Milford Report 1994
by Jane Killick
Participants: : Liz Holliday, Jane Killick; Chris Beckett, Chris Amies; Peter Garrett, Phil Gladwin; Ben Jeapes, Lawrence Dyer; and Ian Lee.
Legend tells of an annual writers' workshop outcast from the wilds of Hampshire by the evils of commerce (or a change in hotel management). Long had it searched through grotty Margate guest houses for somewhere akin to those legendary days. Now 1994 may go down in history as the year Milford found a new home in Rothbury.
The pilgrims began their studies soon after arrival, reading the works of those assembled in the morning, and discussing them in the afternoon. Authors hid behind giant writing pads as their toils were exhumed in the company of their fellow writers. But what joy as problems were uncovered, solutions proposed and learning stimulated! How on Earth, wondered the newcomers, had The Great Old Ones managed with a group almost twice the size? We preferred the smaller circle which allowed us to scrutinize two works by each author.
New blood outnumbered the experienced fellows by five to four, but tradition managed to hang on by its fingernails. The evening's silly games were enhanced greatly by a box of Trivial Pursuit found under a bench near the bar. With it I was able to enhance my intellectual stature by demonstrating intimate knowledge of Noggin The Nog. Some tried alternative entertainment in the local ale house, but after a couple of visits the comfortable hotel surroundings seemed far more attractive.
By the end of the week, the group had actually grown – there were still the same number of people, but we had all eaten too much. The inn itself was set in picturesque countryside minutes from the village shops where we discovered somewhere to enjoy the ancient art of photocopying. Over the week, the examination of every topic from TV plays to tales of interstellar travel and stone shamans had brought people closer together. On the final day there was a pilgrimage to a couple of nearby castles before bidding fond farewells and pledging to return next year. [Wot, no carnage and blood-soaked manuscripts? Didn't used to be like this in the old days, when even mild-mannered Richard Cowper would stalk the hotel corridors muttering 'Kill! Kill!' – Ed.]
Some photos from Milford 1994 sent in by Ben Jeapes. Thanks. Ben.
Milford 1994 1.jpg - L-R Ben Jeapes, Lawrence Dyer, Chris Amies, Peter Garrett, Liz Holliday, Chris Beckett (photobombed by Lindisfarne Castle)
Milford 1994 2.jpg - top to bottom & L-R: Liz Holliday & Jane Killick; Chris Beckett & Chris Amies; Peter Garrett & Phil Gladwin; Ben Jeapes & Lawrence Dyer; and Ian Lee
Milford 1994 3.jpg - L-R: Phil Gladwin, Chris Beckett, Lawrence Dyer, Jane Killick, Ben Jeapes, Liz Holliday, Chris Amies, Peter Garrett
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