Margaret Crompton has a BA in English Literature and a diploma in Social Sciences. She has worked as a Social Work Practitioner and a university lecturer in Social Work. She has also taught English as a Foreign Language in Poland. Margaret has had numerous articles, papers and books on communicating with children published, and her research has led her to ideas and practice regarding children’s spiritual wellbeing. Her work has been commissioned by organisations including Barnardo’s, the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work, the Down Syndrome Education Trust and the University of Western Sydney.
Since 2013 Margaret has been exploring poetry, short stories, drama and children’s literature. Her publications include ‘Occupational Therapy 1879’ in A Speaking Silence: Quaker poets of today (2013); The Sellwood Girls and When Queen Victoria Came To Tea (with John Crompton, 2015, Magic Oxygen); ‘Belle’s Bows’ in Brick Lane Tales: stories about London’s iconic East End (2016, Brick Lane). A play about Anne Askew in currently in rehearsal for 2019.
Q: If you could travel back in time, which of the great writers would you like to meet and why?
A: George Eliot: to greet her on her 200th birthday on 22 November 2019. I admire her courage, compassion, understanding and love, her ability to risk failure – every book is an experiment – her spirit in surviving ill health, rejection, bereavement and sadness, and her incomparable writing.
Q: What is the first book you remember reading, or having read to you as a child?
A: Copy-Kitten (1943) by Helen and Alf Evers, bought in Bombay – a present from my father, serving in India during the war. I still have the book, which has plain cardboard covers decorated with a simple stuck-on picture and is illustrated with drawings in black and yellow. There were many more books but this came to mind at once when I read this question. Corresponding with the Shannon Trust (which supports literacy in prisons) has led me to realise the privilege of being able to remember shelves full of books from my earliest childhood, when many adults have no access to reading or writing, and no memories of being read to.
Q: Who is your personal inspiration?
A: My husband, John.
Miss Rosie Burns, 1960 Rosie Burns expected to be a famous pianist. She preferred sleek, black concert grand pianos, which showcased her petite prettiness and pearly arms. Much of her student grant was invested in hand creams. Her fair hair was pampered with camomile rinses. And she transformed curtaining remnants into swirling skirts and demure …
Three men asked me to marry them. I said yes to them all. Vernon March whisked me to the altar in the month which matched his name. His courtship had soothed me like a breeze, flattered me into a flutter. I wore a green gown with a wreath of violets and primroses. They wilted nearly …