Friday, 18 April 2008

Return to Wallasey

Last week I had a specially enjoyable evening. It involved going back to one of my old stamping grounds. In the 1980s I lived on the Wirral peninsula, in Moreton on the outskirts of Wallasey. That was where I started writing the first Harry Devlin novel, All the Lonely People.

I remember vividly wondering, during the mid 80s, whether I would ever be able to fulfil my ambition of having a crime novel published. I joined the writers’ group based at Bebington library, and that was where I first read a few extracts from the early chapters of the book. I enjoyed the group and I'm a strong believer in the value of both writers' and readers' groups. But I didn’t achieve publication as a novelist until some years after I’d moved back to Cheshire.

So it was quite a nostalgic trip to return to Wallasey for an evening performance of ‘Who Killed George Hargrave?’ It was held in the Central Library, a Carnegie library fast approaching its centenary. Diane Moore and her colleagues (including Rachel Southworth, who took these photos) did a good job of hosting an event which proved to be a sell-out. Even the mayor and mayoress turned up and took part in the audience's attempts to solve the mystery.

Wirral is home to a number of good writers. In the crime field they include Margaret Murphy, founder of Murder Squad, and a leading light these days in the Crime Writers’ Association, and Eileen Dewhurst, whose work will be the subject of a future post.

No comments: