Book detailing life of young war widows set for launch in Honiton

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 October 2017

Kirstine at the Highland Fling.

Kirstine at the Highland Fling.

Archant

Honiton’s Boston Tea Party to host book launch about The Seagull Hotel

Kirstine Richards. Kirstine Richards.

The true story of two young war widows, who battle in post-war Britain to establish one of Devon’s best-known gourmet hotels of the 1940s and ’50s, is being celebrated with a book launch event in Honiton.

‘The Seagull Hotel’, penned by hotelier and artist Kirstine Richards is to be given a launch this Saturday (October 14) at The Boston Tea Party - the same premises that launched the author’s culinary adventures in the 1930s.

Kirstine, who originally moved from Scotland as a young woman to work as an artist painting pots at the famous Honiton Pottery, ran the café as the busy Highland Fling tearoom back in the 1930s.

There, she honed her culinary skills before meeting her husband and raising their young family in Honiton.

The Highland Fling. The Highland Fling.

However, her husband was soon sent off to war.

The Seagull Hotel tells how Kirstine and friend Gerdy Ramsay, two young war widows with children in 1945, battle to survive and overcome financial hardship and male chauvinist attitudes of the time to build a successful hotel on Exmouth beachfront and turn it into a gastronomic destination, recommended by leading food writers of the day.

In an era of ration cards and bank managers, who still refused business loans to single women, they use their charm, wit and intelligence to beat the odds.

Kirstine was a prolific writer, but never thought of approaching publishers herself. Twenty-eight years after her death, her story is finally told.

The manuscript for the book lay forgotten in a box of Kirstine’s old papers until three years ago when it was re-discovered by her son Dr Nick Richards, a former Royal Navy doctor.

So impressed by his mother’s talent for writing, he teamed up with sister Louanne, a former dancer with the Royal Ballet, to edit the manuscript and get it published through YouCaxton Publications.

They will both be attending the public book launch at The Boston Tea Party, in High Street, at 3pm, along with other members of Kirstine’s family. There will be readings along with complimentary servings of cream teas and cake.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

Three tonnes of hay were destroyed after catching fire in an Axminster field last night (Saturday).

Read more

Hundreds of local jobs could be made for Cranbrook residents after plans for a massive distribution centre near the town were given the green light.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Don’t miss our round-up of readers’ pictures from iwitness24.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:05

Axminster residents are bei­ng urged to support a Grand Auction this month, to pay for a bigger and better Christmas lights display in December.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:44

More than 100 art lovers gathered at Honiton’s Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) for a fundraising art auction – raising £14,000 in aid of two worthy causes.

Read more

The public are to be asked if Devon and Cornwall’s police force should merge with Dorset.

Read more
Fri, 11:00

A Seaton building and roofing company has been given the green light to build four new houses – using their own skills and labour.

Read more
Fri, 07:00

A proposed new housing development in Colyford has been designed to deter burglars and other criminals from targeting the homes and their residents.

Read more
Thu, 17:00

A residential home in Seaton for people with dementia, which features a mock vintage railway carriage, has been rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.

Read more
Thu, 14:43

A popular lingerie brand has celebrated the rebellious nature of Colyton by offering the town’s ladies a free set from its newest collection.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Midweek Herald twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications