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By Alannah O’Sullivan
Robert Adams OBE was an extraordinary man. A paratrooper in WW2, he was also a first-rate runner who coached Ghana’s first athletics team and brought them to Britain after the war.
Working back in the UK, he soon became managing director of various firms, the most well known of which was A. H. Mackintosh Furniture in Kirkcaldy. He was awarded an OBE for his services to the industry.
His charitable works are numerous and, on retirement, he created a whole new profession for himself in writing, becoming chair of the Writers’ Guild in Scotland in the 1990s. One of the good friends he made through the Guild was Alan Plater.
Bob’s wit was legendary and he was sought after as an after-dinner speaker. His plays, The Roup and Scrappy, have toured Scotland. He recently had two books published and had just completed a new play based on his experiences in wartime. He was a truly heroic individual and will be sorely missed.
The funeral will be held on Tuesday, 12 March at Dunfermline Crematorium.
Ian Buckley on why he felt compelled to put his Communist father's story on the stage
Being the son of a Savile Row tailor, and visiting his small Soho workshop over many years (including stairwell and toilet-cleaning duties!), I got to know the trade of high-class tailor very well.
I also got to know Soho very well. The reason? My father worked from a small, somewhat dark, workshop in a well-proportioned Georgian terraced house that had seen better days. When I knew it in the early 1960s, it was full of tailors like my father, working in their often cramped little rooms, for prestigious high-class gentleman tailors whose grand shops were in Savile Row.
My father's employer was one of the most prestigious of these: Henry Poole. Dad's actual workshop was in Broadwick Street, off Wardour Street and, wonder of wonders, it was in the same house that William Blake, the great English poet, had lived in. It had the blue plaque to prove it! Unfortunately this national treasure has not withstood the march of progress. In its place now stands a squat, ugly block named William Blake House - they haven't even bothered to replace the blue plaque.
Like many tailors my father was, and still is, a strong communist (as is my mother). Fighting against Hitler led him to believe communism was the only system that could withstand fascism. He was also a strong trade unionist, joining the NUTGW (National Union of Tailor & Garment Workers) and fighting for better conditions for his fellow tailors. He combined his communist party duties with his obligations as a trade unionist all his life.
All welcome - 12th March, Manchester Met University: John Dalton Building, Oxford Road
Gail Renard, Chair of the Guild's Television Committee, will be speaking to a joint Merseyside and Manchester WGGB branch meeting on Tuesday 12 March from 6.30 - 8.30pm.
Gail will discuss the latest happenings on the current TV scene including the new BBC agreement and how the Guild is protecting you and your future income in the digital world. There will be an open Q & A where writers will be able to share their recent work experiences.
Both WGGB members and non-members are invited.
To sign up for the event visit: http://wggbbbctv.eventbrite.co.uk
A free event in Edinburgh on the 5th March, 6-9pm
Venue: The Meeting room, The Place, 34-38 York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3HU
Defined as the New Guttenberg in publishing, the digital age is giving new opportunities for writers, and presenting new challenges . The evening, hosted by the Writers' Guild of Great Britian, offers an open discussion, with presentations by professionals from different areas in the industry to discuss how this is affecting us all.
Roger Williams current chair of WGGB will explain how the Guild has already gone a long way to challenge and create a solution to TV writers getting paid. Speakers will inlcude Allan Guthrie and Marc Lambert.
Sue Teddern on an idea that keeps on running
Writer Sue Teddern (centre) with actors Liz White and Julian Rhind-Tutt
February 2013: I am in Studio 60A at the BBC’s New Broadcasting House and have been instructed by producer David Hunter to swap my comfy Timberlands for a pair of scruffy, strappy stilettoes from the props cupboard. For this is my 'Colin Dexter moment'. I am to play non-speaking Hilary, who must sashay past Tom (Julian Rhind-Tutt) and Rosie (Liz White) in a hotel breakfast room. I sashay with feeling, even though the shoes pinch. If you listen really hard to episode 4 of soloparentpals.com, you might just hear me.
I’ve written a fair amount of radio over the years but soloparentpals.com is my long runner. Series one was broadcast in 2009 and starred Kris Marshall as dumped dad Tom and Maxine Peake as stroppy single mum Rosie who meet online. Top actors are always juggling several choice gigs and, if they’re unavailable, radio’s an easy medium to re-cast, which is why Julian and Liz now have the starring roles. A fifth series will be recorded in August.
Flashback to the late 1980s: I’m attending a class at London’s City Lit in writing for radio. The inspiring tutor, Olwen Wymark, gets us to create a scene starting with: ‘What the hell do you think you’re doing?’ For some reason, I come up with the image of a divorced dad who has his little girl on Saturdays and never knows what to do when she needs to use a public loo. Does he wait outside and look like a pervert? Or does he go in with her … and look like a pervert? His dilemma is solved by a passing mum. And thus are born Tom and Rosie, two emotionally raw single parents looking for love.
They lived in my head for years. After writing 13 episodes of Birds of a Feather, I dusted them off as the central characters of a potential new TV sitcom. Twice. Nothing doing.
The Writers' Guild has negotiated increases in the minimum fees paid to writers under our collective agreements with BBC TV and radio.
Minimum fees for TV writers have been increased by 1%, in line with the most recent increase in BBC staff salaries. Taking effect from 1 January 2013, this brings the key rate for original teleplays to £10,800 per hour and for series/serials to£9,840.
For radio writers there is also an increase of 1%, effective from 24th January 2013, and in addition the public service fee has also been increased by 2.5% from 10% to 12.5% for all contracts. For writers of archive material repeated on Radio 4 Extra, our agreement has been extended for a further five years, with the key rate for original drama increased to £3.24 per minute and these fees will be increased annually in line with RPI, subject to a cap of 3%.
Full details of the new rates can be downloaded from the Rates and Agreements section. These agreements have been reached in co-operation with the Guild's negotiating partners the Personal Managers' Association and (for radio only) the Society of Authors.