UPDATE: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the unveiling of the blue plaque has been postponed until Spring 2021.
Major-General Sir Donald Banks (1891-1975) was due to be the next Guernseyman to be honoured with a Blue Plaque in May 2020.
To coincide with this event, his memoirs, Across the Channel, which he wrote in the 1960s, but have never been published, were due to be launched at the Guernsey Literary Festival. However, the book is now available here.
The book describes his remarkable career from commanding the 10th Essex Regiment in WW1, becoming the first Director-General of the Post Office, Permanent Secretary to the Air Ministry, and his service in WW2 from his evacuation from Boulogne as part of the British Expeditionary Force to the Petroleum Warfare Department, responsible for the innovative application of the nation’s fuel stocks to the war effort, such as FIDO (fog dispersal at airfields) and PLUTO (pipeline under the ocean).
You can order your copy using the link below.
More details of the rescheduling of the blue plaque will be found at the Heritage 75 Festival website once a new date has been arranged.
The second book we will be launching at this year’s festival is the second part of Gregory Stevens Cox’s trilogy about Victor Hugo’s exile in the Channel Islands – Victor Hugo Explores Guernsey.
It’s only three weeks away now, and tickets are selling fast – so book your place soon – using this link to the Guernsey Literary Festival website.
In the 1860s
Victor Hugo, following five well-established tourist routes, made more
than 200 carriage drives exploring Guernsey’s country parishes.
His early explorations informed his essay L’Archipel
de la Manche – intended as an introduction to The Toilers of the Sea.
Victor Hugo Explores Guernsey (extensively illustrated with images of the period) follows the routes that Hugo took, the diversions he made, and relates them to his writings..
About the Author
Stevens Cox has spent over fifty years researching Victor Hugo’s life in the
Channel Islands. He has written five monographs on Victor Hugo’s exile and was
one of the founders of the Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society.
Hugo Explores Guernsey, his latest work, is part of a trilogy published
by Blue Ormer which started with Victor Hugo’s St Peter Port (2018)
and will be completed with Victor Hugo and the Sea, to be launched
at the Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society conference in June
We are looking forward to Arts Seafront Sunday on 10 June.
Please come and visit our expanded stall this year – including not just our latest range of books about the Channel Islands – we will also be joined by Guernsey Walking Tours, the Guernsey Society, Guernsey Ancestry and Guernsey Art Workshops.
So if you are interested in books, walking tours, researching your family history, art workshops – or Guernsey heritage in general – please come and pay us a visit.
We are pleased to announce that we shall shortly be republishing “The Silent War” by Frank Falla.
Frank Falla was a journalist in Guernsey during the German Occupation of the Channel Islands. By day, he worked on a local newspaper, fighting with the German censor. By night, like many other islanders, he defied the enemy.
After radios were confiscated in 1942, Frank was recruited into the Guernsey Underground News Service (GUNS), bringing BBC news to other islanders, including the Bailiff. This dangerous work carried severe penalties. In 1944, after being betrayed by an informant, Frank and his GUNS friends were deported to Nazi prisons, where they were ill-treated and carried out forced labour.
It’s great to see three new Blue Ormer books on the Guernsey Literary Festival’s programme for 2018. The festival, now an annual event, has just started announcing the events for this year on their brand new website.
“Guernsey Legends” is a vibrant collection of poetry and paintings by Jane Mosse and Frances Lemmon inspired by Guernsey’s folklore.
Hear them talk about how they found inspiration in tales of ghostly goats, vengeful witches, drunken sailors and lovesick maids on Thursday 10 May at 1pm at the Guille-Allès Library.
“John Wilson, Guernsey’s Architect” by Simon Coombe celebrates the work of the architect responsible for some of the island’s finest Regency buildings including Elizabeth College, St James, Castle Carey and the Markets.
Join Simon and friends on 14 May at 6pm for an illustrated talk at St James followed by an optional walking tour around some of Wilson’s works.
“Where Seagulls Dare and other tales from Herm Island” is a collection of short stories set in Herm by Paul Sherman. An eclectic mix that includes two ghost stories, an adventure story, a human-interest story, a comic story and much more – each set in an island location.
Paul would love to walk you around the island, giving you snippets of the tales as we go. Join him on 10 May at 2pm at Herm harbour.
Last Saturday saw the launch of Richard Fleming’s new collection of poetry, Stone Witness.
A good sized crowd at the Priaulx Library listened to Richard read a number of poems from the collection, including the title, Stone Witness, commissioned by the BBC for National Poets Day, and inspired by La Gran’mère du Chimquière, the statue-menhir which stands outside St Martins Church.
For more details of Richard’s new collection of poetry, please see Stone Witness.