Meet bestselling author, Simon Scarrrow.

Tuesday 31st May 7.00 – 8.30pm

Come and hear Simon Scarrow talk about his writing career and his most recent book ‘Hearts of Stone’.


Simon Scarrow is a Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author. After a childhood spent travelling the world, he pursued his great love of history as a teacher, before becoming a full-time writer. His Roman soldier heroes Cato and Macro made their debut in 2000 in ‘Under the Eagle’, and have subsequently appeared in many bestsellers in the Eagles of the Empire series. These books follow the exploits of centurions Macro and Cato across the Roman Empire – most recently in Britain holding the line against the native tribes under Kings like Caratacus and inspired by the legendary Druids.

Hearts of Stone is a powerful new novel bringing to vivid life the fierce courage of the men and women of the Greek resistance during World War Two.


1938. A perfect summer on the Greek island of Lefkas for three young people untroubled by the simmering politics of Europe. Peter, visiting from Germany while his father leads an archaeological dig, has become close friends with locals Andreas and Eleni. As the world slides towards conflict and Peter is forced to leave, they swear to meet again.

1943: Andreas and Eleni have joined the partisan forces resisting the German invasion. Peter has returned – now a dangerously well-informed enemy intelligence officer. A friendship formed in peace will turn into a desperate battle between enemies sworn to sacrifice everything for the countries that they love…

Refreshments will be available. – Space is limited and booking is essential.

Call 01206 578584 or email to reserve a ticket.

‘Home and Away’ – an exhibition of paintings by David Britton


David Britton went to Colchester Grammar School and then studied history at New College, Oxford. After a number of years in teaching, trying to fit painting and poetry round the edges, he left teaching to concentrate on art. After some time spent in the, to him, rather alien environment of Sheffield, he is back in his beloved native landscape of north-east Essex, living on Mersea Island and once again creating vast, haunting canvases which capture the big skies and the special play of light on land and water in Essex/Suffolk border country. Since his first one man exhibition at Project B Gallery, Colchester in 1975 David has exhibited widely establishing a reputation as one of our leading local artists.



David’s paintings link the mystical with a response to the natural world, and vary from the concrete and sensual to those he describes as the ‘withdrawn type’, which take off into the infinite.

He says ‘I utterly refuse to be cowed by the political pressures in the various Arts Worlds into doing the kind of work that is found “relevant”. There are legions who say one “can’t”, these days, write a poem about a summer morning, or paint a picture of an Essex barn. These people have to be ignored!’

The exhibition continues until May 11th.

Launch Party: ‘The Day that Shakespeare Died’ by Dorian Kelly

Wednesday 23rd March, 6 – 8 pm

We are delighted to be holding a party to celebrate the launch of Dorian’s anarchic imagining of the life and adventures of Mr William Shakespeare, deceased.


A joyous romp around William Shakespeare’s life, death, bizarre funeral and subsequent adventures in the afterlife! Within these pages take a darkly comic glimpse into the true nature of time,  place and the boredom of eternity.

A dramatised version of ‘The Day That Shakespeare Died’ will be performed at the Mercury Theatre on April 22nd and 23rd. Details here.

‘The Wallowbang Tree’ and ‘Godfrey’s Clever Inventions’ Book Launch

We are pleased to be hosting the launch of two new children’s books from independent publisher Pudding Press. Come and meet some talented local authors and hear a dramatised reading.

The Wallowbang Tree’ by Danielle Wrayton 

One fatal night young Rosie Sparks’ world is turned upside down after listening to  her granny’s strange but true tale of a magical tree, the Wallowbang Tree. In her subsequent adventure she encounters fiendish characters but new and old friends are there to help her on her quest to find her missing dad. As Granny Sparks pieces the puzzle together, she realises that she knows who might be behind Rosie’s dad’s disappearance and her own capture and imprisonment. Will Rosie ever find her dad? Will she ever save her granny? The answer can only be found in the great twisted branches of the Wallowbang Tree. The Wallowbang tree is a paperback priced at £8.99. See for more details. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Danielle Wrayton is a lecturer in Interactive Media and Games at Colchester Institute and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Essex. She is now studying for an MSC in Computer Games Design. She has had numerous poems published as a child, including one alongside Spike Milligan. She has three children and THE WALLOWBANG TREE is her first published novel.

‘Godfrey’s Clever Inventions’ written and illustrated by Mike Fryer


Godfrey’s Clever Inventions is the third and final title in Mike Fryer’s Godfrey series. The other two titles are ‘Godfrey and the Stars’ and ‘Godfrey’s Flying Adventures’. Godfrey is a gargoyle living at the top of the Cathedral. Godfrey and the Pigeon are friends. Clever Godfrey invents many things such as a Rain Machine, a Lightning Machine and an Underground train. In the process, he answers various questions about science posed by his friend, the Pigeon. See for more details ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR: Mike Fryer from Colchester is a Research Scientist at the University of Essex, specialising in imaging photosynthesis in leaves, vitamins, and medical writing. He is a brilliant artist, a one-time amateur pilot and has a life-long interest in astronomy, especially the planets.



The Angel Roofs of East Anglia

By the late fourteenth century the carpenters of mediaeval England had mastered the complex mechanics needed to span vast spaces with interlocking timber arches thus freeing the space below of supporting columns. Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament was the crowning glory, 68 feet wide and 240 feet long. But remarkably almost hidden in the darkness of the roof 92 feet high, are angels carved into the beams. No one really knows why. But the tradition of Angel roofs had begun and through the fifteenth century East Anglia was the place where it blossomed. Three quarters of surviving angel roofs are in the churches of East Anglia and this book combines details of their history and construction with glorious photographs of these masterpieces of sculpture and engineering. Some of the angels are carved with staggering and beautiful detail, full of local religious symbolism and sometimes with the arms of wealthy patrons who funded the work. We are fortunate that, high in the roofs, so many escaped the destruction of the reformation. So when visiting churches don’t forget to look up and spot these wonders of mediaeval craftsmanship.