Sunday, March 4, 2018

Why has it all gone quiet at The Westerman Yarns?

Well, it has been quite a while since this blog has been updated.  To use the words of Daniel Handler, we have had 'A Series of Unfortunate Events'.  However, I am now back at the desk and ready to receive correspondence, borders and anything else you want to throw at me.

I have decided not to have any more Westerman Seminar events for the foreseeable future; that's not to say 'never', but I need a bit of a rest for research without deadlines and, in addition, I believe that the seminar was beginning to lose some its sparkle.  I hope to stage some Ripping Yarns, one-off literature events later, so keep watching this site.  If you are already on the Westerman Yarns mailing list you will hear from me directly when anything interesting or exciting is planned.

The Westerman Yarns Newsletter will rise again, but as an occasional publication in a new format, covering much more than single author focus and with a much wider, expanded area of interest.  If you have a particular interest in historical children's literature and want to see your name in lights- or at least, in print, please send me anything for consideration.  In return you will get a complimentary copy of the publication and an option to buy further copies at cost.

What am I doing at the moment I hear you ask?  Well apart from working on a commemoration project to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of John Keats, I have temporarily moved my allegiances to work on Dr William Gordon-Stables and Sarah Doudney, 
There will, this year, be an updated and amended version of the Percy F. Westerman biography - another work in progress,  along with publication of some of Percy F. Westerman's sailing logs with photographs taken by PFW.  If you have any information that you feel could be of value, please contact me.

I am giving a couple of talks this year.  The first is at The Elms in Bedhampton on Tuesday 17 April at 7pm and entitled One of the Boys and Something for the Girls. This will be an  illustrated potted history of The Boy's Own Paper and The Girl's Own Paper.  Tickets for this evening are £3.50 each available from 023 9237 5594.

The second is an updated version of the Percy F. Westerman story for the Portsdown U3A at The Link in Havant Road, Portsmouth.on Wednesday 18 July at 2pm.  Please contact Portsdown U3A for information.

Good book hunting everyone.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Haunted Harbour and other Ripping Yarns

On Saturday 27 August at 6.30pm I will be in Gosport at the Diving Museum to give a talk about Percy F. Westerman and a rare showing of the silent film Haunted Harbour. The film was made by the Walsall Sea Scouts during a ten day camping trip to Anglesey on August Bank Holiday 1935.  I will tell the story of the film that is tantalisingly advertised on the dust wrapper of the first edition of the book Haunted Harbour in 1937 and its loss and remarkable rediscovery in 2011.

The film is a wonderful glimpse into a creative and resourceful Sea Scout groups interpretation of a great Westerman adventure; the only one to make to the "big" screen.

Tickets including refreshments are £6.00 each.

The Diving Museum
No.2 Battery
Stokes Bay Road
PO12 2QU

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Percy F. Westerman at Fareham

Percy F. Westerman will be sailing in to Westbury Manor Museum on Saturday 19 March at 10.00am.
Discover why Fareham was so important to Percy Westerman.

Admission is free.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Celebration of The Boy’s Own Paper at The Annual Westerman Seminar

The 2016 Annual Westerman Seminar is now only a matter of a few weeks away. The seminar from 10am until 4pm on Saturday 13 February at The Memorial Library, Portsmouth Grammar School is sixth seminar dedicated to the life and works of Percy F. Westerman, the Portsmouth born writer of children’s adventure stories and his contemporaries. The theme of this years seminar is The Boy’s Own Paper, an iconic title that survived without change from the very first issue published in January, 1879 until its final disappearance from the newsagents shelves 88 years later in February, 1967. ‘Whatever boys do makes up the mixture of this little book’ was the translation of the latin slogan (Quicquid agunt pueri nostril libelli farrago) which the famous Boy’s Own Paper used to win over generations of young readers. The weekly paper was a clever blend of exciting fiction, from writers that included Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne and Portsmouth’s very own Percy F. Westerman, bolstered with articles covering new science, technology, history, crafts and sports

This very friendly and informative seminar organised by the Portsmouth based Westerman Yarns organisation, includes sessions on Arthur Conan Doyle, George A. Henty, Dr Gordon Stables and of course Percy F. Westerman, all of whom contributed to The Boy’s Own Paper story. In addition there will be displays from the Conan Doyle Collection (Portsmouth Museums Service), The Research Collections of the University of Worcester, some rare BOP editions on loan from various private collections and a selection of antiquarian and rare children’s books for sale.

Places at the seminar are £17.50 including all refreshments and a buffet lunch. Advanced booking is advised by contacting Nigel Gossop at The Westerman Yarns. Telephone: 023 92 37 55 94 or email:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Westerman Yarns Newsletter Issue 6

The latest edition of The Westerman Yarns Newsletter has just hit the inboxes of our Friends and the feedback is all good.  Very many thanks for your responses, it is good to know that we are getting it right.  The pdf versions remain free of charge. To get yours simply click on the Friends of The Westerman Yarns link in the right-hand panel and complete the rather clumsy on-line form.

The paper copies are going out to subscribers this weekend.  These are £5.00 each inclusive of UK postage and packing.

All of the back issues are available priced at £3.50 each. Please contact us for postage and packing costs before placing an order.