Sunday, 7 August 2011

On holiday again

One of the great advantages of living in a world of books is that wherever you go there will be something of interest. Two weeks in Youlgreave/Youlgrave (people spell it different ways) then. The old Co-op building, now the YHA, was used in the filming of The Virgin and the Gypsy, as was the unfortunately-named Raper's Lodge. The village also has a Reading Room though is nothing on display (or on line) giving its origins other than being listed with the village's four dissenting chapels in the 1870s. I just missed a performance night from the local writing group in the village. A short walk up Lathkill Dale brings you to Over Haddon, the former home and burial place of Maurice Oldfield, the proto-type for Le Carre's Smiley. The nearest bookshop is the excellent indie in Bakewell ( which manages to have an excellent local stock for visitors, and a wide stock for the eclectic book buyer. That it stocks our three books set in Derbyshire (Claws by Stephen Booth, A Beautiful Place for a Murder by Berlie Doherty, The Naming of William Rutherford by Linda Kempton) was noted.

But the main book connection for me was a visit to my old friend David Lane in Bakewell. David was once a stalwart of Nottingham CND, Nottingham Veggie Soc. and an astonishing amount of national organisations concerned with peace and animal rights. He'd cut his teeth as a conscientious objector and as a member of the old Pacifist Youth Action Group. When I moved to Nottingham his Concord Bookshop (one of the astonishing number of five radical bookshops in the city at the time) had just closed. The shop reflected his main concerns but was in the way of developers. David continued his involvement with the book trade wholesaling vegetarian, environment and peace books, mostly to wholefood shops. Though David never made much money (capitalism was never his forte) he did chomp his way through a lot of books and cheap pamphlets, especially at Christmas. I know this as I was a volunteer packer from time to time: anything for a good veggie meal. David would often surprise far flung accounts sending in big orders by turning up the next day with a trolley, having worked out it was cheaper to take the goods by train than use a carrier, giving himself a day out for the hell of it. Even better if he could take in some petitioning or demonstrating while he was at it. Sadly, with the closure of some key accounts and others moving to more commercial suppliers Concord had to close, having a useful half-life selling books at stalls and festivals. It was good to see David again, not least to hear his standard opening remark... "Did you see that article in Saturday's Guardian..."

No comments: