I was born in Prittlewell (Southend-on-Sea), Essex, in 1959, and have spent many years researching its local and military history. In 2007 I started a website about the history of Southend 'The South East Echo' and in 2010 was asked to manage the website for 'Ekco Electronics' - E.K. Cole was the largest employer in the area during the 1960s.
My first books were released in 2012; 'RAF Southend 1940-1944' for The History Press, closely followed by 'Southend Airport Through Time', a commissioned work for Amberley Publishing.
2013 will be quite a busy year:
I am currently produceing the final draft for a book for Estuary Publishing (provisionally) titled 'E.K.Cole (EKCO) - A Brief History of a Southend Company 1924-1966'. This is a great project to work on as it is very close to home.
I have also been commissioned for a second book for Amberley Publishing for their 'Airport Through Time' series; this one being about Edinburgh Airport - due out around October-November.
I have shelved for the time being a book called 'Essex Witches' as I am still waiting for the contract to come through from The History Press. Originally scheduled for release in October 2013, it explores the craft in detail from its origins, and follows the accounts of many of the accused (and the alleged witnesses) throughout the county of Essex between the 16th and 18th Centuries, and the widespread fear it created among common folk who believed many of their neighbours to be consorting with the Devil. The book includes many of the trials and punishments that were meted out.
I have two books that are completed but not yet published:
'Recollections of Southend-on-Sea and its Neighbourhood 1855-1912', is an interesting journey around the town, meeting some of the old gentry, the tradesmen and women, the the grand manors, halls and hunting grounds, most of which were lost way to modern developments such as the railway and estates of houses for the common-people. Sourced from very scarce original material and dialogue, it is an absolute one-off, and is with a publisher at the moment.
'The Southend Roll of Honour 1914-1921, is the result of four years of research and lists the 2,150 servicemen from Southend-on-Sea and the surrounding area who fell during the Great War, or who died as a result of their service, between 1914 and 1921. This one has been with a publisher for a while, but because of its word count (258,000) may not be taken up in a hurry but I am hopeful that it will be in print for the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.