A virtual launch evening for my Memoir! #TheRoadToCleethorpesPier


Friday 9th October 7pm GMT online. Tickets available £3 from Eventbrite

#shelfie taken in The Bookcase Lowdham Notts

Please support my official launch organised by Lindum Books, Lincoln. It will be a Meet The Author Chat and reading of poems from the memoir. Should be a fun hour!

My Memoir is receiving praise from readers of ‘The Road to Cleethorpes Pier’

I am delighted with the response I have received to the release of my memoir of childhood. There are 5 star reviews on Amazon, including the one below. Copies can be bought from Amazon as paperback or as ebook downloaded to Kindle

Ebook: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08776HTMB

Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Road-Cleethorpes-Pier-memoir-prose/dp/1999870573/

One of my poems ‘Washday Wednesdays’, speaks about how complicated doing the laundry was in the 1940s/50s without washing machines! My Nan came to help my Mum and they used equipment which is now displayed in museums. Below you can see a photo taken at an exhibition at Lincoln Castle showing zinc tub, dollyposher ( for beating dirt out of the clothes), a scrubbing board and a tin bath. In addition ( not shown) a huge mangle was needed to put the clothes through and sting out the water before pegging out on the line. Doing the weekly laundry was a very time-consuming activity.


On windy washdays mum was stressed.
Wind chimes clanked and jangled
in the fierce gale. Washing flapped wildly

on the clothes line –- a string of ghostly bodies
on the hangman’s gallows,
bloated corpses with distorted limbs.…

In the lull between gusts you might catch
the crackle of sweet wrappers in forgotten pockets,
loose buttons tapping out morse-code messages.

Across the lawn crumpled leaves,
as lined as Nanny Buttle’s street-map face,
went chasing ceaselessly back and forth.

The tight-lipped dolly pegs swung
like pendulums with each new assault.
Yet their resistance proved too much

for the wind’s frenzied onslaught.
He would turn on the sulking clouds
with their churlish attitude… . . .

Something had to give,
Someone had to bend to his will
before he blew himself out.

With a frown on her face, hair tied up factory-girl style
in a neat turban, my mum pushed the damp clothes through
the mangle, Wilfred Pickles would often be on the radio.

I knew it was best to make myself scarce,
so I would creep off to my bedroom with a book,
knowing I could read my Enid Blyton tales undisturbed.

Great reviews for my memoir, TheRoadToCleethorpesPier

I am delighted to tell you that reaction to my new memoir has been very positive. I am currently receiving great reviews from readers who have bought and read the book.

it is available on Amazon in paperback ( £8.99) and as e-book for Kindle (£4.29). Signed author copies can be ordered from me, Margaret Royall £10.50 (in UK) to include p&p. Please email me to order: Margaretroyall@icloud.com and pay via PayPal on the link


Publication date is almost here! Weds 20th May 2020 The Road to Cleethorpes Pier – a memoir of childhood

I am really excited that the great day is very close now, just 4 days away on Weds 20th May. The Paperback copies of my book have arrived and I am now taking oreders via PayPal. Go to PayPal.com and the link PayPal.me/MargaretRoyall. The price is £10.50 to include post and packing. The memoir will also be available on Amazon and Kindle, £8.99 for paperback and £4.99 for Kindle download.

It is an unusual fusion of poetry, prose, old photographs and memorabilia. It loosely takes its form from the Japanese Haibun but is updated to a modern western style.

Here is a synopsis of what to expect

The Road to Cleethorpes Pier
A Memoir in Prose and Verse

‘I never missed my childhood home
until the tide stopped rolling in and
ochre sand no longer crunched between my toes …’

Nottinghamshire poet Margaret Royall’s new memoir is unusual. It takes the form of a ‘Haibun’ – a traditional Japanese combination of prose and poetry.
Margaret says: ‘I have chosen this form deliberately. The range of Haibun is broad and frequently includes autobiography. In this case the combination of prose and contemporary poetry has allowed me to really convey the beauty of growing up by the seaside in a bygone era.’
The history:
Margaret was born in 1944 to the bustle of Cleethorpes. Her world is one of family outings in a tiny Austin 7, ferry rides across the Humber, and lifelong friendships that are forged in unexpected places.
Family runs like a comforting thread throughout this lovely book, and it has been illustrated with many original photographs.

Readers will enjoy the nostalgia of poems about pushing damp clothes through the mangle on washdays, the smell of gas light, and eating fish and chips wrapped in newspaper. There are also vivid descriptions of steam travel to London, and the former glory of the Grimsby fishing fleet. And finally there are many powerfully subtle, heartfelt moments conveyed by poems and extracts about the lifelong friendships Margaret has formed along the way.
The Road to Cleethorpes Pier is beautiful portrait of childhood in prose and verse ‐ perfect for anyone who has dreamed of growing up by the seaside

Topical: Margaret Royall’s passion for poetry began in early childhood. Retirement brought the opportunity to pursue her writing seriously, giving voice to acute experiences of loss, grief and chronic illness.

The Road to Cleethorpes Pier is published on 20 May 2020 in ebook and paperback priced £8.99
A special hand bound hardback edition is also being produced at the publisher’s studio


Love Calls Me Home
A breath of cool air kisses my brow,
disturbs the tangled curls on the pillow.
The heady scent of opening lilies
drifts up from the garden.

Threads of childhood long ago
weave complex webs behind closed lids.
As the fuse catches and smoulders
the kaleidoscope shifts into focus

Floating through the open window
on a chill sea‐breeze in late Spring
I sense invisible hands supporting me –
ghost hands, male and female

I watch myself on mornings of promise
wandering bare‐foot along the beach,
catching the fishermen on the jetty,
struggling ashore with their haul of cockles and shrimps.

Clambering down the slipway to the breakwater,
I quietly stare out to Spurn point,
waiting for the revolving light to flash again,
for the incoming tide to fill the gullies.

The film scene plays on in my head,
reliving that childhood magic,
my brain erasing negative scenes between
then and now, no second takes possible.

Startled, I wake again on the cool side of the bed
in sheets like shrouds. The silence is deafening.
Yet just for a tide‐span I was there again,
back in that safe cocoon.

[‘Love Calls Me Home’ is an extract from ‘The Road to Cleethorpes Pier’ (2020, Crumps Barn Studio), copyright of the author © Margaret Royall 2020. All rights reserved.]

Bibliographic data:
Published by Crumps Barn Studio, Syde, Cheltenham GL53 9PN http://www.crumpsbarnstudio.co.uk
Paperback ISBN: 9781999870577
178 pages
46 black and white photographs Release date: 20 May 2020

Front cover and author photo

Photo of Cleethorpes Beach August 2019

My Memoir Of Childhood ‘The Road to Cleethorpes Pier ‘

I am now taking pre-orders for copies of my memoir above.

PayPal.me/MargaretRoyall £10.50 to include post and packing,

please contact me to order: margaretroyall@icloud.com

This brings back 50s childhood memories of Washday Wednesdays at home in Lincolnshire, recalled by a poem in my memoir, out 20th May, ‘The Road to Cleethorpes Pier’. My Nan came to help my mum do the laundry and this was the equipment we needed! To read more fascinating anecdotes of post -war childhood

To order a signed copy from me : contact me: margaretroyall@icloud.com
PayPal.me/MargaretRoyall, £10.50 incl p&p. The memoir will also be available on Amazon and Kindle from 20th May

memoir #poetryand prose #old photos

social history #postwar #Lincolnshire #Cleethorpes #bedsidebooks

Publication date draws near!


I am thrilled to announce that my memoir of childhood ‘The Road to Cleethorpes Pier’ is due for publication May 2020 with Crumps Barn Studio. I am really excited about this project and I have very much enjoyed writing about growing up in a seaside town on the East coast of England in the 40s, 50s and 60s. It has brought back many memories, events still vivid in my memory as well as ones I had almost forgotten. Looking out old photos to include in the memoir has been a real joy, although many are grainy and need careful restoration.

I have chosen an unusual format for the book, a fusion of poetry and prose passages as a nod to the Japanese prosimetric from called Haibun. In its traditional form it is usually a travelogue Consisting of haiku ( a Japanese’s 5-7-5 short verse form ) and prose – but I have adapted this to my own format.

Last August I revisited Cleethorpes and did some photography on the sea front. Much has changed over the years but some things are still the same. Here are a couple of photos I took from the promenade. As the resort lies at the mouth of the River Humber, a tidal river, the sea only comes up to the beach at high tide but is otherwise absent. Tourists are surprised if they arrive at low tide and cannot see the sea. The tide was out in these photos, hence no water in view.

Cleethorpes traditionally boasted five miles of golden sand. It has long been the resort of choice for holidaymakers and day -trippers from the Midlands and Yorkshire. It forms a conurbation with the larger town of Grimsby to the north, famous for its fishing industry.

photos of Cleethorpes beach showing a breakwater and the pier ( tide out)

The Road to Cleethorpes Pier


This is my latest project – a poetry memoir of childhood and adolescence growing up in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.

I have been looking out old photographs from the late 1940s /early 50s and I was forcibly struck by how “ Victorian” they look. Everyone seemed to wear a hat and suit, even on relaxed occasions. The pram in the photo looks ancient. I remember that my mum pushed me around in something called a Tansad – a cross between a pram and a pushchair, made by the Tansad company, hence the name, and widely in use at that time.


The adverts for Cleethorpes boasted
five miles of glorious golden sand –
no mention of the biting East wind!

The Meggies*were always a hardy bunch –
a daily dose of mind-numbing fresh air
an absolute must for the health-conscious locals.

My mum and friends believed in bracing walks.
She would push me in the old Tansad**along the Kingsway –
fine when I didn’t have to share it with Michael!

Oh how I hated him, loud, impatient, whiny,
sharing the pram with a boy was humiliating.
The only recompense a choc-ice at the end,

bought from Mr Oliphant’s open-all-hours shop
crammed with buckets, spades and kiss-me-quick hats
exuding cheerful optimism on the sea-front

Familiarity breeds contempt, they say. How true!
It is only now, living as I do in a landlocked place,
that I find myself frequently craving the wildness of the seashore

*Meggies – folk originating from Cleethorpes. The origin of the term is disputed.
**Tansad – a type of pushchair with adjustable footboard in use
in the 1940s/50s. Tansad became a generic name for a baby buggy