Roger Courtney

Roger Courtney


Roger Courtenay is descended from a long line of Cornish fishermen and miners, so was naturally drawn to a career as an economist in the City of London. He divides his time between his home in London, and Cornwall, where he obsesses about the Cornish language and pretends to surf.

He has a first in economics from Cambridge University, a PhD in asset pricing theory, and is both a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedh and member of the Cornish Language Board.

Matthew Clarke

Matthew Clarke

Matthew Clarke is a Cornish speaker and journalist living in West Cornwall.

He is surrounded by Cornwall's ancient culture and has thus dedicated his life to the language through the written word and song.

Matthew is also a broadcaster who has read the news in English and Cornish on local radio in Cornwall since 1998. He now runs a weekly programme in Kernewek called Radyo an Gernewegva. His work has also included PR for the language.

One big success came in 2004 when he helped The Simpsons producers include some Cornish into a Christmas special edition for Channel 4. His musical contribution to Cornwall’s culture resulted in his band, ‘Krena’, winning the Pan Celtic Song Contest in Tralee in 2005.

Another triumph was the global coverage of a story he generated in 2006. It was about his other band, ‘Skwardya’, singing Beatles songs in Kernewek. Articles can still be found online relating back to this news item.

Barbara Minto

Barbara Minto

Barbara began her career on the staff of Cyrus Eaton, the industrialist who founded the famous Pugwash Conferences of nuclear scientists. Working as part of the team that organised and ran the conferences, she received sound training in tackling the problems of communicating clearly on technical subjects.

In 1961 she left Mr Eaton to attend the Harvard Business School, later joining joined McKinsey & Company.  Since 1973 Barbara specialises in teaching the Minto Pyramid Principle to people whose major training is in business of the professions, but whose jobs nevertheless require them to produce complex reports, analyses, memorandums, or presentations.

David J Bodycombe

David J Bodycombe

David J. Bodycombe is an English puzzle author and games consultant. He is based in London, and his work is read by over 2 million people a day in the UK, and is syndicated to over 300 newspapers internationally. The British public know him best as the author of popular puzzle columns in publications such as the Daily Mail, Daily Express, Metro and BBC Focus magazine.

He also consults on many television game shows, including The Crystal Maze, The Krypton Factor, The Mole and Treasure Hunt. He was the question editor for the first 8 series of BBC Four's lateral thinking quiz Only Connect. On BBC Radio 4 he appeared on the quiz Puzzle Panel and devised the cryptic clues for X Marks the Spot. He has written and edited over forty books, including How to Devise a Game Show and The Riddles of the Sphinx – a history of modern puzzles.

In 2005 he became a leading author of sudoku puzzles, and he was the first person to have sudokus published in several major territories, including India and Scandinavia. As well as the classic 9x9 puzzle, he pioneered a number of alternative designs which have proved popular with readers all over the world. His games, puzzles and questions also appear in many magazines, and on websites, advertising campaigns, board games and interactive television.

He edits UKGameshows.com, a wiki-based web site cataloguing UK television and radio game shows.

W H Canaway

W H Canaway

W.H. Canaway was born in 1925 in Altrincham, Cheshire. He was educated at Altrincham Grammar School and the University College of North Wales, Bangor, where he was awarded with  B.A. and M.A. degrees.

He served in the 8th Army intelligence in North Africa and Italy during the latter part of the Second World War, before coming home to lecture at Stafford Technical College. After ten years of this, he committed himself to full-time writing.

Canaway wrote fifteen novels, including Sammy Going South, a book that was translated into a dozen languages and was made the Royal Command Film Performance of 1963. He was also a keen angler and wrote two highly regarded fishing books, as well as many articles for The Fishing Gazette. However, it is probably as a screenwriter that he is best remembered - The Ipcress File (starring a young Michael Caine in 1965) being amongst his credits, as well as TV series such as Brendon Chase and Dan, Badger and all the Coal. He died on 22nd May 1988, whilst still working on a film version of an earlier work, A Declaration of Independence.

Titles by Canaway include: 

A Creel of Willow 1957
A Snowdon Stream 1958
The Ring-Givers 1958
The Seal 1959
Sammy Going South 1961
The Hunter and the Horns 1962
My Feet Upon a Rock 1964
Crows in a  Green Tree 1965
The Grey Seas of Jutland 1966
The Mules of Borgo San Marco 1967
A Declaration of Independence 1971
Harry Doing Good 1973
Glory of the Sea 1975
The Willow-Pattern War 1976
The Solid Gold Buddha 1979
The Helmet and the Cross 1987

Frank Dickens

Frank Dickens

Frank William Huline Dickens (born 2 February 1932) was born in Hornsey, London.

Dickens left school at sixteen and began working for his father, a painter-decorator. A self-taught artist, he began working as a cartoonist in 1959 and has since won eight 'Cartoonist of the Year' awards for his Bristow series. In 1971 he made an introduction into stage work and in 1999 adapted Bristow into a six-part series for BBC Radio 4. Dickens has also published twelve children's books and two thrillers. 

Act of Treason
An Interesting Man
Golden Guy
Fantasyland
All Change
Calmer Sutra
Cavallo
Duck Billed Messiah
To Be Frank

Frank's Page

Frank Dickens Obituary: The Telegraph | 11  July 2016

Ralph Barker

Ralph Barker

Born in 1917 and educated at Hounslow College., Ralph joined the editorial staff of Sporting Life in 1934, but later went into banking. Meanwhile, he had begun writing, and several of his sketches and scenes were produced in West End Revue.

Ralph joined the RAF in 1940  as a wireless operator/air-gunner and progressed  his military career until 1961 when he retired voluntarily from the RAF to write full time. He was a frequent contributor of feature stories to the Sunday Express.

Tony Rubino

Tony Rubino

As an internationally syndicated cartoonist Tony has contributed writing and cartoons to publications such as: MAD Magazine, National Lampoon, Cracked, Audience Magazine, Opium Magazine, and Sassy. (Yes … Sassy!)

Helene de Klerk

Helene de Klerk

Helene reckons she grew up alongside Andy and Florrie in Hartlepool, they were certainly a big part of her childhood.  After leaving school she moved to London to pursue a career in journalism and, after 25 years working in the media has dug out the archives to compiler the authorised biography of Reg Smythe, creator of Andy Capp.

John Palmer

John Palmer

RICH & SPLENDID GIFTS

John Palmer, born in November 1928, was educated at the Heath Grammar School, Halifax, and the Queen’s College, Oxford where he read Greats.  In 1952 he was successful in the written competition for what was then the Administrative Class of the Civil Service, gaining exceptionally high marks in what the Civil Service Commissioners called Metaphysics, and Present Day, and in translating Latin unseen into good English.

He served in the Ministry of Housing and Local Government - and later for BR  dealing with various litigation about the Channel Tunnel, and aspects of rail privatisation.

 

Patrick MacGill

Patrick MacGill

Patrick MacGill - born Donegal in 1889 - became known as the ‘Navvy Poet’ when a slim little volume of poetry which he had mostly written when working on the railways in Scotland and which he called ‘Gleanings from a Navvy’s Scrapbook’ came to the notice of the literary critics in Britain.  It was at the end of the first decade of the twentieth century and the young MacGill was only about twenty years of age.  He had, though, already lived a hard and adventurous life.

Even though he had but a rudimentary education he read voraciously. His poetry, much of it based on his own experience as a navvy, reflected his growing preoccupation with the poor and the downtrodden and those navvies who, like himself, toiled in the muck to build civilisation but lived on the outside of society.  His first collection of poetry, which he published himself and sold, at sixpence a copy, from door to door in Greenock where he was living at the time, together with articles he had submitted to the Daily Express in London incredibly resulted in his being offered a job by that newspaper. Thus his life was to change utterly.
During the First World War he served with the London Irish Rifles and was wounded at Loos in 1915. His novel The Great Push was written as result of his wartime experiences. 

Liberty Forrest

Liberty Forrest

Liberty Forrest is an unusual woman of many talents.  Psychic medium on BBC Regional Radio, homeopath, hypnotist, artist and writer.  Her life story is also extraordinary...almost “too bad to be true!”...bizarre, shocking and outrageous, but also thought-provoking, inspiring and courageous.

Petra du Preez

Petra du Preez

Petra du Preez is a popular astrologer who has contributed over the years to various South African magazines. She currently writes for You, Huisgenoot and Marie Claire. She is also the online astrologer for M-Web and Women24. 

Petra lives in Cape Town and has been a professional practicing astrologer for well over twenty years. She is a founding member of the Cape Astrology Association and served on the committee for a number of years.

Petra is a regular speaker at local conferences, workshops and talks. She keeps herself abreast of developments in astrology by attending international conferences. In 2006, she was appointed as the ISAR (The International Society for Astrological Research) VP (Vice President) for Cape Town.

Petra has published a number of books, her most recent book being ASTRO OFFICE – star signs at work.

David Kerr Cameron

David Kerr Cameron

David Kerr Cameron (1928-2003) may  have spent most of his life as a journalist in London, but David Kerr Cameron never forgot the rigours of farming life in his native Aberdeenshire, which he wrote about with un-sentimental vividness in his three best-loved and award-winning books.

The Ballad and the Plough (1978), Willie Gavin, Crofter Man (1980), and The Cornkister Days (1984), all of which won Scottish Arts Council Awards, gave the social history of the North-East a readability that drew comparisons with the work of the late John Prebble.

The books charted a harsh way of farmtoun life which, even in his childhood, was already being eclipsed through labour controls in the Second World War and by the spread of mechanisation.

One of three sons of a cottar, he remembered the twice-yearly hiring fairs at which his father and other farm labourers would be taken on, often only to find that the farmer’s fine promises turned out to be a leaky bothy and a horse fit for the slaughterhouse.

"It was a strange, gipsy-like existence," he later wrote. "On Term Days, we piled everything we possessed into farm carts for the move - bags, mattresses, even the coal scuttle. We were like a refugee army. It only needed one good downpour for the beds to be soaked through and start rusting away."

By the time he wrote these books, Cameron was a sub-editor on the Daily Telegraph, where he worked for 27 years until his retirement in 1993.

At the start of his working life, such a career looked distinctly unprobable. Indeed, when he was 14 and his headmaster suggested that he become a writer, the very idea came as a blow to his self-esteem.

"It seemed such a namby-pamby thing to be when I contemplated the hard men of the farmtouns in Scotland’s North-east lowlands," he wrote later.

He began his 45-year career as a journalist with a series of articles about rural life which he penned for local newspapers while doing his National Service in the Royal Air Force.

After marrying in 1950, he worked on the Kirriemuir Herald and the Press and Journal, before the lure of working on a Fleet Street paper drew him south to London and the Daily Telegraph.

It was only when he turned 50, however, that the books started appearing.

At first, he had only intended to write a 10,000-word text to accompany a series of photographs or pre-war farm labourers. However, the more he researched the lives behind those awkwardly posed pictures of men and women unused to the camera, the more he realis-ed that he had to write about them.

"If I had the money," he said, "I would have started a farming museum; instead, I had to do what I could by writing."

The Ballad and the Plough soon grew to 45,000 words, and instead of asking for it to be cut, his publisher (Gollancz) asked for more.

In the book, he showed how little had changed since the 1870s, when a farm labourers’ wages were only a third the cost of a Clydesdale horse, and they were treated just about as harshly.

Bothy ballads, and affairs with farmtoun servant girls offered them some respite from the relentless toil, but Cameron’s portrait of the vanished age - including his only novel, A Kist of Sorrows (1987) never confused nostalgia with romanticism.

The contrast all these books offered to today’s soulless, ultra-scientific agribusiness was not of itself, he realised, the reason for their popularity. However, for all the hardships of the life he described, it did offer a sense of belonging and identity.

"The old closeness with a landscape, and even with the figures who walked through it largely unrecorded, has gone and left a vacuum," he said in a Scotsman interview in 1978. "For all I know this is what I was looking for myself, down there in London."

The English Fair (1997) and London’s Pleasures (2001) took up the story of the transformation of country and town life south of the Border and were also well reviewed.

However, it for his portrait of the farmtouns of pre-war Scotland, the nuances of its social order, and the desperately hard lives of its itinerant workers that he will be most remembered for in his native land.

Knight Features are pleased to be able to offer the previously unpublished sequel to A Kist of Sorrows, Compacts of the Soul.