Search This Blog

Friday, 18 November 2016

What's For Breakfast?

It was an early start Wednesday morning as we headed over to the Anker Radio station at the George Eliot Hospital. The Words & Images UK team of Rob and Ann joined presenters Karl Stein and Mervin Lawrence for an early morning cuppa and a chat.

There was a little bit of talk about Christmas, seeing as Merv dragged in a 6ft Christmas tree in preparation for the festive season. And happily Karl's bar humbug attitude was outnumbered 3-1, as we all love Christmas time. Actually I spotted a photo of Karl in a Santa hat so I'm positive he'll be toasting in the Yuletide celebrations like the rest of us before too long.

We got the opportunity of talking about our Words & Images UK venture, and related one or two jobs that we'd covered in the past which turned out to be quite exciting at the time. Such as when we were allowed inside a cage at a zoo to take photos of fishing cats only to discover they weren't your usual moggies. These were three times as big, had large fangs and claws, and were keeping a very close eye on us!

And then our adventure way out on the Thames Estuary with the Thames Marine Police, with Rob moving from the police launch to the faster moving rib to get up close and personal to an enormous 60ft high ship. All good fun, and hopefully we'll be doing lots more exciting articles in the weeks and months to come.

We have to say that the team of volunteers who run and present shows on Anker Radio, as well doing all the 'behind the scenes' work, do a brilliant job. Anker Radio began back in November 1980 and since then have been broadcasting 24/7, entertaining and lifting the spirits of patients during their stay in George Eliot Hospital. And a fine job they do too.

They are a registered charity and a member of the Hospital Broadcasting Association, and as such rely on fund raising, donations and the hire of their outside broadcast and public events unit. At the same time however, they have raised many thousands of pounds for the Nuneaton and Bedworth Mayor's Appeal which benefits other local charities. So, keep up the good work – and thank you for having us on your show.

Listen in live at Anker Radio:

Please like our Facebook page:
Follow Ann Evans on Twitter:
Follow Rob Tysall on Twitter:


Monday, 31 October 2016


We're getting ready to attend the World Travel Market event which runs from 7th-9th November at the ExCel Centre, London.

It's a massive event for anyone involved in the travel industry in any shape or form. Tour operators, travel agencies, tourism organisations will be there in their hundreds. Around 182 different countries will be represented, showcasing their destinations, services and products through their show stands, festivals, dancing, music and cuisine.

Around 100,000 visitors are expected over the three days, mainly professionals in their field as well as senior travel industry representatives and ministers from a host of different countries; and of course the world's press.

It's a major event that brings buyers and suppliers involved in the world of travel together under one roof with the aim of achieving new business connections.

Some 80 thought provoking and inspiring events are scheduled ranging from travel award ceremonies to responsible travel and from careers in travel to world travel leaders discussing Brexit and many more talks and seminars of importance to those involved in the tourism sector.

There will be shows within within the show, such as the Travel Tech Show which provides a platform for suppliers to meet with key decision makers across the world looking to source technology systems and software.

A host of festivals are planned from counties including China, Japan, India, Vietnam, Bolivia, Argentina, the Philippines and many more. And opportunities to sample regional foods from all over the world.

In 1998 the WTM chairman Fiona Jeffery founded Just a Drop on behalf of the travel industry. The charity raises desperately needed fund to build wells, bore holes, hand pumps and run health and sanitation programmes through the world. It supports some 900,000 people in 28 countries.

This year Chevy Kelly, Just a Drop’s ‘marathon man’, will be running a marathon a day at a treadmill, effectively running three marathons in three days to raise money for Just a Drop. WTM guests are welcome to either sponsor Chevy directly, or for a small donation, can select a song for Chevy to run along to, as their stand will feature a sound system.

All proceeds raised by these fundraising initiatives will go to providing much needed safe water and sanitation solutions for communities in Zambia and Uganda.

It looks like it's going to be a lively, colourful three days.

We hope you enjoy these photographs taken by Rob Tysall, here at Words & Images UK last year.

Please like our Facebook page:
Follow Ann Evans on Twitter:
Follow Rob Tysall on Twitter:

Saturday, 30 July 2016


There we were at the church - myself (Rob) and Ann, and the heaven’s opened. It didn’t just rain it was in the bucket mode. The bride and groom did a great job of smiling through the pain but for Ann my designated driver and assistant on the day the rain was just the start! 

When we arrived at the church it was raining (a bit) and as Ann turned off the engine to her car something was not quite right, “Ho!” I said, the windscreen wipers are still going and they did not want to stop, I had to carry on in to the church to shoot the Groom and the best man etc., hoping that all would just sort itself out. Later I found out that Ann had called up her mechanic and explained the situation and after a brief pause he said, “It’s possessed.” 

We sorted it at the time by pulling the wipers out from the windscreen (so the car looked like it was waving at one and all) this is when I got the shot of Ann looking a tad stressed over-laden and wet! While on her low battery dying phone to her son-in-law for some ideas!!

After the church we had to rush to the wedding party venue to get there before the bride and groom, as it was still persistently raining the wipers looked very competent going left then right at that time.

Turning up at the venue guess what!! It was wipermania, engine off, wipers going like the clappers, again I had to rush off to catch the shots, then bounding (if you believe it) back to the car before the battery went flat. The only thing left to do was take out the wiper fuse! Sounds easy yes! Probably is if it’s a newish car but as this one had just recently changed from being horse driven to petrol engine it was all a bit sticky and rusty in the fuse department. 

I was in a nice suit and did not want to get dirty for the photo session to come, so grumpily I knelt on an old bit of cardboard from the back of the car. I pulled, pushed, twisted, scratched, swore, and banged my head! A lot!!  None of that helped!! It was solid!! So I hit it with the car jack! Clunk! That and using Ann’s tweezers it finally came out! 

After that it was all a breeze, got the shots, got a happy look from bride and groom, got in the car and it all ran perfectly. The car was in the garage the next day, it has now been replaced! The car I mean – not Ann lol.      

Thursday, 28 July 2016

A Celebration of Beatrix Potter

A few of the mags our articles have been featured in.
Today, 28th July 2016 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter. A name that we've all grown up with, loving her characters and stories.

The team of Ann and Rob here at Words & Images wrote the following article a while back for antiques magazine, Collect It.

Once upon a time – a hundred and ten years ago, in fact… there was a frog called Mr Jeremy Fisher; he lived in a little damp house amongst the buttercups at the edge of a pond…

And so began the story of one of the most beloved characters created by author, illustrator and scientist, Beatrix Potter who celebrates her 150th birthday, today (1866-1943).

And it’s a hundred and ten years since The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher was first published by Frederick Warne & Co. Prior to this of course, in 1902 Beatrix Potter’s most famous book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit had been published, enchanting children and adults of that Edwardian era just as much as they are adored by children and adults of the 21st century.

One hundred and ten years ago, The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher would have cost just a few pence. In fact when Beatrix Potter found her stories turned down by publisher after publisher, she decided to print the little books herself. She ordered 250 copies and sold them to her friends and family for a penny or two. Should you be fortunate enough to possess a book from that batch, you would be around £50,000 better off.

Born on July 28th, 1866 in Kensington, London, Beatrix was brought up by a nurse, and educated at home by a series of governesses. She saw her parents only at bedtimes and on special occasions. When she was six years old, her brother Bertram was born.

Beatrix and her family took their summer holidays in Scotland and the Lake District, and it was here that her love of nature grew. Beatrix and her little brother would explore the woods and fields, they caught and tamed wild creatures, and learned to care about wildlife and the countryside.

Beatrix covered pages with her sketches of fungi, flowers and small creatures, including her own pets. The pair had quite a menagerie of pets which they kept in the schoolroom – including at one stage, a green frog and a rabbit. Almost all of her famous characters are based on her own pets.

She first created the character of Peter Rabbit in a now famous picture letter whilst when holidaying in Eastwood, Dunkeld. On September 4th, 1893 Beatrix sat down to write a picture letter to Noel Moore, the five-year-old son of her former governess who was ill in bed. She wrote:

My dear Noel, I don’t know what to write to you, so I shall tell you a story about four little rabbits…

The letter was later to become The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The following day she wrote a letter to Noel’s brother, Eric, about a frog called Jeremy Fisher. The famous letters are now being carefully treasured in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

It was some years later that Beatrix thought of publishing the story as a book. She rewrote it into an exercise book and sent it to six publishers - and was rejected by every one of them. Finally she decided to have it printed herself. Only then did publisher, Frederick Warne agreed to publish it. The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published in 1902, costing one shilling and became one of the most famous stories ever written.

Today The Tale of Peter Rabbit is fifth in the Guardian’s top 100 valuable books, valued at £50,000. A first edition of The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher is also in the top 100, numbered a joint 75th, with the book valued at between £4,000-£6,000.

It’s always worth keeping an eye out for a bargain however, as spotted recently on the Internet was a first edition of The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher in ‘fair condition’ as it had some repairs to it, priced at just £125.

These famous tales weren’t Beatrix’s first venture into publishing however. Her very first book was called A Happy Pair, the illustrations for which were created in 1890. It was published in 1893 by Hildesheimer & Faulkner and included her Christmas card illustrations and poetry by a Frederic Weatherly. Only a handful of copies exist. One however was sold at Sotheby’s in 2001 for £23,250.

It’s not just her books that are collector’s items, sketches too fetch incredible prices. In 2003, for example, two early watercolours by Beatrix Potter were sold for more than £40,000 at Bonham’s, New Bond Street salesroom, London. These pictures were thought to have been painted in 1892 or 1893 but were never published. They were snow scenes both involving two rabbits wearing blue and red jackets.

That same year, a visitor to the Antiques Roadshow was astounded to discover their collection of 23 Beatrix Potter drawings and watercolours was valued at £250,000. The owner’s grandfather knew Beatrix Potter's brother who farmed in the Borders quite near to the artist's home. Many of the pictures pre-dated Peter Rabbit, and some were only half finished, which nevertheless didn’t make them any less interesting. The pictures showed small animals such as kittens, mice and rabbits set in human form.

Discover more about Beatrix Potter at

Words & Images UK is the combination of : and
Like us on Facebook:

Friday, 24 June 2016

All Aboard Their Very Own Bus

Some of De Courcey's refurbished personalised buses.

Coventry-based coach and bus company, Travel de Courcey have honoured local unsung heroes by naming 21 of their newly refurbished and refitted environmentally friendly buses after them. And the Words & Images UK Live team of Ann & Rob went along to watch the presentation.

The award-winning, family run Warwickshire travel firm of Travel de Courcey invited nominations for local heroes through a social media campaign. The selected men and women, from all walks of life have quietly dedicated their lives to helping others in the community through many different ways.

The naming of these buses is the icing on the cake after Travel de Courcey put in a successful bid to the Government’s Clean Vehicle Technology Fund, which provides grants for upgrading vehicles to reduce emissions in areas of poor air quality. The de Courcey team were thrilled when they were given a grant of £400,000.

With a mission to look after the environment as well as their customers and staff, the grant has enabled the company to refurbish and refit 21 of their buses with the very best systems to reduce emissions. The results are the equivalent to Euro VI – the lowest emissions criteria, making these vehicles environmentally efficient on emissions, and the cleanest buses in Coventry and the West Midlands.

Adrian de Courcey
The man behind this project is Adrian de Courcey, son of company founder Mike. And at a launch ceremony in the heart of Coventry recently, the 21 local heroes and their families came along to see their very own ‘green’ buses.

Adrian said, “The part I like is recognising people who have made a great contribution to the community. These are amazing people who have each done incredible work in the community. It’s great that 20 of them could make it here this morning. Sadly one of them is too ill to attend, but his family are here.”

Travel de Courcey began with just one coach and one bus 44 years ago, and has since grown to a fleet of 142 buses and coaches which work mainly locally and around the UK. During that time they have won numerous awards including being listed as one of the top 1000 companies to Inspire Britain for the last two years running; they have also won Best Coach Company of the Year, Green Company of the Year, Bus Company of the Year and Express Coach Operator of the Year in previous years plus many other accolades.

Adrian continued: “We are dedicated to the reduction of carbon emissions so getting this grant was fantastic, it was like winning the lottery! We’ve been able to put in the very best systems to reduce emissions in 21 of our buses.”

He explained that their partners are Avid Technology who have provided an Efan Micro Hybrid System which works to cool the engine. Basically it replaces the conventional engine cooling system. It reduces parasitic loads on the engine and allows operating temperature to be optimised and also reduces fuel consumption.

Mike and Adrian de Courcey

Their other partner is Eminox who provided a SCRT system. This is a conversion system that can be retrofitted to older vehicles to achieve emission reduction equivalent to Euro VI. Also this technology delivers primary NO2 reduction in excess of 95%.

“So each of our 21 vehicles has these on board,” Adrian continued. “We are very much aware of the importance of air quality and clean air. The hybrid systems within our new vehicles will make them quieter, with less vibration meaning less annoyance from heat and fumes inside and waiting alongside at stops. These systems have reduced emissions by 97%, so they are actually cleaner than a brand new car!

“This has really been a team effort. This is everybody driving forward. However, it couldn’t have been done without the brilliance of our engineer Craig Boiling. He’s the sort of person who, if you say it can’t be done, he’ll find a way to do it!”

The buses have also been complete refurbished. They have free 4G Wi-Fi and luxury seating. “We want to get more people on board we want to make the buses as good as possible,” said Adrian.

At the launch Councillor John McNicholas congratulated de Courcey for both providing such environmentally friendly vehicles, and for bringing these 21 individuals to the public eye. He said: “This is fantastic and significantly important. Congratulations to de Courcey for making 21 of their buses so environmentally efficient on emissions which will make a big difference to the air quality in the city. And congratulations to everyone who has had a bus named after them. These people are truly local heroes.”

Not all 21 buses could be taken out of service for the launch ceremony, and those people who didn’t get to see their own bus would be treated to individual meetings at their place of work over the next few weeks.

Amongst those honoured were: Archie Smith, Poppy Appeal organiser in Nuneaton who has raised over £50,000 a year for the last eight years – around half a million pounds altogether.

Geoff Grewcock also from Nuneaton has been rescuing injured and orphaned wildlife for the last 15 years. Constantly on call he has a wildlife sanctuary at his home which has seen more than 32,500 wild animals, birds and reptiles cared for over the years.

Janet Colgrave from Coventry has spent her life providing lunches and trips out for the elderly – and never one to miss an opportunity, pointed out that they are desperate for volunteer day drivers!

Merv Lawrence is a volunteer outside broadcaster for Anker Hospital Radio, and is constantly raising money for local charities.

Clair Roberts who has been volunteering with Coventry Mencap Wayfarers Club – for people with learning difficulties and families who need support with respite care of a family member. Clair said: “It’s appropriate that my bus is out working today. It’s just like us, always out there working!”

Saturday, 18 June 2016

In the Beginning...

It all began around 1990 when a writer (me, Ann Evans) met photographer/singer/drummer - Rob Tysall. Although usually he doesn't do all these things at the same time. However there have been occasions...

So, having caught the writing bug, I'd discovered that articles stood more chance of being accepted if you illustrated them with photographs.  And so we teamed up as Rob and Ann. That developed into Tysall's Photography and Ann Evans Books. Now that has morphed into Words & Images UK.

Since those early days, Rob has progressed from film to digital and Ann has progressed from quill to pencil!  We've covered topics as diverse as search and rescue on the forest covered slopes of Switzerland to tasting classic English cream teas; and from adventures on the Thames Estuary with the Marine Police to knitting.

Sharing with you our interviews and photographs of one of the times we went out with the Thames Marine Police to discover the fantastic work they do in keeping our country safe. Dogs Monthly magazine published a number of articles of our on this topic.

Enjoy the pics. These were from two different occasions.

Ann all set to go out with the Thames Marine Police.

The search dog is strapped to the handler to board the ship it has to search.

Safely back down.