25. Feb, 2019


“What is it that makes the Langford Follies so attractive to write about,” Bloghead said to Dell.
“It’s the era of nineteen Fifties that's so interesting. I imagine HE Bates felt the same when he wrote Darling Buds of May. My personal copy was priced at twelve shillings and six pence in the late nineteen fifties. HE Bates had the Larkin Family. Pop Larkin and Ma and all their kids. They lived according to their own crazy moral values, making a mockery of the austere and rather stuffy lifestyle which would have been normal for those early years after the war. Pop was a wheeler and dealer, capable of a scam to make pound; but he was never capable of harming a soul. His worst curse ever was calling Mr Fortescue a bloody sausage. Wonderful characters.
I think my character Gordon Drake is like that, capable of almost anything to help his family and friends and hardly ever hurt anyone.”
“How are you getting on with the third Langford Follies novel Dell?” Bloghead said.
The story is finished now. It just needs to rest for a while. Just like a freshly baked cake. It always tastes better when it’s been left for a few days. It goes out to the First Readers this week.
The other matter is the artwork. It takes time to get the artist in the right frame of mind to produce those wonderful images. She cannot be hurried.
“Sounds like a family matter I should steer clear of.”
“Very wise Bloghead.”
“Same characters?”
“Many of the same characters. We go back to Langford Quay at a time when news of their success in capturing foreign spies had spread across the communities. A neighbouring community not far from Langford come looking for help. They have heard about Gordon’s reputation as a warrior and think he can help them.

18. Feb, 2019



I  asked Dell if he has ever met Sir Winston Churchill. No he said but he is one of my all-time heroes. So that’s why you brought him in to your stories?

The books are written about a time in the nineteen fifties when Winston Churchill was Prime Minister and the lead character Gordon Drake was a great admirer. Having my imaginary character meet the famous real life Mr Churchill seemed like the gem of an idea. It was so unlikely to have happened, given Gordon’s background - Poacher cum gamekeeper, Beachcomber, boatbuilder and Steward of the lake in Langford. But, suspend reality for just a while, just supposing it had happened. How would they have got on? What would they have talked about? Could the great statesman have learned something from the Beachcomber? How would Gordon Drake respond, would he be completely bowled over being in the presence of such a famous person. So much to explore.

 The meeting takes my character right out of his comfort zone. In Langford Quay he is well respected and known for his home-spun wisdom. So how would he get on in the wider world. It was quite a journey for Gordon. Of course he had Felicity Trimble with him, a much more worldly wise character, but even then…. First class travel up to London on an electric train. Trip round the Houses of Parliament and then a special visit to the Prime Minister’s home.

 Why did he make the trip? Well we are lead to believe that Mr Churchill wanted to meet the man he had been told about. The man who almost single-handedly thwarted a foreign espionage plot and saved the plans of Britain’s secret missile.Outrageous? Well yes but we are told that Mr Churchill picked up some useful tips for his bricklaying hobby and left Gordon Drake feeling confident that he could write at any time with good advice about running the country.As a device to explore Gordon’s character outside the sheltered village community, it worked well.

 Read the e-book Langford Spycatchers for the whole story.  



17. Feb, 2019