writes . . . . . . .
photo: Ivor N. White
"Letters to Hannah" looks at WWII on the Home Front through the eyes of those who lived in Hastings and South East England, from September 1939 to December 1945. The book visits the lives of ordinary people, who endured extraordinary times and is rich in anecdotes and information on food rationing and shortages, the blackout, air raids, population evacuation and civil defence.
Letters to Hannah is a moving and factual account of wartime Hastings, the town which features in the ITV, WWII detective fiction series,
Letters from Lavender Cottage
A collection of recently discovered letters, posted from Hastings to Canada between 1942 and 1955, inspired
to compile a part-biography of their writer, Emilie Crane.
Victoria Seymour has rounded the story by adding contemporary national, local and autobiographical material.
"Letters From Lavender Cottage" is a touching, human story with an informative narrative.
If you have already read "Letters From Lavender Cottage" you must get Victoria's second gem . .
Letters to Hannah
Article and photo by courtesy of Hastings and St.Leonards Observer
Victoria Seymour’s Court in the Act, which completes her trilogy, concentrates on the work of the police force, the magistrates’ and other courts in WWII Hastings. As the effects of war took hold, there was hardly any aspect of home front life that was not controlled by some Government Act, Regulation or Order, putting even more pressure on already overworked police officers.
There passed before the magistrates’ courts a parade of ‘spies’, aliens, pacifists, looters, wartime racketeers and small-time criminals. Added to these were hundreds of usually law-abiding people, who found themselves in court for flouting often not properly understood laws. Sentences were handed down that sounded like something out of 19th Century history: A fine for stealing one onion from an allotment, a few apples from a tree or vegetable peelings from a dustbin or a month in prison for allowing light to escape from behind a curtain.
Meanwhile, the formidable Government Enforcers stalked the land incognito, seeking to trap unwary traders and citizens and bring them to justice. Police Court reports from the period 1939 to 1945 give an insight into a little discussed aspect of the locality in WWII. “Vigilant”, The Hastings and St Leonards Observer’s 1940s columnist, provides background, with comment on the foibles and morals of a seaside town under fire.
Fact met fiction, when in 2004 Victoria Seymour was asked by Greenlit Productions, who film Foyle’s War, the WWII detective television drama set in Hastings, to assist in re-creating a Hastings’ wartime magistrates’ court for series three.
Court in the Act
AND NOW. . .
Victoria Seymour recently had a tea-party to celebrate the publication of her latest book
The Long Road to Lavender Cottage
The now famous occupant of Lavender Cottage, Emilie Crane, returns, to let us back into her life and the daily doings of her neighbours on the Ridge. What was the truth about the supposed nudist colony opposite Lavender Cottage? Was the guest house close by really a haven for left wing agitators and a bolt hole for the scandalous occultist, Aleister Crowley?
The books are available from:
Olio Books, Robertson Street, Hastings.
Hastings Information Centre.
Albion Books, George Street. Hastings
Hastings Old Town Museum.