanks

Jo Kirkham

Apologies for the delay in adding this - I've been a bit vague recently - but I have now added a page on Rye Memories and two publications of interest to Monica Edwards readers available from them. John

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