Community market fast approaching


Annie Hobell writes to warn us that the next community market will take place at Upton Community Centre on 15 June. She’s looking for donations for the tombola or white elephant and you only have to look at the photo to see how popular the last event was: no hope of getting your motor into the car park.




There’s nothing quite like recycling other folk’s junk. Here’s a picture of part of Upton Eyes’ garden to prove the point.

If you have anything you can contribute – to the market, not my garden – or if you can spare an hour or two to help, please contact Annie:

Tel. 01202 280 942


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Upton Story Slam

Members of Dorset’s literati converged on the library yesterday evening for the first ever story slam initiated and organised by F4UL. In a county famed for its authors – Thomas Hardy, Enid Blyton, T.E.Lawrence and Adrian Ford to name a few – events that offer a chance for aspiring writers to showcase their work are surprisingly few and far between. F4UL, therefore, will quite rightly be revelling in the praise of esteemed critics that must surely appear in this morning’s national and international press reviews.

DSCF4527We were privileged to boast the presence of two very busy people who agreed to judge the contest. Local author, Pam Fudge, has a long pedigree of published works: her tenth novel will appear in July. Dr Jim Pope has a diverse range of publications and is currently Director of the International New Media Writing Competition. Never let it be said that F4UL goes for anything other than the best.

DSCF4528Speaking of the best, we were also lucky enough to secure the services of the inimitable John Barclay who acted as Master of Ceremonies throughout the event. John explained that the entrants would read a story they had written, taking no more than five minutes. Councillor Burns was commandeered to act as time keeper, being in possession of a rather nasty buzzing device on his mobile phone; a task which he performed with much vigour.

The audience also enjoyed Mr Barclay’s rendition of a humorous poem and a reading from his new book, Surface Male, a copy of which he generously presented to the library.

So, now dear readers, I offer you the contestants. If you were unable to attend the event, see if you can guess the winner.



Richard Green

(Upton Eyes was a little alarmed on hearing this contestant announced having once had the misfortune to be married to someone of the same name. However, this Richard could spin a yarn. Although, come to think of it, so could the one I knew.)




Mike Lawrence





Frances Colville






Richard Nicholson







Anne Peterson





Adrian Ford





Maria Pruden-Medus




Jenny Piercy










Kathy Hallsworth and

Gail Aldwin.










A further story written by Bob Hitching was read by Councillor Drane.

And the winner is……………………..




… No – Wait! here’s Jim Pope telling us how brilliantly constructed all the stories were and how enjoyable but tricky the judges’ task had been.

The stories were judged on whether they had a good beginning, how well they’d been structured and the quality of the delivery – because a story slam is about performance.


The runner-up was Maria Pruden-Medus and the winner is………………….





Frances Colville for her beautiful story Merman. Here’s Frances with Pam who not only awarded our worthy winner a handy cheque but also gave her some sound advice on where to get Merman published.






Many congratulations to all the contestants and particularly the winners, grateful thanks to the judges and MC and a big pat on the back to F4UL for a most excellent evening.

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Ask not what Upton can do for you…

… just open your eyes!

DSCF4455It’s true that Upton Eyes has been a bit quiet lately. I like to think of it as losing the muse. Others might call it sulking. This writing business is a tricky thing: it’s bad enough choosing a lonely occupation but when it’s cold and wet and dismal and you think no-one’s reading your work anyway – well, what’s the point?



Not only that, I’ve been otherwise occupied proof reading a Masters thesis on advanced computing written by a Chinese person with limited written English skills. In all fairness, his English is better than my Chinese but it’s still enough to make a person want to watch paint dry for a laugh.




Speaking of which, Upton Eyes has also been busy applying copious amounts of red paint to a bargain patio set recently purchased from that first class emporium, eBay; and refurbishing various wooden ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ bought at local boot sales after careful negotiation.






Anyway, two things occurred which have nudged Upton Eyes back towards the writing machine. First, there have been a number of missives from local author, Adrian Ford, who has published a new book of poetry & prose called ‘Vapour Trails’ as a paperback and also on Kindle via Amazon. Adrian’s such a fervent supporter of the blog that guilt kicked in.





Secondly, Upton Eyes was driving home from the day job today and spotted an infamous local councillor doing his reknowned David Bailey impression close to some of these fantastic flower beds that various altruistic Uptonites have gently reared for your delectation. It’s no good Ron, that false beard doesn’t fool me.





So, inspired by these two stalwarts of our community, and the lovely flower displays that you can see from your place in the tea-time traffic jam at the roundabouts, Upton Eyes felt it only right and proper to make a bit of an effort.



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Down at the library

jpope_thumbnailUpton Eyes was invited to a committee meeting of F4UL at the library tonight. It was an auspicious occasion: other guests included Jim Pope, Pam Fudge and John Barclay. These three, comprising published writers, judges and MC at the forthcoming Story Slam on 23 May, warranted tea and biscuits which gives you some idea of the magnitude of the event. Posters have been distributed but, if you’ve missed the details, and think you can write and perform a short story in 5 minutes – about 760 words – please register your interest at the library. There will be further refreshments on the evening, prizes, publication and entertainment of the highest qualitypam2johnbarclay2011x150.

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An Upton author

adrians wifeUpton author, Judith Ford and Kay Steventon, (second and third left) receiving framed copies of the covers of their recently published booklet ‘Will Scott and Herne Bay’ (Herne Bay Historical Records Society, Herne Bay Past Series – No.9). Mike Bundock (right) is the editor of the publication; the gentleman on the left, the NBHRS spokesperson. The authors are Will Scott’s granddaughters.

Thanks to Adrian Ford for this interesting item. If you would like to know more about Will Scott follow this link
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Thanks to Annie Hobell who has sent us due warning of an interesting event at the community centre on 2 March.

Please click on the poster to enlarge and access full details

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One table left

tableThe Lytchett & Upton Community Association will be holding a table-top sale on 23 February at the community centre. There is still one table available to a potential vendor. Please telephone Peter Grey, on 01929 550766 if you’re interested.

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