Saturday, 14 May 2016

Million hits and new book make for exciting weekend!

It is an exciting weekend for old Peakfan.

Over the course of it, the blog will reach a million hits, something that I never considered possible when I started out. My intention at that stage was to perhaps, in starting something out of the wreckage that was the old BBC 606 site, to make contact with one or two like-minded supporters who might fancy swapping thoughts on the club's progress.

I never realised then that it would go on to be read in over forty countries and attract messages from many of them. It has been a pleasure in getting to know so many people and thank you all for your interest and support over the summers and winters. Usage is still on the rise and that is both satisfying and humbling at the same time.

I hope that many of you will be interested in my new book. My copies arrived yesterday, thanks to those wonderful people at Pitch Publishing, ahead of the book's launch on June 1. I have to say (and I will accept accusations of bias, but...) it looks terrific. They have done a great job with it and I am absolutely thrilled that it does justice to everyone who agreed to an interview with me.

What is it about? 'In Their Own Words: Derbyshire Cricketers in Conversation' is a collection of interviews with people who have been major contributors to the club's fortunes over the past seventy summers, since the end of the Second World War.

Truth be told, thanks to Walter Goodyear's extraordinary recall, the book goes back to the championship-winning side of 1936. Walter's stories, an expanded version of what was once on the blog, start the book, which continues through Edwin Smith, Harold Rhodes, Keith Mohan and Peter Eyre. Their stories of the club in the 1950s and onwards are fascinating, leading on to those who were stars in the years to follow.

Bob Taylor, Brian Jackson, Peter Gibbs, Alan Hill, Tony Borrington and Colin Tunnicliffe take the story through the 1960s through to the 1980s, before it is brought up to date by interviews with more recent heroes.

John Wright, Geoff Miller, Devon Malcolm, Kevin Dean, James Pipe, Graeme Welch, Wayne Madsen and Chris Grant bring the story right up to the present day. All were engaging company, as they answered questions that, in some cases, had been in my head for a long time.

The ideas was to create a post-war history of the club, telling how it has been from the playing perspective. There are insights of life on the road, the dressing room laughs and fall-outs, the opponents who were respected and the big days that were enjoyed. I wanted to know what got them into the game and find out more about what they have done outside it. As I listened, there were things that surprised me and really opened my eyes. My gratitude to each and every one of them is complete.

It is a chance to read about Gladwin and Jackson, the Harold Rhodes affair, the 1969 Gillette Cup semi-final and final, Lord's 1981, Dean Jones, Les Stillman and much more from the people who were at the centre of it all. I aimed to get a better understanding of key figures and events from the people who made the stories and to capture precious memories of the club and its characters for posterity. Hopefully I have done so and those who buy it enjoy their fantastic and often funny tales.

The book is published by Pitch Publishing, who have been fantastic to work with. It is priced £16.99 as a hardback and is available through Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith and all good booksellers.

I will have copies available from June 1 and am happy to send these out to you, signed and/or inscribed. I will give more information on this in due course, together with postage costs.

An early indication of interest in the latter would be useful, so I can order copies from the publisher.

I will be doing various events through the summer and will let you know all about them as soon as they are confirmed.

Enjoy your day - and good luck to The Rams this afternoon!


Adam said...

I look forward to this book, I only started watching Derbyshire in the year 2000 so a lot of this is history for me to learn. There are precious few books published on county cricket and especially on DCCC so books such as this offer me a great insight into how county cricket used to be and how it has changed for the better or worse. I hope that you have many more books in you!

On a related note I have to say how poor the Derbyshire yearbook has become down the years. Even I can remember when it was not only a record of the previous season but featured many good articles on the club. This season it was the size of a programme, only had an introduction by Wayne Madsen and then match reports and averages and no features whatsoever. I guess that times have changed and maybe people are no longer interested in the yearbook but I do find it sad if that is the case.

Peakfan said...

That is kind of you, Adam, and thanks for that!

I share your thoughts on the yearbook. From the days of Peach and Dawn's editing, then that of the wonderful Stan Tacey, it was a good read and a good record of previous seasons. Now there's so much online it is no longer so important.

I had a few articles in them over the time Stan did it, but the economics are simple. The cost of the yearbook was half that of a young player for the summer, and there was little income from it. Some might still prefer the book, but giving opportunity to a youngster has to be a good move, I would think.

Martin Edwards said...

Congratulations, Peakfan, both on the book and making the million. Great stuff. If only our team were performing with equal consistency and success!

Peakfan said...

Thanks Martin. I appreciate that and your support over the past few years! Keep well