About Barbara Godfrey

Barbara on path  

Barbara Godfrey was born at Teddington, London, on St Valentine’s Day. She graduated at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, in Modern Languages and then made journalism her career, working as a reporter on the Esher News in Surrey until moving to Hampshire with her husband Robert, a Fleet Street journalist, and their three young sons.

In their new seaside home, in 1973, they founded the Hayling Islander, a popular free monthly newspaper delivered by volunteers to every house on the island. They later sold the paper to the Portsmouth News group and it continues to flourish.

Robert and Barbara moved to Dartmoor in 1983 before eventually realising their dream of living in the tiny Channel Island of Alderney. There they launched the Alderney Magazine, which continued until Robert’s death in 1994.

Barbara, who still lives in Alderney, has published a humorous paperback, Naughty in Norway, inspired by her experiences as an au pair in Oslo in 1953, which were the subject of a talk she gave on Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio. She has also published a volume of poetry, While Others Sleep, and a book of short stories, The Spare Child and Other Rather Nasty Stories. Her love of poetry started at school when she studied the great German lyric poets, and she wrote her first poems in German.

She says: “My first book was Naughty; my second Nasty; and now I’m working on a really Nice book, A Treeful of Peacocks, set in the five-acre paradise which was our home for five years.”

Barbara also paints in watercolours and oils and her pictures are on view in the local art gallery.

The Spare Child & Other Rather Nasty Stories
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Naughty in Norway
Barbara’s 2001 trip back to the Land of the Midnight Sun

Barbara Godfrey, whose humorous romance Naughty in Norway has been selling well, recently returned from a trip to the Land of the Midnight Sun, north Norway, with the exciting news that the book is now on sale in most of the main towns in that region as well as in six Oslo bookstores.

“This was my first trip since 1953, when the book is set, to North Cape, Europe’s most northerly point. I took enough copies with me for the bookshops in that area. It turns out that the book is going down well with Norwegians, although it is in English,” she said. “The copies I placed in Oslo’s biggest bookshops last year sold out and they wanted more. I was particularly thrilled when the manager of the bookshop at Oslo airport told me she had heard about the book and wants to stock it when the shop is enlarged in the autumn.

“The book is on sale in the bookshop at the University of Tromsø – after all, it has a lot of fascinating information about post-war Norway and the country’s culture and history, set against a light-hearted background.”

Barbara realised how much Norwegians were enjoying the book when the Norwegian Consul for the Channel Islands, Sten Adeler, a pilot with Aurigny airlines who lives in Jersey, rang to say he had bought a copy at Alderney airport and enjoyed it so much he sent it to a friend.

“I sent my next copy to the Norwegian Consul in London,” he said. “It is a delightful book and all Norwegians would love it. The last chapter, about how Norway has changed since I grew up in Oslo, made me so sad. I agreed with everything Barbara writes.”

Barbara has translated a Norwegian book about the Channel Islands into English.

“It’s a superb hardback volume of more than 100 stunning photographs of all the islands, taken by a friend of Sten’s, Oddbjørn Monsen,” she said. “They include 13 Alderney scenes, including aerial views, and my friends here were so impressed when they saw it that they have all bought a copy.

“Now an English version may be produced for sale in the islands. Meanwhile I have printed a translation to go with every book.”

Naughty in Norway

Naughty in Norway press release
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