All of us at Phoenix FM were very sad to hear of the passing of Frances Clamp, who was a regular contributor on the station for 15 years.
Her friend, author, Sylvia Kent, has sent us this tribute:
Frances (right) with Sylvia Kent in the Phoenix FM studio
As you know, Frances Clamp, a former teacher and Head of Year at a senior Romford School, born in Southend, arrived in Brentwood in 1973, joining Brentwood Writers’ Circle, eventually becoming Chair and President. At one point, she was responsible for attracting more than 60 writers to this Circle of Writers established in 1941. Always encouraging – always so knowledgeable.
Frances had always loved writing and story-telling, becoming a much-loved author of a dozen books, including a trilogy for children. She found public speaking easy and had a wonderful way with words, so was in great demand as an excellent speaker in Essex. She also enjoyed working with Phoenix FM for many years. She loved Brentwood and had a huge number of colleagues and friends in the town.
As far back as 2000, Frances was part of the Essex Book Festival and appeared on Phoenix FM giving interviews and publicising her own and our members’ books, always attending our individual book signing events in the town. Frances also wrote short stories for popular magazines and won many literary prizes. As a member of the international writers’ association, The Society of Women Writers and Journalists, she won several awards and, in 2008, she and I both won SWWJ scholarships (she for children’s fiction – and me for journalism) We were presented with our trophies at Chester University.
Among Frances’ publishers of her commissioned work on local history, was Tempus, The History Press. and more recently Pen and Sword. For the latter, she was first commissioned to write Southend-on-Sea in the Great War. For three years, Frances presented a regular weekly historical programme for Phoenix, writing and presenting aspects of history in Brentwood and Billericay. She will never be forgotten.