Archive for September, 2014

More Uttoxeter adjustments, more formatting. The long-awaited pictures have arrived.  Just about all the likely pictures to appear have been given captions and are the subject of detailed instructions for the printers about where in the text they should be placed.

I was pleased to receive a call from a Fontwell man a few weeks ago who had come across an old letter from me, written when I was researching the Alfred Day family. He rang to ask if that particular book had ever appeared. He must have been the only person in the area not to have known.  I posted a copy of it to him. By return he sent me an interesting letter explaining his experiences with Binda Billsborough.  I already knew this chap has a pretty remarkable background and, just as I was thinking his own life story deserves telling, I found he has written his own autobiography.  He probably won’t thank me for saying I’ve bought a 1p copy on Amazon.  It hasn’t arrived yet, and it will have to take its place on the pile of Unread Books.

To help make room for these and future purchases I had a big clearout of old books a few months ago. Quite a few are racing books; there’s nothing wrong with them (except age) but we need the room more than the books themselves.  Some went to a new home today.  Others are due to be rehoused in two or three weeks and the rest could go to the Newmarket Oxfam shop, if they want them.

Speaking of Amazon, I received an order from them on behalf of another Fontwell local for three of my books. Three in one go is unprecedented!   That said, I’m afraid the collected works are unlikely to appear in an omnibus edition.

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More tinkering

I’ve been making more adjustments to the Uttoxeter text and the index, reformatted it to give it more of a finished bookish appearance. Tinkering could go on ad infinitum but once I get the last proof-readers changes that’ll be it as regards the text.  I am still waiting for some of the pictures to be sent to me.  I still need to set out exactly where all the pictures go for the benefit of the printers, but if I can do that in the next week we’ll still be on schedule.  Though there are still two months before the planned publication date, I’m sure we’ll need a lot of that to get the printers’ proofs to a satisfactory state.  Not wishing to denigrate printers, but experience shows there is infinite scope for proofs to emerge in a way one hadn’t planned.  Sometimes this is because of duff authorial guidance, sometimes it’s a quirk of the IT, sometimes it’s just plain unforeseeable.

The ghosted articles for two newspapers I referred to last time seem to have been acceptable to the editors.

Quite a few racing excursions to different racecourses this autumn are being planned at the moment, chiefly Frankfurt, to see it before it is closed down. As far as I can tell using Google Auto Translate the last races are supposed to be next year, but it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise to me if they don’t bother with the 2015 fixtures.  The area is going to be turned into a super-duper football training academy.  After winning the World Cup you wonder why Germany needs even more football facilities!  I also continue to wonder if a book on German horse racing history exists.  I hear, coincidentally, that some British racecourse managers have recently been over to Berlin and meet their counterparts there to exchange some ideas.

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