Ruth Taylor and Trim visit Grantham to promote The Cat and the Captain

March 5th, 2021

Post by Ruth Taylor

The wonder of doing locational marketing is that I never know what I’ll find. It’s an adventure. Take Grantham in Lincolnshire. On the very day that I visited, the illustrious Grantham Journal had printed an article about The Cat and the Captain after I’d informed them that my illustrator, David Parkins, was a Grantham man. OK, it was more about my illustrator than about me, but heck, it’s publicity. Not only that, but when I visited the massive Morrisons’ supermarket where the I bought a copy of the Grantham Journal, what should I find but a rack full of various local newspapers, including one called First News, which is a children’s newspaper. Yes, a children’s newspaper. Trim was intrigued. I’d never heard of it, but it claimed to have over two million readers. Well, there’s a market for you.

Poor old Grantham: the only place to buy books is from a couple of racks in Morrisons, or from W.H. Smith, where the assistant told me that their software for ordering books was no longer operational. It had been provided by Bertrams – of Gardners’ and Bertrams’ the major UK book wholesalers – which had gone into administration. Good grief. News to me. Trim was too shocked to pose for a photo.

On to St Wulfram’s Church (I didn’t know either – he was French, and Protector Against Dangers of the Sea) with the second tallest spire in Lincolnshire – possibly a draw for Russian tourists. In St Wulfram’s, a volunteer’s face lit up when I introduced myself: ‘I read about your book in the Journal today’. There you go – instant fame. Trim was delighted to find lots of book-reading going on, and related to the images of sailing ships being tossed about on high seas. He decided that the publisher should issue The Cat and the Captain in the miniature size he spotted in a showcase for the smaller reader. Then he found a book called Matthew for Everyone. Trim preferred it when Matthew (Flinders) was just for him.

In Grantham’s library, through the perspex Covid screen at the door, the librarian took details of The Cat and the Captainto pass to her manager saying: ‘I saw it in the Journal this morning.’ Commendable dedication to her local paper. Another convert. We pressed on.

The Museum was closed but outside was a giddily tall statue of Isaac Newton. Did you know that he went to school in Grantham? It appears that Grantham was home to geniuses other than visiting authors and resident illustrators.

Taking the weight off our feet Trim and I had a delightful lunch, then walked to Grantham station and were home in two hours, Trim dozing on the way. We had much to think about and loads of follow-on e-mails to write. Just the ticket.


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