hatch party

Finding my feet.

I started this blog because I began writing poetry and someone said that’s what poets do. I learned afterwards that most of them don’t do any such thing but by then it was too late!

I write about anything I find  interesting, visits to places in and around Brighton, London and sometimes France. I include courses I have attended and a bit of home spun philosophy, posts about my garden or allotment and the people I meet. As I come from a family of puppeteers and like painting and  photography there were plenty of pics and even some of my poems.

Some kind people decided to recommend me for the following.

an DSCF0933award winning blog  for a ‘blog that brightens our day’

Five years later I am still at it… maybe mine will encourage others to have a go?

A scrap book page of autobiography

I was born  in the blitz in London with a cleft palate, had breathing problems and my speech was affected for several years.  I lived in Highgate with my parents, grandparents and my younger sister, as the daughter’s of marionette makers and performers, we missed quite a bit of formal schooling.  We spent much of our time as a children helping with their shows for private parties and summer seasons in seaside towns.


I once helped my mother write books of plays for Pelham Puppets and had two pieces in one of them of my own! I was always writing bits and pieces, it was a lot easier than speaking and in those post war years none of the grown up’s listened much anyway.

Later in life as an adult I wrote in my spare time and had some modest successes – a piece published in the Sunday Times Magazine – a play called ‘Travelling Nowhere’ performed at the Young Vic – two monologues read on Radio 4 – articles in teaching magazines – short stories in magazines and anthologies, poems in anthologies and Writing Magazine.  I  am a member of  the Society of Women Writers and Journalists.

Another more personal reason for stating this blog was because I needed a new focus. I had been my mother’s carer until she went into hospital for a minor operation and, partly due to mismanagement died. It was just too sad and soon afterwards I gave up the last of my freelance contracts and moved to the South Coast with my long term partner. Please note – if  you have problems with hospital care it is well worth contacting PALS the patient advice and liaison service.  I wish I had known about them earlier!

Gradually life fell into place again and I signed up for a course in Creative Writing at Sussex University to gain a new lease of life and make some new friends.  The poetry module was brilliant and I have not stopped reading, writing and entering poetry comps. since.


Happy times at Arvon

Please click on the link that follows to get to latest post


Someone said that poets go in for competitions and I did and got shortlisted, long listed and even won a local competition.

. Someone else said poets put collections together and publish them. I learned afterwards that they do no such thing, they approach small presses and get poems published in prestigious magazines.  But it was too late because I had already published not just one, but two collections!

 The Puppeteer’s Daughter – a new collection of poetry

Available in City Books 23 WESTERN ROAD, HOVE.  TEL: 01273 725306 and the Open Art Cafe in Nevill Road, Rottingdean. On Lulu and Amazon

The Puppeteer's Daughter

My second collection of poems explores the complexity of life as the daughter of marionette makers and performers. Howevet it also  includes poems about the seaside, artists, allotments and the eccentricities of life.


Postman’s Park

There are also poems from her residency in Postman’s Park in the City of London, thanks to the Poetry School and the London Parks and Gardens Trust.

 Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.
 John McCullough “Ann Perrin writes quite brilliant poems that fizz with originality, satisfying the reader’s heart as well as their head. Her work is frequently surreal yet, crucially, never strays far from poignancy. Its energy leaves you feeling revitalized and seeing the world afresh.”


Tim Dooley “Ann Perrin is an original. Her memories of a world that is almost completely lost are coloured with wit and a vivid eye for detail. These are poems that resonate long after one has finished reading them.

Ann  Some of my poems in this collection are autobiographical, some experimental, some free verse as well as traditional styles.

‘Don’t Throw Away the Daisies’  My first collection of poetry as well as my new collection are both available in City Books 23 WESTERN ROAD, HOVE.  TEL: 01273 725306 and the Open Art Cafe in Nevill Road, Rottingdean.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu. Also available on line with Lulu. Illustrations
and mono prints in black and white at £6.99

John McCullough  ‘Ann’s poetry covers the big topics of love and death with originality.  Take for instance  the title poem which is full of surprises yet also wonderfully poignant.’ 

Kiersty Boon  says – ‘This collection of poems, fully illustrated by the author, is a wonderful journey from a magical childhood of puppets and seaside towns.  The delicacy of the difficult stages of life and memories experienced are offset with humorous anecdotes and magical tales for young and old alike.’

Ann  I was  very happy that someone who bought this book said reading some of the poems to her mother had prompted the latter to share memories of her own. Several teachers have used ‘The old dry stone wall’ as an example of nature poetry and observation in primary school. I am told the book works on several different levels.

Available in colour at  the Open Art Cafe in Rottingdean  £18.00


The colour version is in my opinion (I am prejudiced) a work of art!

Above=  The West Pier – pen and ink  Robin my eldest son as a child oil on paper

Last of the poetry info –  I have a blog called Beach Hut Poetry.

We bought the hut twenty five years ago when we had a flat in Hove and they were less trendy. Fishermen kept rods in them and families just had rugs and sandwiches.  https://annperrinspoetry.wordpress.com/

Allotment on the Weald


Postman’s Park

A lucky break in retirement was getting a tiny allotment plot after three years on the waiting list. Basically it was a muddy field with an abandoned pond but it gave us a new lease of life.

DSCF2477 DSCF2466 DSCF2471 DSCF2465 DSCF2494

Film making – I was a keen amateur film maker. Please click on the following link to view my films


Or maybe simply enjoy this one?

 Virginia Woolf’s garden.

‘The Hole in the Wall’  from the sublime to the ridiculous but  I am rather fond of this film which is of a picture book for children I once made.  The book jumped through several hoops with Oxford University Press years ago but in the end the editor who was interested left and the idea was dropped.

Films associated with our marionettes please click on the following link


Alice in Wonderland – was the first and hardest one to make. It is my favourite and was made a couple of years before my mother died  She climbed up into the loft of my house in South London to operate some of the characters in her late 70s.  The boat scene in the garden  was  a labour of love and took forever.

Our puppet circus on youtube

white clown-1

A reconstruction based on our popular puppet circus from the 50s and 60s but sadly without the famous clowns’ repartee which I subsequently found on a reel to reel tape..

A circus was  always part of our show which included a strong man and an acrobat on a horse. Sadly some of our marionettes were stolen from our garage in Highgate so I could not include them.  Ironically the strong man turned up at an auction alone with some other favourites such as ‘Mademoiselle de Paris’ a few years ago.  I hasten to say the seller was completely unaware they had once been ours.

A taste of our circus part of the show our show at Buckingham Palace for a children’s party given by her majesty the Queen in the 50s – please click on the following link


Our dedicated website for marionettes

please click on the link  http://www.puppethouse.co.uk/ 

DSCF2134-002 Ann Perrin slide (539)1-P1000670 Ann Perrin slide (612) 1-P1000659 Ann Perrin slide (296) Ann Perrin slide (259)  Ann Perrin slide (617) Ann Perrin slide (294) Ann Perrin slide (613) Ann Perrin slide (619) Ann Perrin slide (292)

Our marionette collection has puppets we have made and performed with from 1949. It includes clowns, musicians and characters from extracts of plays we once performed including ‘Alice in Wonderland.’

DSC04056 This Alice appeared in an Ice Show in Morecambe in the 50s. My mother had to learn to skate to be part of it.         DSCF2134-002

Please click on the following for a museum update

https://annperrin.wordpress.com/puppethouse/ for a museum update

1-IMG_7779In 2013  –  As part of their commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War  BBC South East filmed the conservation of the marionettes and interviewed me about my family’s role in performing with them in the film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ on Brighton’s West Pier in the 60’s.   We all went to the Duke of York’s Cinema for a special showing  of the original film.

In 2015 – DSC04037There are artifacts and posters from the various films, the car made by Emett, a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang .  I know because I have been setting up our contribution with the dedicated and creative Marcus Bagshaw, the curator at the Grange, and had a quick preview of the wonderful things which will be on display.

I have 200 other marionettes going back to the 1950s that have now been conserved, some are characters from the circus, plays etc others are large cabaret marionettes. I have been investigating a gallery or museum for a permanent display.


A film for Self Hypnosis and Positive Health

It has been used many times for relaxation but is also worth trying for pain control and may help as part of managing SAD (seasonal affective disorder)  Self Hypnosis  for Positive Health – there are two options -you can close your eyes and just listen, or watch the images that I added more recently.

Qualifications   As an adult in my late 20s I gained one  O’level studying part time. I went on to study for a Teaching Certificate and got a distinction in Art and later gained a BA with the OU.  Later working in adult education I studied part-time for an M.Sc in Life Course Development at Birkbeck  London University.

Finally  I worked freelance as a trainer in ‘Life Course Development’   and retrained again to become a Hypnotherapist and a Master Practitioner in NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Note I‘m glad someone said I should write a blog because by 1st September 2016 over 16.000 people will have visited this site. There have been over 50.000 views and I have made contact with people from all over the world.

Someone said  poets often link poems to  film for youtube, because that is the modern thing to do. I learned afterwards that most of them do no such thing, but by then it was too late!

If you have got this far thank you so much for your patience. Ann

22 Responses to About

  1. mary Marro says:

    Ann, is it possible to get a copy of the illustrated version of an Old Dry Stone Wall?
    Is it a book yet or just a Utube video?

  2. pam says:

    Ann, lovely to find your blog, it is beautifully done, and you do not look –! It must be all your talents, and your child like persona which I loved at Lumb Bank. As you know I raced away on the Friday, thus escaping my cooking session (!) and got to Switzerland, god knows how, he directed me with his clever finger, at ten that evening..my beloved poet died the next morning at 7, ————I haven’t quite got over it, September 11th too. So haven’t written a poem since, not yet, I did take my partner’s ancestral clothes etc back to Jerusalem (he was Bishop there for 33 years in 1856) and spent four weeks as a Palestine activist documenting the terrible things the israelis do to these occupied people, so I guess I moved in another direction. Keep up the good work – much love (PS: just sold three of my poetry books on Amazon! That was something…)

    • ann perrin says:

      Wow! What a story, hope you get back to your poetry eventually and make steady progress in recovering. Congrats on books. Love Ann

  3. Wendy Ogden says:

    Lovely to meet you on Sunday at Kay’s workshop. So glad I noted down your blog. So much here to enjoy! I love the artwork and the poetry seems so warm and sincere to me.

    I’ll be back for more reading but hope to see you at the next workshop in January. Let’s hope the weather is as kind.

    • ann perrin says:

      Whoops only just found this again having whizzzed up and down for a bit over the last few days and then thought I had your card and sent this jolly email to a complete stranger! Who said I don’t know you, not sure how I got her card. Whoops can you send an email so I can say hi all over again.

  4. Linda Lee says:

    Dear Ann,
    Sitting between doing things feeling a bit SAD, some memories popped into my head. The Rotherhithe Workshop came up and how I pondered about the time I sent there, while not really understanding why I was there! Of course it was you who set this up after we met teaching (Lanfranc?). I did a search and was so pleased to find your website with all the wonderful creative stuff bursting out of it.

  5. annperrin says:

    Great to get nice comments and yes loved Rotherhithe Workshops, my dad worked there too for a few years. After his death found a cutting from the Standard saying he had helped set up the Brunel museum over there. In our family we never knew what the other members of the family were up to half the time!
    No idea where we met, but Lanfranc – How I loved the Head, great at supporting teachers as well as pupils.
    Got a brill film on youtube about Sands Studio, well I like it.
    Was not sure about the SAD page, only been up a month…but will keep it up.
    Take care Ann

    • Linda Lee says:

      Just to jog your memory – we had many conversations in the staffroom, then you took me with you one afternoon to the gypsy unit where IKEA now is. A few months later you found me a job with Ron at Rotherhithe! My sister remembers meeting you at a party in Elmer’s Rd where she was transfixed by your involvement with Pelham Puppets (a great favourite of hers). The Puppethouse site and history is wonderful – I had no idea at the time that Ron was master puppet-maker and along with your mother had been such leading figures in their field (no pun intended).

  6. Sue Bartlett says:

    Hi Ann

    I loved ‘Weaving Spells’; I was there in the moment with you.
    No wonder you are so creative it’s in the genes.

    Sue Bartlett

  7. Margaret Frentz says:

    Hello Ann,

    Only today, have I discovered you, your family, and your puppets!

    I have three Marlborough Wilts wooden puppets which have been stored in one of our closets for many, many years. We have the blue & white caterpillar, the Washer Woman, and a horse and all are in very good condition. I am looking for a new home for them. I would like to see them go to a home where they will be used and not just to someone who will sell them.

    Do you know of such a place?

    Thank you,

    • annperrin says:

      Thank you Margaret for this comment I know it led us both a merry dance, with you even considering taking out a second mortgage to send them all the way from the states to me!
      Well following our emails I now I gather they have a good home in Birmingham Alhamba! It is amazing how blogging can set thins in motion in different parts of the world. Thank you so much for this comment it was lovely. A play book is on its way. Take care Ann

  8. TheBigForest says:

    You have been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Find out more here. http://thebigforestuk.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award-the-winners/. If blog awards aren’t your kind of thing then that is absolutely fine but we love your blog!

    • ann perrin says:


  9. Jeni Brixey says:

    Odds are long but are you the daughter of Percy and Peggy? Apologies if not, trying to trace family and ended up here🙂 Interesting stuff Ann!

  10. This is my first time visit at here and i am actually impressed to read everthing at single place.

  11. George Appleby says:

    Dear Ann, We met at the Poetry School last year and at its party in September you gave me a signed copy of your Daisy collection. Will you be going to this year’s launch/party ? Inspired by you I have produced a collection and I’d like to give you a copy. I’d also very much appreciate your advice on making it available to the public. Any chance I could ring you sometime ? (My collection lacks the variety and beautiful illustrations of yours, but its a start.)
    George Appleby

    • ann perrin says:

      Hi George, Sorry so long in replying, So glad you got your book out.
      My suggestions are to take your book to open mics, don’t advertise it (bit tacky) just read from it.
      Try a local cafe, book or gift shop see if they will take it.
      I managed to get two to take mine, but their cut means I don’t make any money! But who does?
      If you have some spare, leave them on seats in parks, busy shopping precincts with a note ‘a gift to you’. Give one or two to a local charity shop and congratulate yourself for resourcefulness and get on with your next poem.
      Enter competitions as long as they are free or cheap to enter. I think it has all become a bit of an industry.
      I’m older than you and I believe ageism in the arts is rife.
      Not too helpful I know but it is a very competitive game at the best of times. Take care. Ann

  12. Hi Ann
    Love your Blog!
    However I just wanted to ask you about the following:
    My best friend Alan Gage for his endless support.
    Was Alan by any chance connected with Gage or Gaje Marionettes?
    They performed at schools in the Bristol area in the 1960s.
    I can be found on Facebook – Henleaze Book
    I do hope you can help?

    • ann perrin says:

      Lovely to hear from you. No Alan was never a puppeteer although he would dispute that having helped with the filming of my marionettes, been general dogsbody and even marionette manipulator in chief as I endless try to ensure they are conserved for posterity. A real struggle at times as I am the only puppeteer left in our family. Take care Ann

  13. Roz says:

    Hello Ann…..lovely to see you at the bus stop….hope this reaches you….thought it was the best way to get in touch and enjoy the blog.


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