Everybody has a book in them, or so it's said. But it's something else again getting it onto the page and to a place where it might be shared.

I have been writing since I was a young child. Always, my dream was to see my name on the spine of a book. Books gave me life, a dream to live by. Through their portals I could escape so easily into other worlds. Books also saved my life ... yes, really!

This is the story of my books and my journey as an author, including a very personal view of my journey through Life. I hope it will inspire and give hope to writers and readers young and old.

Getting published can be a waiting game. It's hard .. and getting harder. But then sometimes it can happen in an unexpected way and suddenly, we truly are living our dream. And we realise that it isn't after all the winning that is important, but the journey that is ours along the way.

I would love to hear from anyone who connects with what is written here. A signed copy of any of my books is available. You have only to write and ask:

Tuesday 16 August 2016


I am proud to say I come from a long line of people who made a difference, giving selflessly, to bring about change in society as a whole.

My great-great-grandfather Johann Kromann left his home, a small fishing village in Dragos, Denmark, to sail ships bound for countries around the world, initially learning trades, working his passage, ultimately becoming a Linguist, speaking several languages both to converse with passengers and to translate for them.

His daughter-in-law Mary, wife of Joseph his son, created a welcome space in her home for what she called 'motherless children' ... waifs and strays from the slums of Wallasey, giving them clothing, food and shelter, providing an education and teaching them lessons and choruses which were to remain with them long into adult life.

Mary's daughter Emily Florence was named after Emily Florence Nightingale, who herself made personal sacrifices in the face of adversity, and in doing so made a difference to the lives of others through nursing. While Emily Croman (anglosised version of Kromann), helped her mother work with children from the slums, becoming an advocate of The Temperance Society, successfully weaning her father off drink as she gave her life to God. She went on to work alongside Emmeline and daughter Christabel Pankhurst, travelling from her home in Cheshire to attend rallies in London, actively campaigning for better rights for women in the Suffragette Movement. In later life, she became a Speaker, and together with her husband Will Chessall, spent a lifetime trying to emanate the love of God through her words and actions, becoming a lighthouse of hope, steering people away from the dangers in life, flooding them with the light of love. Words she wrote clearly demonstrate:

'Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, 
but let God remould your minds from within, 
so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, 
meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.' 
(Romans 12:2)

I am proud of my heritage, my roots, defining who I am today.

You don't have to be someone with money, influence or power to make a difference. You simply need a fundamental belief based usually on breaking the chains of a personal experience or showing support for experiences shared by others, with a passion which drives you on. My mother, Nina Harrington, nee Chessall, would also add the words: 'to thine own self be true'. She too made a difference in so many people's lives, as did my father Rev John Harrington through his ministry and service to God. Always the doors of our home were open to anyone in trouble or need.

I was moved to tears the other evening by the film 'Suffragette'  broadcast on Sky Premiere. It was this which prompted these writings. Contrary to common belief, Suffragettes weren't just about campaigning for the rights of women to vote. The film clearly illustrated how people of the time were living in a male-dominated society, both in and out of the home. Women were considered cheap labour, to be treated as slaves, there to do men's bidding, to be abused, without having any rights to opinions or freedom of their own. The film demonstrated that changes brought about by Emmeline and her daughter Christabel were based on what they saw happening around them, prompting them to act, to challenge, to stand up for what they believed was right, in order to change the hearts of minds and people. To live then meant you were either very rich, or very poor. Only by working together, rising up as one body, could change happen enough to make a difference. To know that my maternal grandmother and great grandmother were a part of that body makes me so proud!

Imagine what a wonderful world it might be if each of us could be inspired by ways in which ordinary people in the past brought about positive changes for the future! Whatever faith, race, creed, colour, or position we have in society, how much better we could make the lives of others around us if we took on the Olympian torch of hope to bring about change, and peacefully yet positively challenge the unjust, unfair treatment of others. What an extraordinary journey that would be, and what a story we would have to tell after! Mum always used to say:

'It's not the winning that matters,
it's the taking part;
the journey you embrace along the way.'

There are campaigns for change happening right now based on a variety of injustices, cutting the chains that bind link by link, urging us to become a part of something greater than ourselves. I am always signing petitions with the hope that the required number of signatures will be reached enough for them to be heard in Parliament. It's the way it has to happen, not just today, but even during the time of the Suffragettes ... remembering there were no women at all in power or with the right to make decisions in those days.

The Suffragette motto was:

'Deeds not words.'

Protesters followed the slogan:

'I don't count ... so I won't be counted!'

Times may have changed, but what we face today is a world in crisis. So many different issues to address and no clear path to see them through, or to effect change. But change has to start with the individual. Every one of us has a responsibility. Our Guide surely has to be The One who created us, The One who remains with us, The One who ultimately gives us the perfect example to live by:

'If I rise on the wings of the dawn, 
if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
even there your hand will guide me, 
your right hand will hold me fast.' 

Copyright: painting by Janine Harrington

Thursday 11 August 2016



The Lighthouse Cafe

Filey, North Yorkshire

Tuesday 2nd August 2016


Proprietor Paul with author Janine, photo courtesy of Bijou Enterprises
As Glen Miller and his band swung into action, bunting fluttering in the gentle breeze outside, the scene was set for a stylish 1940s event to celebrate the birth of RAF 100 Group - Kindred Spirits. An exhibition of memorabilia, including a framed letter from the Queen taking pride of place; attracted the many customers who crowded into the cafe, seeking shade from the heat of the afternoon sun. The air was muggy and close. But here, in this village of Filey, time had rewound, reaching back to a very different era, and now stood still. 

This was a spot which was used to the passage of time, the cafe having had at least two previous owners:

It was a wonderful setting, hosted by Paul Winters, and his staff. They certainly did us proud with their home-made cakes and scones. And it goes without saying that it has become one of my favourite haunts!

The display stand inside illustrated the story of RAF 100 Group and its Squadrons, while the book enticed one particular reader well-versed in the history of the Second World War to buy one of the few remaining 'Collectables', including veteran signatures and further information about them.

Janine handing over the prized 'Special Edition Collectable' to customer Ted
It was good just to chat and answer questions. Not one person who came to the cafe had heard of RAF 100 Group, and it's sad as veterans grow older, that they are still not recognised or rewarded for their actions which brought the war to an early conclusion as they used special secret and experimental equipment on board their aircraft to identify and jam enemy Radar ... just one of the many roles they played. I remain as passionate as ever about preserving their history and stories rather than allow them to sink into oblivion, and will continue to campaign on their behalf until my last breath for justice on their behalf. Otherwise their wartime experiences will be lost forever.

I admire and respect this Group so much. These people who have become my worldwide Family over the twenty-five years I have known and been involved with them are truly kindred spirits and remain always in my heart. I am proud to serve them in whatever way I can, and to honour their name.

Proprietor Paul Winters with author Janine, courtesy Bijou Enterprises

 May we ALWAYS remember 

those who gave their tomorrows

that we might live today!

Tuesday 9 August 2016


It can prove to be an extraordinary journey, to follow history down the path of Time, and bring together a Family Tree. Tracing our ancestors can become addictive! But it is a necessary path, because our past defines who we are today, and the experiences which shaped us. It is only by understanding our past and experiences, that we can know ourselves that much better. On my mother's side, at least, I come from a long line of women of incredible personal faith, strength and endurance who weren't afraid to make a difference. I find that, not just remarkable, but also an enormous help, support and comfort to me now.

My latest publication brought out by Austin Macauley in December 2015 has drawn a huge amount of worldwide interest. Finally, it is bringing to people's attention another 'Family' who made a difference - that of RAF 100 Group, serving under Bomber Command during World War Two, based on Norfolk airfields in the UK.

They have remained in the shadows too long. 

For over twenty years it has been my passion to preserve both their history and stories, to bring them forward into the light, so that people today can know their secrets, their tremendous acts of courage flying day and night deep into the heart of Germany. Their main operations were centred on identifying and jamming enemy Radar, using experimental and very secret equipment installed in their aircraft, used by a Special Operator. But they also intercepted communications between German Controllers and their airmen, flew 'spoof' missions designed to draw the enemy away from the real targets, working with the Resistance, SOD (Special Operation Duties), SOE (Special Operations Executives) and Bletchley Park, ultimately helping bring the war to an early conclusion. Yet when war was done, unlike Fighter Command, they received no recognition nor reward, neither were they included in Churchill's post-war speech. In the veterans' own words: 'we are the forgotten heroes'. Too many have already taken their secrets with them to the grave.

This is the reason why this book is so important, so vital. It is the first and only time for many to have shared their wartime experiences within its pages and represents my promise to them fulfilled.

Just as copies of my book 'Nina & Vic: A World War Two Love Story' was sent to the Queen and Prime Minister, being the first time I wrote about this Group; a copy of my latest publication was also sent, and a reply followed:

The book is a weighty volume, and includes not only the history and stories of RAF 100 Group, but also those of U.S 36th Bomb Squadron who flew alongside them. My sincere thanks to Stephen Hutton for including his writings in this publication (Stephen's father served with the U.S 36th Bomb Squadron, and he is author of 'Squadron of Deception', offering further information and history).

I was asked by 100 Group veterans to include a question with a copy of the book to the Prime Minister. A response followed:

I will be including these letters in our Autumn edition of the RAF 100 Group Association magazine. However, those I have shared them with already are delighted.

Stephen Hutton (Author of: 'Squadron of Deception') writes from America:

'Just a note to say how excited I was to receive your email message and letter from Buckingham Palace. How very special that is to be so recognized. Thank you most sincerely. I immediately notified the Commanding Officer of the 36th Electronic Squadron of this good news. Once again, hearing from you makes me so very proud of your extreme efforts to recognize and honor the Gremlins of RAF 100 Group and its Association. My hat's off to you!'

Veteran John Beeching, who served in 169 Squadron at RAF Great Massingham, Norfolk, writes from New Zealand:

'Well, what does one say to news like that? Congrats, to start with ...

Great news indeed, Janine, and it will be interesting to see what follows. I can't imagine that there could possibly be anything left involving the erstwhile 100 Group which could have anything secret about it at all. The gear we had would now be relegated to the Stone Age bracket. Nevertheless, it is all a step in a constructive direction, so we will watch this space. 

Canadian Mosquito pilot George Stewart DFC, who appears sitting astride the front of the aircraft on the front cover of the book, shares his thoughts:

'Well, you've really done it this time, Janine, immortalizing all of us, including yourself !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a wonderful, well-deserved response from Her Majesty.


God bless you for all the hard work you did and do in bringing back those precious memories often otherwise lost.

Fondest wishes and thank you so much!!!

I remain inspired by all these wonderful people as well as those departed, including my mother Nina's wartime fiance, Vic Vinnell, who flew in Mosquito DK292 with his good friend Canadian Pilot Jack Fisher, serving in 192 Squadron, RAF 100 Group. Their story, as with so many, ended tragically, with the mystery of exactly what happened to them on the night of 26/27 November still remaining today.

We WILL remember them!!