Private View: Framing the Makers by Jane Frederick and Martin Bridges

Friday May 10th, 6.30 pm Private View


by artists Jane Frederick and Martin Bridges


Spending quality time with a hand-crafted object can help us to reflect upon many things; the time and care that the maker has invested in its creation, the tangible physicality of its material and form and the social and historical context in which it was made. Potter Martin Bridges introduced me to the language of clay through his infectious enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of the material. As a painter, I had previously only examined the material through the study of paintings that depicted ceramic forms, presenting the appearance of handmade objects most commonly in a still life painting. This knowledge of ceramics from two very different research directions prompted a fascinating collaboration, which took us into Europe to view some breath-taking examples of still life painting culminating in the realisation that hand crafted objects could themselves be the individual subjects of portraiture.

Jane Frederick 2019

The exhibition  will run through May and June


Grown up’s monthly book club


Monday 20th May

10.30 am coffee, cake and book talk in the shop

2.30 pm  tea cake and book talk in the shop

for more information and forthcoming club picks ask at the shop


‘Colchester at Work’ by Patrick Denney: author talk and book launch


 Wednesday May 29th,  6 30 pm

PATRICK DENNEY talking about his new book

‘Colchester at Work’

People and industries through the years

Colchester at Work explores the working life of this Essex town. The market town of Colchester has a long history stretching back to when it was the Roman capital of Britain, Camulodunum, and earlier. The Romans also started the harvesting of Oysters from the nearby Mersea Island, which has continued through the ensuing centuries and today oysters from around Colchester are highly prized. In the Middle Ages the town prospered and grew rapidly as a centre for the manufacture of woollen cloth.

Its international fame as a centre of the textile industry, known for its high quality, and the wool trade drew a large number of weavers and clothmakers from Flanders in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Industrial Revolution brought important new industries to Colchester, including the Paxman diesel works, originally founded in the 19th century as Standard Ironworks. The Paxman diesel business was at the forefront of the production of engines particularly for naval vessels and railway locomotives, becoming part of the English Electric Diesel Group in 1966. Colchester has also been an important garrison town for centuries and although the Army’s presence has reduced in recent years, it still has a significant presence. Today the town is one of the fastest growing in the country, benefitting from its university, new residential developments, proximity to Stansted airport, Felixstowe and Harwich sea ports and good connections to London. The author includes a chapter of memories of the working lives of many of the ordinary people who worked in Colchester in the last 100 years. The book will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of this part of the country.

Colchester at Work, Amberley publishing, pbk, £14.99


Ruth Prawer Jhabvala: a talk by her daughter, Ava



Wednesday June 5th, 6.30pm

A talk and short film about the works of Booker Prize winner, the late Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, CBE (7 May 1927 – 3 April 2013) was a German-born British and American Booker prize-winning novelist, short story writer and two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter. She is perhaps best known for her long collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions, made up of director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant.

After meeting Cyrus Jhabvala in England, she married him and moved to India in 1951; Jhabvala was an Indian-Parsi architect. The couple lived in New Delhi and had three daughters. Jhabvala began then to elaborate her experiences in India and wrote novels and tales on Indian subjects. She wrote a dozen novels, 23 screenplays, and eight collections of short stories and was made a CBE in 1998 and granted a joint fellowship by BAFTA in 2002 with Ivory and Merchant.[1][2] She is the only person to have won both a Booker Prize and an Oscar.


Nicholas Jubber, ‘Epic Continent’: author talk



Wednesday, June 19th,  6.30pm

Nicholas Jubber talking about his new book,

‘Epic Continent’

These are the stories that made Europe. Journeying from Turkey to Iceland, award-winning travel writer Nicholas Jubber takes us on a fascinating adventure through our continent’s most enduring epic poems to learn how they were shaped by their times, and how they have since shaped us. The great European epics were all inspired by moments of seismic change: The Odyssey tells of the aftermath of the Trojan War, the primal conflict from which much of European civilisation was spawned.  The Song of the Nibelungen tracks the collapse of a Germanic kingdom on the edge of the Roman Empire. Both the French Song of Roland and the Serbian Kosovo Cycle emerged from devastating conflicts between Christian and Muslim powers. Beowulf, the only surviving Old English epic, and the great Icelandic Saga of Burnt Njal, respond to times of great religious struggle – the shift from paganism to Christianity.

These stories have stirred passions ever since they were composed, motivating armies and revolutionaries, and they continue to do so today. Reaching back into the ancient and medieval eras in which these defining works were produced, and investigating their continuing influence today, Epic Continent explores how matters of honour, fundamentalism, fate, nationhood, sex, class and politics have preoccupied the people of Europe across the millennia. In these tales soaked in blood and fire, Nicholas Jubber discovers how the world of gods and emperors, dragons and water-maidens, knights and princesses made our own: their deep impact on European identity, and their resonance in our turbulent times.

Epic Continent is published John Murray, hardback,  £20.00