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Slouching Towards Blubberhouses – A (Right Grand) Tour de Yorkshireness

Published 30 April 2014 – Pre-order your copy now

By Tony Hannan

Yorkshire … God’s Own County … The Broad Acres … the Texas of England … as home to some of the UK’s most captivating landscapes, coastlines, food, literature, history, music, tea, film, sport and beer, when Britain’s largest county and its residents get you in their grip, you are unlikely to escape soon.

Venue for Le Grand Départ and only recently voted the Leading Tourist Destination in Europe – beating off the likes of Paris, Rome, London (ha!) and Vienna – the eyes of the world are on the land of the White Rose like never before.

Slouching Towards Blubberhouses is a timely, in-depth and very often comical look at a county that is by turns friendly, uncompromising, boastful, blunt and maddeningly self-aware. It digs beneath the eeh bah gum clichés of whippets, clogs, flat caps and moth-eaten wallets to explore what really makes Tykes tick. And it wonders whether coming from Yorkshire still means owt in the socially diverse 21st century.

So what are you waiting for? Enough with the chelpin’ and get on your bike. We’re off on a right grand Tour de Yorkshireness.

Price: £14.99

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Funny Bones – My Life in Comedy

By Freddie Davies, with Anthony Teague

With a foreword by Ken Dodd

Coming July 31 2014…. order now

In 1964, a single appearance on TV talent show Opportunity Knocks made ‘Parrotface’ comedian Freddie Davies famous overnight. Spectacular success followed, stars such as Judy Garland, Cliff Richard, even Cary Grant, were fans…

But when it all began to slip in the 1980s, Freddie became a producer and then forged yet another career as a serious actor. He appeared to great acclaim in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Secret Garden and cult film Funny Bones – alongside Lee Evans and Jerry Lewis – based on tales of Freddie’s music hall comic grandfather Jack Herbert. Now he has come full circle, delighting audiences again as Samuel Tweet in theatres up and down the land.

Fifty years on from his television debut, Freddie finally tells his own story, revealing for the first time the tragedy behind his early days in Salford and a family secret that rocked his world. He paints a vivid and hilarious picture of a gruelling apprenticeship in the Northern clubs – revealing how ‘Parrotface’ spluttered into life.

With a foreword by legendary comic Ken Dodd, this unique autobiography is a poignant and hilarious evocation of a vanished world, offering insights into the art of stand-up and a richly nostalgic treat for comedy connoisseurs.

LIMITED HARDBACK EDITION ALSO AVAILABLE – Call 0113 225 9797 to pre-order

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Different Class – The Story of Schools Rugby League

On sale early April – order now!

By Phil Caplan and Ron England

With a foreword by Neil Fox MBE

Around the turn of the 20th century, schools rugby league was formalised. Compiled from a nationwide archive, Different Class puts a long and illustrious history in context, capturing its flavour with an array of colourful contributions.

Examining the communities from which it sprang, neighbourhood rivalries, prevailing social conditions, stories of overcoming great odds and trips into the unknown, it traces the pioneering spirit that has characterised the schools game, and the role played by teachers as mentors and inspiring personalities.

Mixing fact and anecdote, the book contains a wealth of reminiscences from some who went on to become superstars of the sport, alongside those for whom the school playing field was their zenith.

 

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All the Wrong Notes – Adventures in Unpopular Music

By Dave Hadfield

With an introduction by Bernard Wrigley

For almost 50 years, Dave Hadfield has followed the genres of music that grabbed his youthful heart and mind. Now, in ALL THE WRONG NOTES, he has written not just a musical memoir, but a personal and social history of the last half-century.

Like a Zelig with a finger in his ear, he has been where folk music has happened and describes it, affectionately but warts-and-all, in a way it has never been described before.

Hadfield’s sure ear for quirks and eccentricities produces unique takes on major figures like Bob Dylan, Ewan MacColl and Leonard Cohen. It celebrates the foot-soldiers and their role in keeping left-field music alive.

Humorous and provocative in equal measure, ALL THE WRONG NOTES is the key to a fascinating world of music.

DAVE HADFIELD has been a journalist and author for 40 years. This is his eighth book. He lives in Bolton with his wife, various children and an alphabetical CD collection.

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Through Adversity – The Fight for Rugby League in the RAF

By Damian Clayton, with Daniel Abrahams

Includes forewords by Kevin Sinfield and Paul Sculthorpe

Through Adversity is the story of Damian Clayton MBE, whose relentless pursuit of the rugby league dream has seen him brush shoulders with royalty, tour the world, receive a gong in 2008 and be voted Combined Services Sports Official of the Year.

Despite having long since achieved his main goal – to see his beloved rugby league recognised officially by the Armed Forces – the inspirational Royal Air Force Flight Sergeant continues to give his all to the sport he loves.

Clayton, the RAF’s ‘Mr Rugby League’, has been on a long journey. Since 1992 he has worked tirelessly to ensure the sport he has graced as player, administrator and coach is given the same official recognition that dozens of other sports that military personnel take part in – such as football, cricket and tennis – take for granted.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

In the 1980s, military sport in the UK was run on traditional lines. Rugby league was not recognised, even if many within the services yearned to play it. One man changed all that. Damian Clayton, a young airman from West Yorkshire, did not (and still does not) take no for an answer. Battling against incredible odds, his passion for the game, ability on the pitch, organisation and persuasion skills were matched by grit, determination, a bit of cheek and the odd bit of low cunning. What’s more, he succeeded. Over one thousand servicemen and women now play rugby league in all three Services. Through Adversity highlights the highs and lows, the thrills and spills of the journey. The UK Armed Forces were Services World Cup Champions from 2008 to 2013; in the UK the relationship between military players and officials is exceptional. This unity of effort and purpose is exemplified by the force of nature that is Damian Clayton. I commend this book to anyone who is interested in success against the odds and a ripping good yarn! Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach KCB CBE ADC BA MPhil DTech DLitt FRAeS RAF, Vice Chief of The Defence Staff

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