Publication date 14th December 2020: The Hedgehog Poetry Press
The Montefiore Bride brought me a winning place with the awesome Hedgehog Poetry Press after I entered a prickly shorts competition. I knew then that I wanted to donate all proceeds from the first run (less PayPal and p&p charges) to the homeless, in particular, Crawley Open House.
Homelessness can happen to anyone of us. Particularly in these Covid times. One day you could be settled in a nice house, a good job, and the next your whole world could cave in.
Helping the homeless is a charity so close to my heart. When I was a child, we could have been homeless, my parents with four young children, one of them a newborn. Thankfully an organisation in Bolton helped us and we were temporarily housed in a huge house in Farnworth with other families. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the winter of 1962 and my dad made me go out with him to find the shops. I kept complaining I was cold and my dad told me to stop moaning we were all cold and I needed to know where the shops were so I could show Mum.
That year is the first time I can remember being poorly. I now know it was a bug. I kept being sick for weeks and couldn’t keep anything down other than Oxo which Mum used to make for me. Anyway, I am digressing but if it hadn’t been for that organisation, we could have ended up on the streets. God forbid what may have happened to us in those temperatures. Especially my two-month old brother.
When I started my MA in Brighton back in 2014, I saw lots of homeless people in doorways. I’d give one person the last money I had in my purse but then there was someone in another doorway and I had nothing left to give. I’d often find myself in tears walking back to the station. It was then I realised that I couldn’t help every individual but the best way to help was through an organisation and there are quite a few.
If you look on this link from an earlier blog there are options where you can donate.
So are you with me? I’m told my prose poetry short story, The Montefiore Bride is a lovely piece of work. Here’s what it’s about and a preview of the story.
Back in 2017 as part of MA in creative writing I was required to take up a writing residency. I chose my local Victorian Park, Worth Park, in Crawley, West Sussex. As part of my remit, I researched the park’s past going back to 19th September 1888 when Sir Francis Montefiore, the first and last Baronet of Worth Park, brought home his Austrian bride.
This short fictional West Sussex tale is based on facts from archived newspaper cuttings, black and white historic photographs and filling in the gaps with fiction.
A preview read
The Montefiore Bride
A Sussex Fictional Tale Based on Facts
Patricia M Osborne
The Arrival – 19th September 1888
Mr Burr and I push past men in top hats and bonneted women hovering around Three Bridges. White and blue bunting shimmers in the autumn sun. Villagers grip red flags. Mr Burr and I wait with eager crowds for the half past four to arrive.
Red carpet in position, Sir Francis steps outside. I remember his Pa before him, a good man, one to respect, the Bart’s inherited that gift. He escorts his child bride, ‘Ice and Snow.’
Elegance in satin, her gown embroidered with pearls, she enchants onlookers. The footman opens the carriage, lifts the lady’s moon-lace train. She settles onto the seat. Her spouse slides close, smiles, kisses her hand. We all cheer.
Step back to 1888 and become part of the Victorian crowd waiting at Three Bridges Station…
Order your signed copy now for £5.99 plus p&p and help the homeless at the same time.