news from the Real Press

‘An excellent job’

Review of Roger Lancaster’s book After the War is Over, by Ian Channing (first appeared in QSO magazine).

After the War is Over
You can buy a copy here

Roger Lancaster has made a number of contributions to QSO over the years and his account of his time as a radio inspector in New Zealand featured prominently in The Long Silence Falls Part 1. Now he has written and published  an autobiography of his early life entitled After the War is Over and has asked me to review this book for QSO. The majority of the book concerns Roger’s childhood and his experiences of growing in a rural Warwickshire village during and after the Second World War. 

For anyone who lived through the same period, such as myself, Roger does a brilliant job of evoking those times. Rationing, outside toilets, no running hot or cold water, home deliveries of bread, milk and Corona are all there awakening memories of similar experiences. One element of the book that did impress me was Roger’s remarkable and presumably accurate memories of every person in the village and their relationships to one another. As someone who grew up in a similar environment I am very impressed as I can’t even remember the names of the people who lived next door.

From an early age Roger was interested in radio, building receivers from old bits and pieces of war surplus equipment. His local vicar sent off for a copy of the Marconi brochure and Roger was hooked (he still has the brochure today).

I suspect for ROA members, the real interest in Roger’s tale will start with his time at Southampton University where he studied for his Second Class PMG. As Roger explains the University had formerly been a polytechnic so he was at university enjoying all that that entails but was not studying for a degree. Having successfully completed his Second Class Roger went on to get his First Class and Radar Maintenance Certificates.

In 1956, he applied to his first choice P&O only to be told that there were no vacancies. So Roger applied to IMR, was accepted and appointed to the Cunard liner Saxonia as Third RO. Roger reports that his time on the Saxonia was one of the worst experiences of his life with sea sickness and hostility from his fellow ROs just some of the things he had to contend with. Roger promptly resigned from IMR and went back to his first love P&O where he received a warm welcome and an appointment to his first ship-the troopship Empire Fowey! P&O turned out to be everything that the Saxonia was not so a happy future beckoned.

Roger has done an excellent job with this book which is warmly recommended.

Ian Channing

New book and pamphlet by Edgar Cahn and Chris Gray

David Boyle writesWe are delighted to announce that the Real Press (based in Sussex UK) will be publishing a pamphlet and book by the legendary thinker, radical lawyer and social entrepreneurs Edgar Cahn and Chris Gray.

Cahn has an extraordinary record of innovation, dating back to the 1960s, including the US National Legal Services programme, the Antioch Law School, time banks – now in 38 counties – and co-production, which he made a vital and practical element in real public service reform.

Dr Chris Gray is a former director of Time Banks USA and the author of The Tribal Moment In American Politics: The Struggle for Native American Sovereignty (2015). The book makes visible “an historic process of constitutional dimensions whereby a nation founded on liberty and equality violated its own values in its treatment of the first Americans.” She and Edgar have been married for twenty years.

Our plan is to publish their latest work, an explanation of social isolation – naming it as the “other pandemic”, just as dangerous and expensive to solve – and setting it in the context of his other practical thinking.

It will be published as a pamphlet jointly with the New Weather Institute (the Real Press has published all their pamphlets since they launched as the first mutual thinktank in 2016). Then it will be published as a book, in a longer version including other works and examples of where their understanding of co-production has been working effectively (in early summer 2021).

It will be available via and via Amazon (US and UK) as a paperback and ebook. Plus other outlets too.

Get your own print from Simon Zec’s latest book!

After two bland and uneventful years, our poetry editor Simon Zec finally managed to find something interesting to write about for his second poetry collection, available here.

In the Downtime is a reaction to both the world and his personal life. Trying to find the cracks in the darkness where the light can shine through.

Simon has striven to make the book beautiful as well as thoughtful and together with two talented artists (Benita Hibbert and Rob Winterson) they have created two original artworks to go with the books.

These are available to purchase for £15 each, but we are making available the first 20 prints of both pieces as a special deal combined with the book for a special price of £28.99 (plus p&p).

The book and the prints will also be signed by the creators too.

In the Downtime is now available from here. Also available from Steyning Bookshop, and also from JE Books in Hull, on Amazon and on kindle. You can also get £3 off by buying both of his poetry books together..

Lesley Yarranton at rest, after publication of Saving Munich

Lesley Yarranton

Lesley may look like an Englishwoman in Gloucestershire – which is what she is – but she also speaks fluent German, ran her own press agency in Berlin when the wall came down, and in Saving Munich 1945, she has written, researched and chased down one of the remaining great untold stories of the Second World War.

Chronicling covid in poetry

To celebrate our resident poet, Simon Zec, joining the team as Poetry Editor we will are happy to announce the launch our first project…

Simon in various moods…

The Covid Chronicles will be a compilation of poems from a diverse selection of poets, who will donate their words and thoughts on the past few months of trials, tribulations and narratives old and new.

All of the profits will be donated to a chosen charity (to be announced soon).

We ask that your submissions are not overly long and have no offensive language. We cannot guarantee that your submission will be used and please limit your submissions to no more than two per poet.

Closing date for submissions is 2 October 2020. Please submit your poems to

We look forward to reading your words…!

Thank you

Simon Zec
Poetry Editor
The Real Press

Simon Zec is our new poetry editor…

Simon in Steyning, not actually reciting…

Simon is a poet and has two poetry collections with us (Death of the Suburb and In the Downtime (forthcoming)) and we will be working together to publish a diverse selection of poets to represent the modern poetry scene. 

We hope to dive deep into the well of modern poetry, finding abdominal working with voices that represent the modern world that we live in. Please feel free to submit a small selection of your work for us to have a look at. 

Simon is also active on Twitter at @simonzec23…

But watch this space too!