A Canterbury Safari

CCP copy

We took a break from book writing this year in order to concentrate on our relocation to beautiful North Norfolk. However, we were delighted to be asked to produce a guide to Canterbury’s flora and fauna by Canterbury Connected (business improvement district), which was also supported by the Whitefriars shopping centre, Canterbury City Council, Canterbury Cathedral and Canterbury Christ Church University.

Ten thousand copies of A Canterbury Safari were produced, for free distribution to visitors and residents. One side of the publication features a guide to Canterbury’s green spaces, whilst the other, targeted at younger family members, highlights some of the wildlife that might be encountered in the city.

Rebranding for historic Kent pubs


Impact has been appointed by Tavern Holdings Limited to handle the rebranding and associated design services for its three historic Kent pubs - The Phoenix Tavern in Faversham, The Ship in Herne Bay and The White Horse Inn in Bridge.

In addition to the new branding for both Tavern Holdings itself and the three pubs, Impact has produced a range of literature, including stationery, gift vouchers, loyalty cards and even personalised beer mats, as well as advertisements, signage and display materials.

£2 million fundraising campaign

Pam Frost

Impact has been closely involved with a new fundraising campaign for long standing client, The Fifth Trust. The charity, based in Barham, Kent, provides daycare educational and work opportunities for adults with learning difficulties. The Trust is seeking to raise £2 million to fund new life skills and educational facilities at its Greenbanks site.

A series of fundraising events have already been staged, kindly supported by the charity’s patron, acclaimed TV and movie actress Pam Ferris. Impact has provided promotional material and media relations services to support these events. We have also produced a fundraising brochure.

Impact is currently developing a new website and brochure for the charity, in addition to regular leaflets promoting The Fifth Trust’s garden centre and cafe. Last year, Impact implemented a rebranding programme which included new signage across the site as well as new stationery and other marketing collateral.

Currying favour?

Paul Babra postcard

Impact has been currying favour with one local entrepreneur as he seeks to expand his popular food business. Already a regular at local events across the south east of England and also in France, Paul Babra’s range of curries, sauces, spice mixes and chutneys are all made to traditional recipes inspired by his Indian grandmother.

Impact has redesigned Paul’s packaging and labels as well as his promotional materials. With a more consistent and eye-catching image, Paul has been able to expand his Bahrain Foods range and find new outlets for his Indian treats.

No lovelier place?


Martyn Barr's latest book explores Canterbury’s well and lesser known green spaces.

Sponsored by the Whitefriars shopping centre as part of its contribution towards Canterbury in Bloom 2016, No Lovelier Place celebrates Canterbury’s green spaces, with fascinating insights into their history, ecology and environment. As with previous Whitefriars sponsorships, free copies have been sent to every school in the district.

The book takes its title from a letter written by modernist writer Virginia Woolf to her sister in 1904 which stated: “There is no lovelier place in the world than Canterbury – that I say with hand on my heart as I sit in Florence – and I have seen Venice too.” Woolf spent time in Canterbury and stayed in Blean, coincidentally where Martyn now lives and works. A college at the University of Kent is named in her honour.

Commenting on No Lovelier Place, Canterbury Connected BID CIC Chief Executive Bob Jones describes it as “… a lyrical homage to a beautiful city’s most beautiful places”. He adds: “With stunning imagery and Martyn’s eye for quirky detail and fascinating facts, it is as interesting and compelling for those of us who think we know Canterbury well as it will be to a first-time visitor.”

The 68-page softback book is lavishly illustrated throughout, with many of the photographs taken by Martyn himself. Copies of No Lovelier Place can be purchased online at £5.99 including delivery from www.OOTBShop.co.uk, along with Martyn’s other titles. The book is also available from Canterbury Cathedral Shop and other city centre outlets.

A Richer Dust Concealed

Kent College book cover

This month sees the publication of A Richer Dust Concealed' - The Old Boys of Kent College who Died in Conflict.

Kent College, Canterbury had been established less than 30 years at the outbreak of the First World War. It was still a small school of less than a hundred boys as term began in September 1914. So, the grievous death toll of 50 former pupils in that conflict represents more than seven per cent of the total number who had passed through its gates. To these must be added a further 42 old boys, who lost their lives in the Second World War and three others, who subsequently died in the Korean War, the Troubles in Northern Ireland and the Falklands Conflict. The instances of extraordinary bravery and self-sacrifice amongst the 95 Old Canterburians who lost their lives were doubtless matched by similar actions for which no records have survived.

This new book, inspired by the successive centenaries of the Great War, is an attempt to tell their stories. It was written by Graham Noble with Julian Waltho and designed and published by Martyn Barr. Copies, priced £7.99, are available from the school.

Water, water everywhere?

water book cover

Primary schools across the Canterbury district have received free copies of a new book on water thanks to generous sponsorship from the Whitefriars shopping centre.

Water World has been produced by Martyn Barr as part of the shopping centre’s contribution towards Canterbury in Bloom 2015. The 56-page softback book is beautifully presented with over 60 stunning photographs, articles, infographics and facts highlighting all the many facets of water, including weather, erosion, rivers, oceans, plants, transport, treatment, pollution and the human body. The challenge of providing adequate supplies of clean water in developing countries, as well as the importance of using water wisely in the home and garden, are also covered.

Targeted primarily at 9-11 year olds, though likely to appeal to a broad readership, Water World is Martyn’s seventh young person’s guide. He describes his new guide as “a coffee table book for children”, adding: “We all take water for granted but it is very precious. After all, it makes up around two-thirds of you and me! But the impact of climate change, growing populations and increasing demand put huge pressure on our plant’s resources. I hope that, after reading this book, children will understand a lot more about this amazing substance and how important it is for us to use water wisely, to ensure there is enough to go around both now and in the future.”

Copies of Water World are available online from www.waterworldbook.co.uk, priced £4.99 including delivery.

Free nature books for Mid Sussex schools


Schools and libraries across Mid Sussex have received free copies of Martyn Barr's Garden Science and To Be A Bee books ahead of a community fun day.

More than 100 books have been given away as part of the annual 'Strictly Gardening' event in Haywards Heath, which will be opened by gardening expert and TV personality Charlie Dimmock. The book giveaway was made possible by a generous donation from the local council.

The event is being organised by the Haywards Heath town team and West Sussex County Council. A spokeswoman for the town team said: "We are delighted Martyn will be with us on the day to sign copies of his books and to give us an insight into bees, the hardest working creatures on the planet."

Strictly Gardening is an official part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival.

(Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150316-222433001)

Boudiccan baubles and bangles


Impact has been providing PR support to the Fenwick (formerly Williams & Griffin) department store in Colchester during its £30 million refurbishment. Excellent coverage has been achieved in local media, but one story about a lady's jewellery collection hit the national headlines and resulted in a slot on BBC TV's regional news programme.

The wealthy Roman woman's jewellery was found during excavations at the department store in Colchester High Street. This remarkable find is thought to be one of the finest of its kind ever discovered in Britain and includes three gold armlets, a silver chain necklace, two silver bracelets, a substantial silver armlet, a small bag of coins and a small jewellery box containing two sets of gold earrings and four gold finger rings.

The Roman treasure was buried in the floor of a house that was subsequently burnt to the ground during the Boudiccan Revolt in AD 61. Its discovery was made during a major archaeological excavation carried out by the Colchester Archaeological Trust. The remarkable find has now been conserved and is on display at the Colchester Castle Museum.

New guide to WW1 for teenagers


Martyn Barr has published a new guide to the First World War, written especially for young people.

The Lost Generation: the Young Person’s Guide to World War I – recounts the story of the Great War, from its origins in a far-flung corner of Europe to its bloody and bitter conclusion. The book has been sponsored by department store group Fenwick Limited, which will be sending a free copy to every secondary school in Kent.

The Lost Generation features 62 pages, including a fold-out cover, and over 70 photographs/illustrations. The softback book provides an overview of the First World War as it progressed, with a series of topical features that help flesh out the story. Fifty pence from the sale of each book will be donated to The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

The Lost Generation was sponsored by Fenwick Limited to mark Group Trading Director Hugo Fenwick’s term as High Sheriff of Kent 2014. He says: “I was pleased to lend my support to this project to ensure that the current generation recognises the huge sacrifices made by their forebears 100 years ago to secure their freedom. The government has pledged to fund an educational programme to create an enduring legacy and I think this book supports that admirably. Martyn presents a brutally honest account of the First World War, and has pitched it perfectly for a teenage audience. He has managed to achieve this without dumbing down the material in any way, so I’m sure adults will enjoy reading it too.”

Hugo Fenwick’s views are echoed by First World War expert Dr Will Butler, from the University of Kent at Canterbury. Dr Butler says: “This book is a valuable guide for a youth audience, or anyone approaching this subject for the first time. It is richly illustrated, covers a significant amount of detail, and avoids those well trodden myths of the First World War, to provide a concise history on the topic.”

The Lost Generation can be purchased from bookshops, as well as online at www.lostgenerationbook.co.uk, priced £5.99 (free delivery).

National award for stained glass window book


Martyn Barr's book on Canterbury Cathedral’s stained glass windows has scooped a major national award.

Paintings in Light, published in association with Canterbury Cathedral, was runner-up in the children’s publication category of the Association for Cultural Enterprises’ 2014 Annual Awards.

The 56-page guide offers a fascinating insight into the history of stained glass and the stunning windows of Canterbury Cathedral. Paintings in Light includes chapters on the history of glass, how stained glass windows are made, the different types of window in the Cathedral and the stories they tell. The book also highlights the work of Canterbury Cathedral’s Stained Glass Window Studio. The book costs £5.99. It is available from the Canterbury Cathedral Shop, with £1 per copy sold going towards the Cathedral’s restoration appeal, or online from www.paintingsinlight.co.uk with free delivery.

Martyn Barr says: “I was delighted to hear that the book had received the ACE Runner-up Award. What was particularly gratifying was the fact that it was competing against entries from many of the top heritage and cultural organisations across the country, including the national museums, art galleries and gardens and major heritage bodies such as the National Trust and English Heritage.”

Impact scoops top industry award


Impact has received a top industry award for its Christmas 2011 marketing campaign for the Whitefriars shopping centre in Canterbury.

Impact’s Managing Director Martyn Barr (second left above) has acted as PR and creative consultant to Whitefriars since 1999. He and Whitefriars Marketing Manager Julie Holness were presented with a coveted Purple Apple Merit at a glittering awards dinner held in London on 10 May.

The annual awards, organised by the British Council of Shopping Centres, recognise marketing achievements by shopping centres across the UK. The 2012 awards were presented by former English rugby union player and Strictly Come Dancing quarter-finalist Austin Healey (left above).

Judges were highly complimentary of the Whitefriars entry, describing it as “an innovative and interesting approach to an event with fantastic results on a small budget”, a “good creative, modern with a traditional feel” and “a very clean simple idea providing great buy-in by retailers and great rewards for shoppers”.

Peter Scutt, Whitefriars Manager, said: “The Purple Apples are the shopping centre industry’s equivalent of an Academy Award, so we are delighted to have won one for the first time this year. This was an excellent marketing campaign designed and executed by Martyn and Julie and its recognition by the industry as such is richly deserved.”

New bee guide for kids creates buzz


Martyn Barr is hoping to create an even bigger buzz with his latest book, published in April 2012.

To Be A Bee is a fascinating insight into the world of honeybees, described by Martyn as ‘the hardest working creatures on the planet’. The 36-page softback book is lavishly illustrated with stunning close-up photographs of bees and written in a style designed to appeal to a younger readership.

The book has been reviewed by the British Beekeepers Association, earning a glowing endorsement from General Secretary and Operations Director Jane Moseley, who described it as the “bee’s knees of bee books”.

To Be A Bee’s production has been sponsored by Whitefriars as part of its contribution towards Canterbury in Bloom. Copies can be purchased online for £4.99 including delivery at www.tobeabee.co.uk.

National coverage for 'wearable luggage'


Impact has secured national press coverage for Bulgaria-based Jaktogo, the world’s only manufacturer of ‘wearable luggage’, who recently appointed the consultancy to handle its UK launch.

Jaktogo is a practical, all-in-one travel solution for people on the go. All of the company’s products convert easily from a bag to a wearable garment packed with pockets sufficient to hold up to 10kg of clothes and other personal items for business trips or weekends away.

The Jaktogo features up to 14 individual storage compartments and is available in a hardwearing, water and wind resistant fabric in black or blue. Jaktogo products can also be custom supplied in denim and leather.

The story was covered in the Financial Times, Jewish Chronicle, on BBC Radio 2 and other national papers.

The next big (history) thing


Following the success of his first two books, Martyn Barr is looking to develop Young Person’s History Guides for other major UK historic cities, such as York, Exeter and Norwich.

Martyn says: “In order for the projects to be financially viable I am looking for sponsors to contribute towards the cost of a book’s production and its associated Teachers’ Resource Guide, website and promotion.

“Our publications are designed to make history appealing, stimulating and relevant to young people and to engender a greater sense of civic pride. Our approach has received widespread critical acclaim in Canterbury. We believe we can repeat this success in other historic cities, but need to find a prominent local business in each locality that would like to benefit from the goodwill, press coverage and branding opportunities to be gained from being associated with such a worthwhile project.”

If you are interested in finding out more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Martyn Barr.