Personal likes and interests


Published Articles

1965 –Tempo – magazine for staff and patient of St George’s Hospital, Morpeth

One of its  editors and contributor of an article – Border Feud -Victorian Style (between North British Railway and North Eastern Railway in Northumberland)

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy a Case History

1966 – Nursing Mirror

Community Mental Health services in Paris district

1980’s – translation for Community Psychiatric Nursing Journal

Services for Elderly in Italy

1980’s – translation for Community Psychiatric Nursing Journal

Rural Services for Elderly ( from Royal College of Nursing  conference in Scarborough)

1980’s – Nursing Times

“Illness Caught in Paris”

1980 – Donizetti Society Journal 4 (Pages 241-6)

“Bewitched in a magic garden” – Giacomo Meyerbeer in Italy

1988 – Donizetti Society Journal 6 (Pages 163-92)

The Ballingarry Bell

c. 1990 Irelands Own/

“Meyerbeer in London” 1998

in Meyerbeer und das europäische Musiktheater, Sieghart Döhring / Arnold Jacobshagen (editors) Laaber Verlag (Pages 386-406)

Piercing the Veil of the Future – A review of the Delphi Method of Research

1993 – Professional Nurse

Community Nursing and the Promotion of Mental Health

MA Thesis –Definition of mental health, based on primary, secondary and tertiary principles of health promotion; a review of and teaching about it in Community Psychiatric Nursing Courses within UK and curriculum proposals. 1993 – MA (Dunelm) in Adult Education

1924 Fay-Raven Royal Commission in New South Wales Government Railways

2005 – Australian Railway History Journal, Version 56, no. 817

Railway Knights in New Zealand – 1924 Fay-Raven Royal Commission in New Zealand Government Railways

2005 – The New Zealand Railway Observer Railway Observer, Version 62, Page 46

NER Strike July 1910

2006 – North Eastern Express, Version 45

Electrifier Extraordinaire – Charles Hesterman Merz

2013 – Australian Railway History Journal, Version 64, no. 903

2019 AGEUK – Burnhope profile

Awaiting Publication

Rails over the Monaro

An account of the development of the line from Goulburn to Cooma and the to Bombala in southern New South Wales
(Accepted for publication by Australian Railway History Society Journal in 2018)

Published Books

Visionary Pragmatist – Sir Vincent Raven: Locomotive Engineer (1858-1934)

The last Chief Mechanical Engineer of the North Eastern Railway. This biography portrays the man how the man developed his engineering learning. as well as working with n the social, political scene both locally and nationally of the time as husband parent, manager and employer.
(Published as a paperback in 2005 by Tempus Publishing, Stroud and e-book 2014 by successor History Press)
In the light of having discovered more material about him, this is due to be reworked in the near future.

Josephine’s composer – Gaspare Pacifico Luigi Spontini (1774-1851)

An Italian – born composer who studied at Naples Conservatorio, made a name for himself in Italy, went to Napoleonic France and became Empress Josephine’s personal composer. After sometime at Restoration court of Bourbon LouisXVIII, he left for the Berlin after being head-hunted by Prussian King FrederickWilliam III. He exercised an important influence on Berlioz and Weber and Wagner. The book looks at the religious, political, cultural and musical background in the 3 countries he lived in.
(Published as a paperback in May 2013 by Authorhouse). This is the first full length English biography of him.

Accompanying Gracie Harry Parr-Davies (1914-1955)

He was  Gracie Field’s pianist, composer and friend and his achievements in the British light music scene from being a child prodigy to song writing youth on to revues and musicals, set against the social, musical, film making and military background of the 1930’s, the second World War and the ensuing peace before his early death.
NB (This was published as a paperback and e-book in 2015. The author has  completed  an I-movie developed from former  Keynote presentation. This will coincide with an updated version of the book above,  retitled A Musical Prodigy from Briton Ferry  to be published this Autumn. It adds  more than 30 000 words to the original because the author has discovered much new material concerning Harry and his music.)

An Early Railway Station Architect – Sancton Wood (1814-1886)

He provided railway station buildings of quality for Irish and East Anglian and East Midland railways. A founder member of an insurance company (precursor of Aviva).
(Paperback e-book published by York Publishing Services in August 2017.)

Books in Preparation

The Bringer of Electricity to Railways and Industry – Charles Hesterman Merz (1874-1940)

This biography arose because Merz worked with Sir Vincent Raven. It in turn lead me to an exploration of an amazingly prolific life as a consultant electrician. Born in Gateshead, he pioneered British rail electrification, power stations and introduced the concept of a National Grid at first locally, then nationally and globally. His worked spanned 40 years – a period of busy political and social change up to World War Two.
(Paperback and e-book to be published in 2018)

A Gentleman Railway Engineer from Ireland – Alexander McDonnell (1829-1904)

His life and family cover much of Irish history to provide a social biography of an Irish aristocrat, his career as a railway engineer and manager in Dublin, Gateshead and elsewhere.
(Paperback and e-book to be published in late 2018)

A European composer – Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) – Jacob Liebmann Meyer Beer

This is a biography of a talented Jew from a wealthy Berlin family. A prodigy at the piano and at composing, he left Berlin to study in Darmstadt and Italy. Like Spontini, he went on to Paris and back to Berlin. His influence lasted throughout the Victorian period and beyond.
This is the first English biography for publication in 2018-19.

Northumbrian Early Railway Engineer – Edward Fletcher (1807-1889)

He was Raven’s mentor, was apprenticed himself to Robert Stephenson, gaining experience in Kent and York, before becoming the first Locomotive Superintendent of North Eastern Railway.
(Paperback and e-book to be published in 2018-19)

Uncle Iggy – a Durham Architect – Ignatius Bonomi (1787-1870)

Of Italian Catholic origin, but London-born, he came a a young man to North east as Durham County bridge surveyor, responsible for many bridges, churches, private houses and public buildings mainly in Durham, North Yorkshire and after becoming an Anglican, built Waldensian churches in Piedmont region of Italy.
(Book and e-book to be published in late 2019-20)