Saturday, 23 October 2010

Back to school

The 11th October was one of those golden, sun-drenched days of autumn and I had the great pleasure of travelling to my home town of Shrewsbury in Shropshire and on to the nearby village of Hanwood. I was off to visit the children of Class 3 at St. Thomas and St. Anne’s CE Primary School. The children had been learning about what it would have been like to have lived in their local area in the past and also about stories with historical settings. I was delighted and humbled to see the class had made a display on the wall of books with historical settings which had my own A Passenger in Time ranked alongside Goodnight Mr Tom and The Railway Children (the latter with a cover design uncannily similar to that of my book!) Hallowed company indeed.
I began the afternoon by talking a bit about my own childhood, growing up in Shrewsbury in the 60s and 70s. I talked about my favourite book as a child, Mystery at Witchend by Malcolm
Saville. We talked about adventures and how children's books - and the world - had changed since I was the same age as Class 3. I read a couple of extracts from A Passenger in Time and then the children took part in a writing workshop which they entered into with real enthusiasm and imagination. Halfway through this, a photographer from the Shropshire Star turned up and invited one of the children and myself to have our picture taken with a pile of my books, sitting in the playground in the October sunshine. I had a lovely afternoon. I hope the children and the staff had as much fun as I did and I hope, in some small way, I have inspired some of the children to read - and to write - now and in the future.


  1. Glad to hear it went well, Tony. Given the success of the venture, it might be to your advantage to approach private and independent primary schools and prep schools to offer your services - for a fee. I'd be interested to know more about the workshop part of it.


  2. Well done, Tone. Sounds as if the visit was greatly enjoyed by all concerned.
    I'll bet you were (how can I put this?) 'well chuffed' to see your book nestling up against The Railway Children!

  3. I'm sure the youngsters would have been inspired by your love of literature and your enthusiasm for written words - and putting them in a pleasing order. They are probably of the age when their teachers encourage them to sprinkle their prose with lots of rich adjectives and lively adverbs. Was this evident in their work? You didn't own up that later in the careers this is something they'll have to unlearn, did you?

  4. Great post. Author! Author!

    Maybe you could link to this one of my efforts?


About me

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Tony Gillam is Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Wolverhampton, a freelance writer, trainer and musician. He is the author of 'Reflections on Community Psychiatric Nursing' (2002) and 'Creativity, Wellbeing and Mental Health Practice' (2018).