Norfolk author inspired to write book on cultural heritage

PUBLISHED: 10:17 06 December 2012

Peter Willsher of Kenninghall with his book The Cultural Heritage of Coastal Suffolk.

Peter Willsher of Kenninghall with his book The Cultural Heritage of Coastal Suffolk.


A Norfolk author was inspired by a conversation with the widow of a well-known politician and chef to write a book about famous writers and playwrights who have lived on the Suffolk coast.

Peter Willsher, 78, of Crown Courtyard, Kenninghall penned the book The Cultural Heritage of Coastal Suffolk after meeting Jill Freud, widow of Clement Freud, the former MP for North Cambridgeshire, who lived at Walberswick.

He had intended to write the book about Lady Freud, but she suggested he focus instead on the cultural heritage of the Suffolk coast, which has been a home to famous writers, painters, sculptors and musicians dating back over 300 years.

These famous names include CS Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia series, and George Orwell, who wrote nineteen eighty four and lived for a time at Southwold.

The book also mentions the poet W H Auden and the musician Benjamin Britten, who founded the Aldeburgh Festival and was instrumental in setting up Snape Maltings concert hall, as well as painter and sculptor Maggie Hambling and the painter J M W Turner.

Although the focus is primarily on the Suffolk coastal area, the Waveney valley is also mentioned through celebrities associated with the area including the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard and colourist Hugo Grenville.

Mr Willsher said: “It is a big book with colour illlustrations and and has taken me three years to write. Suffolk has been home to many famous writers, painters and musicians over the centuries.”

He said he had designed and published the book himself and has written two previous books including one about the life of entrepreneur Fred Pontin, who founded the holiday camp business Pontins.

The former developer, who helped build Shotley Point Marina near Ipswich, lives with wife Beverley and has a son James, 34, a journalist and daughter Charlotte Pettitt, 30, who works in PR.

The book is available through the website Amazon at

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