The Hangman Tales - Australian Soldier, by Claire de Sully

The Hangman Tales – The Australian Soldier by Claire de Sully

I'm delighted to be reading a piece I have written for Write Up Speak UP -  Wells Festival of Literature - on Oct 20th, from 7pm, along with a number of other local writers and performers. The event is curated by Bee Brook and hosted by radio presenter Simon Parkin. My piece is: The Hangman Tales - The  Australian Soldier. This is an imagined account of the true life hanging of Verney Asser at Shepton Mallet Prison on March 5th, 1918. I have put together this story using original testimony, Read more [...]

A Happy Healthier New Year You – in 3!

It’s that time of year when we reflect on positive change for the year ahead.   If you are considering being more active because of the health benefits, here are 3 simple suggestions: 1. Try parkrun Communities have come together up and down the country (and across the world) to run,  jog or walk 5k  (3 miles) every Saturday morning. Parkrun has made  running accessible to all, not just the committed competitive club runner.  50% of parkrun participants are non-runners and it's as Read more [...]
Claire Sully Running Story

Running through grief and matters of the heart

My running story begins in January 2017, when I wasn’t well.  Being unwell was only apparent to those close to me.   I still functioned: on the outside I appeared to be me, my professional self, my social self. Inside I was broken.  My father had died only weeks earlier, while a long-term close friendship had fractured, enflamed with all-consuming hurt.  It felt like the foundations beneath me had shifted, like tectonic plates, along fault lines.  I fell apart, reeling from an emotional Read more [...]

Getting ready to speak up, just not about weight!

I’m getting ready for my talk at WriteUp! SpeakUp! at this year’s Wells Festival of Literature.  I will be speaking about my experiences of running. Not running per se, more around the extraordinary mind shift that being physically active can produce. Often people are drawn to exercise because they wish to lose weight, rather than solely seeking a positive mental effect – which is the angle I'm coming from.  I’ve experienced a different correlation between exercising, body shape and the Read more [...]
Running through GRIEF and matters of the HEART

Running through GRIEF and matters of the HEART

Today I ran 5K in 28.33, my fastest time ever at parkrun in Shepton Mallet - yay! This journey started at 40.32 (for 5K at parkrun) precisely a year ago when deep in grief from losing a parent, along with something I loved/trusted disintegrating and impossible to recover due to exposed mistrust. I felt ill, physically and mentally distraught. I found a way through it with one foot in front of the other, a step at a time. When I started I could barely put one foot in front of the other mind you, so very stiff from 40 odd years of no consistent exercise! Read more [...]
gymnastics competition 13_5_18

Setting your bar to your own personal motivation

Taking my daughter to her first gymnastics competition today I asked what she wanted to achieve for herself, she replied that she didn't want to come last. She wasn't setting her bar low or being pessimistic, it was the opposite - she recognised she was doing something very challenging for herself and just participating was her personal achievement. She was very nervous, she relaxed as soon as she was with her club teammates and her coach, who knew what to say, how to say it and how to motivate Read more [...]
Declaration of Death - Harry Dainton

Uncovering Shepton Mallet Prison Raises More Questions

Shepton Mallet Prison’s future seems certain as a reincarnation into luxury apartment blocks by a high-end property developer who was sold this grade II* listed building by the MoJ. The development has been postponed until up to 2020, although work can begin any time, with just four weeks notice. However, questions are still being asked about those who have laid underground at the site for up to 400 years. The prison owners, developer City and Country, have never spoken publicly about how their Read more [...]
BRISTOL MERCURY 25 NOV 1891 Page 1 smaller


Harry Dainton, 35, Mason, was indicted for the wilful murder of his wife, Hannah Dainton, at Bath, on the 8th September last. Mr R. W. Kingslake and Mr G. R. Askwith prosecuted on behalf of the Crown, and the prisoner was defended by Mr H. E. Duke. The prisoner pleaded “Not guilty” in a clear voice. Mr Kingslake, in opening the case, said he would ask the jury to give him their earnest attention while he endeavoured, as clearly as he could, to unfold to them the story of that most foul Read more [...]
A hidden history of Britain by Michael Portillo and Transparent TV

Portillo’s Hidden History – Revealing Britain’s abandoned heritage gems

In this truly unique take on evaluating Britain's "lost" history, Micheal Portillo shows he is a man of the people (after all) by shining his torch light on history that although abandoned still bears witness to extraordinary stories. Episode 1 tells the fascinating, but squeamish, story of the Royal London Hospital. Best not to watch while eating your supper! This first programme in the series features interesting insights into Jack the Ripper (could the killer have been working at the hospital?) Read more [...]
Shepton Mallet Prison

Ghostly Attention at Shepton Mallet Prison

Shepton Mallet Prison has been dubbed Britain’s most haunted prison, even The Sun has splashed this headline. What happens next may be down to the stories or the ghosts of Shepton Mallet Prison itself, who may now be having their say prior to the property developer outlining in detail what they intend to do with those poor souls still buried at the site. Shepton Mallet Prison was closed to save money in 2013 by the Government, in its place we were going to have a super-sized prison. Now we Read more [...]

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