Polperro Postscripts

A blog for anyone with an interest in Polperro, publishing and people... with occasional musings on history and humanity.



Tales of the Unexpected

Posted on April 11, 2013

Like buses (or trains, perhaps, since I don’t use buses), I sometimes have to wait ages for a really good bit of unexpected publicity for one of our titles and then, like this month, along come three really good examples.

The first was Ellie Targett’s appearance on the BBC Antiques Roadshow on April 7th. Ellie wrote the Introduction to her father, Sven Somme’s book Another Man’s Shoes which we published in 2005. It’s the story of his escape from capture in Nazi occupied Norway in the Second World War and how, 60 years later, Ellie and her sister retraced the route of his escape over the mountains to Sweden On the way, they were handed a pair of their father’s shoes which he had exchanged for some boots – hence the title of the book.  The cover (right), incidentally, shows him swinging through the treetops in Norway to avoid leaving tracks in the snow.

Ellie recently discovered some papers belonging to her father, who died in the 1960s, including secret messages he had concealed beneath postage stamps while working for the Norwegian resistance. When she took these along to a recording of the Antiques Roadshow in Cheltenham last year, she was spotted by Fiona Bruce and asked to tell her story for the programme.

While Ellie Targett was being recorded for the Antiques Roadshow, another of our authors, Mary Wright, was also being recorded by the BBC Coast team in Polperro about her book, Cornish Guernseys & Knitfrocks. Mary’s book was first published in 1979 and has been in print ever since, largely due to the growing interest in traditional knitting patterns based on the ‘knitfrock’ sweaters worn by generations of Cornish fishermen. Their distinctive patterns were said to enable the families of the wearers to identify them if they were drowned at sea. The particular wool used, as well as the patterns, often requires a skilled knitter to produce one, though in times past young girls were encouraged to take up knitting and contribute to the household income.

Both programmes are being televised this month, so we are expecting an increase in sales of both books. And in addition, Cecil Duckworth’s book, Worcester Warrior has been chosen as the Book of the  Month by Rugby World, the  monthly magazine for rugby union players and supporters. Cecil’s book, which tells the story of how he made the millions he has invested in the Worcester club and taken it to premiership level, is given a four star rating in the May issue.