Smorgasbord Coffee Morning – Bring a Guest – Author Sue Wickstead brings Elizabeth Wickstead and Rose Powell -#100th Birthday Celebrations.

Recently I ran a series Public Relations for Authors which focused on how we are perceived by those who view our profile photographs, biographies and presence on social media. This included guest posts on other writer’s blogs. Here is an opportunity to not only promote your own blog or books, but those of someone you admire as well.

Is there an inspiring individual, blogger or an author you would like to give a boost to who might enjoy joining you for a coffee and a piece of cake with us all?

Details on how to participate are at the end of this first post in the series.

This week’s post is introduced by children’s author Sue Wickstead and features an article by her mother Elizabeth about her sister Rose who celebrates her 100th birthday tomorrow. Delighted to welcome them all here today to share Rose’s remarkable life story.

Introduction by Sue Wickstead

My mum posted her writeup about her sister on Facebook, which i know you have seen.
I have attached the original document, with photos correctly place, that my mother wrote.

My mum has written this article about her sister Rose who is celebrating her 100th birthday on 24th July. She has also written articles on her other sisters as well as my grandfather.

May be an image of 1 person

My mother, Elizabeth Wickstead, has been a keen historian for many years. Together with her sister, Rose, they began to research their family. Following the death of my father they focused on my father’s name, ‘Wickstead’, which ended up as a one name study.

The research made contacts all over the world looking at all possible variations of the spelling of the name. In 2004 my mother and Rose held a family gathering in Nantwich for the Wickstead family. In Nantwich there is a pub called ‘The Wickstead Arms’ as well as a ‘Wicksteed Park. People came from around the world and the room was suddenly full of so many connections with so many variations of the spelling of the name.

My mother has so much information and really needs to now put it into some form of publication.Over lockdown, my mother has looked a both her photographs and records and has written various articles.

We have heard and appreciate all the work she has done but maybe we are not the best to sort this out for her. She is also very particular about her and Rose’s work and would be a hard task master. She knows just what she wants. But if you know anyone who can help…
(Me I write stories – she says – hers are fact) 

Happy 100th Birthday Rose. – By Elizabeth Wickstead ( nee Powell)

My sister Rose Powell will be celebrating her 100th birthday on the 24th July 2021.

Rose Powell

The last ten years for Rose have been very difficult as she had to move away from Burgess Hill to Hassocks and her health deteriorated.

But she is a very determined lady and wants to reach her 100th birthday, the same as her great grandmother Sarah did who passed away in her 100th year.

Early life

Rose Powell was born in Compton Road, Lindfield, East Sussex. In the photograph here, taken in about 1926-1927, the little girl standing by the tree is Rose, my father had seen the photograph being taken and suggested Rose walk down the road. Rose was about 5-6 years old at the time.

Compton Road, Lindfield 1926-7.

Rose attended the Old School in Lindfield, later moving on to Cuckfield Holy Trinity School.
Rose began work in 1935 at the Cuckfield Newsagents & Stationers Shop, which was in the High Street, this was her first job after leaving school at the age of 14. She worked there for a few years.

Newsagents & Stationers High Street, Cuckfield, about 1935-7

The family lived in Broad Street, Cuckfield and from there we moved to Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, where we lived for a short time and then returned to Backwoods Lane, Lindfield in 1938, just before WW11 was declared.

I recall Rose still cycling to back work in Cuckfield every day while we were living in Haywards Heath. When we moved back to Lindfield Rose then worked for Mid Sussex laundry in their office until she was called up.

Rose age 21 in 1941

War Years

During the Second World War many girls were conscripted to help with the war efforts. In 1941 aged 20, Rose was sent to work in the munitions factory at Swynnerton, Staffordshire.

Here amongst other young girls, the ‘secret army’, she was involved in the very dangerous work of building bombs. Several young girls were killed or injured during this perilous work.

Many lived their later lives with poor health due to the chemicals that they worked with.
Only in recent years, have these girls at that factory been recognized for their work, which I have only just discovered. In Swynnerton, Staffordshire, there is now a plaque with a bed of yellow roses as a memorial to these women.

Memorial Plaque, Swynnerton, laid 2018.

Memorial Swynnerton, Staffordshire, laid 2018.

The young girls were often referred to as ‘canaries’ as they often turned yellow due to the chemicals they worked with, hence the yellow rose.

The yellow rose is also a symbol that represents friendship, care, and remembrance.
A yellow Rose, for Rose is very appropriate.

‘Swynneron munitions factory and the ‘secret army’ of female workers, were part of the fighting force rarely spoken about. It is a sad omission that many of these remarkable women, some merely teenagers, who played an important role during World War II, have died without any formal recognition.’

Indeed, I have been trying to receive recognition for Rose for her munitions work for many years and was surprised to find out only recently about the plaque, which was laid in 2018. What a shame Rose did not hear about this at the time!

Later life

After the war Rose worked in a secretarial role for British Steel in various locations in London until her retirement. After her retirement she returned to live in Sussex, in Burgess Hill , to support our elderly mother.

The Historian

Rose was always very interested in local history and became an active member of the Burgess Hill history society. She was also very keen on genealogy and we undertook many years of research together, both on our own family name’s as well as my late husband’s name, Wickstead . Rose was always very meticulous in her research and remembered most facts.

Rose is currently still living in Sussex, in Hassocks. As her 100th birthday now approaches, although now very frail, she is a little lady with a very strong and determined personality that has been determined to get there.

She will be celebrating her 100th birthday on the 24th July 2021 and is looking forward to receiving her message from the Queen.

It is also hoped that she will finally receive personal recognition for her war work.
What a wonderful birthday present that would be too!

© Elizabeth Wickstead (nee Powell) 2021

My thanks to Sue Wickstead for sharing this celebration with us and to her mother Elizabeth for the lovely birthday tribute to Rose… who I am sure you join me in wishing a wonderful milestone birthday tomorrow.


About Sue Wickstead

Sue Wickstead is a teacher and an author with Award winning books.
Shortlisted in the Wishing Shelf Book awards. and has written children’s picture books with a bus theme. In addition, she has also written a photographic history book about the real bus behind her story writing.

Her bus stories are about a playbus. Have you ever been on a Playbus?
When Sue’s two children were young, they attended a playgroup on a bus, but not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey, exciting though this is, but a Playbus stuffed full of toys to capture their imagination!

For over 20 years, alongside her teaching career, she worked with the charity, the Bewbush Playbus Association.

As part of the committee she painted the bus, worked in the groups, helped raise the profile of the project and its work and was part of the team involved in raising funds to replace the old bus with a newer vehicle. This led her to write a photographic history book about it.

‘It really was a fun journey to be involved in’, said Sue. The bus really got into her blood and became a work of the heart.

Having written the history book Sue soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. So, she decided to write a fictional tale, his number plate JJK261, gave him his name.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original project and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continues.

A selection of books by Sue Wickstead

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – More reviews: Goodreads – Website/Blog: Sue Wickstead – Facebook: Stories Sue – Facebook: Teacher Page – Twitter: @JayJayBus – LinkedIn: Sue Wickstead


Thank you for joining us for coffee this morning and I hope to hear from you with the information about your guest and your work (if you have not been featured here before).. thanks Sally.

Some ideas of the guests you might bring to coffee.

  • An author you have just read for the first time who you would like to introduce us to.
  • A blogger who is very supportive of your own blog or books.
  • A new blogger who you would like to showcase
  • An author or blogger who inspires you and your work.
  • A blogger who goes out of their way to support others by reviewing books and promoting on social media.
  • Someone in the public eye who is inspirational to others in medicine, charity, education, who has overcome challenges to succeed.
  • Anyone you feel deserves a boost.

The format of the post

  • An introduction by you of around 200 to 400 words about your guest. Be creative and tell a good story
  • Their photograph, biography, Amazon or book links and if you have them their social media links. I will find if not.
  • Your photo, biography, Amazon or blog links and social media links (if you are in the Cafe and Bookstore I will have those).

Send your introduction and the links to and we can sort out a date to air your post.







24 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Coffee Morning – Bring a Guest – Author Sue Wickstead brings Elizabeth Wickstead and Rose Powell -#100th Birthday Celebrations.

  1. Hi Sally, this is such a wonderful post. I read about the yellow canaries who worked in the ammunitions factories and it is astonishing to see one featured here. What a fantastic story Rose has to tell. My aunt’s name is Jean Rose, she is 91 and was interviewed when Prince Phillip died as she met him twice when she was in the WRENs as a young girl.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What a lovely post by Sue about her mom and Aunt Rose. The photos are wonderful and the history about the munitions factory is interesting and a touch sad that so many of the young women there suffered the effects of the chemicals. The rose memorial is beautiful. A wonderful new feature, Sally. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Coffee Morning – Bring a Guest – Author Sue Wickstead – DEEZ – News about Art, Books & more

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – July 18th – 24th 2021 – The Three Degrees, Podcast Round Up, Relationships, Interviews, Reviews and Funnies. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  5. Hi Sally, thank you for inviting me along for coffee and chat.
    Lockdown has been a difficult time, with my daughters postponed ‘Covid’ wedding and not being able to visit Rose much.
    But I can confirm that Rose has made 100 and has today recieved her message from the Queen.
    My mum was also happy to share her writing about Rose, which my sisters and I were pleased to help her with.
    Rose is only allowed to have two vistors a day and one at a time, which proved a bit difficult but we have spent the days taking the many cards Rose has recieved a few at a time.
    When Rose is back home she will be able to have them all up on one display.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a fab article and photos. I love Family History and the history of names. Thanks for sharing, such a lovely lady I can tell. Wishing her a very happy 100th birthday and a telegram from The Queen to top it off.

    Liked by 2 people

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