Nottingham

The Club History

The club was founded in 1927 from an existing group of Nottingham writers eager to expand their membership.

Among the founding members were a number of published writers, one of them Arthur E Ashley who wrote under the pen name Francis Vivian- produced two sets of books for his Brother Ignatius, and Inspector Knollis series, over many years.

In the 1930’s NWC began to publish a regular club magazine Scribe, and the journal continues to carry the name today. As it did at the start, Nottingham Writers’ Club still prints successes, winning club competition entries, and items of interest to writers. Only during an enforced break during the Second World War, when a number of members were in the armed forces and the scarcity of paper suspended the production of Scribe, was the life of the club interrupted.

Among its most well-known former members are Helen Cresswell, and Alan Sillitoe, who became a Freeman of Nottingham in 2008.

The role of club President has been filled by writers too, including Eric_Malpass who was succeeded by Peter Walker (the author Nicholas Rhea, whose Constable books became the TV series ‘Heartbeat’) in 1994, who in turn handed over the role in 2007 to the Mansfield based writer Roy Bainton.

Speakers have always been an essential part of the annual programme, and have had among them, Leslie Charteris (the author of the Saint books, which became a successful television series in the 1960’s).

During the last ten years the club has hosted talks by local authors Stephen Booth and John Harvey - both crime writers; the multi-talented Simon Brett, and novelist and short-story writer Jean Saunders.

During the club’s 75th Anniversary (in 2002) our main speaker for that year, Edwina Currie, gave her talk amid the press and television coverage surrounding the disclosure of her close relationship with ex-Prime Minister John Major, in her latest book.

The club has met in many buildings across Nottingham, many of them no longer standing; among them the Black Boy Hotel that bordered the Market Square, The Elite Café on Parliament Street and The Bell Inn on Angel Row.

In 1987 the club began its long association with The Nottingham Mechanics, moving into the card room at Birbeck House in Trinity Square, until relocating to the new home of Nottingham Mechanics on North Sherwood Street in 2003, where we continue to meet.

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