Author Harry Pearson is celebrating the publication of his new book,
Housekeepers, Shortlegs and Flemish String: Three village sports clubs in
Northumberland, which was commissioned by Northumberland County
Council to tie in with the London 2012 Olympics. The book is published by
New Writing North, the writing and reading development agency for the north
Harry will be doing 3 events in libraries in Northumberland to launch the book,
Wednesday 12 September, 4pm: Haltwhistle Library
Wednesday 12 September, 7pm: Bedlington Station Library
Thursday 13th September, 7pm: Wooler Library
All events are free to attend and no booking is required. Harry will be reading
from the book, taking questions from the audience, and signing copies which
will be available to buy from the libraries.
Housekeepers, Shortlegs and Flemish String features new essays by Harry
Pearson on three village sports clubs in the east, west and north of
Northumberland: Bomarsund cricket club near Bedlington; the Wallace Arms
Quoits club near Featherstone; and the Kirknewton Archers near Wooler.
Although the book was commissioned in response to the Olympic year, the
sports clubs featured are both literally and spiritually a long way from the
lycra-clad festival of excellence that took place in east London. Their story however
is just as uplifting in its own modest way as those of Sir Chris Hoy, Bradley
Wiggins and Jessica Ennis.
The choice of two of the clubs was simple, based largely on sentiment.
Bomarsund cricket club featured in the 1975 edition of Wisden Cricketer’s
Almanac, the first edition of the “bible” of the summer game Harry ever
owned, while the Wallace Arms was the place in Northumberland where Harry
first encountered the esoteric game of quoits. Kirknewton Archers, in the far
north of the county, suggested themselves because of the loveliness of the
location and its proximity to Flodden – the last great hurrah of the English
Harry was accompanied on his visits by acclaimed photographer Julian
Germain who captured images of the clubs in their full glory. These are
presented as pull out photographs throughout the book.
“The clubs featured in these pages are far removed – and not just
geographically – from the great sporting institutions of Great Britain, from
Lords, Wembley and the Olympic Stadium. Yet in many ways the role they
play is more important. In small, and in two cases at least, isolated
communities, they provide social cohesion, a core around which people can
weave the threads of everyday life – childhood, youth, work, friendships,
family. They are at the heart of things.”
Wendy Scott, Design and Arts Development Manager, Northumberland
County Council, said of the project:
“The council was keen, during this Olympics year, to celebrate the often
unsung sporting heroes in our local communities and pay tribute to their
achievements. We wanted to share this through the creation of a book that
would be read by people across the county and beyond.
“It has been wonderful working with artists of the calibre of Harry Pearson and
Julian Germain both based within Northumberland and we are grateful to New
Writing North to continue the development of new writing for new audiences.”
Housekeepers, Shortlegs and Flemish String is available to buy, priced £3.99,
at libraries across Northumberland, and from the shop at