Monday, May 14, 2007

Books and Bottle Ovens

I've just finished reading the book below. Written by Carol Lake in the 1980s and published in 1989 it is a series of stories about the area of Rosehill in a Midlands town that is actually Derby. The stories are warm and vibrant, even though they are about poverty, unemployment and inner city re-development. I discovered an evocative quote in here around which could be built a great story when the author describes two retired school teachers as 'living behind their dusty laurel hedges and stained-glass vestibule' - wonderful.

I particularly enjoyed the story The Trip which was about an evening visit by train to the 'Venetian Nights' at Matlock Bath. This brought back many memories of visits made as a child to this festival . Whilst I'm on the subject of Matlock Bath, a place we often pass through on our way between Stoke and visiting relatives at Chesterfield - we do stop there quite often too at either Cromford Mill or Masson Mill or Matlock itself for coffee and a look around - last week I received the book I won in a competition, kindly posted to me by the author himself with other goodies including a pen, bookmark and signed photograph. Many of the scenes in this book are in and around Matlock Bath, I did borrow it from the library earlier this year but it is wonderful to have my own copy.

I can recommend any of Stephen Booth's books, they are all wonderfully well written. If you like crime novels and the Peak District then you couldn't ask for more. I've sent a small thank you card to Mr Booth with a bottle oven on it which I bought in the Museum on Saturday. I hope he doesn't mind me sending it. Whilst I'm on the subject of bottle ovens when we were in the Museum we were able to look at the plans for 'the future of Stoke-on-Trent' which amongst many other bright and innovative ideas is a plan for huge glass bottle ovens in the city centre which will house gardens and cafes and walkways. When I saw the drawings I thought of the Winter Gardens in Sheffield and also the pyramid entrance to the Louvre in Paris. It all looks wonderful but will it ever happen? People are already complaining that the £100 million could be put to better use when the hospitals are struggling and old peoples homes are closing down - and I understand what they mean - but of course, the money comes from a different 'pot' which can't be used for other projects. It will be interesting to see what happens.


  1. OMG!
    Rosehill is actually where I live.
    I have never heard of the book before, I must seek it out.

  2. It's a small world, jen - I'm sure you would enjoy reading it - lots of stories you can dip into. I found the first couple a little hard going but the later ones were wonderful. It really 'grew' on me :)It is on Waterstones or Amazon.