Review of ‘Weird, Wacky and Wonderful Derbyshire Folk’, by Tom Bates

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

by Tom Bates
Published by New Age Poetry Press
ISBN 09522108-4-3 (2007)

Where might the following characters come together? The best manager the England football team never had, along with perhaps the greatest goalkeeper that England did have; a naked civil servant; a glam rocker who wished it could be Christmas every day; a top-10 singer who won the crying game; a writer lost for words; a record-breaking wartime flying ace; a monocled mutineer; the designer of a mallard and a flying Scotsman; and a man with a lavatory named in his honour who thus has his own throne here in the Peak.

The answer is that they are all included in this new book of tributes from local writer Tom Bates. His fresh and lightly humorous touch revitalises the stories of nearly 50 of the great and good who all happen to have a Derbyshire connection. They include a few historic figures who dwell in the halls of fame but about half are still in the land of the living. Tom himself is the subject of a tribute written by Australian award-winning biographer Beverley Eley.

Weird, Wacky and Wonderful Derbyshire Folk was launched at Scarthin Books, Cromford, on Sunday 23 December 2007, where Tom Bates was also signing copies of his book Northern Derbyshire - Snapshots in Time.

Review by Julie Bunting

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