With Author Dee Gordon

With Author Dee Gordon for a double book-signing at Waterstones, Southend-on-Sea.

Giving a Talk at the Thames Amateur Radio Group

Giving a talk about EKCO to the Thames Amateur Radio Group on 7 March 2014, upon kind invitation by Mark Sanderson and Tom Humphries. TARG, which was launched in September 2012, holds its meetings at Jubilee Hall, Waterside Farm Sport Centre, Somnes Ave, Canvey Island.

With Author Sarah E Smith

Meeting Author Sarah E Smith at my talk about EKCO Sounds by kind invitation to the Thames Amateur Radio Group on 7 March 2014. Sarah took the plunge in 2013, putting aside her dreams of being a writer and made it reality with her first book: Secret of Aldwych Strand: End of the Pier Affair. “It's not been an easy journey, but then nothing worthwhile is.”

With Waterstones (Southend) Manager Carole Wells

Carole Wells was always at the top when it came to promoting Southend writers and Southend-based books, and EKCO Sounds was no different. 21 September 2014. I hope she is enjoying her retirement.

With Scott Ross at Phoenix98FM

What an interesting time at the studio with Scott for a live interview in March 2014. Note that I still had all my own teeth then.

With Author Judith Williams on 19 October 2013

The Southend Book and Arts Fair (SBAF), held at Victoria Circus on 19 October 2013, gave a marvellous opportunity for local (and not so local) writers and poets to publicize their work. Judith Williams is an author of local history books, focussing on South East Essex. She trained as a tutor of English and History, working in adult education, and is involved in maintaining the Shoeburyness Military Archives and in a heritage centre project for the historic Shoeburyness area.

With Author Karen Bowman at the Book and Art Fair, Southend in 2014

Meeting Karen Bowman on Saturday 4 October 2014 at the ‘Book and Art Fair’ which took place inside the Forum building on the ground floor. More than twenty tables featured local writers and artists offering a chance to meet and network with them, as well as to buy their work.

With Author Robert Hallmann

Meeting Robert Hallmann at the ‘Book and Art Fair’ inside the Forum building on Saturday 4 October 2014, where more than twenty tables featuring local writers and artists offered the chance for people to meet and network with them, as well as to buy their work.

Book Signing at WH Smith, Southend

Book signing for EKCO Sounds at WH Smith, Southend, on 25 January 2014.

Veterans of the Royal Navy

Interviewing Alf 'Chick' Fowler, ex-HMS "Sheffield", and James Lovett at The Royal Naval Association club (Area 5) in East Street, Southend-on-Sea, on 31 January 2014.

Doug Shelley, ex-HMS Milne

Interviewing Doug Shelley at the RNA Club in East Street, Southend, on 12 December 2011. Doug served for nine months on the M-class destroyer HMS Milne during the Arctic Convoys. After his service, Doug was a Marshaller at Southend Airport.

Alfred Fowler, ex- HMS Sheffield

Alfred, 'Chick' Fowler, the nickname given to him by his shipmates on HMS "Sheffield", allowed me many hours of interviewing time, including video, for my book ‘Voices from the Arctic Convoys’. Chick sadly passed away on 11 March 2020, aged 97.

RNA Meeting in 2013

Arctic Convoy Veterans Alf Steadman (HMS Wren), Alf Fowler (HMS Sheffield), and Douglas Shelley (HMS Milne) with Jack Monroe of the Southend Echo at the Royal Navy Association Club in Southend on 19 June 2013

Chris Poole, EKCO

Ex-EKCO employee Chris Poole and I spent most of 2008 consolidating our research, and exploring the site and tunnels of the old EKCO Factory before they were closed in during the demolition of the site along Priory Crescent, Prittlewell.

One of the EKCO 'Tunnels'

One of the large series of tunnels that formed the underground Air Raid shelters at EKCO 3 September 2008

The EKCO Air Raid Shelter Power Room

The Power Room, situated off the central gallery of the underground air raid shelter at EKCO Southend, was equipped with a diesel engine which drove a dynamo and an air pump. This was the DC power back-up should a mains failure occur due to enemy bombing of the site. The air pump supplied forced air throughout the shelter via a series of outlet pipes, and the outward flow would have been maintained at a positive pressure to ensure against the ingress of gas.

EKCO Park Monument

The 400kg (63 st) and 2.8m (9 ft) tall mosaic and bronze sculpture of Eric Cole, founder of the EKCO company, standing on an AD65 Ekco radio, installed in the new Ekco Park housing estate opposite Priory Park, where the old factory once stood. The head, hands and shoes by sculptor Anne Schwegmann-Fielding are cold-cast bronze, while the suit is made from a mosaic of 182 porcelain tiles fired with photographic transfers. The radio is made from Corten steel.

Interiew with David Keddie, JP, DL in 2011

David Keddie JP, DL, wrote the foreword for RAF Southend 1940-1944 following an interview with him at his home at Ark Lodge, Rochford, Essex, on 18 March 2011. David will be most remembered for his role as chairman of the iconic independent store, “Keddies”, in Southend High Street from 1954 until 1996, when the retail began moving away from the High Street. He also pioneered the “SupaSave” store in Southend in 1960. David passed away on 18 February 2018, aged 88.

My wife Karen Brown

Karen has had to put up with all of this for the last decade.

Toon Ghose with his daughter Katie

Legendary flying instructor Toon Ghose left his home in Calcutta in 1955 to go to France, where he learned to glide, and after learning to fly powered aircraft, he moved to England where he obtained his commercial pilot’s licence, and became the Chief Flying Instructor for the Southern Aero Club at Shoreham Airport. He set up his own business during the 1970s, but after the credit squeeze of the 1980s, hung up his flying helmet. Toon died on 20 February 2019, aged 91.