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Local writer David Hogarth hosted a soft launch of his memoir recounting his life growing up in Blackpool. David Simper popped along to find out more.

After a little bus confusion due to one company’s real time information system announcing a bus that doesn’t exist, I caught the alternative service 61 down to town and walked down to the Tea Amantes cafe and gallery, for local author David Hogarth’s book launch.

The word had certainly got round for this one and by the time I got there, the place was packed. I recognised David as a regular at the excellent Tea Amantes art exhibitions, which I have reviewed so often for this site.

Miraculously there was a table remaining among the throng and I repaired to it with my slice of tasty cake (I’d come out without any dinner) and green tea.

Rise and Shine Little Man will be published on 15th February 2024 although advanced copies were available on the night. Its charming, sensitive memoir of childhood here in Blackpool in the 1960s and of the unbreakable bond of love between a mother and son. Hogarth captures a precious sense of innocence and the forgotten spirit of the ’50 and ’60 as seen through a boy’s eyes.

David introduced the book with some self-deprecating humour. He had clearly used his writing to work through the consequences of loss and the result was this book which, it appeared, might be the first in a trilogy. He made two principal readings.

Firstly there were some wry observations about the war’s potential but unrealised effect on him being born. Blackpool was spared major bombing  which allowed his parents to meet and marry. David’s father fought as a tank driver and was targeted by a German sniper, who fortunately missed him by a whisker, then being despatched by the tank’s turret gunner. David’s humorous recount of these events had a dark subtext – things could have been very different.

The second and more lighthearted tale was of scouting trips and hunting fornicating rabbits with bracken spears. A childhood friend who’d shared this adventure was in the room and confirmed that the story was all entirely true.

There followed a lively Q&A and then a signing session. His admiring public thronged round and I didn’t manage to speak to him before time ran out for the bus back, so I bade my farewells and, miraculously, found the hourly service 61 was waiting for me as I approached Corporation Street.

David with Anna from Tea Amantes

Preorder Rise and Shine, Little Man: Memories of a Seaside Childhood by David Hogarth here.

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    I have worked in the housing and transport professions for several local authorities, specialising in policy, strategy preparation and bid writing. Having always had an interest in film, the visual arts in general, theatre, music and lterature, I thought it would be good to combine the writing experience with these interests to contribute to altBlackpool. In addition to writing, my hobbies include watercolour and pastel painting, photography, woodwork, cycling and vegetable gardening.

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