Tag: Norwich

Joe Stirling meets Prince Philip in 1975

On the sad occasion of the death of The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, I would love to share this story about his visit to Norwich in July 1975 as it appears in my first book Escaping Hitler (published by Pen and Sword Books in 2016).

The crowds lined the streets of Norwich early on the morning of Tuesday,

1 July. Joe had recovered from the worst of the jet lag and looked forward to

wearing the Sheriff’s chain again, this time in the presence of Prince Philip,

Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke was visiting Norwich to inspect an awardwinning

conservation scheme dubbed ‘Heritage-Over-The-Wensum’. At

Thorpe Road Railway Station, Joyce in her Mayoral chain was part of the

welcome committee, on this occasion obliged to defer to the Lord Lieutenant

of Norfolk, Sir Edmund Bacon as first citizen of the City. This pushed the

Sheriff into third place in the hierarchy that day. The Duke’s first engagement

was to climb aboard a steam launch, moored at the Norwich Yacht Station, aptly

named The Princess Margaret. As the Royal party reached Fishergate, a specially

commissioned fanfare sounded from musicians on Fye Bridge. Cheering

schoolchildren, factory and office workers vied for a glimpse of the special visitor.

The landlord of the Woolpack pub in Muspole Street welcomed the Duke

to his recently redecorated establishment, serving him with a tomato juice,

presumably without the vodka. As he passed along St George’s Street, students

from Norwich Art School showered the party with ticker tape, worrying the

Special Branch bodyguards. As the Duke prepared to enter Blackfriars for a

sherry and buffet lunch, it was Joe and Jean’s turn to shake his hand. Once the

feasting was over, the Duke presented the city with the conservation award. He

had spent the previous night aboard the Royal Train in sidings outside Norwich

Station. During his speech he was less than complimentary about the view of

the city’s industrial area, visible from his carriage. A number of assembled

dignitaries and guests squirmed a little at what appeared to be unwelcome

criticism. At precisely two o’clock the Duke climbed into the pilot’s seat of a

helicopter of The Queen’s Flight and flew to King’s Lynn in the north of the

county for further engagements. Joe had fulfilled his second official task as

Sheriff.

REVIEW OF 2019 Presentations about Escaping Hitler & Lady Lord Mayors

On Thursday last, 21st November I gave my final talk of 2019, sharing stories from the remarkable life of Joe Stirling with the members of Horsham St Faith’s Ladies’ Group.  It was a splendid evening in the historic Mission Hall and the ladies were generous in buying copies as Christmas presents.

Having just reviewed the success of 2019, I can reveal the following statistics for the year:

55 talks in total around Norfolk (Many to members of Women’s Institutes)

24 concerning Escaping Hitler (Pen and Sword Books 2016)

28 about my second book, The Lady Lord Mayors of Norwich 1923-2017 (Pen and Sword Books 2018)

2 ‘When the Past Collides with the Present’, covering research findings from writing both books.

Total Sales following talks:

114 Escaping Hitler

98 Lady Lord Mayors

This is remarkable and looking forward I can report that I currently have 37 talks in the diary for 2020, and 5 for 2021!  I am so grateful for the continuing interest in both my books and for the many evenings and afternoons spent in community halls, church halls and hotel dining rooms over this past year.  My highlights must include speaking at the Time and Tide Museum and the Royal Assembly Rooms, both in Great Yarmouth,  Norwich Castle Museum, the Noverre Suite at the Assembly House in Norwich, Fakenham Racecourse and How Hill near Ludham. Always good company, sometimes tea & cake (or even lunch!) and always a great reaction!  And my thanks go to my followers on WordPress and Facebook for their loyalty and interest.  MAY I WISH YOU ALL A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON. Phyllida Scrivens, Norwich, UK.

New illustrated presentation from Phyllida Scrivens launched in Norwich

Last Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, I was excited to launch my brand new talk.  I spoke to the members of the popular Out & About Club, a social Club for the over 50s, held at the Congregational Church on Chaplefield, Norwich.  Joe and I have many friends there as we have spoken about his life on two occasions, and last year I delivered my Lady Lord Mayor’s presentation.

This new talk is called ‘When the Past Collides with the Present: remarkable true stories of coincidence, luck and fate while researching biography in the modern age.’

I include those ‘behind the scenes’ stories discovered while researching for Escaping Hitler, The Lady Lord Mayors of Norwich and other biographical work.  I show original photographs (some shown here), all illustrating personal moments of “Can this really be happening?”, “Where did you find that?” and “Are you sure that is true?”   As a biographer, I find that once you put yourself and your discoveries ‘out there’, people come back to you, generously offering finer details, corrections, fragments of stories to add to your research, people you thought you would never reach. The unexpected connections, many because of our wonderful research tool, the internet.

The talk seemed to go down well.  I look forward to sharing it further with other Norfolk groups, such as the Women’s Institute, History Groups etc., starting with the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth on 1st March.

http://www.events.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/public_events.aspx?id=5605

Maybe join me there?

 

 

Happy Birthday Günter/Joe!

Today, 18th October 2018, Joe Stirling (born Günter Stern), the subject of my biography Escaping Hitler, is 94 years old.  I called in to his home in the Unthank Road Norwich this morning to give him his card and found to my delight that he had visitors – his nephew Paul Skitmore and his wife Sarah. (Paul features in the book as a child)  Joe, although tired, was on top form.  Tonight, instead of accompanying me to speak about his life to the good ladies of Thorpe End W.I. in Norwich, he will be dining out in the city with members of his close family.  I wish him a happy birthday evening.

Joe and me with his birthday cards!

Reminder of the Come Yew In performance in Norwich Summer 2016

With the sun shining in Norwich, England, I am reminded of the wonderful summer’s afternoon I spent in the Norwich Castle Gardens in 2016, watching an energetic and inspiring performance of the unique community play ‘Come Yew In’.  Within the many stories of Norwich history told that day, it was the segment that retold Joe’s story in just a few moments that I had been waiting for.  Using words from my book Escaping Hitler the talented performers paid tribute to Joe.  I have posted this film before but I thought it worth another viewing.

Norwich Civic Association St George’s Day Dinner with Joe Stirling in attendance.

As a former Sheriff of Norwich (1975-6) Joe Stirling, the star of Escaping Hitler: A Jewish Boy’s Quest for Freedom and His Future (Pen and Sword Books 2016), was naturally invited to the annual black-tie dinner of the Norwich Civic Association.  This year I was also invited as the after-dinner speaker, to speak about my new book The Lady Lord Mayors of Norwich 1923-2017 (Pen and Sword Books, 2018).  It was an honour and a privilege to address this most knowledgable of audiences!  All seemed to go well and Joe enjoyed his evening immensely.  Victor and I are now taking a well earned break for a couple of weeks.  Back with more updates on Joe soon.

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Phyllida and Joe at Civic Association Dinner, 23rd April 2018

ESCAPING HITLER FOR CHRISTMAS!

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I don’t think I can ignore CHRISTMAS any longer!!!  If you are considering gifts for the relative or friend who has everything, or someone who loves to read, especially if they are or have been Norwich residents, then Joe Stirling’s biography should be well received….  you can order a hardback copy, signed by both author and subject direct from me by contacting me at phyllida.scrivens@icloud.com.  I can take credit and debit payments on the telephone and I will package the book up safely, mailing it out by first class post.  The price is £19.50 plus £4 postage and packing.  I look forward to hearing from you! PLEASE SHARE!!joe-stirling-2

Joe’s wedding day featured in Wedding Exhibition in Attleborough

I was delighted and honoured when Attleborough Heritage Group asked me to provide photographs and text for its exhibition on 28th October showcasing nuptial memorabilia and gowns from weddings held in St Mary’s Church Attleborough during the past seven decades.  These were displayed in St Mary’s while  the church hall hosted a Wedding Fair.  During the evening there was an illustrated talk from the archive and records of AHG with a buffet supper.  Many thanks to them for including Joe and Jean’s story.  Here is the poster they produced along with the appropriate extract from Escaping Hitler.

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Happy 93rd Birthday Joe Stirling!

Today is Joe’s 93rd birthday.  I called into his home to take him some chocolates (he is a self-confessed chocoholic) and found him in good form, looking forward to a family dinner tonight at an undisclosed location.  Wishing to record the moment I tried some selfies.  Why is it that I can never make them work like the youngsters do?!  But undeterred I carried on and I think these might make you smile!

Incredible list of speaking engagements for Escaping Hitler 2016 & 2017

 

LT-Escaping Hitler Feb 17 (10)

 

Mindful that in early November Joe and I will be undertaking our final speaking engagement of 2017, to the good ladies of the Hopton-on-Sea Women’s Institute, I thought I would take a look through our visits since Escaping Hitler was published in January 2016.  I was amazed at the number of groups I/we have spoken to, resulting in nearly 300 signed books sold following the talks.  If you then add in sales directly from book exhibitions and individual readers approaching me online or via the telephone, total direct sales amount to 891 and counting!  Unbelievable.  I thought you might be interested in seeing the list of talks, the vast majority of which were in Norwich and surrounding area. (Photo taken at Norfolk Record Office on 8th February 2017) Thanks to all those who have invited us.  We  already have 11 dates in the diary for 2018!

ESCAPING HITLER 64 Speaking Engagements in Norfolk and beyond during 2016 and 2017

 

Norwich Ladies Luncheon Club
Old Catton Women’s Institute
Official Launch at Jarrolds Department Store, Norwich
Norwich Synagogue
Belton Women’s Institute
Norwich North Liberal Democrats
Norwich Chamber Music Club
Wymondham Heritage Society
The Norfolk Club
Norwich Community History Group
Out and about Club
Mercedes Benz Owners Club evening
Walsingham Historical Society
East Anglia Women Networking Group
Brooke Women’s Institute
Lions International Regional Conference, Colchester
Sunday Assembly, Norwich
Association of Jewish Refugees
Mid Norfolk Family History Society
Rotary Club of Norwich St Edmund
Attleborough Public Library
Koblenz Federal Archive, Rhineland
The village of Nickenich, Rhineland
Great Hospital Group
Townswomen Guild Central Norwich Group
Mulbarton Words Week
Townwomen’s Guild Eaton Group
East Anglia Festival of Culture, Lowestoft
Wymondham British Legion
Recycled Teenagers Group
Norwich Business Women’s Network
Norwich Inter-faith Group
Liberal Democrat Regional Conference
Time Travellers Meeting, Heritage Centre, Forum
Sprowston History Group
Norwich Lunchtime Women’s Institute
Bure School, Aylsham
Norwich Ladies Luncheon Club
UEA Retirement Group
Paston College, North Walsham
Norwich Labour Party History Group
The Norwich School
Norfolk Record Office
Aylsham Library
Vale Probus Club Ladies’ Lunch
Koblenz Norwich Friendship Society AGM
Unison Trade Union Retired Members Norfolk Branch
Wymondham Sixth Form College
Salvation Army Ladies’ Fellowship
Mid Norfolk Family History Society
Civil Service Retirement Fellowship
Easton Women’s Institute
Maddermarket Theatre for Performance of Kindertransport
Beccles Probus Club
Lakenham Townswomen’s Guild
Catton Townswomen’s Guild
Mileham W.I. Near King’s Lynn
Holt Women’s Institute
Thetford Society
Get Together Group Norwich Theatre Royal
Brooklands Care Home, Taverham
The Probus Club of Wymondham and District

Broadland Housing Association, Dereham

Cringleford W.I.