Introducing DAS MÄDCHEN aus JARROW!

Excited to share with you that today is launch day for DAS MÄDCHEN aus JARROW – my novel, The Jarrow Lass, which is now translated into German for the first time.

It’s available as both an ebook

and paperback

Genieß es!


I’m very excited to share with you that Rose McConnell, of 19th century Jarrow, is soon to be introduced to a German audience for the first time. THE JARROW LASS has been translated into German – DAS MÄDCHEN von JARROW – and here is the lovely new cover …

PUBLICATION DATE IS 25TH OCTOBER – but it’s available for pre-order as an ebook now on




Ganz liebe Grüße!

Nissan and what work means – great exhibition

Great review of fascinating exhibition on Nissan’s history in the North-East of England

Stella MacQueen

monkwearmouth-station-logoNissan: 30 Years On is at Monkwearmouth Station Museum

A wonderful exhibition called ‘Nissan: 30 Years On‘ combines great photography and video with words that, not only compliments the images but also gives both an insight into Sunderland’s industrial heritage and the reasons why we work. The exhibition is at Monkwearmouth Station Museum in Sunderland.


Nissan began production in Sunderland in 1986, a time of relatively high unemployment for the area following on as it did from a sorry end to the miners’ strike and a period of decline in shipbuilding. Although Sunderland does well in industries such as digital and creative and has a lively cultural scene it would seem that it is its automotive industry that is making the major contribution to the cities prosperity and wellbeing. 

Photography and words

The major part of the exhibition are photographs of the Nissan plant in full work mode (something worth seeing…

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The veterans of the North East of England branch of the Russian Convoy Club held a belated Christmas knees-up at South Shields Seamen’s Mission, as the venue had been closed during December.  It was a cheerful (as always) but poignant occasion, as the branch has decided to disband – there are too few men left attending regular meetings to keep it going.

It was well organised by old salt, Bob Roberston and his wife of 67 years, Audrey.  There was a turn out of 14 comrades and just as many wives, widows and family members – including my brother Torquil and myself – to enjoy the delicious three course lunch.  Wine, beer and tots of rum were flowing – “Gulpers not sippers!” as my neighbour toasted cheerily.

Our dad, Norman MacLeod, who was on 5 convoys (on The Marne) across the Arctic to Murmansk and Archangel to supply the Soviets during the Second World War, was a regular attender at the Christmas bashes, enjoying the convivial company and the sing-song of old hits.  He loved his time at sea – he was in his early twenties and it was a huge adventure – and he made light of the constant dangers.  He would tell with delight that the only time he was injured during the war was in a bar brawl in Wallsend coming to the defence of some marines against Polish sailors – he ended up in the RVI with stitches in his head.  Still, he must have been impressed with the Geordies, because Scottish Norman returned in 1950 and settled in Durham as a teacher.

Dad’s roll call of action included the evacuation of Crete, the relief of Malta, the Dieppe raids and the North Africa landings.  But in later life it was the lads on the Russian convoys that he met up with again in the North East of England and enjoyed many a reminisce over many a tot.

The North East group plan a final get-together in November – before that particular branch ‘passes over the bar’ – I hope I can be there to raise a glass on Dad’s behalf for a last gulpers.

[You can read more stories about Norman in my childhood memoir, Beatles & Chiefs hhtp://]