Seminar on lesser-known city children’s author

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IN THE same week that Portsmouth plans to celebrate Charles Dickens, a lesser-known son of this city will also be remembered.

Portsmouth Grammar School will be hosting a seminar about Portsmouth-born children’s writer Percy Westerman on Feburary 11.

Guests will hear from speakers including Dr Rachel Johnson, research librarian at Worcester University and Dr Philip MacDougal, a naval historian and researcher.

The seminar will also display a selection of books and memorabilia including the writing chair used by Westerman during his years living in his iconic home – a houseboat moored on the River Frome.

Enthusiast Nigel Gossop, from Cosham, said: ‘Interest in the work of Percy Westerman is growing and it is such a shame that he has not received the acknowledgement from his home city.

‘The popularity and awareness of authors with Portsmouth connections include Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling and Neville Shute, but Percy Westerman, who was an important literary figure during his lifetime, has been largely forgotten and overlooked.’

Westerman wrote his first book in 1908 while living in Portsmouth and went on to pen a further 173 books over the next 50 years.

Tickets to the Westerman Seminar on Saturday, February 11, from 10am until 4pm, cost £15 and include a buffet lunch and all refreshments.

For more information contact Mr Gossop on (023) 9237 5594 or email