Sunday, 8 June 2008


A few years ago, I edited, designed, transformed... a wonderful child's diary... and it was privately published. Or printed, rather.. I knew nothing about publishing!

The child was Cherry Shann, mother of my late friend Jan to whom Words From A Glass Bubble is dedicated.

The original diary was written in a school exercise book and illustrated with photos taken on a box brownie camera won in a competition. It described, with the directness of a child (12 years old at the start, 16 at the last entry) the annual family holiday at Coverack on the Lizard, Cornwall, from 1925 on.

Each year, the family (Dad was a London doctor) decamped en masse, and stayed at a guest house on the harbour road. They took the uniformed nanny, naturally. The days were spent walking to beaches sometimes twelve miles away, swimming, playing, catching baby rabbits on the headlands, fishing.

What gave it an 'edge' was the way the writer observes the behaviour of the grown ups, including her parents. Eg: The usual journey down from London was by train and 'charabanc'... but the year Cherry was fifteen, she, her brothers and mother had a leisurely trip down on a ship. Mummy had a shipboard romance with a rather unpreposessing gentleman called Uncle Chambers... caught on the box brownie, of course. Uncle Chambers was later seen off by Daddy, once they arrived in Coverack!

There are accounts an pictures of the children's visit to the Ellectra, Marconi's yacht, moored in the bay.

Jan funded the printing. We both did the diary for love.

I just found it on Amazon, being sold privately... at almost twice what the suggested price was.

(all 6000 copies were given to Coverack school, for them to sell to raise funds. We tried to give them to the Lifeboat, but they weren't interested. Not big enough, I guess. Mind you, 6,000 copies, free, sold at £5.00 each... that's better than a slap in the face with an old cod...)


The diary is A4, colour.

1 comment:

Tania Hershman said...

Gosh, sounds just lovely. Will go and check it out.