Saturday, 11 September 2010

British Skinheads - Spirit Of 69 Trojan

Had this vid recommended. Whaddya reckon?

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Crombies and Haircuts

Look at this. I have to confess I am mightily biased as this is Loz when we first met. Is it wrong to still find this a turn-on?

Loved his hair - longer than it had been as a skin, but with dual tramlines and the tiniest mohican that teased forward to the most enticing point...

As did the sharpened brollie.

I wouldn't say Loz's grant for starting his Art Foundation Course at what was then Brighton Poly went on his Crombie... never. But, well, you know.

If you remember Loz, music, clothes and being around Eastbourne at that time - 77 onwards, then please contact me.


Thursday, 26 August 2010

Eastbourne Mods

Dedicating a whole new page now to Eastbourne Mods, as the project gets hotter and closer. I've got several interviews under me belt, with more booked in. The local press Eastbourne Herald is up for an article and my posts on Mod Forums are bringing in the memories. What are yours? Contact me to let me know.

In the meantime, what do you make of this spectacular April 1980 line drawing from Laurence Ranger?

Friday, 13 August 2010

Get Ready, Get Ready...

I'm putting together some articles about Eastbourne Mods, or Mods who came to Eastbourne - from the 60s to the 80s. I'd like to put a call out to anyone who remembers being in, or coming to Eastbourne during those times.

I'm looking for memories and info on places, faces, music, clothes, gear, transport and more. Parties, drinking, concerts, pubs, bands, scooters, fights... anything related. Photos would be particularly welcome.

If you have any info - please let me know.You can contact me at See the Eastbourne Mods page for updates.

Anyone who'd like to be notified when the articles are published can also contact me.



Tickled Pink

I entered this little ditty into last month's poetry comp over at gorgeous online jewellery store: Dotty Pig. It didn't win, but it was fun entering and I rather like it, so here it is.


Glittering in sequined glory
Polka dots beam round and bright.
Dotty’s got her party frock on.
Out she goes, into the night.

All her friends are playful piggies
Squealing loud and sharing hugs.
Taking seats they compare handbags,
Sipping cocktails served in jugs.

Dancing, dazzle, jewellery flashing
Dotty wows the party crowd.
Legs-akimbo, spinning, twirling.
All her friends applaud, so proud.

Home the girls go to their pillows,
Lovely memories to keep.
Dotty dreams in vibrant colour,
Happy in her beauty sleep.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

New Eastbourne Writers - Writing Competition

The New Eastbourne Writers group is running a short story comp and would like to attract entries from further afield. I said I'd add a little plug here so this is their blurb:

We are delighted to announce the launch of the first New Eastbourne Writers Short Story Competition.
The theme is THE JOURNEY 
See below for more details and competition rules



Word Count: MAXIMUM 1500 WORDS (excluding title)

Prizes: 1st Prize £50, 2nd Prize £20, 3rd Prize £10

Entry fee: £5 per entry or £7 for two

Closing date: 27 AUGUST 2010


See the website at for submission guidelines and details on how to pay the fee(s).

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Corporate Cabaret

A close friend, Olivia worked until yesterday for a "dynamic company leading us into the future". She'd known for weeks that her job was about to go but under the most indifferent of Human Resources' hackers, Olivia - who works frikkin' hard and is a highly-talented artist/designer - pre-empted the public humiliation before the company's massive middle-management team - and walked out.

This was the inspiration for my latest entry to the Six Sentences network, who have already published two of my (Lily Childs') flash pieces under their themes of Mind Games and The Mysterious Dr Ramsey.


They are fantasy, the words that battle inside your head; rapid exchanges of dialogue between you and him, between you and them… you play out the inevitable conversations over and over until you are convinced - you are the victor - you will win the argument, you will get through the meeting with calm and certitude, with guile and confidence.

In the daydream your colleagues and bosses, overwhelmed with the sense - the absolute common-bloody sense - of what you are telling them applaud your articulate delivery, nodding all the while as your sparkling wit sways their naturally suspicious natures.

You enter the room to mumbles and quiet coughs; not one of ’Da Management’ meet your eyes - they’d rather look away, down at their notes, up at the ceiling than at the pitiful creature - the speaker - called in for the lip-service process of defending her team’s service or face the cuts, the inevitable cuts and slashes dictated by a rotting economy and a ruthless big business run only by lawyers and accountants with not a creative brain-cell amongst them.

Old tricks work best to chase away the flutters in your gut; you stare at the over-large chairman - who doesn’t invite you to sit - and peel his clothes off in your head, stripping him until he is squatted on the crapper, grubby underpants at his ankles, belly squashed hard over his wide-spread thighs, a fat finger lost inside his face as he digs about in his hairy nostrils. You have the whole group naked in seconds; thongs here, Y-Fronts there, Harriet Groves wears big knickers spangled with laddered holes - the elastic perished to nothing - whilst beside her Bob Timpkin’s wife’s frilly pinks adorn his feet as you imagine him, oh so noisily and unpleasantly, evacuating his bowels.

You are as ready as you’ll ever be; you sip at tepid water from a plastic cup, waiting to be introduced as the chairman spiels on about reports and strategies and policies and corporate measures that frankly go over your head until finally he speaks your name - he shuffles his notes to pretend to look for you, trying harder than usual to make you feel insignificant - ‘Thanks, erm… yes - Fiona, look Fiona, I’m sure you don’t mind but we’ve changed the agenda and would like you to talk about your marketing budget instead; I’m sure you’re fully prepared… don’t, no please, Fiona, don’t leave, we want to hear what you have to say; Fiona, Fiona… shit, Timpkins - this is your fault.’

Sunday, 16 May 2010

I'm Your Puppet

Just found a fab version of 'I'm Your Puppet'. I remember it by James and Bobby Purify. This excellent reggae/ska version by Jummy London is superior.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Canadian Week and Brit Writers Award

Canadian Week is running over at Michael J. Solender's 'not from here, are you?' Thanks go to Michael for publishing my piece 'Soldier Boy' (by Lily Childs) on the first day - it's up now at

By virtue of my grandfather being Quebecois I was eligible to enter. I wanted to write something, but had no idea where I would start. To my surprise, what came though was a message to this charming man who abandoned my grandmother during WWII.

It knocked me for six. Had me in tears. I never knew, didn't even suspect that I felt abandoned too by a grandfather who died before I was even born.

Brit Writers Award 2010

Just heard that I'm through to the third round of the Brit Writers' Awards 2010. With over 21,000 entries that feels pretty good!

I entered four short stories and a collection of poetry. Now it's over to the Big Judges!!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Interview with Lee Hughes

If you haven't heard of horror writer Lee Hughes, then you should have. And I've no doubt you will soon.

Lee visited my alter-ego's dark domain, Lily Childs Feardom for an extended chatette. Why not pop over to read what he had to say...

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Book Review – The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

[This review has already been published on Amazon and at]

If ever a book left me feeling I could never make it as an author then Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Angel’s Game is it. Set in pre-civil war Barcelona Zafón’s tale of intrigue and murder twists and turns at relentless speed.

The Angel’s Game features writer David Martìn, son of a drunken father and a disinterested, absent mother. Martìn is thrown into the somewhat seedy realm of journalism after his father is murdered in the street and the young David is taken under the wing of Señor Vidal, one of the city’s wealthy sons. Taking pity on the lad Vidal finds David a job at the offices of a newspaper he has connections with, and quickly becomes David’s mentor, friend and benefactor.

As David Martìn moves up, down and sideways through the world of writing his own life becomes as strange as the penny dreadfuls he pens. Taking up residence in the mysterious, derelict Tower House the young author writes day and night until he can barely breathe. He rarely eats, he never sleeps. His volatile existence is fuelled by cigarettes, coffee and alcohol.

Even with the constants of Vidal’s support and friendship, the all-seeing eye of bookseller Señor Sempere and the unrequited love of the beautiful and unobtainable Cristina, a barrage of events dart at Martìn from every direction. Violence hangs around every corner. Ghosts from the past come unbidden into the here and now. The Tower House reveals itself. We are left in no doubt that all is not as it seems.

David Martìn’s Barcelona is a surreal place of twisting alleys and sprawling mansions, steamy docklands and towering mountains. Readers of Zafón’s first novel The Shadow of the Wind will be familiar with the Cemetery of Forgotten Books – recalling the library with both affection and fear. Here, in this most secret of places Martìn unleashes the key that will turn everything, strange as it already is, on its head. Who is the angel playing the game of the book’s title?

The pace of this novel is exhilarating. The atmosphere – noir and gothic yet coloured with Mediterranean spice. Death and love seem interchangeable in the Spanish psyche and Zafón spins these contrasts round and around, revisiting them from every angle.

Zafón is the master of description. His well-crafted prose is sprinkled with a menace laced with dark poetry. The Angel’s Game excels in edginess, a sensation that reminds me of another angel – Alan Parker’s 1987 film Angel Heart starring Mickey Rourke. The bizarre lifestyle of David Martìn is reminiscent of works by Burroughs.

Finishing this book I felt exhausted. Bereft - cheated even that something so powerful and addictive had been taken from me. I can honestly say that this is one of the most riveting and exciting novels I have ever read. Any fiction that can make me gasp out loud goes straight to the top of my list. Highly recommended.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Updates and News and... it's Spring!!!

It's been a while..., but fabulata - it's Spring at last. Some real heat in the old Sun God up there. Thanks matey.

Any old ways, what's been going on? I've subbed entries to The Brit Writers' Awards, the Fish One Page Story comp and a few online-to-print anthologies. Am waiting on all of them, but no time to hang around so am all ready for articles here and short stories there.

Interviewed the guy behind Eastbourne's Film Liasion Unit this week for an upcoming article - extraordinary dedication. Filming in Eastbourne brings thousands of visitors and pounds to the town - long may it continue.

One of the town's artists, Bryan Budd sadly passed away recently. His son Phillip has set up a website dedicated to Brian and to his artwork. The site also brings awareness about dementia and allows you to make a donation to help research and pay for medication for this very tragic illness.

This week sees the second issue of SQ (Student Quarterly) Zine. Find it in over 100 outlets across Eastbourne. The superbly produced A5 glossy is already up for an award. Lewis and Corey - well done - you deserve it.

Finally, last night - old modette that I am, I went to see Geno Washington & the Ram Jam band at Hailsham Pavilion. Geno was unbelievable. Extraordinary soul funk vocals, his energy is extraordinary. Much to my extreme pleasure he did 'Michael, the Lover' which I'm still playing after all these years, and dance around my kitchen to at least once a week. The song featured in my Sunday Express 'S' Magazine winning story 'Summer Breeze' last year. Read Summer Breeze here...

Enjoy the sunshine, raise your faces to the sky. And as Geno says, 'Thank you, baby, for the joy'.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Brit Writers' Awards etc

The deadline for the Brit Writers' Awards is up on Friday 26th Feb at 5pm.

So far, I have submitted two stories and have several more to add, plus a poetry collection, but their site seems to have crashed so maybe it's been overwhelmed with last-minute entries.

Lee Hughes very kindly told me about the Sword & Sorceress Anthology 25 so I have a fantasy piece all ready for that. Not allowed to submit until the 17th April though and they're very strict - don't want my knuckles rapped! Or worse, my story rejected because I was too keen and sent it too early.

Overall, I've been trying to get this year's competition calendar organised. I've got pieces ready to submit to some and ideas for others. I am determined to make 2010 the year I get paid for writing.

And then of course there's Bridport (quakes in shoes). I have no chance in hell, but you have to have a go, don't you. Good luck to everyone entering comps this year.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Filming Brighton Rock

I recently wrote the following article for Eastbourne Borough Council's staff newsletter, Sureline.

Last year, the remake of Brighton Rock was filmed in Eastbourne, facilitated by the council's Film Liaison Unit. The directors recruited hundreds of local people as extras, including several council staff. Read more...

Eastbourne Takes On Brighton Rock

by Michele Ranger

Oh, the glamour! Helen Mirren, John Hurt, Sam Riley. A-List stars – all in Eastbourne to film the remake of Graham Greene’s classic 1947 film noir, Brighton Rock. Originally written in 1938, Greene’s menacing tale of despair and social dissolution sees gang leader Pinkie Brown (played by Riley) ensnared by an underworld of crime and murder.

The insular antihero deliberately wins the heart of waitress, Rose (Andrea Risborough) who is attracted by the danger and charisma of the enigmatic, angry young man. But Pinkie has a cold heart; Rose holds vital information about a revenge killing - and by forcing Rose to marry him, Pinkie can stop her giving evidence. Chilling stuff.

This time round, director Rowan Joffe – co-writer of 2007’s horror 28 Weeks Later - has set the movie in the changing times of 1964. He chose Eastbourne rather than Brighton to shoot the seafront scenes because he felt the town had more charm than modern-day Brighton. So picture our lovely promenades, our beautiful beaches – awash with mods and rockers, and you’ll get the idea. Stylish guys in sharp suits and Parkas astride clean-lined Lambrettas; the girls riding pillion, bouffants and beehives held in place with the heaviest of lacquer.

But where would British favourite Pete Postlethwaite have been without EBC's own Andy Tourle? How would Andrea Risborough have coped without the Gowers in situ?

Andy, Alan Gower and his father Ian joined the hundreds of extras who were cast in the remake of the iconic film. SureLinetracked them down to find out about their experiences.

At the casting auditions, whilst the Gowers had to wait for 90 minutes to be seen, Andy said it felt more like ten days.

Extras were offered up to six days paid work. Alan became the traditional beach ice-cream seller, resplendent in white coat,shirt, tie and waistcoat. “They even gave me a string vest to wear!” Alan said. He was also offered the opportunity to play the Punch and Judy man, and was happy to show off his versatility.

Andy Tourle, a ‘background mod’ believes the director must have been impressed by his walk because he had to do it over and over again. He and huddles of fellow mods paraded up and down the pier – renamed the Palace Pier for the film. Andy was one of the lucky ones where costumes were concerned. In a grey, double-breasted ‘Beatle’ suit, slimline trousers and pointed shoes he looked – in his own words “almost cool.” Had he not been made to shave off his famous Supergrass sideburns, no doubt he would have looked totally cool.

Other extras sat for hours with their hair in rollers, wearing such glorious costumes as vivid green coats with blue and white polka dot linings or mid-calf length white dresses covered in flowers with beige shoes and stockings.

Laura Paul, though – a deckchair girl, wore her yellow striped dress with yellow cardigan and cream high heels quite happily. Ian Gower joined other ‘street people’, wandering up and down the prom past the pier. In flat cap, suit and brown overcoat he probably fared better against the chills and occasional rain than his son Alan.

Filming was also a family affair for Theatres Box Office Manager, Zoe Bourne who was cast as a ‘mother’ for three days, and actually performed alongside her own son. She even got to chat to Phil Davis – one of the original mods from 1979’s Quadrophenia. Phil recently appeared in ITV’s Collision and BBC2’s Desperate Romantics.

Sam Riley, the film’s main star was a hit with everyone. “He was very nice and talked to most people,” said Laura. “I saw him when he had got his make up done after a particular scene, and he explained to me why he had green around his eyes (for special effects).”


EBC's Events Co-ordinator Julie Paul pulled together a 90-strong team to help steward the filming, a feat of organisation. Julie’s colleague, Michella Wright and Tourism Assistant Jo Amess were part of the stewarding posse; despite the long days, Michella and Jo found the film’s crews and staff were really friendly. We were treated very well,” they said, “with plenty of free tea and bacon baps to keep us warm in the colder hours”.

In fact the quality and abundance of the catering was something both extras and stewards all enjoyed. But most importantly, everyone was impressed with the professionalism of the Director, the cast and the crew - including costume, hair and make-up staff.

As for ‘loveyness’, Andy Tourle found a few ‘lovey, darlings’ amongst the non-EBC extras, but not the main actors. In any case, he found himself under the wing of “a mad, fortune-telling gypsy”, an actress presumably, who regaled him with tales of dating the infamous Oliver Reed. Andy says he’s not been swayed by his acting experience though, and it’s still “rock and roll all the way.” We await the album Andy.

Economic Impact of Filming Brighton Rock

Brighton Rock brought more than half-a-million pounds into Eastbourne’s economy, with hundreds of filming staff and crew staying at our town’s hotels, eating out and using our local services. Additionally, there was also a potential boost for Eastbourne’s employment status as the film makers invited Sussex Downs College media unit students to work with various teams throughout the filming. The students have been encouraged to send their CVs into the film company.

Film Liaison Unit

The filming of Brighton Rock could not have taken place without the hard work of the council’s Film Liaison Unit, which co-ordinated everything from road closures and lighting to getting street furniture removed. The Unit helped the film company to select the best locations and also liaised with residents and businesses to ease the impact of filming.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Crime Writing Short Story Competition

Matt Hilton, author of the best-selling Joe Hunter series - Dead Men's Dust and Judgement and Wrath - is running a new writing comp to win a signed, first edition copy of his new book Slash and Burn.

Go to his blog, and my post on Lily Childs Feardom to find out more.

Good luck!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Dark Monarch - Art Exhibition at Towner, Eastbourne

A new, extraordinary exhibition hit Eastbourne yesterday.

The press release says:
The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in British Art
23 January – 21 March 2010

This group exhibition explores the influence of folklore, mysticism, mythology and the occult on the development of art in Britain. Focusing on works from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day it will consider, in particular, the relationship they have to the landscape and legends of the British Isles.

Taking its title from the infamous 1962 book by St Ives artist Sven Berlin, the exhibition features major loans from the Tate Collection, regional collections, lenders and artists, and will examine the development of early Modernism, Surrealism and Neo-Romanticism in the UK, as well as the reappearance of esoteric and arcane references in a significant strand of contemporary art practice.
We went along, by invitation, and were blown away. If you know us, you'll be aware how important this kind of collection is to us.

There were works by geniuses Austin Osman Spare and Graham Sutherland  as well as Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth, Bryan Wynter and Ithell Colquhoun, plus many more, including local artist Eric Ravilious.

We looked at the esoteric bookshelves that are part of the exhibition and almost had to check that our own library hadn't been invaded - which of course it hadn't because, sadly, we don't own first editions.

Towner were holding people back at the door, because they were at capacity. But once we were in, we fell in deep. The exhibition is on the ground and top floors. Much of it left an exquisite taste in our senses, bar a couple of contrived photographs and, sadly, Damien Hirst's Unicorn.

Well worth it. We're going to pay again, and probably again, to go back.

Go see it. Towner Eastbourne.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm; closed Mondays except Bank Holidays.

Admission to The Dark Monarch: £5.50 / £4 concessions / under 18s free. Admission to Towner and other exhibitions: free of charge.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

SQ - A new voice for Eastbourne's youth

I may not be a youth but I like talent and I like initiative, especially when it's different; even more so when it hails from my own home town of Eastbourne:

SQ - A Review

Talented teens Lewis Scrafton and Corey Pellatt are the masterminds behind SQ - Student Quarterly - a new, free zine aimed at informing and inspiring the youth of Eastbourne.

The A5 glossy is a remarkably quality publication with stunning photography. It makes anyone with an interest in music, art and style look twice. Professionally presented with eye-catching content, even the ads are inviting.

And then there are the articles. From interviews with the town's iconic internet phenomenon 'Big Dave' to exclusives from Hip Hop sensation Bashy and soul/reggae star Kevin Mark Trail, SQ is bursting with cover-to-cover reading.

This quarter's mag looks at education and employment choices, highlighting Bournemouth University, and contrasting the rise of a career-minded BBC runner/director with a hard-hitting story from a young man who makes his living dealing on the streets.

With what promise to be regular features, there are reviews on everything from albums to BlackBerrys, chicken bites to rip-off coffee. The news snaps are short and sharp, and include some welcome rants.

SQ is the new voice of Eastbourne, and it has a great future. Scrafton and Pellatt should be proud.
Find SQ in various outlets and colleges across town.

Online at: | |