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Route 63: Around England on a Free Bus Pass

By Dave Hadfield

With a foreword by Sky Sports presenter Dave Clark

Early on the morning of his 63rd birthday, DAVE HADFIELD walked out of his front door and caught a bus…

It was the first stage in an epic journey that would take him around the furthest flung corners of his native England, showing it to him from a completely new angle.

Already acclaimed for his books on sport and music, Hadfield has broadened his canvas for what might well be his finest work yet.

Heading south along the Welsh Borders, west to Land’s End, along the South Coast to Dover, through London and up the eastern side of the country to Newcastle, through the Pennines and the Lakes and back home to Lancashire; he chronicles what he sees and hears on an itinerary that involves over 100 local buses.

Better still, he does it all for nothing – on a bus pass for which he was qualified by Parkinson’s Disease. Undeterred by that disability, he explores the country he loves with a keen eye and ear for the absurd.

By turns thoughtful and hilarious, Route 63 will appeal to anyone who has enjoyed Hadfield’s writing for the Independent newspaper, as well as his highly popular previous outings. Those new to his unique style, can prepare to discover why he has been called Bolton’s very own answer to Bill Bryson.

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Funny Bones – My Life in Comedy – Hardback

By Freddie Davies, with Anthony Teague

With a foreword by Ken Dodd

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.

PAPERBACK EDITION ALSO AVAILABLE

Price: £19.99

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

As seen and heard on the BBC and Sky News…

By Tony Hannan

Yorkshire … God’s Own County … The Broad Acres … the Texas of England … a 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.

Phenomenally successful 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.

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Funny Bones – My Life in Comedy – Paperback

By Freddie Davies, with Anthony Teague

With a foreword by Ken Dodd

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 

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All the Wrong Notes – Adventures in Unpopular Music

“…a very very funny and informative book . If you like good writing and folk music then you will love this.” – Norma Waterson

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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