UPDATE UPDATE! I WILL BE POPPING INTO THE YACHT TAVERN WOOLSTON
ON SATURDAY 16TH MARCH 2013
to have chat to Woolston folk as promised! (before the match)
UPDATE: APOLOGIES THAT, DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND MY CONTROL, MY BOOK SIGNING THIS SUNDAY AT THE YACHT HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO TAKE PLACE IN MARCH NEXT YEAR. IF ANY WOOLSTON PEOPLE WOULD LIKE SIGNED COPIES OF ANCASTA FOR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS THEN THEY WILL BE FOR SALE IN ‘THE FUN SHACK’ ON VICTORIA STREET AND ‘CRAFT DEVIL’ ON THE PORTSMOUTH ROAD, WOOLSTON, IN A FEW DAYS TIME.
On Sunday 2nd December 2012 I am happy to be returning to The Yacht Tavern Woolston, where the friendly landlady Jacqui was so interested in my novel that she suggested I return to do a book signing at the pub! An unusual venue but it should be fun meeting and talking to local people. It is a tavern where you would more often be there to see a football match, cheering on the Saints as they play at home just over the River Itchen, or away.
Having said that, Jacqui has built up quite a library of books to enable the single visitor to feel content to enjoy a drink and perhaps a home cooked meal whilst reading. These books include those of local interest as well as a varied selection of novels. An excellent idea, I thought, on my first visit there a month ago. Some of the pictures on the walls have a local flavour too. Well worth a look!
The Yacht Tavern is in fact in the old village which was called ‘Itchen Ferry,’ and not Woolston, which was on the other side of the Floating Bridge hard. There had been a ferry across the River Itchen for hundreds of years, hence the name, but many locals still think back to the days of the Floating Bridge with nostalgia, and even fondness. Whilst rummaging though a cupboard recently I found the ‘Woolston Ferry Song‘ brought out when its service came to a halt back in June 1977, when the new bridge was opened. Click on the link for a bit of fun!
Mind you, it was a sad day for Woolston, as the little town was effectively bypassed and people are still heard to say,
“It’s just not been the same since they built the bridge!’
The whole area was bombed during the Second World War, to destroy the Supermarine Works, famous for designing and building the first Spitfires. In fact, The Yacht Tavern was the only one of three pubs in Itchen Ferry to be rebuilt after the bombing in 1940 and it still offers a warm welcome for food and drink and a place for locals to enjoy watching Saints play, even though, if they step outside, they can hear the roar of the crowds at the stadium just over the water.
The original Yacht Inn featured in my novel Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home, and so it is apt that I should be there just before Christmas gossiping to local people, just as my menfolk did in 1912, when rumours abound as to why such famous people as Pemberton Billing were visiting the boatyards, where many of the locals worked.
So, if you are in the Southampton are on 25th November, or even better living in Woolston, then drop in at lunch time and say hello! I will be there to have a chat and sign copies of my new novel, which is set in the area. If you can’t make it then it is available in Waterstones, West Quay or you can click on the book cover to find Ancasta on Amazon: