Archive for February, 2011

Making more contacts

I’ve been seeking some new contacts this week.  I have written to the authors of a book and a blog whose focus is not on racing, but which have an impact on the history of Bath races.   Driving across the Lansdown plateau on which the racecourse is situated, you get the impression of wide open spaces where nothing has ever happened, but that’s certainly not the case. 

I spoke to a couple of Bath annual members in the hope that they could pinpoint the telephone pole that featured in the Francasal case.   No joy so far; the information I have is ambiguous.   I’ve got a few other people I’m hoping to hear from about that and I have one or two other lines of enquiry I can try.

I have updated the list of likely pictures we might use.  I need to agree a shortlist with the racecourse so that we can go back to the picture agencies; the more of their images you use, the lower the price of each.  We have a tight budget and have to be very selective.

So far I have made two appointments for my visit to Bath next weekend and am about to make a third with a man who is interested in the eighteenth century course at Claverton.   I hope these meetings will be fruitful for all of us.

I’m pleased to have resumed contact with the lady who did the typesetting for my last two books, and I hope when we speak next week she will be amenable to working with me again.

Meanwhile knocking the text into shape continues at every available opportunity, a phrase I will probably use for several more weeks yet.

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The perils of composing

This week, like many others recently, I have been composing more of the first draft of the book, bringing together material on one subject obtained from different sources.   I generally try to slip it into the right place chronologically, but that’s not always best.  For example, I have stories about a successful trainer from as early as the 1960s and as late as the 2000s.  I am inclined to put them in one section rather than dot them throughout the narrative.

Having spent a year on research, it’s easy to forget some of the things I found at the beginning of that time – information overload is the danger.   Summarising the information and writing it our sometimes throws up more questions and things to check, though, and this has to be managed within the timetable – otherwise I may have to omit stories which could (if verified) be quite interesting.  

Next week I need to make arrangements to see various people when I’m next in Bath, so let’s hope their diaries and mine can be synchronised.

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This is the first entry in my new blog.  I am currently working on a book about the history of Bath racecourse, to be published later this year.  Through the blog I will keep you up to date with progress.  I hope you enjoy following it, and will want to read the book too when it comes out.

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