Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Annual Westerman Seminar 2015

 The Ripping Yarns Literature Day
A special day of talks and presentations celebrating the life and works of Percy F. Westerman, his contemporaries and the 'golden age' of adventure writing for children

Saturday 14 February
10am  -  4pm

 The Memorial Library
The Portsmouth Grammar School

 A full programme of talks, discussions and displays


Whatever next: an update on new research into Percy F. Westerman
by Nigel Gossop

Biggles and the Hun: Learning to fly, quickly!
by Alan Blatchly

Living Together Again: a look at three books all set , Back Home, Cuckoo in the Nest and A Spoonful of Jam.  These books are set in 1945 and 1947.
by Michelle Magorian

The Black and Grey: Children's Fiction of the Two World Wars.
by Dennis Butts

Diving for Treasure: the real pioneering science of deep-sea diving.
by Dr John Bevan

Westerman and the Great War: Fact and Fiction.
by Nigel Gossop
Places at the seminar are £15.00 and include a buffet lunch.  To book, please contact The Westerman Yarns:
email. or Tel: 023 92 37 55 94.

 We are only a 10 minute walk from Portsmouth Harbour Station and free parking on site

Portsmouth Welcomes Home the Forgotten Author

Percy F. Westerman celebrated in his home city of Portsmouth with an exhibition at the Portsmouth History Centre in the Central Library.

The exhibition ‘Ripping Yarns’ and the Tale of the Forgotten Author charts the life and works of Portsmouth born children’s adventure writer Percy F. Westerman. 

Portsmouth promotes itself as ‘The Home of Great Writing’ and Westerman’s contribution was significant, but this is the first time our touring exhibition has been shown in his home city.

Nigel Gossop, the founder of The Westerman Yarns said “I am delighted that the Portsmouth History Centre have chosen to host this exhibition; this is a wonderful opportunity to show Westerman’s work to a wider audience.  Percy loved Portsmouth and often used it as a location in his books.”

The exhibition dates are from Monday 5 January until Monday 2 February, 2015.   Opening hours will follow Portsmouth History Centre normal opening hours, please check their website for details.

There will be a talk entitled A Lifetime of Writing Adventures at 11am in the Doyle Room at the Portsmouth History Centre on Tuesday 20 January at 11am.  Admission to the talk is free, but advanced booking is advised and can be made through any Portsmouth City Council library.

The Portsmouth History Centre
Central Library
Guildhall Square

In addition, Cosham Library is hosting a ‘one-day only’ exhibition Westerman’s Great War Adventures on Friday 23 January from 10am – 4pm with a talk entitled Fact and Fiction, Stories from the Great War at 2.30pm.  Admission to the talk is free, but advanced booking is advised and can be made through any Portsmouth City Council library.

Cosham Library
Spur Rd,

If you are planning a group visit to the 'Ripping Yarns' and the Tale of the Forgotten Author exhibition, I am happy to meet with groups for a short presentation/talk.  Please contact the Portsmouth History Centre who will be happy to arrange this.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Westerman Yarns Newsletter

The next edition of the Westerman Yarns Newsletter will be sent out very soon.  To be sure of getting yours, join the Friends of The Westerman Yarns by following the link in the right-hand column.  There are no fees or subscriptions to pay and your details will not be shared or sold to any other organisation.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The new Westerman panel in Wareham

Michael Spilman (left) and Eric Axford (right) performing the dedication

Thank you to everyone who attended the dedication of the new visitor interpretation panel on the River Frome at Redcliffe, Wareham, marking the position of Percy F. Westerman’s iconic houseboat home ‘The Barge’.
The new visitor interpretation panel on the River Frome - close to
 the Redclyffe Yacht Club

A full write-up of the dedication event will feature in the
November edition of The Westerman Yarns Newsletter.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dedicated to Percy F. Westerman

On Wednesday 23 July, 2014 at 2.30pm, we would love to see as many people as possible at the dedication of a new visitor interpretation panel in memory of Percy F. Westerman.  The panel has been installed alongside the River Frome close the Redclyffe Yacht Club at Wareham which was founded by Percy and who was their first commodore.

The panel marks the position of Percy F. Westerman's iconic houseboat home 'The Barge' and details a little of the life of this extraordinary writer of more than 170 adventure stories for children. 

The panel has been arranged by The Westerman Yarns in partnership with the
Wareham and District Development Trust with sponsorship from Arne Parish Council, Purbeck Mobility, Redclyffe Yacht Club, Viridor Credits and Wareham Town Council.

Our thanks also to Nigel Barnes (Redclyffe Farm), Dorset County Council Rights of Way and the Environment Agency for their kind support with this project.
The dedication will be performed by Wareham residents Eric Axford and Michael Spillman who both knew Percy and his wife Florence and who have supported the interpretation panel project from the start.

The Redclyffe Yacht Club is about a 10 minute walk from the South Bridge at Wareham. Start your walk from the south side of the river, opposite the Old Granary public house.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Westerman Exhibition opens at Emsworth Museum

The exhibition currently on display at Emsworth Museum is the first time 'The Westerman Yarns' have staged a complete exhibition with books and ephemera, celebrating the life and works of the prolific writer of children's adventure stories, Percy F. Westerman.  The exhibition reflects his fifty year story writing career, illustrating how his interest in history and the Hampshire and West Sussex area, influenced and shaped his early writing.

I am grateful to everyone at Emsworth Museum for their kindness and generosity in hosting the exhibition.  James Priory, Headmaster of Portsmouth Grammar School opened the exhibition and in his address made reference to the school pride in having Percy F. Westerman as an 'Old Portmuthian'.

Left to right: Tony Stimson, Chairman - Emsworth Maritime and Historical Trust; Nigel Gossop, The Westerman Yarns; James Priory, Headmaster of Portsmouth Grammar School.

Photo: John Tweddell

Monday, February 24, 2014

Percy F. Westerman on Show

The Westerman Yarns touring exhibition will be on display in April at the Emsworth Museum.  If you have not seen the exhibition yet, try and find a weekend to visit. You won't be disappointed.

Emsworth is a lovely south coast town tucked away in the south east corner of Hampshire on the shore of Chichester Harbour. This is Westerman country; Percy loved the waters around Emsworth and wrote about them for yachting periodicals.  The photograph of the Emsworth Regatta was taken by Percy in 1904.

There are plenty of nice places to eat including my favourite cafe Driftwood – great cake selection!

‘Ripping Yarns’ and the Tale of the Forgotten Author

Admission to Emsworth Museum is free and the exhibition and the museum is open - weekends and bank holidays
Saturday 5th April 10.30am - 4.30pm
Sunday 6th April 2.30pm - 4.30pm
Saturday 12th April 10.30am - 4.30pm
Sunday 13th April 2.30pm -4.30pm
Saturday 19th April 10.30am - 4.30pm
Sunday 20th April 2.30pm - 4.30pm
Monday 21st April (Easter Monday) 10.30am - 4.30pm
Wednesday 23rd April (St George's Day) 10.00am - 2.00pm

Mid week school visits by arrangement.
Contact: Museum Administrator: 01243 378 091

10b North Street
PO10 7DD

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Westerman Seminar 2014 on tour

Plans for the fourth annual Westerman Seminar are almost complete.  The big change for this year is that, for this year only, we are moving destination from our established home at Portsmouth Grammar School to Wareham where Percy F. Westerman spent his last forty years, living and writing his exciting tales of derring-do for generations of young readers from his floating houseboat home ‘The Barge’ moored alongside the River Frome.

The seminar will be held in the Wareham Town Council Chamber.  As usual we will have a full programme of interesting talks from speakers including Dennis Butts, Dr Rachel Johnson and Michael Spilman.  In the afternoon we will take a short stroll from the Town Hall to the Redclyffe Yacht Club founded by Percy F. Westerman for an opportunity to view the exhibition ‘Ripping Yarns’ and the Tale of the Forgotten Author and to visit the spot where his iconic home 'The Barge' was moored. 

For the third consecutive year we have kept the ticket price at £15.00 and as usual registration will include refreshments and a light buffet lunch.   There will be plenty of opportunity to network with other delegates and to see some Westerman related material from collections including The Westerman Yarns, the University of Worcester Research Collections and some of the Percy F. Westerman books held at Wareham Library Reference Section.

Please email for booking information.