Percy Chattey: Writer

Author of Thrillers. Book Genre: Murder, Mystery & Crime

Video Trailer! The London Blitz

Hello everyone. As you know the 2015 edition of “Blitz & Pieces” has been published and distributed by Austin Macauley. It is available in hard, soft & ebook formats. Please order your copy online (Amazon and others) or visit your UK book store (Hint: Waterstones).

So, yes it is a first for me, but I am quite excited about this book trailer about the London Blitz, the subject I cover in my book. I hope you like the little video and please send your feedback. :-)

## Followers, please show your support ## LIKE and SHARE this VIDEO POST on your time line…
» https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW9IsNh1XLE

Strangers came and took us away!

The London Blitz. Image by Getty

The London Blitz. Image by Getty

How nice that the Barking and Dagenham Post have done a piece on my wartime memoirs “Blitz and Pieces”. I went to school in this area and I recall the Blitz experience in my book. So my connections are real and I appreciate them taking on this story. Of course I am retired in Spain now”. My book will be out in hardback as of tomorrow 30th April 2015, please see my website: www.percychatteybooks.com for more details.

> B&D POST Link > http://bit.ly/1HTwJxf

Here’s a snippet of the article Thank you B&D Post: 
One night in 1939 Percy Chattey was woken and told to get dressed. The three-year-old walked a mile through the winter rain to Whalebone Lane School. Half asleep, scared and confused Percy wondered, were the Germans coming?

It was pitch black – as street lights gave Dagenham’s co ordinations away to potential bombers. After being ushered into cars, trains and a boat he arrived in a small coastal village where he would be evacuated, just as a hazy morning light began to break through the clouds. “I don’t remember much of this journey,” admitted Percy, now 79.

I was too distressed and tired to take in what was going on. “We were told to line up. Total strangers came along the line picking children and taking them away. Can you imagine that happening today?”

Percy grew up in Dagenham and moved to Spain 15 years ago. He said living through “horror and destruction” makes a person flippant, which is why, in his 70s, he chose to write his début memoir “Blitz and Pieces” for his grandchildren to read. Now it’s his autobiography and mainly about his early years in Chadwell Heath during the Second World War.

After returning from evacuation Percy was five-years-old and living on East Street when the blitzing started. “We spent all our nights in the Anderson shelter wondering whether the house was still standing. It was a horrible cold thing with a corrugated steal roof,” he recalled.

“I remember cold, damp, sleepless nights and the sheer fear that when the air raids sounded you didn’t know what was going to happen. The shelter would rock and water poured down the walls. In the morning you’d get up and there would be bits of plane and shrapnel everywhere.”

PCBBlogBnrHe said bombs would drop continuously but the following day he’d be expected to go to school – St. Chad’s County Infants on Chadwell Heath’s Japan Road. He remembers a boy crying at school one day because his father had been killed by a doodlebug that morning.

“There was so much death that you had to get on with it and carry on and go to school,” he said. “No one spoke of injuries or death because it was all around us and happened too often. Without a doubt living through the blitz still affects me today. I want my grandchildren to know what it was like when I was young and how different life was then to growing up today.”

Blitz and Pieces will be published in hardback, paperback and eBook on Thursday (April 30 2015). It is available to buy on Amazon and in all major bookshops such as Waterstones, Barns & Noble, Kindle, etc. Or see Percy’s website: http://www.percychatteybooks.com for more details.

The story line is…

Hi everyone. Let me start by giving you a puzzle – you are sitting in a room with the air conditioning on, however the setting on it is not right and it is not cold enough. To make it colder – do you change it up or down? Answers on a Post card please to Casa FuenteLargo. What is the matter with the people at the BBC, it would appear they are only interested in broadcasting soaps, cooking, nature and the weather.

It is old news now of getting rid of Jeremy Clarkson and throwing away fifty million pounds a year in profit from the man’s talents, even a company the size of Apple or Microsoft would baulk at the prospect of casting that sort of income out of the window, and of course another giant in this world, Amazon, has quickly thrown it’s hat in the ring, that is if it has a hat, and signed a contract with him and his team. If the story line in one of my novels was in a similar vein as the action of the British Broadcaster, the reader would have put the book down as rubbish.

Of course story telling is fiction and one can create all sorts of situations, but if it is a tale about life then surely it has to be believable. No doubt others would disagree with me. Oh! Come to think of it I just contradicted myself. My new work ‘The Main Course’ is coming on fine, it is a follow on from ‘Death for a Starter’. Creating a fictional family is fun and interesting I am sure when it is on the book shelves it will be enjoyed by the reader.

My books are available locally

My work is now available in El Condor’s Bar in the Square in Frailes, also obtainable in Christine’s Book Shop in Hondon de las Nieves – it is called Celebrations, as you leave the village going towards Aspe it is on the left hand side just before you get to the petrol filling station. And of course my thriller novels can be found on Amazon and other book shops also Kindle. Austin Macauley Publishers also sell ‘Blitz& Pieces’ in hard back format. If you wish to stock and sell my novels then please be in touch we would be very pleased.

Praise

And finally it is always nice and a good feeling of pride when we receive emails like the following from guests who have recently stayed at our Hondon Holiday Rental: Casa FuenteLargo: ‘Dear Jean & Percy, We have now settled back into our routine at home and I just wanted to write to say thank you for a very enjoyable stay at your villa. I know Conall really loves his book and we are both quite a way through our books and enjoying them immensely. All the best & kind regards, Carol & Richard x’

Risking life and limb

Calais, the exciting gateway to France…  Well at least it used to be the fun start to a holiday, that has all changed, with mega delays because it has become a battlefield of striking workers delaying the crossing facilities, also thousands of immigrants trying to get through the Channel Tunnel. As I remember, before it was built, some groups who opposed it said that’s exactly what would happen.

What I really do not understand is that we sent a warship to the Mediterranean or maybe it was already there, however it must have been very costly, a figure with loads of zeros after it. This ship saves boatloads of immigrants trying to escape from some horror in Africa, and transports them to the Southern coast of Europe. These people are not content in staying where they have arrived and they make their way through Italy, France or wherever, and arrive at Calais. Although we rescued them in the first instance, now we don’t want anything to do with them, and try to stop them from crossing the Channel, again another costly exercise.

Ah! Now the best bit. Those people that make the crossing risking life and limb to do so are awarded as if it had been some gigantic race – housing, money, medical attention, benefit and more benefit which is recorded to be worth twenty six grand a year. Instead of going through this farce why didn’t the Royal Navy deliver them to Southampton in the first place? This money lavished on this illegal mob, and that is what they are – is sickening as it discriminates giving complete strangers a comfort they have never known and depriving our own people into squalor because they have grown old and their pension does not cope.

In my latest novel ‘The Main Course’ if I was to put a situation similar in the story, I would be ridiculed and it would be described as a load of nonsense. So I will keep to the setting at the end of the eighteenth century, which in themselves were exciting times. Hopefully it will be ready to put in your loved ones Christmas stocking. If you agree with my sentiments then please share. For all my other writings go to www.percychatteybooks.com or Amazon and most book shops

‘The Main Course’ … is being prepared

My new novel ‘The Main Course’ is coming on fine, it is the follow on from ‘Death for a Starter’ and is making exciting reading and hopefully it will be ready for an October release.

Without a doubt it is interesting writing a story set at the end of the eighteen hundreds, especially as it is a follow on, developing the family and introducing new characters. It is set in real time of vast change, one new invention coming quickly after another.

The difficulty while writing is to wash one’s mind of current events and style of living, also to take a lot of care to make sure the narrative stays within the period. I was reading a lovely paperback recently the plot was set in eighteen forty one, the author was very precise about the year.

The story included two ladies buying and selling houses as if it is set in the nineteen seventies, it spoilt for me the intrigue of the plot, as in the period of the book women did not have money, and certainly were not allowed to own property. ‘Okay’ is a phrase so easy to use when writing in conversation at a time set before nineteen forty, however it never came into being until the Second World War which can make a nonsense of the diction.

On the other hand these works are only fiction and does it matter if they are out of context? Yes, I think it does, because as time goes by fiction will become truth and these distortions will become reality of the past.

It is time to start thinking of a cover for my new work and no doubt my Designer will help in that respect as he has done so grand and dramatically with my previous novels.

Sorry for the lapse in Blogging … but busy I have been… more soon my friends.

The Blitz. A stark reminder of a War Machine

I came across a very interesting YouTube video this week, where a group of Defence Specialists set about to demonstrate the amount of damage that a single German bomb from World War II would create. The 4 part programme “Blitz Street”is presented by Tony Robinson (a well known TV Historian, regular documentary maker and actor of “The Black Adder” fame). As shown on Channel 4 in the UK.

As Tony suggests, this programme reminds us of the daily fear, struggle and damage done to ordinary people’s lives and property by the German Luftwaffe’s sustained campaign of terror. It was designed to break the will of the people into surrender. Of course we now know, despite its terrible and dire consequences, the Blitz stirred the “Bulldog Spirit” of the Londoner’s.

At school the next day after a big raid, they would call the register. All the kids would call their names out. Sometimes there would be a pause. … “where’s so-and-so?” (teacher) … “Oh they are dead Miss, their house was hit last night”.

“The hardest part was the babies.  You just had to ignore what you saw. If they weren’t alive you just left them. If they were alive you got them out and laid them on the pathment so the ambulances could take them away to hospital.”- WWII Fire & Rescue, George Whelan

» “Blitz Street”  can be seen at www.youtube.com.

This excellent piece substantiates my own memories and descriptions of the mass damage caused in London by the sustained period of German bombing “Blitzkrieg” that began in September 1940 through to the following May. The relentless cascade of bombs on London shaped by childhood and indeed much of my life.

London Blitz StreetIn my memoirs ‘Blitz & Pieces’ I describe in detail the bombing of East London when one thousand German aircraft in a formation twenty miles wide caused indiscriminate wholesale destruction night after night, fearful that the next one to fall would have your name on it. The largest problem after the war came to a conclusion was the lack of housing stock as a result of the carpet bombing by the German Luftwaffe. This had resulted in three million houses being destroyed mainly in London and the South East, which at that time represented about a quarter of the housing stock – or one in three properties becoming non-existent.

In 1942 this was observed by the Government as becoming a challenge when the war was over – how to re-house all the homeless people? A committee was formed to study the problem and how it could be resolved. Prefabricated buildings were the answer and the ‘Prefab’ was born. Initially the design was to last for ten years to give the country time to build normal houses. However the new structures, which included a bathroom with hot and cold water, a fitted kitchen with a fridge, and besides the central heating there was also a coal fire. They were pre-constructed in factories and delivered by road transport. These quaint little houses became a common sight around the country built on spare land and bomb sites.

By nineteen fifty one, one million new council homes in the form of these buildings had been created. The strange result was these little homes of a minimum six hundred and thirty five square feet (about sixty square metres) with all the modern facilities built into them, most of the populace had not known before, were very comfortable and lasted a lot longer than the ten years of the original design. My work is available through Austin Macauley Publishers, Amazon and other outlets.


My autobiography ‘Blitz & Pieces’, the true story of how a six year old survived the Blitz,’ is Published through Austin Macauley Publishers also available at Amazon, in soft or hard back cover, plus all other outlets including ebooks.

» Further details can also be found at www.percychatteybooks.com

The VE DAY 70 Celebrations

Blitz World War IISaturdays evening’s programme on BBC, 9th May celebrating seventy years since the end of the Second World War was very good. (If you are in the UK, you might still catch it on the BBC iPlayer Channel)

The clips they used to emphasise parts of the war, which had been taken from old newsreels portraying events of that time, brought back strong memories – the sound of the air raid warning giving a short burst of fear reminiscent of the feeling created in the forties by that sound.

In my book ‘Blitz & Pieces’ I describe in detail the horror, the constant fear and the day to day stress because of the continuous attacks by the enemy on a non military population. Living below ground level in a cold steel shelter hoping it was strong enough to give you protection against the bombs falling outside. People were being killed on a basis not experienced before by civil inhabitants. I clearly remember my close friend at school crying all day because his father had been killed that morning by a bomb, however there was no time for mourning and schooling continued. All true because I was there.

Beside the savage attacks on our way of life there was another difficulty, equal in some ways only that it added to the total discomfort. The shortage of goods and the severe rationing of supplies, food to clothing, created other problems. The allowable clothing coupons issued on a monthly basis, for a growing family of three was not adequate, with the consequence if an article got too tight, and there was no voucher available then the continuous use of it was the only answer. Shoes were the worst it was either go bare foot or wear tight shoes and hobble along.

Blitz & Pieces is available through Austin Macauley Publishers, online through Amazon and all good book stores in the UK.

#VEDay70 Euro Weekly News

PCB Euro Weekly News on the VE DAY 70

May 9th. Euro Weekly News Feature

How kind of the Euro Weekly News to cover my autobiography again on VE DAY 70. It’s a great free Expat Paper here on the Costa Blanca and I am thankful they chose my wartime memoirs “Blitz and Pieces” as a front page feature on this weekend of remembrance.

I understand there is loads going on across the UK for this auspicious event.  Please support your VE Day celebrations as this day was so important in Europe’s History.

» You can read the article in full on the EWN website here.

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