Author Topic: The Sugar Girls - new book about Tate & Lyle's female workers in Silvertown  (Read 27515 times)

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Offline Duncan_Barrett

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It's quite sad to see how the site looks today, isn't it? We were over there last week, and took this picture.  It's quite eerie for us, having spoken to so many people about what it was like back in the 1940s and 1950s - a bustling, busy, exciting place - to see so much of the site just sitting there empty, with the weeds and graffiti... 

Best wishes,
Duncan
Duncan Barrett
Author of The Sugar Girls: Tales of Hardship Love and Happiness in Tate & Lyle's East End
http://www.thesugargirls.com

Offline countessraven

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Hi, i've just discovered by chance your new book "the sugar girls" on Amazon. I have ordered it as it sounds really interesting and the sort of book i really enjoy reading. My dad who died two years ago lived for many years in Silvertown and when he died i visited there for the first time ever and was strangely fascinated with this huge iconic sugar factory ! I cant wait for my book to arrive and will let you know what my thoughts are after reading it. Kind regards
Steph

Offline Will.B

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Duncan,
            Can you say if there are any plans for Sugar Girls to be put on an audio book?.I have ordered the book myself but was thinking of an Relative of mine who is badly sighted.
Will.

MBrennan

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Just wondering if I order the Kindle download, will it dowload straight away or on the 29th?

Offline Kathy Taylor

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I’ve just read The Sugar Girls. I picked up a copy at the Newham Bookshop over a week ago. I enjoyed the book and the stories of the girls. I think Duncan and Nuala have realistically written the stories told to them by the Tate & Lyle girls.

It knocks spots of ‘The Midwife'.

Kathy

MBrennan

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I didn't think shops were allowed to sell books before the official publishing date. Maybe they don't do that any more? (it is 30 years since I worked in WH Smith in Holborn!  :D ) You can only pre-order on Amazon.

I'm off out soon but will see if I can order elsewhere online. Not sure whether to download or buy a printed copy. I think I might get a printed one so I can pass it on to my mum.

Offline Duncan_Barrett

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Hello,

Wow, so many messages to reply to!

Thanks Kathy for your kind words about the book.  Nuala and I are really glad you enjoyed it.

I'm not sure about an audiobook.  I think hopefully if the book sells well then they would do that.  There was some talk about it many months back, but I'm not sure if they've decided anything yet.

Yes, I believe if you order it on Kindle it should just appear magically on publication day. (I have done this myself in fact, just to see if it does!)

I'm not sure what the official rules are about selling books early.  Obviously if it's the next Harry Potter you would probably get in trouble, but I think with our book nobody would mind - and in a way I think it's nice that people in Newham are able to read it first as it is about their area. 

Finally, this is very late notice, but we are doing a talk about the book tonight, at 7 p.m. at the Bishopsgate Institute (near Liverpool Street) with historian Jerry White and author Melanie McGrath (Silvertown, Hopping).  Tickets are free, but have to be reserved by emailing Stefan.Dickers@bishopsgate.org.uk.  Full details here: http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/content.aspx?CategoryID=1657

Best wishes,
Duncan
Duncan Barrett
Author of The Sugar Girls: Tales of Hardship Love and Happiness in Tate & Lyle's East End
http://www.thesugargirls.com

MBrennan

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Thanks Duncan :)

Yet again I have heard about a Melanie giving a talk without time to organise myself. I think it was last year when I looked at her website on the day (maybe the day before) she was due to do one fairly locally to me (it was in Folkestone or Deal I think)

Shame I can't go  :'(

Any chance of a live stream?  :D


MBrennan

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One thing I have just noticed on Amazon is that you can download some of the women's stories individually for 49p each. When you click on the description (I clicked on Ethel's story) it states that there are 349pp. I know what some Amazon reviewers are like; they don't 'get' the rating system. They often give things star ratings for random things like 'it took a week to arrive', 'the box was damaged' etc, rather than rating the actual product. I have a feeling that unless Amazon correct the paging issue, people might give low star ratings saying something was only X pages when they thought they were getting 352? - not fair as it could bring the rating of the book down unfairly.

just my 2p, or should I say 2d worth  :)
« Last Edit: 21 March, 2012, 01:57:35 PM by MBrennan »

Offline Duncan_Barrett

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Hi, it's a good point, and I know what you mean about Amazon reviews! I think the publisher have told them to update this now - it all went up online rather suddenly (in fact we didn't even know they were doing the separate stories until we saw them on Amazon!). Hopefully it should all be corrected soon.

It's an interesting thing with these ebooks that although they are cheaper than the paperback, you actually get more content for less money - we've just been told that the ebooks are going to include some of the photos that were too expensive to reproduce in the printed version. I guess as ebooks become more and more popular, publishers will put more and more effort into them...

P.s. sadly no streaming at the Bishopsgate, but there is a little post about it on our blog now: www.thesugargirls.com/news

Also, next week is the proper launch at The Hub in Canning Town (123 Star Lane) - 11am on Weds 28th March.  The photo exhibition will be up by then as well, and hopefully lots of the sugar girls will be there...
Duncan Barrett
Author of The Sugar Girls: Tales of Hardship Love and Happiness in Tate & Lyle's East End
http://www.thesugargirls.com

MBrennan

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To prove a point, someone has left a 'review' (luckily 5 stars!) on one of the sections. It isn't a review at all, but something about not being able to do a review from their PC, but they can from their device - crazy  ???

Will check out the blog - thanks Duncan  :)

Offline Duncan_Barrett

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I know, it is a little worrying! 

On the plus side, we got our first 'proper' review today - in the Daily Mail.  You can read it online at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-2118831/The-Sugar-Babes-Freedom-flirtation-friendship--life-wasnt-sweet-factory-girls-THE-SUGAR-GIRLS-BY-DUNCAN-BARRETT-AND-NUALA-CALVI.html

Duncan
Duncan Barrett
Author of The Sugar Girls: Tales of Hardship Love and Happiness in Tate & Lyle's East End
http://www.thesugargirls.com

Offline serena7

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I have pre-ordered the book and cannot wait for it to arrive.  I wonder though if maybe some-one will write a book about the Male workers in Silvertown.  My Father worked for them for almost 50 years. When he retired they allowed him and my Mother to go on one of the sugar boats to the West Indies as known then.  My Fathers sister Lilian Warren and her husband George had lived on a plantation there for many years.  Actually employed by Tate&Lyles  I believe. We went to many of their Socials, and even to a Pantomime at Xmas.  My Father was a very fast runner so took part in their Sports Days.  I have a photograph of when he won a medal,  it was presented to him by Dennis Price quite a well known Film Star then.  It was Dads only job,  and I know he missed it when he had to retire.

Offline JMC

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Have already pre ordered The Sugar Girls on Amazon as soon it appeared there - cannot wait for it to download, my Father and my great grandfather worked for Tate & Lyle's so have a great interest in the place. Although have not visited Silvertown for a few years the old site looks very sad in the photo.

Offline Duncan_Barrett

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We also heard from people who were presented prizes by Dennis Price at the annual Sports Day.  I'm not sure if he did it more than once or if it must have been the same year.  It's true there are many great stories to be told from male workers as well.  How amazing that your father got to go to the West Indies when he retired - that must have been an incredible experience!

There is a piece about the book in today's Sunday Express, written by Nuala - do have a look if you are interested.  She makes some of the same points that have been discussed here about how the East End has been represented in previous books and films (e.g. Call The Midwife) versus how people we spoke to remembered it.

http://www.express.co.uk/features/view/310247

Best wishes,
Duncan
Duncan Barrett
Author of The Sugar Girls: Tales of Hardship Love and Happiness in Tate & Lyle's East End
http://www.thesugargirls.com