New clients

Having worked on an ad hoc basis for the past ten years for Corby town centre we were delighted to be appointed as its retained marketing consultancy in the summer of 2018. Our brief includes marketing, PR, events, advertising and website for the scheme, which includes over 150 shops. At the start of 2019, we were also pleased to be appointed marketing consultants to the Longton Exchange shopping centre in Stoke. Over the years we have built up significant experience working for shopping centres large and small across London, the South East and the Midlands.

Also at the end of 2018 we secured the contract to provide design services to Christian charity Rural Ministries. This comprises three editions of the 48-page VIBE magazine per year as well as ad hoc design projects.

Book success

We completed two book projects during the third quarter of 2018. The first was for Kent College in Canterbury, entitled Then Sings My Soul. This was a tribute to the Kent College Choristers and their inspirational leaders Jackie and Rod Spencer. It includes a collection of compositions and arrangements by Rod for the choir, who have achieved significant success in UK competitions as well as performing at prestigious venues across Europe. This is our second book for Kent College, the first being A Richer Dust Concealed – The Old Boys of Kent College who Died in Conflict, published in 2016.

Our second book project in 2018 was for the Sheringham World War One Centenary Commemoration and Remembrance Project. Published to mark the 100th centenary of the end of World War I, Sheringham at War 100 Years On is a unique memoir of life in the war years and the contribution made by locals of this popular North Norfolk seaside town who fought and died in the service of ‘King and Country’.

Over 500 copies were sold in the first two weeks of publication alone. Along with advertising and donations, this more than covered the cost of production, enabling significant donations to be made to the Help for Heroes and Poppy Appeal charities. A companion volume covering World War II is being planned for 2019.

All will be revealed!

In the summer of 2018, Whitefriars became one of the first shopping centres in the UK to embrace the emerging Augmented Reality (AR) computer technology.

Impact created a free smartphone app utilising the HP Reveal platform for a secret ‘Garden Spy Trail’, part of Whitefriars’ 2018 ‘In Bloom’ campaign. Ten ‘trigger’ images were placed in shop windows. When participants pointed their smartphone or tablet camera at the image, a hidden picture and nature topic was revealed, as well as a secret word. The ten secret words then needed to be arranged to make a meaningful sentence.

Every child submitting a correct entry received one of Martyn Barr’s acclaimed nature books and four winners were selected at random to receive a £25 gift card to spend in a Whitefriars store of their choice.

Happy anniversary ITOPF!

In July 2018, we were delighted to attend the 50th anniversary celebrations of ITOPF, the world’s foremost, not-for-profit, marine pollution response consultancy, which provides advice on effective response to spills of oil and chemicals at sea.

ITOPF is Impact’s oldest client. We well remember attending the organisation’s 25th anniversary celebrations back in 1993! We are grateful for having such loyal clients, including the Whitefriars shopping centre in Canterbury (19 years) and the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (17 years). We must be doing something right!

Never in Neverland

Martyn Barr challenged Year 6 students from The Orchard School, Canterbury to come up with the plot for his 2017 Christmas story book, and St Nick in Neverland was the result! The 20-page story and activity book was commissioned by the Whitefriars shopping centre as a gift for Santa to give away in its Christmas Grotto.

Martyn presented signed copies of the book to each of the pupils and participated in a Q&A session with the children, who are big fans of his educational books that they use in the classroom. He was joined by Peter Pan (David Ribi) and Wendy (Samantha Dorrance), cast members from The Marlowe Theatre pantomime, as an extra surprise for the class.

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 Bahrani 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, 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, 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, priced £5.99 (free delivery).