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4th September 2021

I couldn't resist writing a tongue-in-cheek tribute (in cod-Victorian verse) to our regularly-visiting swallow which, having lost its mate a few years back, seems to have found a new partner and raised a very successful brood in our pigsty this summer. Such tenacity deserves recognition - and gets it.

Find it, as ever, on Voice of the North.

Meanwhile, we christened our little granddaughter in July, the family singing the "Lullaby for the 21st Century" that I wrote for her. Find Lull@by here.

Finally, Banks Music has published my most recent Christmas Carol for choir and organ/piano: just the thing for your choir's Christmas programming! IT got a great review from Choir and Organ's Christmas Supplement. Read about At Christmas be merry here.

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Search bernardtrafford.com

Welcome to the website of

Bernard Trafford

 Writer, musician, educationist

author of Song for a Spy and its sequel

Ballad of Betrayal,

the first two books of the evolving Lorenzo da Bologna series.

 Both now published on Amazon,

available in paperback and for instant download on Kindle.

Song for a Spy was described in the Midwest Book Review as: "inherently fascinating, historically detailed, exceptionally well written, and engagingly compelling, Song for a Spy is an extraordinary and fully entertaining read from beginning to end".

Click here to read all about the series. 




More about Bernard Trafford

Bernard as Writer

Though his first novel, Song for a Spy, was published only in 2018, Bernard has been writing widely and prolifically for three decades, penning first song lyrics, then serious educational articles and books before moving into journalism. For several years he contributed a popular weekly opinion column to Newcastle's regional daily paper, The Journal, subsequently working with former Journal columnists to set up  the blog-site Voice of the North.  

Click here for further details. 


Bernard as Musician

A musician by training, he has never stopped writing, arranging, directing, singing and playing. Nowadays he has choral works published by Banks Music Publications

His entry for the 2017 BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Programme's Carol Competition, a setting for SATB of the medieval text Sir Christëmas, was shortlisted by experts and declared winner by public vote. Recorded by the girls and men of Ely Cathedral Choir on the 2018 CD An Ely Christmas, it is characterised as  "instantly-memorable", while a review in Cathedral Music Magazine described it as "a jolly and skilful unaccompanied essay in calypso style which succeeds in banishing the ghost of Mathias's familiar version." The BBC paid the piece (and the choir) the compliment of including that recording on a compilation CD to accompany the Christmas edition of its BBC Music Magazine in 2020.

2021 has seen Banks Music Publications publish another of Bernard's Christmas pieces, a setting of a 16th-Century text, At Christmas be merry: written for for SATB choir and organ/piano, it reaches its climax in an outrageously rollicking final chorus.

As a performer Bernard loves to sing and, still more, to play the trumpet: orchestral, Baroque and traditional jazz. See Music


Bernard as Educationist

Bernard was a school principal in the private sector for some 28 years, heading three major schools and finally retiring in August 2018.  Involved for many years in education on a national scale, he is a former Chair of HMC, the organisation of UK and international British-style independent schools that includes most of the best in the world. He was part of a professional team of volunteers who successfully opened a Free School in the deprived west end of Newcastle in 2015: the West Newcastle Academy is now thriving in splendid purpose-built accommodation in Benwell. 

Bernard's PhD thesis linking democratic and participative leadership to school improvement won Birmingham University's 1996 George Cadbury Prize and led to advisory work with both the UK government and the Council of Europe. See Biography.




There's a considerable amount of material on the inner pages so, if you cannot immediately find some area of Bernard's work that you were expecting to see, please use the search facility, left.