Archive for March, 2016

Lofty thoughts

I’m indexing Windsor now, and it is another of those tasks that I do for a while, pause, and realise either that I’ve been working on it a lot longer than I thought, or I look at where I am now now versus where I started and think “is that all I’ve done”?

Nevertheless it progresses. I have completed the list of pictures that could possibly go in the book and obtained initial quotes from relevant copyright holders.  Some of them are rather more expensive than I’d hoped, but that helps focus the mind on which ones are most desirable.  I suspect I’ll give the racecourse two options, a cheap one and an expensive one with the non-financial pros and cons of each.

I’ve also been in touch with the printers about the timetable and I begin to feel optimistic that we are on schedule. However, staying that way is dependant on the racecourse responding to my questions and making some decisions about the picture budget promptly!  It would be so nice to get a correct hard copy proof of the book more than a few days ahead of the launch, but that has always proved easier said than done.

Recently I was kindly offered about 70 old racing results annuals, many of which are better-quality versions of some I already own.  I collected them a fortnight ago, and that’s meant a lot of moving books around; to promote as many new good ones as I can into the study, to relegate other good ones to the loft, and to consign the less-good duplicates into boxes while I investigate the possibility of finding a good home for them – preferably not the Council refuse tip.

All my Uttoxeter papers have gone into the loft too (we’ll need an extension at this rate) as my involvement with that course is almost certainly over, apart from social visits and any other ad hoc historic questions they ask me.

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Three months to go

On the research front it’s been all Windsor lately, reading and editing the text. It’s now reached a point where if I did no more with it, it would do.  I will of course carry on reiterating that process as long as I can, because I want to make the finished product better than that.  I hope it’s not ominous that I have had no news from the racecourse about deadlines from the printers.  The aim is still to have it on sale on 6 June.  We’re cutting it fine.

It was only after I’d read it through a couple of times I realised I’d missed out a few good stories. I’ve also been composing some appendices, a prologue and suitable ending – I’m not sure if I’m completely happy with them, but if I can get my wife to proof read it she will definitely tell me what’s wrong.  I’m yet to do the acknowledgements and the index, and the latter will take a few days of solid effort.

I’ve received a number of fresh photos from the albums of a family connected with the course’s history and I hope they are agreeable to scanning the most appropriate ones for the book.  I must devote a day soon to the subject of pictures, deciding my preferences and getting some prices to see if I can live within the budget.

Contrary to my last post, I have found a couple of reasons why the 1934 Derby winner was called Windsor Lad, but I’ll keep them up my sleeve for now and divulge them in the book first!

I am more and more in inclined to have a break from racecourse book-writing after Windsor and to relax by researching other racing subjects, with no deadlines to worry about.

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