Welcome to SMH !

'A Garden Shed industry'. That is what David Holloway, a former, distinguished Literary Editor of the Daily Telegraph, called SMH ENTERPRISES. It was founded in 1987 with the publication of COLDWALTHAM: A Story of Three Hamlets, my history of the Civil Parish of Watersfield, Coldwaltham and Hardham. At that time, I lived in Watersfield at Pear Tree Cottage, and the 'garden shed' was my kitchen!

Things have developed somewhat since then! The name changed some time ago to SMH BOOKS. For almost thirty years, my work has included, and still includes, assessing scripts with a view to publication, and editing. SMH has published just a few worthwhile titles, not economically viable for the publishing 'Big Boys' to take on board, but ones which, I felt, deserved to be in print.

A risky business? Yes, but it paid off. My country books and poetry collections have sold well, and copies have found their way round the world. AN EXALTATION OF SKYLARKS - 2,300 years of Skylark prose and poetry - became a triple-award winner on publication. My children's book, THE GIANT AND THE MOUSE, received a prestigious David St John Thomas award. And as for WITHIN THE GLADE - Patrick Moore's only book of poems 'for Children of All Ages, well, as many of you know, that has been the greatest success story of all - and an enjoyable one, too!

Go to NOTES FROM SANDRA AT SMH to read wonderful tributes from her authors and commendations from colleagues

FLOWERS IN THE WINDOW

I was looking at this photograph, taken many years ago, of two bunches of Mothering Sunday flowers sent by two of my sons. What if I could interest friends in St Nicholas’ Church, my church in Arundel, in letting me have short pieces on the thoughts and life-enriching memories they would like to share with others?

Slowly, in they came, and the result is an amazing collection of contributions, some prose, some poems, with colour and black-and-white illustrations to accompany them.

This is no ordinary little book. Price £5, it is on sale in St Nicholas’ parish office, £1 going to The Friends of St Nicholas’ for the first 100 copies sold. (We’ve sold 85 no – a display and sale will be held at the Friends’ GM on 24 May- we need to sell fifteen more so that we can hand over the promised £100.00. Would you like to buy one?)

If I could be an Elephant

by Indigo Ashworth

If I could be an Elephant For only just one day, I’d use my trunk to water flowers And help the firemen spray. I’d blow fresh air to cool them down And fan them with my ears, Then tickle them from far away Whilst drinking all their beers!
I’d pick up litter with my tusks Then stomp off down the dump, And roar as loudly as I could To drown out Donald Trump!
But of all the things I’d like to do There’s one that is the best, I’d give the world a memory Lest We Forget the rest…

Indigo was eight, when she wrote this poem. She recited it in our SACRED NATURE event at Arundel Festival 2016.

SIGNOR ROY

Recently, I decided to go back to my writing, and stop publishing. But... I couldn't resist re-publishing Roy MacGregor Hastie's SIGNOR ROY. It took four years to get together the finances and carefully re-edit the book, for a paperback edition, £9.95 (UK post-free to my Personal Customers).

All kinds of local, national and international connections support my brother's book.

Local: I was asked to prepare a flyer to be distributed when Arundel Co-op opened, after refurbishment back in February.

ON DOGS

Dogs

I read in THE LADY magazine that 'New research by Vetsure reveals a third of dog owners over 55 are likely to confide or seek comfort in their pet'!

If only Fred, the family dog, was still around! We communed daily and often, inside and outside our old Sussex cottage; even more, when the children had left home. I also communed with Thely (Othello), another lovely dog at my son's parents-in-law's Cambridge home..

Here are two photos to prove my point.

TWO ARCHBISHOPS, TWO BISHOPS TWO DATES, TWO ARUNDEL CONNECTIONS and ONE SMH BOOK!

In 1961, Michael Ramsey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, went to Chichester Cathedral to dedicate the newly-rebuilt Arundel Screen, in memory of George Bell (1883-1958), one of the most outstanding Bishops of Chichester. (And, in my book, and in that of the 2000+ who have recently signed a Petition to have his name cleared and his greatness reinstated, a Bishop forever to be remembered.)

THE PEOPLE'S BOOK PRIZE

As the publisher of Patrick Moore's WITHIN THE GLADE Poems for Children of all ages! I represented him in May 2013 at The People's Book Prize awards ceremony in London. He had been nominated a finalist.

It was a glittering, glamorous evening, held in the Stationers' Hall of The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers in the City. Before the reception, I was filmed, talking about Sir Patrick, our long friendship, WITHIN THE GLADE and my own work as a poet and writer. (Click Here to view the awards evening on YouTube).

Sir Patrick Moore, CBE, FRS

I met Patrick when I worked at the BBC, PR-promoting their books. We became friends when I worked with him on media interviews for two editions of The Sky at Night.

The friendship lasted almost forty years...

When my four children were small, Patrick invited us over to his Selsey home where, in great excitement, they walked round the garden with him, peering through the telescopes and getting a master stargazer's guided tour. What an adventure!

POETRY TALKS AND WORKSHOPS

As a long-time published poet and lover of other people's poetry, too, I am totally committed to encouraging people to write poetry. For me, it is the greatest, most versatile, and most accessible art form.

On the front flyleaf of WITHIN THE GLADE, the late and great Sir Patrick Moore's poems for Children (of all ages!), I incorporated a mini-lecture!

THE LUCKY ONES

For two decades, I worked on this series, inspired-by and based-on THE EIGHT BEATITUDES, Jesus' teaching during the Sermon on the Mount. They are now finished, and ready to be performed on television or radio - although the plays were first written, each complete in itself, or as a series, for TV.

First conceived as Christian guidelines, they nevertheless highlight moral issues relevant to ALL faiths and creeds today.

CHRISTMAS PLAYS FOR CHILDREN

CHRISTMAS PLAYS were written for my own four children, when small; one a year, over a period of five years. They were performed in our Chelsea mansion flat, to entertain family, friends and neighbours - and they did! Quite undated (except perhaps that I am "Mummy", not "Mum"!), they are short, simple plays, requiring no special scenery, and very few props, for children aged between five and thirteen, and they can equally easily be put on either at home or at school. The names can of course be changed to suit any cast.

SMH DATES AND VENUES

18-30 April

10am-4.30 pm Craft Fair at the NORFOLK CENTRE, Mill Road, Arundel

SMH BOOKS will be there 18-21 and 25-28

Sunday, 30 April Following its success at Arundel Festival 2016, 4 pm- SACRED NATURE 2 - ‘Nellie the Elephant – and other Creatures’  will have a repeat performance at St Mary’s Church, Tortington