I had a memorable week-end attending the Silver Jubilee celebration of the Northern Chapter of the Crime Writers' Association in Pickering, North Yorkshire. Our convenor, recently retired former DI Roger Forsdyke, didn't allow a torn achilles tendon to interrupt his arrangements for what began as a celebratory lunch and turned into a rather longer and thoroughly enjoyable celebration that was blessed with excellent weather.
I attended the first meeting of the Northern Chapter back in 1987 - along with my then fiancee, now my long-suffering wife. That meeting was set up by our first convenor, another ex-cop, Peter Walker, who is most famous as author of the books on which the enormously successful TV series Heartbeat was based. And it was great to see Peter, along with his wife Rhoda, this week-end. The idea that partners of writers should be made welcome was Peter's original concept, and a very good one too. It has helped to enhance the social aspect of the Chapter, and has generated many long-lasting friendships.
Peter and Margaret Lewis, two authors and also publishers, were also at that first meeting and not only did they become great friends, a few years ago they actually published one of my books - Dancing for the Hangman. Meg Elizabeth Atkins and her husband Percy Moss were also founder members of the chapter, and it was lovely to see Peter, Margaret, Meg and Percy once again. Sadly, Robert and Louise Barnard, whom again I met that first time 25 years ago were unable to attend due to Bob's poor health, but Bob did write to Roger.to wish all his friends well - sentiments that were very warmly reciprocated. We also remembered the great Reginald Hill, who with his wife Pat was another founder member.