Ewell & Stoneleigh Connection


Ewell and Stoneleigh Connection is a free monthly magazine circulated to homes and businesses in the area.



July: Shirley
I've known a lot of Shirleys. Logic tells me this is uncommon since very few were known in a personal sense i.e. known of, even thought highly of, but not known.
First, there was Shirley Hughes, the author and illustrator, whose picture books made her seem like a twinkly aunt. Then, at three when I was also an aspiring infant prodigy Shirley Temple burst on the scene and so, in her footsteps I tried to follow. I too had springy curls and fat little legs which, in an old and far too large pair of tap shoes, made the kitchen floor echo with slaps.
Later, a different Shirley moved in, although strictly speaking she wasn't a Shirley she was an Anne; an Anne with an 'e', created by L M Montgomery, who I got to know through the 1985 and '87 adaptations with Megan Follows. In the wings was another fictional Shirley by one of the Bronte sisters (Charlotte to be exact), but being of independent means she must have breezed in and breezed out because I can't recall much more than that. Then, in my late twenties Shirley Jackson, an American writer, paid an overdue visit, and her sinister tales had me so gripped I hunted them down in various libraries.
And finally, there's Shirley Valentine, who I haven't yet met but would very much like to, for she, like me, feels stuck in a rut and talks to walls.

Picture credit: Shirley Temple's Tap Shoes