Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Ted Lewis - Lewis returns home for Radio 4

Lewis on the set of 'Get Carter' - August, 1970

Lewis’s Return Home is a new BBC Radio 4 documentary about the life and work of Ted Lewis.

For the uninitiated, Lewis was a crime-writing pioneer. In a relatively short writing life between 1965 and 1980, he honed a series of tough, non-metropolitan crime noir novels which owe as much to the uncomfortable realism of Sillitoe and Storey as they do to his own hardboiled heroes – Chandler and Spillane.
Produced for BBC Radio 4 by Beaty Rubens, Lewis’s Return Home is presented by acclaimed poet, critic, novelist and playwright, Sean O'Brien. The programme will focus on Lewis’s writing and his enduring relationship with the landscape of northern Lincolnshire, the city of Hull, and the town of Barton Upon Humber where he grew up.

The 30-minute programme features a range of contributors, including members of Lewis's family, friends, and his former literary agent, Toby Eady. I was invited to give a biographical perspective on Lewis's life and the development of his writing, as well as acting as a guide to some of the locations that appear in the novels. 

Fellow noir author Derek Raymond once said that Lewis’s work was an example of how dangerous writing could really be when done properly. It looks as though some long-overdue recognition is heading his way.

Lewis’s Return Home is on BBC Radio 4 at 4pm, Monday 27th August. The programme is timed to coincide with a new radio adaptation of  Jack’s Return Home, based on Lewis’s novel and written for radio by Nick Perry. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Pattie Slappers - A Social History

Patties on the rack - Summit Foods, West Street, Hull, circa 1960

I’m pleased to announce the launch of the Pattie Slappers project, funded by Heritage Lottery.  Over the next six months, the project will see the collection of stories from people who worked in Hull’s food processing industry. We’ll be producing a book, creating an oral archive and presenting a free-to-view exhibition at the city’s Streetlife Museum in spring 2013.

The city of Hull is closely associated with Britain's fishing industry. However, in the latter half of the 20th century, the development of a thriving food-processing industry created communities of workers whose lives were spent in the factories processing fish and other foodstuffs.
Pattie Slappers will tell the untold story of the, mostly, women who worked in the earliest years of Britain's frozen food industry. The workers were known locally as 'Pattie Slappers' and were renowned in Hull and the Humber region for their contributions to the city's vitality, social and industrial heritage. Familial links to the fishing industry as well as their dependence on it for their livelihood make it a key part of history of the city's social, economic and industrial heritage.
As with many heritage projects, you quickly get a feel for where there are gaps in understanding of a particular area of history. Pattie Slappers fits the bill; our first forays into existing archives shows a distinct lack of material. The stories, and the part the workers played in the 20th century's nascent frozen food industry are fast disappearing and it is our aim to make sure they are not forgotten.
I’ll be talking about the Pattie Slappers with James Hoggarth on his evening show on BBC Radio Humberside on 25th July.
If you’re interested in the project, we would like to invite anyone who was involved in the food processing industry to get in touch. If you have photographs or stories to tell, we’d love to hear from you.
Call Gill or Simon on 01469 572313
Find us on our facebook page  HERE