The Wight Fair Writers & Artists Circle

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Fred Canavans Winning Short Story, Xmas 2018


Fred Canavan won the ‘Sight for Wight’ Christmas 2018 short story.

Ta-dah! by Fred Canavan

 George Cardy, on the morning of his fiftieth birthday, wiped the steam from the bathroom mirror and smiled at the plump red-faced middle-aged man staring back at him. He swiped the razor round his face and sluiced off the shaving foam. Wincing at the nettle-sharp sting of after-shave, he shuffled back to his bedroom. It was the week before Christmas.

      He slipped into a new white shirt, tied a neat Windsor knot in his dark blue tie and hauled on his best grey suit. He checked his flies and flashed a yellow duster across his plain black shoes. George Cardy, amateur magician, practical joker, and assistant manager at Western Commercial Bank in the Yorkshire town of West Pudsley, was ready. Singing `Happy Birthday to me`, he skipped downstairs and bounced into the dining room.

       `Abracadabra!` he shouted, pulled an egg from his wife`s ear, and collapsed onto a chair in a fit of giggles.

       Doreen Cardy, lipstick in hand, turned from the mirror. She pursed her lips in a prim moue of discontent.

     `You`ll have to get your own breakfast, George. Mother`s having her feet done and I`ve to get her to the clinic for half-past seven. Oh, and there`s a letter for you on the table.`

      She was gone. George made a pot of tea and picked up the long slim envelope. She was having a joke, wasn`t she? Like they used to joke years ago. It was a birthday card, surely – maybe even a funny one he could tell them about at the bank. He opened the letter.  It wasn`t a birthday card. He read the first lines.

       Dear Sir,

      `We are instructed by our client Mrs. Doreen Cardy to inform you that she intends to start divorce proceedings…`

      He rested the letter against the teapot. A watery yellow sun peeped round the net curtains, changed its mind and went next door. George looked at his appointment book. The area manager had asked to see him at nine o`clock. He was sure – quite sure – that it was about the manager`s job in the East Pudsley branch. Old Reggy Smithers, you see, had dropped dead a week ago.

           The area manager popped his head round the door.

        `Ah, George, there you are. Do come in and take a seat. No, I won`t shake hands – had quite a nasty electric shock last time, if you remember…`

        `Used to catch `em out at school with that one,` said George, `great fun.`

        The area manager sighed and waved a vague hand.  `Damned shame old Reggy   popping off like that. Just before Christmas, too. Well, the bank have decided…`

       `Oh, yes?` said George.

      `To close the branch and transfer the staff here.`

       `Oh,` said George. There was a silence. He saw the blurred figure of a window cleaner through the frosted glass and heard the rattle of a ladder and the slosh of a chamois leather.

      The area manager looked away. `Of course, adjustments will have to made…`

     `Of course,` said George.

     `Naturally there will be changes…`

     `Naturally,` said George.

     `Some…err…some redundancies, d`you see?` The area manager tugged at his tie and fiddled with his fountain pen. `It`s not me, George. It`s Cyril Hargreaves, our esteemed director. Had it in for you ever since you squirted water in his eye with that trick carnation. But look on the bright side old chap – early retirement!  Spot of gardening, smidgeon of golf – snifter or two at the nineteenth hole – and just think of the pay-off, you lucky devil – I say, is that the time?`

      He sugared the pill at the door.

     `Bound to bump into each other at the Rotary Club. Might even see one of your magic shows, ha-ha! Warmest regards to Doreen. Oh, and do let me have your swipe card, old chap. No really, I won`t shake hands – can`t catch me twice you old smarty-boots! Now, do mind the step on the way out. Merry Christmas, old chap…`

     On the street, the town hall clock chimed the quarter hour. George had gone from happily married man and respected assistant bank manager, to an unemployed prospective divorcee in less than an hour. He stepped, unseeing, from the kerb. A screech of brakes sent him bounding back like a pig on a pogo stick. A red car – it was quite like his own, he thought – skidded to a halt.

     The tattooed baseball-capped chav behind the wheel stuck his head out of the window. `Come on, Grandad! Yer wanna get across or not?`

     `Sorry,` called George, `never saw you.` He waved his thanks, scuttled across the road and held on to a lamp post. He watched as the car drove away, noticed the number plate and groaned at the sheer unfathomable injustice of life.

    `Like my car? It is my bloody car! Hoi, you thieving little-` He whipped out his mobile

and punched in nine-nine-nine. The battery was flat.

         George walked across town to Pudsley Police Station. The young constable behind the desk put down his mug of tea, and gave the traditional sharp intake of breath.

     `Driver had tattoos and a baseball cap? Oh, dear. Needle in haystack, that is. He`ll file the engine number off and change the plates.  Shouldn`t be at all surprised if your car ain`t doing a bank job in Lithuania  this time next week, Mr. Hardy-`

      `Cardy!` spluttered George, `my name`s…oh, never mind.`

      He tottered over to the bus station – just as the number twenty-seven pulled away. He had an hour to wait, and it began to rain. Great fat teardrops ran down the windows of the municipal bus shelter – and down the plump and rosy cheeks of George Albert Cardy.

       In the hushed tick-tocking dining room – how strange it was to be at home on a weekday mid-morning – George brooded on Cyril Hargreaves.  Feller never liked me… jealous of my conjuring tricks. Bloody ingratitude of the man…who  jollied up all those boring bank parties? Not him.

        His eyes rested on the teapot. Another letter? Who on earth…? He flipped open the flap. Doreen`s neat school-girlish handwriting surprised him.

       Dear George,

            By the time you read this note I will be gone. I have taken my things and will be staying at mother`s. Her bunions are better, but her corns give cause for concern. By the way, your agent rang, please call him back.


           Mikey Cohen plonked his feet on his desk, rested the telephone receiver between chin and shoulder, and drew on a cigar.

      `Got a last minute  booking for you, George. Christmas party at the Grand Hotel. – tonight.  Why? Brian the Brilliant`s cancelled, that`s why.  Knocked down by some tattooed hooligan in a stolen car, apparently. Can you do it?`

      `Suppose so – whose party is it?`

     `Western and Commercial Bank, mate – here, ain`t that your day job?`

     `Used to be, Mikey, used to be…`

      `Lovely jubbly, pal. Gotta go…`

           At the Grand Hotel, that same night, Cyril Hargreaves poked the hotel manager in the chest. `Brian the Brilliant,` he snarled. `Where`s Brian the bloody Brilliant?`

         The manager back-pedalled round the reception desk.

         `Currently in Pudsley General Hospital, sir, with two broken legs. However I do have another magician for you – or you could have Theresa the Teaser, she`s a stripper, sir. Does things with a python that`d turn your hair grey.`

         `We`ll stick to the magician,` barked Cyril, and marched away.

      George Cardy, in a silver diamante cape and a bright red fez, took a bow, and looked over the footlights of the Grand Hotel`s  `Heathcliffe  Room`.

   `A volunteer,` he called, `who will be a volunteer for the Great Cardini`s next

 trick?` Two hundred bank staff sat on their hands.

     `I will!` shouted Cyril Hargreaves. `I`ll volunteer!`

      He blustered on to the stage – quite why Doreen was sitting at his table, George didn`t know – and shaking the magician`s outstretched hand, shrieked and howled at the electric shock. The staff tittered.

      `Now then, sir,` said George, `do you have a wristwatch?`

      `Yes,` said Cyril, nursing his quivering right arm, `my proudest possession – to mark thirty years of service with the bank.`

    `Would you care to give it to me, sir?` asked George.

      Cyril was trapped. Couldn`t spoil the party, could he? He gave a cheesy `life and soul of the party` simper, and slipped the watch from his wrist. George wrapped it a white handkerchief, placed it on the small round table he always used, and took out a hammer from under his cape. The audience tittered again.

        `Now then, sir,` he said, `I want you to observe closely.`

        Cyril grinned – and waited. The magician thumped the hammer down on the handkerchief – twice. The audience gasped and tittered for the third time.

      `And now, if you would unwrap the handkerchief, sir…`

       Cyril did.  A  tinkling torrent of shattered glass, tiny Swiss jewels and fluttering flywheels showered to the carpet. Cyril froze. He waited for it all to end. It did.

       George Cardy, amateur magician, redundant assistant bank manager and deserted husband – `merry Christmas, you bastard!`, smashed the hammer –SMACK! – between the director`s eyes with every ounce of strength in his portly body. Cyril dropped like a ton of` nutty slack down a coal hole. The Great Cardini  smiled, and swishing his  silver diamante cape, and flourishing his bright red fez, swung a flamboyant bow to the audience.

      `Ta-dah!`  he said.

          In his cell at Pudsley Prison, George whisked the razor round his face and sluiced off the shaving foam. He shivered at the nettle-sharp sting of after-shave.

       `Ten years,` he said to his reflection in the mirror, `not bad for manslaughter.` George`s monthly magic shows had proved popular with the prison`s gruesome mix of murderers, armed robbers and swindlers – and Chainsaw Charlie had loved the egg from the ear-hole trick.  He thought of  Doreen. She visited every week and had begged for a reconciliation – life with Cyril Hargreaves had been a disaster.

     Ten years, George mused as he opened a pack of playing cards. Ten years of uninterrupted practice…then watch out David Copperfield – here comes the Great Cardini!

     As for Doreen, perhaps she might help him in the `sawing a woman in half` trick. After all, accidents could happen, couldn`t they...?

The end







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Winners of the Vision of Spring Competition


The Winners of the Vision of Spring Competition

Under 12’s winner by Lily Alexander

Spring is a bit sunny
Everybody sees bunnies
Spring is a time of year
Everybody cheer
Everybody celebrate
Easter is here again
Everybody sees hens
Flowers bloom at spring
Birds flying on the wing
In the pond tadpoles hatch
Seeds are growing on my patch.
Spring is here
Everybody cheer!

Under 18’s winner by Maddison Hardy

As we enter the spring,
The blue tits sing,
A song as old as time,
The lambs will leap,
The meadows we reap,
It’s the favourite season of mine.

The frost been thawed,
Children applaud,
As daffodils sway in the breeze,
Picnics a plenty,
The houses are empty,
Air filled with the buzzing of bees.

Summers on its way,
We relish each day,
The scent of Lemon and Lime,
The rain drops have stopped,
Forward gone the clocks,
It’s the favourite season of mine.

Adult’s winner by Jennifer Viney.

My Grandad knows a lot of things,
About all kinds of stuff;
Why small birds’ nests are soft and warm,
And big ones, twiggy rough.

My Grandad knows the shepherd,
And we saw some lambs be born;
And he says the birds make music,
Every morning when its dawn.

My Grandad lets me help him,
When he put his earlies in;
And I hoed the earth across them,
Not too thick, and not too thin.

My Grandad knows a field where the
Hares sit in a ring,
And they stand and box each other,
To be sure the best will win.

My Grandad says he’s certain,
And I think it must be true,
Grandad says that spring has sprung,
And I think, I think that too.

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A Thank You from Maggie


Maggie Jones Chairperson, would like to thank all the worthy winners of our current Christmas short story/poetry competition very much for attending the presentation evening held on Wednesday 19th December at Newport Minster. It was a fantastic evening, with St Catherine’s school singing four Carols for us, which they performed superbly. We also had Dave B playing to keep us entertained during the evening too.

A big thank you to The Earl Mountbatten Hospice and St Catherine’s School for supplying stalls, and other stall holders who also came along and sold their wares to support these two very worthwhile charities.

Many thanks go to all our wonderful sponsors, without you, the competition would not be able to go ahead. Also our dignitaries Susan and Dawn who supported us, along with the High Sherriff and Heather from IOW Radio who presented the certificates.

Also my sincere thanks go to Carol and Bob Bridgestock, who without your hard work, continued support and determination, the competition just wouldn’t be as fantastic as it is.

And finally, thank you not only to the members who came along and helped out on the night, but family and friends who also gave up their time to make the evening as wonderful as it was.

Lastly I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

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Winners Presentation Evening 2012


Wight Fair Writers’ Circle Presents!

The Christmas short story Winners’ Presentation Evening 2012

19th December 2012 @ Newport Minster

Feel free to wander around the stalls to buy your last minute Christmas gifts before and after the ceremony!

The refreshment stall is provided by Earl Mountbatten Hospice volunteers

Looking for a special gift for someone who has everything this Christmas – SIGNED BOOKS for all ages and tastes by Island Authors including:-

International Crime Authors RC Bridgestock – The DI Dylan Series,

Irene Burkett – One Wren’s War & Books by Life Coach & Author Maggie Currie

Children’s Authors – Phil & Debbie Capon & The Nosey Pacas,

Doors Open 6pm – 7.00 pm – Please be in your seats for a warm welcome by Bob Bridgestock of the WFWC & former Detective Superintendent, who in his 30 year police career took charge of numerous high profile Murder enquiries.

Order of Ceremony

Christmas Carol’s from The St Catherine’s Choir

A few words from High Sheriff Nick Hayward & his wife Nicky

& Presentation of the Adult prizes

 David B – Solo Guitarist Singer 50’s/60’s/70’s music

 Announcement of Winners of the Under 18’s Category –

Presented by Heather McCallum from Isle of Wight Radio

  Announcement of the Winners of the Under 12’s Category –

Presented by Chair Wight Fair Writers Circle Maggie Jones

David B sings us out!

Photographs & Media Interviews – If you have won a prize please could you stay for a photo!

Charities we are supporting Christmas 2012 – All Proceeds go to:-

Earl Mountbatten Hospice –

St Catherine’s School, Ventnor –

A Huge Thank-you to our Supporters for the Christmas Writing/Poetry Comp 2013 who are:-

IOW Computer Geek –

Portsmouth FC –

Southampton FC –

P J Pool Services Ltd – The Orchard, Rectory Lane, Newport 01983 721246

Waterstones, Newport – 118 High Street Newport Tel: 0843 290 8409

Wightlink –

Dinosaur Isle –

Seaview Wildlife Encounter –

Isle of Wight Pearl –

Irene Burkett – Author of One Wren’s War –

Maggie Jones – Chair Wight Fair Writers Circle

Heights Leisure Centre, Sandown, Isle of Wight – Broadway, Sandown, PO36 9ET 01983 405 594

Havenstreet –

Carol & Bob Bridgestock – International Crime Writers of the ‘DI Dylan’ series available in Paperback/eBook/Audio Book

Life Coach, Maggie Currie

The Nosey Pacas –

Ms Dawn Cousins

Ms Susan Scoccia

Dave B – Solo Guitar Singer of 50’s/60’s/70’s Music – Contact Dave 07831238862

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Carol on The Recent Competition


Enthusiastic Isle of Wight writers and their families gathered at Newport Minster on Wednesday night to hear whether their entry had impressed the judges enough to win a prize, in the annual Wight Fair Writers’ Circle Crime & Intrigue short story writing competition.

Joining the WFWC members were officers from the Isle of Wight Police. Dog handler PC Nathan Lucy gave a short talk about his ‘sniffer’ dogs, Rebel and Jen. PCSO Chris Urry took fingerprints and made them into badges for the delighted audience and the children and adults tried on the police uniform. And Andie Penn the entertainer came along and did magic tricks and made balloon animals for us. All good fun! There were stalls to peruse. Lovely homemade cakes, biscuits, jams, jewellery, and cards were on sale, and there was also a County Press book stall as well as published authors, available for people to talk to about writing. Refreshments were available by the WFWC.

‘We were delighted that the Isle of Wight High Sheriff Nick Hayward could be with us and he also brought along his lovely wife Nicky. Also in attendance, to applaud the winners were the Vice Chairman of the IW Council and his wife,’ said Maggie Jones, Deputy Chair of the Wight Fair Writers’ Circle.

Bob Bridgestock, retired Detective Superintendent from West Yorkshire Police, who now lives on the Island, told the spellbound audience about his long and established career dealing with murderers, and how he uses that experience now to write crime fiction with his wife Carol, before announcing the prizes, that were presented by the High Sheriff, Heather McCallum from IW Radio and Kate Young Feature Writer for the County Press.

‘Congratulations to everyone who took part, as we couldn’t do it with you, but particularly to the winners who produced the most amazing, imaginative and inspiring stories,’ said Carol.

And the winners are …

Andrew Preskey – Adult category with his story ‘Identity Theft’.
Eloise Preston – Under 18’s for her story ‘A Desperate Crime’.
Clare Dugidden – Under 12s competition for her story ‘A Murder with a Knot’.

Support from The BritWriters Awards 2012 Unpublished was very much appreciated…

‘Sponsorship of the Adult 1st prize money (£75) & also the Under 18s prize money (£50) enables us to continue running the competition for yet another year and we are so very grateful,’ said Carol. ‘CEO Imran Akram has also kindly invited the winners of the two categories to their award ceremony in November, in London, along with the Adult winner’s partner and the Under 18s family (ticket for two adults and two under 18s). I can’t tell you how excited the winners are about this prize,’ she continued.

Not only does the Wight Fair Writers’ Circle yearly competition inspire others to read and write but also ALL the monies raised go to charity. This competition raised money for the IW Homeless, Youth Carers and Carisbrooke Priory. For more information on our competitions and the winning stories please click here.


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Isle of Wight Radio July 24th 2012


Pictures below following our visit to Isle of Wight Radio today.

Images are of our recent Crime and Intrigue Short Story Writing Competition Winners.

For full competition details please click here.

Isle of Wight Radio

Isle of Wight Radio

Isle of Wight Radio

Isle of Wight Radio

Isle of Wight Radio

Isle of Wight Radio

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Competition Winners June 2012


Crime & Intrigue Story Writing Competition – June 2012

Crime Story Writing Winners

Adults Winners

1st Andrew Preskey – Identity Theft
2nd Michael Pope – Initial Impression
3nd Solei McLinden – Instinct

Under 18’s

1st Eloise Preston – A desperate crime
2nd Hannah Bean – Cops & Robbers
3rd Peter Herman – A surprise in Switzerland

Prize Winners

Tyler Smith – Crime Story
Sophie Robinson – He
Luke Gregory & Ollie Rackett – The Murder of Sponge Bob Hexi Pants
Mikey Wilkins – Derk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency
Victoria Jones & Victoria Rabbits – Murder at Whitechapel

Under 12’s

1st Place – Clare Duddigan – Under 12’s winner – A Murder with a Knot
2nd Place – Beth Hammond – Mistakes
3rd Place – Naomi Celine Baker – The Chain & The Ball

Internal Winner

Chris Brammall – Charity Begins at Home

Prize Winners

Morgan McLinden – Change of Luck
Che Edge – Eternity Oblivion
Steven Humphries – The Unknown
Amelia Parker – Turtle Land
Max Edge – The Monster

Crime and Intrigue Isle of Wight

Crime and Intrigue Isle of Wight

Crime and Intrigue Isle of Wight

Crime and Intrigue Isle of Wight

Crime and Intrigue Isle of Wight

Crime and Intrigue Isle of Wight

Crime and Intrigue Isle of Wight

Crime and Intrigue Isle of Wight




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