Posts Tagged ‘Jean Fullerton’

The RNA at Blists Hill Victorian Town

Jenny Barden and Janet Gover at Wellington Library

I have just returned from the RNA conference, which was held at Newport near Telford this year, and I’ve had a lovely time!  The weekend began with a series of reader events, first at Wellington Library where many of our authors took part in talks and activities, and then at Blists Hill Victorian Town in Ironbridge Gorge where we put on a ‘Meet-the-Author’ and book signing/selling event.  And what a fab time we had!

There were authors of historical romance, Regency romance, sagas, steampunk and alternative history, and the displays were as diverse as they were wonderful!  Visitors to the Goods Shed (where the event was being held courtesy of the lovely team at Blists Hill) could come and look at exquisite Regency fans and prints, medical instruments from the 1940’s, a model of the Roman Coliseum, Titanic and suffragettee memorabilia, Elizabethan musket balls, Georgian scents and alternative history books of the UK.  Our authors had gone to great lengths to make it all as authentic as possible, which was much appreciated.

Many of us had dressed up in costume and I loved every one of them – see photos below – although I have to say that my favourites were the steampunk ones.  But everyone looked just right for their chosen period and the attention to detail was brilliant!  I really enjoyed the day and I hope all the visitors did too.  A huge thank you to Blists Hill for hosting us!

Carol McGrath as a 12th century lady

Freda Lightfoot in her lovely outfit

Suffragette Juliet Greenwoood

Kate Johnson in her gorgeous steampunk outfit

The seriously cool Liesel Schwarz

The lovely Mary Nichols

Regency ladies Romy Gemmell and Annie Burrows

Regency authors Nicola Cornick and Anne Stenhouse

Nurse Jean Fullerton in very authentic costume

Alison Morton and the Roman Coliseum

A buzzing Goods Shed

Special guest – Jean Fullerton

Today I’m very pleased to have my friend Jean Fullerton as my guest as part of her blog tour promoting her new novel Call Nurse Millie.  Welcome, Jean!

“Maybe it’s because I’m a (East) Londoner”

Thank you, Christina, for allowing me to pop onto your blog for a chat.  For those of you who haven’t met me before I’m Jean Fullerton, an award winning author, and I’d like to tell you about the area where I was born and write about, East London.

The Fullertons came to the Wapping area of East London from Rothesay in Scotland in the 1820s and my great-great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Fullerton, is shown on the 1841 census as living in Star Lane at the back of Cable Street.  It was natural then when I started writing eleven years ago that I looked no further than my own backyard for inspiration.  Why wouldn’t I, when East London has such a rich vein of pageant and spectacle?  Add to that the river pirates, the gangs, pubs and music halls that were a feature of the teaming waterfront and there’s drama enough for any writer.

This is why East London is a character in its own right in all my stories.  My first book No Cure for Love features such delights as the White Swan known locally as Paddy’s Goose, which was the notorious public house at the corner of Ensign Street.  My Victorian characters regularly dash along the Highway and up and down Old Gravel Lane or Wapping High Street and Millie in, Call Nurse Millie, cycles along the very same streets.  Whereas in my previous books my characters duck behind the Raines Memorial in St George’s-in-the-East’s graveyard to avoid the police, Millie’s mum is a Mother’s Union member in the same church although minus it roof as it was blown off by an incendiary bomb in 1942.

Millie and her mum also shop in Watney Market as Ellen and Mattie did before them.  In my third book Perhaps Tomorrow our heroine finds herself incarcerated in the damp women’s cells under Wapping Police Station and Alex Nolan, the hero in Call Nurse Millie, is a police constable at the same station.  I also have Millie’s mum living in the same house that Ellen lived in a century earlier.  Kate Ellis’s workingman’s eating house from Hold on to Hope survives as Kate’s Café where Millie and her fellow District Nurse meet for a cuppa mid-morning.

Of course, I have invented places too, such as the Boatman grogshop where Ma Tugman runs her murderous empire in A Glimpse at Happiness which now has Vi White as a more respectable landlord.  And Munroe House, named after the founder of the St George’s and St Dunstan’s District Nursing Association Miss Robina Munroe, Ellen and Robert’s daughter from No Cure for Love.  But in truth even the places and people created in my imagination probably had their real life counter parts.

Of course, for many in modern East London the world I write is a far cry from the pleasant residential area of East London of today but sometimes, in the dusk or on a foggy night, if you’re quick you might just catch a glimpse of one of my characters hurrying home out of the corner of your eyes.

You can purchase a paperback or ebook copy of Call Nurse Millie most easily from Amazon at

Book description: An absorbing and richly detailed novel following the life and work of a young nurse in post-war East London – perfect for anyone who loved CALL THE MIDWIFE


It’s 1945 and, as the troops begin to return home, the inhabitants of London attempt to put their lives back together.  For 25-year-old Millie, a qualified nurse and midwife, the jubilation at the end of the war is short-lived as she tends to the needs of the East End community around her.  But while Millie witnesses tragedy and brutality in her job, she also finds strength and kindness.  And when misfortune befalls her own family, it is the enduring spirit of the community that shows Millie that even the toughest of circumstances can be overcome.

Through Millie’s eyes, we see the harsh realities and unexpected joys in the lives of the patients she treats, as well as the camaraderie that is forged with the fellow nurses that she lives with.  Filled with unforgettable characters and moving personal stories, this vividly brings to life the colourful world of a post-war East London.

Jean Fullerton – Fall in Love with the Past.
Call Nurse Millie
Available from Orion Publishing