hatch party Well what do you do when you move somewhat recklessly to the South Coast later in life? Join things try and cope with retirement, make some new friends, but in the meantime blogging has been brilliant. 

Finding my feet.

I write about anything I find interesting, news, reviews, the people I meet, special events, visits to interesting places around Brighton, London and sometimes in France. I sometimes include courses I have attended and some of my poems.

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


Moving to the South Coast.

In 20o8, I was traumatised by the loss of my mother, who went into hospital for a minor operation and died. Over the years we had often worked together but towards the end of her life I become her carer.

The shock of losing her in such sad circumstances was unbearable. I gave up my job and soon afterwards moved to the South Coast with my long term partner.

To try and move on I did a course at Sussex Uni. in creative writing and two at Arvon. As I come from a family of marionette makers and performers I drifted into running puppet workshops in the local library. Later I attended a course in standup  comedy with Jill Edwards and performed my set at a New Acts Night at the Komedia and did several gigs for charity.

I have often started new things so no surprise that I found myself running open mic poetry sessions in Rottingdean for two years. But by this time writing poetry myself had become a passion.  I went on several courses and started to send of poems to competition and magazines. I had three published in Writers News and compiled a collection with illustrations.


Happy times at Arvon

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


However you could read on and discover the one and only advertisement on this site for my poetry collections and/or read my bio at the end of the page. 

The Puppeteer’s Daughter

The Puppeteer's Daughter
Ann’s second collection of poems explores the complexity of life as the daughter of marionette makers and performers. It includes poems about the seaside, artists, allotments and the eccentricities of life. 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.

‘Don’t Throw Away the Daisies’ is my first collection of poetry and 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.’

Illustrations in full  colour proved to too expensive to produce but it is still available from Amazon or from the Open Art Cafe on request at £18


    The West Pier – pen and ink   – Robin my eldest s0n as a child – 0il on heavy paper.

‘Best to blow your  own trumpet, no one else will’  as my old granny used to say!

I have written from an early age including books of plays for Pelham Puppets.  However most of my writing as an adult has had to be done in my spare time but I have had some modest successes – a piece published in the Sunday Times Magazine – a play called ‘Travelling Nowhere’ performed at the Young Vic – pieces read on Radio 4 – articles in teaching magazines – short stories in anthologies. A few years ago I became a freelance journalist and a member of  the Society of Women Writers and Journalists.

Recently I started to write poetry in my Beach Hut. We bought the hut twenty five years ago when my partner lived in Hove and they were less trendy. Fishermen kept rods in them and families just had rugs and sandwiches.   https://annperrinspoetry.wordpress.com/

Some of my poems are now on a podcast which was an effort to move with the times.



Postman’s Park

2015  and 2016 – I was lucky enough to get a mini residency in Postman’s Park in the City of London courtesy of the Poetry School and The London Parks and Gardens Trust.

Bio – I was born in London in the blitz with a cleft palate and could not talk clearly for several years.  As the daughter of puppeteers we lived in Highgate but I spent much of my life helping with our shows at private parties and in seaside towns. My parents once had the honour of entertaining Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace. I had always pulled the curtains in between the acts, but my parents insisted that because Grandpa had fought in the Great War he should do the curtain pulling that day instead!

As an adult I went into Variety, touring with Hylda Baker, appearing on the same bill as Max Miller, Graham Stark and Alma Cogan.  I worked on the TV series ‘The Telegoons’ and with my family and our marionettes on the film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ on Brighton’s West Pier.

I later married, had two wonderful sons, became a single parent and worked, studied and developed a new career in teaching.  I have taught in primary schools and taught art in a comprehensive school. I have been a community education development worker and  a senior manager in Adult Education. In later life I retrained as a therapist working with a cancer charity, for an MS help centre and for two Primary Care Trusts. I also ran courses in mid and later life planning, presentation skills etc.

Since retiring I have continued to write and also to conserve our 2oo marionettes that either I or my family had performed with over the years.

 Our  new allotment on the Weald

Another 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 am 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.  It 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 had 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.

Puppet circus on youtube

white clown-1

A reconstruction based on our popular puppet circus from the 50s and 60s but without the famous clowns’ repartee which was never recorded.

A circus was  always part of our show which included a strong man and an acrobat on a horse. We once had the honour of performing for the Queen at her first children’s party after the war at Buckingham Palace in 1952.

A taste of our circus – please click on the following link


A dedicated website for our marionette making and performance developed with my youngest son Paul 15 years ago.

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. The clowns, musicians, characters from ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

DSC04056 This Alice appeared in an Ice Show in Morcambe in the 50s


Please click on

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’.   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.


Lastly a freebie – as a therapist I made the following tape . It has been used many times for relaxation but is also worth trying for pain control.  I call it 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  – My formal schooling was late and often disrupted. I have also worked all my life so my one and only O’level was gained at 30 studying part time. Luckily a grant to study for a Teaching Certificate followed and then a BA from the OU.     Several years later an M.Sc in Life Course Development from  Birkbeck – London University studying part time again and with a grant.  It is really sad that such opportunities are now denied so many adults in this so called modern age.

A change in direction however meant more qualifications were needed, by which time I could paid for and study  Hypnotherapy. I am also a Master Practitioner in NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming.

General family support  Alan my long suffering partner often proof reads my posts (you can usually tell when he doesn’t) Robin my eldest son has a sports massage practice in Biggin Hill, and is a racquetball coach and regularly gives sensible advice. My youngest son has an IT company in and gives me all technical support I need for all my websites.

I have two lovely daughters in law and three grandchildren but I seldom mention any of my family in my posts unless I have asked them if it is OK.  I like to respect their privacy.

If you got this far, thank you for your patience. If you require further information or advice on any of the topics please contact me by commenting on this page.

Thank you.  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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