By Dan Thompson
Authors from across the UK have shown their support for Ellington Park’s popular bookshop by donating signed copies and first editions of their books.
While the bookshop is well known for second hand bargains, this weekend there will be a selection of new signed books from the group Authors for Ellington Park.
All the books have been donated by authors from across the UK to help raise funds for the park.
Books include a special edition of Ramsgate author’s Maggie Gee’s The White Family, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, with an introduction by Bernadine Evaristo.
There’s a copy of Lullaby Beach by Stella Duffy, who has twice won Stonewall Writer of the Year and who the Daily Mail called ‘a fearless writer’. Rosa Rankin Gee has donated a first edition of Dreamland.
Bernadette Russell’s How To Be Hopeful is full of the kind of help we need right now, and Lauren Bravo (who writes for Grazia, Stylist, Guardian and more) has advice on ethical fashion shopping in How To Break Up With Fast Fashion. In Adrift, Miranda Ward tells her own story of infertility,
Geraint Franklin has signed Historic England’s Ramsgate, and Kathryn Ferry has donated copies of Holiday Camps too. Nick Rankin has donated Ian Fleming’s Commando, which tells the story of how the author of James Bond set up a secret commando unit during the Second World War.
There are more than twenty titles altogether, and there will also be signed books from the antiquarian section available, too.
The bookshop in Ellington Park is open from 12 noon, weather permitting.
What a lovely idea! I’ll gladly donate and sign a few of my own books if they’re interested (don’t want to lug them over on a train for nothing though… do they have a contact email?).
You don’t have to have visited the bookshop at Ellington Park or have read Madeline Martin’s thriller The Last Bookshop In London to realise that bookshops can be pretty daunting, intriguing if not dangerous places. If you want to check out a real life antiquarian bookshop up to its shelves in espionage, best read Bill Fairclough’s fact based stand-alone spy thriller Beyond Enkription in The Burlington Files series and his published bios available on the web such as at https://everipedia.org/wiki/lang_en/bill-fairclough.
In the book, his family’s antiquarian bookshop is set in London’s Charing Cross Road but in fact his family owned and his father managed an antiquarian bookshop in Yarm in the North East of England where real spies actually spent time together in the Cold War. In real life Bill Fairclough was an MI6 agent (codename JJ) and his father was Dr Richard Fairclough (aka Roger Burlington in The Burlington Files series) who actually worked in MI1 in WW2 and its aftermath along with his wife Margaret Fairclough (aka Sara Burlington).
Dr Fairclough was a friend of Harold Macmillan and other British governmental bigwigs. If you either remember that bookshop in Yarm (not the current one) or are into researching how bookshops featured in real espionage this is your moment. After all, if it was good enough for Colonel Alan Pemberton’s people to visit regularly it must have been of interest to Sunbeam, better known as Oleg Gordievsky to you. Alan Brooke Pemberton CVO MBE (aka Alan McKenzie) was Bill Fairclough’s MI6 handler in real life. Roger Burlington is referred to in Beyond Enkription as “the ultimate spy, the spy that never was”.