Wednesday, 27 February 2013

What next for Essex? From Essex Man to Towie and Beyond

Blimey. Essex is now a subject of learned debate. What Next For Essex: From Essex Man to TOWIE – And Beyond is a panel debate held as part of the Essex Book Festival in Brentwood on March 15. The speakers are bestselling novelist Martina Cole; the Daily Mail's Simon Heffer, who coined the term Essex Man; head teacher Vic Goddard  (Channel 4's Educating Essex); Brentwood Gazette editor Neville Wilson; and University of Essex researcher on place and social class in Essex, James Scott. It's chaired by Oxygen Books publisher Malcolm Burgess, and is set to be a festival highlight.

What Next For Essex? is at The Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School on Friday 15 March at 7pm. Tickets £5, conc £4. To book call the box office on 01206 573948.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Essex trivia # 7 Matt Smith's Doctor lodged in Colchester

Colchester attracted a Timelord in Doctor Who. Matt Smith’s Doctor rooms with James Corden’s Craig Owens in a 2010 story entitled The Lodger. In the later episode Closing Time the Doctor and James Corden are mistaken for gay dads, in what must surely be Williams & Griffin department store. The Doctor and Craig also see Amy and Rory out shopping at Williams & Griffin and presumably happily living out their post-Tardis days in Essex. Meanwhile there was a crashed cyberman spacecraft underneath the store and the cybermen were having to rebuild themselves with bits of Essex men and women and possibly some old Roman septaria too.

All facts are from Pete May's new book The Joy of Essex (Robson Press).

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Joy of Essex in the Independent

The Joy of Essex has been reviewed in The Independent by Tom Cox. Mentions for Paul Simon wanting to be homeward bound for Brentwood, the Secret Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch, the tanning both at Harlow station and Miss Willmott's garden at Warley Place, which can't be bad. Click on the link to read…

Friday, 1 February 2013

Tom Driberg and the Joy of Es(sex)

A free copy of The Joy of Essex is on its way to Dominic in Oxfordshire for enlightening me about the sex life of Tom Driberg MP and Jonathan Meades' esoteric closing line about Essex being a "voracious sump inhabited by an eternal mutating Driberg". Dominic, whose mum once camped at Driberg's mansion with Barking Labour Party, writes: 

"Yes that last line was a bit odd, wasn't it...? Driberg was MP for Barking as well, and lived up near Bradwell (frequently inviting local members of the Barking labour party, and others, to stay.). "Wild promiscuity" is probably the no 1 thing I'd associate with him - and he was quite open, even shamless about this, (well, flamboyant homosexuality and showy Anglo-Catholicism too) - so, excluding the homosexuality (and religion) thing, I suspect the point was a dig at the Essex stereotype of slappers in Romford/Basildon nightclubs, etc."

I'm still not sure about the word "spermophage" that Meade used to describe Driberg, but if you type it into Google, the search engine suggests some dodgy-looking porn sites… best not go there.