Catherine Charley writes non-fiction books for children and adults. Her topics for children have ranged from tales of tombs and treasures to stories of polar explorers and Everest adventurers. She has also written on art history and life in China. Her children’s titles include What They Don’t Tell You About Art (Hodder) and South Pole (Scholastic).
For adult readers she has written 'Lest We Forget and Vision & Venture: A History of Bryson Charitable Group 1906-2006'. Lest We Forget tells the story of the Northern Ireland War Memorial and was published to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the original building in Waring Street, Belfast by the Queen Mother on 29 October 1963. Vision & Venture is the history of the Northern Irish charity, Bryson Charitable Group, which was formed in Edwardian Belfast in 1906. An anonymous 'Mr X', the Titanic launch, the Belfast Blitz and the Troubles are all woven into the story of the charity.
One of Catherine’s great passions is travel. She has visited a large number of countries ranging from Peru to the Yemen and from Bulgaria to the Philippines. Her experiences have included spending two years living and working in China, based at a university in Beijing where she taught History and English.
Catherine is a qualified teacher and enjoys visiting schools to talk about her books and how she goes about writing them. She has run workshops in schools and worked alongside class teachers to help pupils produce their own books. Catherine is also available to talk to other groups, both children and adults, and to run workshops with them. (See 'Writers in Schools' for more details.)
Catherine has taught at Beijing Foreign Studies University in China, Queens University in Belfast, The University of Ulster, Belfast Metropolitan College and in various schools in Northern Ireland. Her teaching career in Higher and Further Education has included lecturing on History and Education, and also teaching ESOL (English for Speakers of Others Languages) and EFL (English as a Foreign Language). She currently teaches EAL (English as an Additional Language) part-time at schools in Northern Ireland.
Catherine studied History at Edinburgh University and during her varied career since them has worked in television, radio, marketing and public relations. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Society of Authors. When not travelling she lives in Northern Ireland with her husband Peter.
Catherine has made two recordings for the BBC. You can listen to them by using the controls below.
Catherine talks to children by Strangford Lough :
Catherine discusses her history of Bryson House :