Thursday, December 01, 2011

A launch with a difference

Yesterday I went to the launch of Beryl Kingston’s new novel ‘Off The Rails’ about George Hudson of York. Born in 1800, Lord Mayor of York for three terms and known as the 'Railway King' because of his assiduity in becoming chairman of as many Railway Companies as possible, he was a colourful and not always fiscally responsible character. Indeed, his creative accounting led to his being imprisoned later on in his career.

The launch was held in York's Holy Trinity Church with its Georgian box pews, giving a semblance of privacy to the worshippers - and as we discovered, cutting off the worst of the draughts! It was lovely for me sitting in the pews and imagining what my own characters might get up to in the semi-privacy. Certainly hands touching on sharing hymn books and feet rubbing against each other would not have been an impossibility.

Beryl Kingston with 'George Hudson'
Ahem. Back to Beryl's launch. The pulpit is a central one and the ‘difference’ in this launch was that a local actor used it as a focal point for a dramatic monologue by ‘George Hudson’ himself, romping entertainingly through his life story. I shall, of course, read the book, but the dramatic content brought it all vividly to mind and will enhance the experience.

And the mulled wine and sausage rolls that followed were more than welcome on a very cold day!

[Many thanks to Holy Trinity and Mike Jarman for photographs]

Jan Jones


Elizabeth Hawksley said...

The launch does sound fun, Jan. George Hudson was certainly a rogue. Dickens is said to have drawn on his character for Mr Merdle in 'Little Dorrit.'

Jan Jones said...

That doesn't surprise me, Elizabeth. He sounded very canny to me. Lots of copy there for a book. I look forward to reading Beryl's.