I’m back from a highly successful whirlwind mini tour of the north east of England, my second in six months and I’m delighted to say I was met once again with very friendly people and some avid fans of my marine mystery crime novels.
The first stop was Washington Town Centre Library, yes, home of George Washington the first President of the United States of America, 1789 to 1797, whose ancestors settled in Washington, England, then called Wessyngton, in 1183. Here was my smallest audience but an extremely lively and appreciative one nevertheless.
Next up, on the following morning, was Ingleby Barwick Library. Ingleby Barwick is a large private residential estate and civil parish in the borough of Stockton-on-Tees. At one time it was reputed to be the largest Private Housing Estate in Europe. The audience of adults was joined by several talented and gifted students from the adjacent All Saints Secondary School, who took lots of photographs, which means I could end up all over Facebook, and the Northern Echo also turned up to take photographs.
Then it was on to Hartlepool for an afternoon talk organised by Hartlepool Library but this time on board a beautifully restored paddle ship, the PSS Wingfield, in the Hartlepool Maritime Experience Museum; an appropriate setting for talking about marine mysteries. Through the portholes I could see Hartlepool Marina. I wondered if perhaps Inspector Andy Horton might sail into it one day…
After this it was across country to Cockerton Library in Darlington. Opened in 1970 the library won an architectural award for its unusual saw tooth shape and wonderful wooden ceiling. It’s a tardis of a library that looks small on the outside but is deceptively large inside with a computer suite in the centre and one of the most splendid crime sections I’ve seen in a local library – obviously Darlington residents enjoy a good crime novel.
I was made to feel very welcome in all the libraries I visited. Huge thanks to all for organising these talks for me and all the lovely people who turned out to hear my talk and for buying my books. I will return…