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Archive for February, 2012

The review of Days has appeared in the Brighton Argus.  I think that’s responsible for one written enquiry I’ve had from a gentleman with very small handwriting. I can just about read it all except (sod’s law) for his surname, but that’s enough for me to be able to reply.   I need to chase the Chichester Observer for their review and West Sussex libraries for possible orders for Days.  I haven’t bought the acid-free box yet – though I at least know where I’ll go to get it.  

I’ve been asked to write something for the racecard for Fontwell’s next meeting on the 26th, which will have a tribute to the popular Sussex trainer Josh Gifford, who died recently.  Inevitably there will be some common ground with the obituaries in the newspapers but I have talked more about his comparatively-ignored career as a jockey, when he was champion four times.  I have tried to make the piece about his training history a little more Fontwellcentric by referring to some of his better horses’ appearances there.  I hope my personal anecdote about the book-signing he did will stay in.

I’ve done some extra homework listing all the winners he rode and trained at Fontwell.  Whether they will have enough room in the racecard for that I don’t know, but I thought I’d better give them have too much material than too little.   With that in mind I am also giving them two versions of the tribute, one I prefer with 2,300 words and another with 1,500.  I will be interested to see the outcome!   I will post the tribute here after the race meeting.

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Acid test

I have finished cataloguing the 169 pages of racing scenes from 19th century newspapers that I obtained at an auction a few months ago.  It took me much longer than I thought it would to list the captions of every single picture, and to summarise the text on the other side.  There were some articles that may be worth reading more closely in the context of future projects.  I shouldn’t have been surprised (but I was) when Alfred Day’s name appeared in one of the back page pieces.   That’ll be something to add to the “post publication” files I have for my books, in case they are ever reprinted.

I now need to get hold of an acid free box to store these pages.  Fortunately I can seek advice from some archivists near where I work – maybe they have a spare box!  I hope they won’t say I also need 169 pieces of acid free paper to put in between each page.

I’ve begun looking at my old files on the computer to see where I got to with one of my old projects but a trip to the loft is probably called for to dig out the accompanying paperwork.  I belong to the brigade which prefers to read anything longer than a couple of pages on paper rather than on a screen. 

The West Sussex Records Office agreed to take a few copies of Days to sell, and to have one for the archives themselves.  I have another person to pursue as regards the Libraries Department stocking some. 

I’m still waiting for reviews to be published in two Sussex papers.   As things are quiet I will probably return in two weeks, hoping at least one of them will have appeared by then.

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