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Writers’ Hot Desks are back by popular demand and with additional slots and social distancing protocols!

About this event

Two FREE hot desks will be available each day, with inspiring Thames Estuary views, access to a kitchen and park on your doorstep. What more is needed for a space away from domestic distractions.

We have named these desks after two great Essex writers who were inspired by the Essex landscapes – Beth Chatto and H.H Abbot.

The Writers Desks are available from 10.30am – 17.30.

If you’re a weekend writer, check out the 2pm Weekend Reads!

Please note – we are restricting bookings to a maximum of two days per writer, to ensure that the opportunity is afforded to as many writers as possible.


About Beth Chatto and H.H.Abbot:

Beth Chatto OBE VMH (27 June 1923 – 13 May 2018) was a plantswoman, garden designer and author best known for creating and describing the Beth Chatto Gardens near Elmstead Market in Essex. She wrote several books that discuss gardening under specific conditions, and lectured on this all over the world. Her gardening and writing use the principle of the right plant in the right place.

Her publications include The Dry Garden, illustrated by Margaret Davies 1978. The Damp Garden, illustrated by Margaret Davies 1982. The Beth Chatto Garden Notebook, 1988. Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden with photographs by Steven Wooster.

Harold Henry Abbott was the pen name of English poet Harold Henry Abbott (20 June 1891 – 4 January 1976) who was born in Broomfield in Essex and who published two volumes of 'Georgian'-type verse in the 1920s, celebrating the lives of Essex rural folk and the Essex countryside, which he knew intimately. His poems have fallen into obscurity in the years since. Abbott was by profession a grammar school teacher and headmaster.

His most typical pieces of writing record the work and lives of Essex farming people, with some now unusual countryman's terms, or range descriptively "over the acres of our Essex land". There is much close observation of English nature and local topographical detail. His poems are traditional in form and metre, ranging from "blank-verse bucolics" or rhyming couplets to shorter lyrics. His long discursive poem, 'An Essex Harvest', is a sort of English Georgics.

His publications include Black & White, The Poetry Bookshop, London, 1922, An Essex Harvest, and other poems, Chatto & Windus, London, 1925; The Riddles of the Exeter Book, The Golden Head Press, Cambridge, 1968.

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Organiser Metal

Organiser of ESSEX WRITERS HOUSE: Hot Desks

Metal is an artistic laboratory who champion the need for artistic innovation in the UK and provide practical support to artists of all genres. We proudly present a range of festivals, art events, classes, residencies, culture labs, and more from our three sites in Southend, Liverpool and Peterborough.

Metal Southend is based in the beautiful grounds of Chalkwell Park, hosting creative events and workshops from Chalkwell Hall, Metal Art School and a variety of local arts venues.



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