You Too Can Go To Sea: River Deben support for Suffolk and the Sea Day

by Julia Jones

I was sitting on a bench overlooking Suffolk Yacht Harbour at Levington and the River Orwell beyond. It was a lovely afternoon with a breeze just getting up and some classic sailing vessels on the river, contrasting with the more modern yachts moored near me and the towering cranes of Port of Felixstowe downriver. I was trying to explain to a friendly cameraman the ways in which I felt there had been such a profound shift in Britain’s attitude to her maritime heritage during my lifetime. His name’s Jon Swallow and he’s volunteered to come and record some of the sessions at the forthcoming Suffolk and the Sea Day (Felixstowe Book Festival ‘fringe’ sessions at Trimley St Mary, June 25th). We had met to discuss developing the 5th session, entitled You Too Can Go To Sea, into a film which the organisations supporting Suffolk and the Sea day could send out to schools, youth organisations, clubs, support groups. It would aim to explain that sailing and sea faring is not an exclusive activity but can be enjoyed at many levels. We want to kindle an interest and excitement in sea-going opportunities, remind people that we are not only land dwellers.

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Some Suffolk Books from 2021

By Julia Jones

As well as being the fortunate editor of The Deben Magazine and The RDA Journal I have what I consider the dream job of ‘literary contributor’ to Yachting Monthly magazine. My duties every month are to select a 1000-word extract from any nautical book – old or new – which I think readers might enjoy and include it in the print edition of the magazine with a few details about the author and publisher. I also provide short reviews of three new books. They can be cruising stories, nautical fiction, instruction, advice, pilotage – or matters connected. (I’ve just selected an extract from an extraordinary book about the music of coastal foghorns for our March 2022 issue.)


Tidal flats on the upper reaches of the River Deben near Woodbridge (photo from Coatwise, published by Fernhurst Books).

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An Accidental Writer

By Robert Simper

Most people seem to get into writing from journalism or being connected with a university. I started writing because an incident unloading a lorry. Back in the 1950s, drivers unloaded their own lorries. I took a load of oats in bags into the ECF (Essex County Farmers) mill in Commercial Road, Ipswich and cheerfully grabbed the last bag of the load  and swung it round. At the same time something awful happened in my lower back. I spent the next ten years getting over it and have had to be careful ever since.

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