Month: March 2015


Remember I spoke to the Sprowston History Group some months ago?  The local community magazine, Just Sprowston, March edition have just published an article with photos about my presentation and book….. the first ‘proper’ piece of printed publicity.  Thanks to the editor.

Just Sprowston mag March 2015


This week I am travelling all around North America with Joe Stirling.  As I write up the fascinating and detailed conversations with him as he shared memories of the twenty-one Lions Conventions he visited during the 1970s and 80s, not only as a colleague but also as travel arranger and guide, I feel I am in the great cities – San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas, Mexico City.  But I only have one photo to share, which will feature in the book, of Joe heading up the British contingent in the Grand Opening Parade in Montreal in the summer of 1979.  As for my progress with Escaping Hitler: photos now back from the photoshop, all scanned onto a stick in high resolution, a good friend is preparing a family tree and a map is being designed at the publishers.  I am up to over 76,000 words with six weeks to go.  THIS WILL HAPPEN.  It just needs some application and determination – no problem then!!

Joe leads the British delegation!
Joe leads the British delegation!


Every day I am finding myself learning about something completely different to that of the previous day.  This week is it all about Joe Stirling’s organised trips to America for the Lions International Conventions in America during the 1970s.  In 1973 following the Miami Convention he took a group to Walt Disney World in Orlando, established for only two years.  The Magic Kingdom, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square to name just a few of the attractions.  For those not fortunate enough to have visited Disneyland in California following the Las Vegas Convention in 1971, Joe’s first, would have found it mind-blowing, very different to back home in Norwich.  The words keep coming, just 15,000 and five decades to go, six weeks to complete….. Escaping Hitler is coming together.

Walt Disney World brochure 1973


Joe and I shared a platform again this morning (no, not at Norwich station).  We spoke together for the Norfolk Out and About Club (for over 55s) in the beautiful Methodist Church on Chaplefield in Norwich.  There were no less than 85 members there – the biggest crowd I have yet spoken to –  and each one hung on his every word as he described how he developed Stirling Holidays from 1955 onwards.  I added in some stuff about meeting Joe, researching the book, finding a publisher in Pen and Sword Books and now completing the draft of the book.  We had a lot of fun with the lovely people there, many of whom came up to Joe and me afterwards with stories from their past that connected with aspects of Joe’s life.

Oh, and when I got home there is an email from my publisher asking me to commit to a delivery date.  I am prepared to go public on this – I have opted for 24th April.  Wish me luck…..

Venue for our talk to the Out and About Club
Venue for our talk to the Out and About Club