Madalyn Morgan

Photo Madalyn 2018

I was bought up in a pub in a small market town called, Lutterworth. For as long as I can remember, my dream was to be an actress and a writer. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live, there were so many characters to study and accents to learn. I was offered Crossroads the first time around, but my mother wanted me to have a ‘proper’ job that I could fall back on if I had to, so I did a hairdressing apprenticeship. Eight years later, aged twenty-four, I gave up a successful salon and wig-hire business for a place at East 15 Drama College and a career as an actress, working in Repertory theatre, the West End, film and television.
In 1990 I gave up acting for love and ten years later love gave me up for someone half my age. However, by then I had taught myself to touch type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau, and was writing articles and presenting radio.

In 2010, after living in London for thirty-six years, I moved back to Lutterworth. I swapped two window boxes and a mortgage for a garden and the freedom to write – and I love it.

Email: madalynmorgan1@gmail.com

A member of The Society of Authors, The Romantic Novelists Association and Equity.

Novels: Author Page

Social Media Links:

 

 

75th Anniversary of VE Day

Newspapers called it a momentous day with headlines, “Germany Capitulates!”  and “Unconditional surrender.” And, quotes from the King’s speech, “The war is over. After five years and eight months complete and crushing victory has crowned Britain’s unrelenting struggle against Nazi Germany.”

Seventy-five years ago, on 7 May 1945, after almost six years of war that had cost the lives of millions; destroyed families, homes, towns and cities, the war with Nazi Germany came to an end. The Channel Islands were free again and Yugoslav troops liberated Zagreb, which until then was the capital of the Nazi-backed ‘Independent’ state of Croatia. Japan, however, kept the war raging. Not until 14 August was its leaders persuaded to surrender. Even then the Act Of Surrender wasn’t signed until 2 September.

Let’s Celebrate

For the first time in nearly six years, there were weather reports in newspapers and on the wireless. St Thomas’s Hospital, which like all other hospitals had worked tirelessly to save the lives of injured servicemen and woman, repeatedly sounded the Morse for Victory and the families of MPs, gathered for the Prime Minister’s address to parliament, waved flags on the terrace overlooking the Thames.

Although some servicemen’s clubs provided tea and sandwiches on the house, by early afternoon restaurants had sold out of food and there were no Allied flags to be had for love or money. Money being the operative word, as enterprising businessmen cashed in. And, as dusk fell, not only were government buildings, town halls and churches across the country floodlit, but lights in houses all over Great Britain were switched on. The blackout ignored; blinds at last redundant.   

Churchill gave the order to party!

Millions of people in cities, towns and villages threw street parties. I interviewed a lady who was ten years old when WW2 ended. Pamela told me about the street party where she and her mother lived. “I remember my mum saying there was a very important broadcast by Mr Churchill on the wireless. I had to sit quietly and listen. I can’t remember his exact words, but he said the German war is at an end. I have since learned that the broadcast ended with him saying, “Advance, Britannia.”

VE Day Street party in Regent Street Lutterworth
(Photograph Derek Day)

     Pamela continued, “The next day I looked out of my bedroom window to see all our neighbours in the street. They were bringing out tables and chairs – and two brothers brought out a piano. Everyone put what rations they had on the tables. Some people had sugar, other’s butter, some milk. Mum took chairs for us to sit on and two plates, cups, knives, forks and spoons. I don’t remember her baking that day, but she must have done because she made a sponge cake with jam in it, which with a jelly – we always seemed to have jelly – and a jug of lemonade was our contribution to the party. We were never short of bread. Mum used to put our ration of butter in a bowl, add milk and beat it. That way the butter went further. Everyone grew vegetables and fruit in their gardens and we all kept laying hens. I remember we had egg sandwiches – and fish and meat paste sandwiches.  And I remember the man playing the piano and everyone singing Vera Lynne’s wartime songs.”

The streets of London were packed. People sang and danced in Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus, down the Strand to Trafalgar Square, down Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament and along The Mall to Buckingham Palace.  Bands in Whitehall played Land of Hope and Glory and when Prime Minister Winston Churchill appeared on the balcony of the Ministry of Health the Guard’s band played “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” ending with a rousing three cheers. At this, the overjoyed Mr Churchill took off his hat and waved it at the crowd.

The Prime Minister was cheered as he arrived for lunch at Buckingham Palace. Later the crowds outside chanted “We want the King!” who, later, appeared on the balcony with the Queen, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret – and PM Churchill.

In the evening Buckingham Palace was floodlit as was St. Paul’s Cathedral

Not everyone celebrated VE Day. 

For people who had lost loved ones, or their loved ones were still fighting overseas in the Far East and the Pacific – where, in the final months of the war there were heavy casualties –   it was a day of mixed emotions. Although they were happy that the war was over, for thousands of widows and mothers who had lost children in the war, celebrating VE Day was a bitter-sweet occasion because their loved ones would not be coming home.  

     The first services of thanksgiving were in St. Paul’s Cathedral and St Martin’s-in-the- fields.  A woman whose husband was killed in Italy two years earlier said, “Today I feel all pent-up. Not exactly bitter but sad to think that my husband won’t be coming back with the others. I’ve got to remake my life and carry on for the sake of my little girl. I feel much better coming and sharing in this thanksgiving service.”

The impact of war, personally and nationally.

The economic cost of the war almost bankrupted Britain, resulting in post-war austerity.  Clothes rationing lasted until 1949, food rationing until 1954 – and the far-reaching political effects ranged from the fall of the British Empire to the Cold War.

     Sadly, there are still wars and conflicts in many parts of the world, but, although our servicemen and women are still called upon to fight, on the whole, the people of Great Britain are lucky.

VE Day – 75th Anniversary Celebrations

In WW2 there were two Royal Airforce Aerodromes within two miles of my hometown of Lutterworth – RAF Bitteswell and RAF Bruntingthorpe. Bitteswell is now a large industrial park. But Bruntingthorpe, which in the war was a heavy bomber airbase, still operates as an aerodrome. On 8 and 9 May a thousand people had bought tickets to attend a wartime charity dinner-dance held in an aeroplane hangar at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome. Now, because of Covid-19, it has been cancelled.

            However you plan to celebrate the anniversary of VE Day, stay safe.

Article by Madalyn Morgan

Leicestershire RNA Chapter Meeting at the Belmont Hotel

The Belmont Belles on the first meeting of 2020 – Friday February 7th

Six Belmont Belles with some of their books

Theresa and Maddie at the Chapter meeting

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Theresa Le Flem and Madalyn Morgan

It was good meeting. Lots of author friends were there. Theresa and I had fish finger sandwiches, which were yummy. Anyone with writing news – book launches or stories published in magazines shared, and afterwards there was a talk by agent, Kate Nash, on what genres and settings were fashionable in fiction.

Tuesday Guest Feature – Madalyn Morgan

Thank you for featuring The Dudley Sisters’ Saga on your fabulous Blog Patricia. I love the design of the poster with the book covers and photograph, Thank you very much.

Patricia M Osborne

It gives me great pleasure to welcome author, Madalyn Morgan, to ‘Patricia’s Pen’. Madalyn has come along to talk about her writing and in particular ‘The Dudley Sisters.’ Without further ado, let’s go over to Madalyn.

Madalyn Morgan (1)

The Dudley Sisters

Madalyn Morgan

Several things happened while I was doing a creative writing course with the Writers Bureau in Manchester. I have always been fascinated by the achievements of women in the Twentieth Century – especially in WW1 and WW2. My mother used to tell me about her life in the second world war; the work she did, the dances she went to, and the many letters she wrote to servicemen overseas. (She had a Polish penfriend called Vanda, which is my middle name.) My mum had a fascinating life, so when it came to the biography module, I wrote about her. My tutor liked the work but said, as mum and…

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Extract: There Is No Going Home – Video 4

Listen to the beginning of my novel There Is No Going Home.

This is the last of four videos which introduces you to the story.

London 1958, Ena recognises a woman who she exposed as a spy in WW2. Ena’s husband, Henry, an agent with MI5, argues that it cannot be the woman because they went to her funeral twelve years before.

Ena, now head of the Home Office cold case department, starts an investigation. There are no files. It is as if the woman never existed. Suddenly colleagues who are helping Ena with the case mysteriously die… and Ena herself is almost killed in a hit-and-run.

The case breaks when Ena finds important documents from 1936 Berlin that prove not only did the spy exist, but someone above suspicion who worked with her then, still works with her now.

Fearing for her life, there is only one person Ena can trust… or can she?

Watch the first video here

Available to buy on Amazon

Extract: There Is No Going Home – Video 3

Listen to the beginning of my novel There Is No Going Home.

This is the third of four videos which introduces you to the story.

London 1958, Ena recognises a woman who she exposed as a spy in WW2. Ena’s husband, Henry, an agent with MI5, argues that it cannot be the woman because they went to her funeral twelve years before.

Ena, now head of the Home Office cold case department, starts an investigation. There are no files. It is as if the woman never existed. Suddenly colleagues who are helping Ena with the case mysteriously die… and Ena herself is almost killed in a hit-and-run.

The case breaks when Ena finds important documents from 1936 Berlin that prove not only did the spy exist, but someone above suspicion who worked with her then, still works with her now.

Fearing for her life, there is only one person Ena can trust… or can she?

Look out for the next instalment…

Available to buy on Amazon

Extract: There Is No Going Home – Video 2

Listen to the beginning of my novel There Is No Going Home.

This is the second of four videos which introduces you to the story.

London 1958, Ena recognises a woman who she exposed as a spy in WW2. Ena’s husband, Henry, an agent with MI5, argues that it cannot be the woman because they went to her funeral twelve years before.

Ena, now head of the Home Office cold case department, starts an investigation. There are no files. It is as if the woman never existed. Suddenly colleagues who are helping Ena with the case mysteriously die… and Ena herself is almost killed in a hit-and-run.

The case breaks when Ena finds important documents from 1936 Berlin that prove not only did the spy exist, but someone above suspicion who worked with her then, still works with her now.

Fearing for her life, there is only one person Ena can trust… or can she?

Look out for the next instalment…

Available to buy on Amazon

Extract: There Is No Going Home – Video 1

Listen to the beginning of my novel There Is No Going Home.

This is the first of four videos which introduces you to the story.

London 1958, Ena recognises a woman who she exposed as a spy in WW2. Ena’s husband, Henry, an agent with MI5, argues that it cannot be the woman because they went to her funeral twelve years before.

Ena, now head of the Home Office cold case department, starts an investigation. There are no files. It is as if the woman never existed. Suddenly colleagues who are helping Ena with the case mysteriously die… and Ena herself is almost killed in a hit-and-run.

The case breaks when Ena finds important documents from 1936 Berlin that prove not only did the spy exist, but someone above suspicion who worked with her then, still works with her now.

Fearing for her life, there is only one person Ena can trust… or can she?

Look out for the next instalment…

Available to buy on Amazon

5.0 out of 5 stars

An era wonderfully created, a strong heroine, and a gripping read

Ena herself always draws the eye and her actions drive the story, but this book is filled with other very strongly drawn characters. I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of her two colleagues at the cold case department; and I really liked her relationship with Inspector Powell, perhaps one of very few characters she might just be able to rely on.

Fantastic Blog post and Review by Anne Williams @BEINGANNE.COM

“Highly recommended by me – and I must add that I was left with the thought that the whole story would make a quite perfect Sunday night tv drama…”

A fantastic review from Ann Williams @BEINGANNE.COM

A spy thriller – now that might be many miles away from my usual reading, but I must say I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this one. The whole era is so wonderfully recreated, with little touches of contemporary and domestic detail that transport you into the late 1950s, with reverberations of wartime intrigue and the growing shadow of the Cold War. The world of espionage is beautifully handled too – Ena’s work with the wartime “cold cases” putting her in mortal danger, its source the mystery at the story’s centre, along with her husband Henry’s work with MI5 complete with all its confusing smoke and mirrors.

Ena’s a quite wonderful heroine, totally driven by her quest to uncover the mystery behind the reappearance of her former colleague, totally undeterred as the danger comes considerably closer to home, even when her marriage becomes affected and colleagues die in mysterious circumstances. She constantly bends the rules of engagement, and I loved her strength and dogged determination – and all her interactions with others, that made her such a well-rounded personality and so engaging, and a character I found myself rooting for as the threats to her personal safety multiplied.

But although Ena herself always draws the eye and her actions drive the story, this book is filled with other very strongly drawn characters. I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of her two colleagues at the cold case department; and I really liked her relationship with Inspector Powell, perhaps one of very few characters she might just be able to rely on.

I really do want to talk about some of the cleverly handled small detail – particularly the Collins enigma, the way it emerges and the quest to solve it, that opens another fascinating dimension to the gripping story – but I don’t want to spoil the story for others, which would be quite unforgivable. The layering of the whole story is so superbly done – the surprises, the twists, the whole way in which things often aren’t quite what they seem – and the nail-biting tension steadily cranks up towards a satisfyingly dramatic climax, vividly written and cinematic in scope.

And I really do need to mention the sheer quality of the writing – I’ve enjoyed other books by the author, but this one really does move her into a different league. The whole story – the concept, and the way it’s developed – is thoroughly excellent, every scene vividly described, the dialogue authentic and real, the period detail perfect, with every new character well-developed, integral to the story and driving the action.

Read the full blog post and Ann’s opinion of The Dudley Sisters’ Saga @ https://beinganne.com/2019/10/review-there-is-no-going-home-a-bletchley-park-cold-case-by-madalyn-morgan

On BeingAnne.com the are reviews of some great books. Check them out @ https://beinganne.com/

My Life In Writing @ WHISPERINGSTORIES.COM

Featuring my latest novel There Is No Going Home https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1073705897

here Is No Going Home is a stand-alone sequel to the third book in the saga The 9:45 To Bletchley. I had already researched Bletchley Park and spy networks in England during WW2. However, There Is No Going Home is a spy thriller set in the cold war thirteen years later.

There Is No Going Home by Madalyn Morgan
A Bletchley Park Cold Case

Sequel to The 9:45 To Bletchley
Madalyn Morgan The Dudley Sisters

Member of the RNA, SoA and Equity

Novels: The Dudley Sisters’ Saga
Foxden Acres: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BCX59LE
Applause: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00J7Y5LCW
China Blue: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00XD85NQW
The 9:45 To Bletchley: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GEVW3Z8
Foxden Hotel: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071LDYD2D/
Chasing Ghosts: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1718701225

There Is No Going Home: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1073705897

A great day for Bletchley Park veterans. More than 80 were honoured on the 80th anniversary of WW2

Sunday, September 1st, was a wonderful day. Men and women who had worked at Bletchley Park, or at secret locations – outstations – all over Britain and abroad, were invited to Bletchley Park to be officially thanked and honoured for the work they did in WW2. And, for the first time veterans talked about their experiences on camera as part of the Bletchley Park Trust’s oral history project.

During World War Two 12,000 people worked at Bletchley Park. On September 1st 2019 around 80 of them, men and women who had worked on signals intelligence during the war, codenamed Ultra, attended a reunion to coincide with the 80th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland

I visited the Mansion at Bletchley Park. It’s an original Victorian mansion and houses a number of temporary and permanent exhibitions including:

  • The Office of Alastair Denniston, Head of the Government Code and Cypher School, and the room where the US Special Relationship was born
  • The Library, atmospherically dressed as it would have looked during WW2 as a Naval Intelligence office
  • Veterans’ Stories exhibition
  • Wartime Garages, complete with WW2 vehicles. And information on how top secret intelligence material was transported
The Mansion at Bletchley Park

I was lucky enough to met some remarkable people. The first was Mervyn Evans, a veteran was with The Royal Signals. Mervyn spent much of WW2 working undercover in Italy, sending vital information back to Bletchley Park using morse code.

Mervyn taking a tea break.

Another remarkable man was, Pat Field. Pat was a Japanese translator. He said some of his colleagues went out to Japan, but he spent most of the war at Bletchley. Pat was recruited from the Army. A lovely guy who was full of fun. I think his smile shows that.

Last, but by no means least, I met an incredible woman named Beryl Middleton. Beryl was a codebreaker at Bletchley in the war and worked with Alan Turing and Dilly Knox. She was accompanied by her grandson and his wife. Thinking about it, there were a lot of young people with the veterans. But I digress. Beryl told me she didn’t write much now, but she loved to read. I told her about the novel I’d written, The 9:45 To Bletchley, and she asked her grandson if he would get the book for her. I told her I would be honoured to send her a copy. It was in the post the next day.

Beryl and I laughing at the Winston Churchill bookends I bought from Bletchley Park’s gift shop.

When I was researching my fourth novel The 9:45 To Bletchley I met Jean Budd, the daughter of Robert George Budd, a retired Naval Petty Officer who, in 1938, in the guise of Head Grounds Man was charged with the task of employing builders, electricians, plumbers, carpenters etc. to fit-out the mansion and to build and furnish buildings and huts in the grounds. Jean told me that after school, when she and her sister and two brothers were doing their homework, they had strict instructions not to make a noise because uncle Dilly’s ladies were working next door. Jean and her family lived at Number 2 Cottage, The Stableyard. Dillwyn Knox – and a team of codebreakers known as Dilly’s Fillies who Dilly called his Harem – worked in Number 3 Cottage.  (The code used by the German Abwehr was cracked by Dilly and his ladies in 1941).

Number 1, 2 and 3 cottage. Alan Turing and Bill Tutte also worked at Number 3

I looked for Jean Budd on Sunday. She was there, still fit and still full of life I was told, but I didn’t find her. I have a lovely photograph of Jean that I took the last time I was at Bletchley Park. I shall add it to the post when I find it.

I bought a sandwich and a cup of coffee from the cafe in hut 4 and ate it sitting in the sunshine by the lake while I waited for 2 o’clock when a WW2 Lancaster was going to fly over the park.

Waiting for the Lancaster I met a very interesting guy called Martyn. He was the National Radio Centre Coordinator. He was a mine of information and took a video of the flypast which was a heck of a lot better than the photographs I took with my mobile camera. I have a dozen photographs of the sky and clouds, but only three of the Lancaster.

I had a wonderful time. There was filming going on in the mansion, so I wasn’t able to look around the library or Commander Dennison’s office, but I visited Block B Museum where the different cipher machines, including Enigma and codes of WW2, are exhibited. My favourite huts are 8 – the German naval codebreaking hut where Alan Turing’s WW2 office has been recreated, and 11A – The Bombe hut. It’s a permanent exhibition that explains in detail how the team during WW2, led by Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman, helped solve the challenge of Enigma with the creation of the Bombe machines.

A statue of Alan Turing made, I think, of slate

In 2009, Gordon Brown – Prime Minister at the time – issued an unequivocal apology on behalf of the government to Alan Turing who took his own life after being sentence to chemical castration for being gay.

Describing Turing’s treatment as “horrifying” and “utterly unfair”, Brown said the country owed the brilliant mathematician a huge debt. He was proud, he said, to offer an official apology. “We’re sorry, you deserved so much better.” Most famous for his work in helping create the “bombe” that cracked messages enciphered with the German Enigma machines. He was convicted of gross indecency in 1952 after admitting a sexual relationship with a man and was given experimental chemical castration as “treatment”. His criminal record meant he couldn’t continue his work for the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) because his security privileges were withdrawn. Two years later he killed himself. He was 41.

Before I left I called into the gift shop. I love notepads and notebooks, especially the ones at Bletchley Park because they have codes on the covers. However, on Sunday I bought two bookends of Sir Winston Churchill, to sit on either sice of the novels I have written.

My novels:

Foxden Acres: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BCX59LE
Applause: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00J7Y5LCW
China Blue: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00XD85NQW
The 9:45 To Bletchley: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GEVW3Z8
Foxden Hotel: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071LDYD2D/
Chasing Ghosts: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1718701225

There Is No Going Home: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1073705897

Member of the RNA, SoA and Equity

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