Darcy Drummond

Darcy Drummond was born to show business parents and grew up surrounded by it. Although she chose not to follow them into the business, it remains a fundamental and cherished part of her life to this day. Some of the wonderful and talented people she met as a child remain her dearest friends. After having several successful careers, Darcy now concentrates on writing. She is married and lives in the south of England. She has published two novels,  Summer Season and  Water of Life

Julie Hamill

Real name: Julie Patricia Hamill

Birth place/date: Baillieston, December 13th 1971

Birthsign: Sagittarius

Siblings: Rose Ann, Louise, James. All older

Height: virtually and arguably 5 ft 2

Weight: 7 ½ stone

Eyes: blue

Hair: brown

Previous occupations: advertising

Previous bands: Mr Birch and Mr Morris school band (backing singer)

Favourite colour: yellow

Favourite food: artichoke hearts

Favourite drink: ginger beer, lots of ice

Hobbies: Mozarmy. Music, books, jukeboxes, quizzes, dancing, hula hooping

Pets: one schnoodle, Dolly 

Ambition in life: to make an album with Louise: Songs from the dogs

Self description: an over-flowing cup of fluff

High points of career: meeting Penny Reeves in Cardiff

Favourite book: 15 Minutes With You by Julie Hamill

Favourite film: Billy Liar, The Lost Boys, Sid and Nancy, Grease

Favourite TV programme: Coronation Street, Mad Men, Sopranos

TV personality: Terry Wogan

Favourite actors: Tom Hardy, Alison Steadman, James Gandolfini

Person you would most like to meet: Morrissey

Most important possession: gumption

Most hated record: Midnight Oil: Beds Are Burning

Favourite bands: The Smiths, The Specials, Depeche Mode

Favourite singer: Morrissey, Kate Bush, Carole King

Favourite LPs: World Peace Is None Of Your Business, Please, Kill Uncle

Favourite singles: Velocity Girl, The Rattler, Promised Land, William, Hit

First record you ever bought: The Tide Is High 

First live gig: The Smiths, Glasgow, 1985

Likes: reminiscing with Gillian, Elaine, Jack, Sharn, Babs & Caroline

Dislikes: itchy labels, meat, cruelty

Favourite animal: dogs

Favourite person: Pat n Jimmy

Heroes: Gerard, Sadie, Archie, 

Julie Hes, Neil Wood, Mrs Nelis

Villains: Bernard Matthews

Greatest embarrassment: having to hold my nose under water

Self confession: I turn the music up when you’re not looking

First romance: Morrissey

Favourite fun thing to do: Visit the Ramada crazy carpet in West Hollywood

Tim Harnden Taylor

Born in London NW8 and now living towards the end of the red underground line in ‘Lowtown’, he trained in Birmingham as an actor and singer, later enjoying several years in the professional theatre, both in the provinces and in London’s West End. A lifetime’s love of classical music eventually found him at the old store in Oxford Street at HMV. Computers were still in their infancy, therefore an encyclopaedic knowledge of recordings was a must. Other jobs have followed and the need to write/scribble has always been there. Oh to be organized!

Enter Bing, and his enquiring mind. The journey continues……

My name is Bing (short for Bingo Little of Lowtown) and I am a Grand Bassett Griffon Vendeen. I live with Tom, Angela and an Arthur but I spend a couple of days each week with the guv Tim. Between you and me, I’m needed there as he’s getting rather forgetful. So to help keep his brain active, I ask him questions about all the things that puzzle me. Though it has to be said, he’s not got much more of a clue than me…..

John Marshall

Starting life in South Yorkshire, after a 'normal' education to High School level, John joined the Police Cadets, and after three years of training and introduction to the Police world, he completed his training as a Police Constable, and was posted to a number of mining villages in South Yorkshire, before voluntarily transferring to Sussex, where he was posted to Rye, a beautiful 12th century market town close to the Kent border. His duties there included foot patrol around the town, and later as crew of the Sub Divisional response car, still working from Rye.

In the summer of 1983 he successfully applied for the post of village bobby in one of the village beats within Rye Sub Division, responsible for a number of villages covered by three different parish councils, and including a stretch of the Channel coast, and a coastal country park at Fairlight, just outside Hastings.

This idyllic life was interrupted in the autumn of 1984 by two major events. He was on duty for the Conservative Party conference in Brighton, when the Grand Hotel was bombed by the IRA. Shortly afterwards, for about a year, he found himself covering the miners' strike in various locations around the UK.

Towards the end of his service, he became involved in tutoring newly-appointed police constables, and then, on a monthly basis as an assessor, involved in the selection of potential recruits applying to join the Force. He also became involved in the training of Special Constables, and in the running and training of his Station's Police Cadet unit (See the poem - A Jubilee Walk!)

On retirement in 1999 he toured Europe in an American motor home, before settling with his wife Dorothy in rural Shropshire.

Sylvia Mason

Sylvia was educated at Lady Margaret High School, Cardiff, The Western Theological College, Bristol and Bristol University where she gained a BA and a PGCE.  While her son and daughter were young, she gained a masters degree with the Open University, her specialism being Victorian poetry. Her career was spent as a teacher of English in secondary schools in Bristol, Newport and the Valleys.

Since retirement, having more time has meant being able to develop her interests in music, art history, literature, travel and embroidery.  She particularly values the time she spends with her three lively granddaughters.

Kevin Moore

Kevin Moore joined Sussex Police at the age of twenty-one years in June 1978. His father was a serving officer with the Force having joined in the 1950s. This means that their joint careers span a total of over 60 years of policing.

After joining the police, the author spent his two-year probationary period at Brighton during which time he operated as a beat officer and area car driver/observer, before becoming a rural beat patrol officer at Camber near Rye in East Sussex.

A short while later, he entered  CID, the beginning of a long and productive career during which he climbed the ranks achieving the highest rank possible in the CID world of Detective Chief Superintendent and Head of Sussex’s CID. He also worked within the Professional Standards Department investigating complaints made against police officers.

He served as Chief Superintendent and Divisional Commander of Brighton and Hove during which time he was responsible for all police operations in the City. taking command of many large-scale public order demonstrations as well as other major public safety events. H e was a Senior Investigating Officer responsible for leading enquiries into homicide and other major crime investigations.

Following his retirement in 2009 after more than thirty-one years of service, he joined the newly formed S.E. Regional Organised Crime Unit as the Regional Intelligence Manager and then subsequently the Regional Prison Intelligence Manager. 

He fully retired from the police service in January of 2018.

He has been married to Ann for over forty years and has two grown up children and five grandchildren. He holds a BA (Hons) Degree in Public Sector and Police Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Police Studies. He is interested in football and cricket and is a season ticket holder with Brighton and Hove Albion F.C. and also now spends his time with his and his wife’s Golden Retriever dogs and their four horses.

Eleanor Pritchard

Eleanor Pritchard has been a freelance writer most of her working life, producing features and articles on everything from tourist attractions to health, real life stories to celebrity profiles. She also edits two specialist magazines. This is her first book, though there are plenty more in the offing. She lives in rural Wales with her husband and loves spending time in Australia with her daughters, sons-in-law and grand-daughters - plus their dogs. 

Usk Penthusiasts

Seven writers have contributed to this volume. They are all members of a small, informal writing group which meets regularly in the King’s Head Hotel, Usk, Monmouthshire.

Maggie Harkness was raised in Lancashire, lived in London and now in glorious Monmouthshire. She has worked as a lawyer and a counsellor and her writing reflects her interest in people.

Anna Hitch, Welsh by adoption, moved to Wales more than 40 year ago for a family life of semi self-sufficiency while continuing a career in the NHS.

Steve Hoselitz worked as a journalist before developing a second career as a craft potter, amateur gardener and professional grandfather…

Louise Longworth: ‘I have lived all over the place, due to a life spent as an actress, working in the theatre, television and radio. Having settled with my husband and family in Wales, and having taken up writing, I have been fascinated to find so many similarities between the two creative forms, for example in the development of characters and dialogue.’

Gerald Mason is a retired steelworker and twilight antique dealer addicted to fishing.

Margaret Payne moved from London to Wales 15 years ago. Now retired from teaching, she enjoys tai chi, knitting, morris dancing and, of course, creative writing.

Hugh Rose, ex-professional soldier, ex-professional gardener, ex-nomad, fell in love with Monmouthshire 42 years ago.