Our signing in the vibrant city of Nottingham was a very special one for us. We wanted to take the event to the hometown of our dear friend and supporter Chris Clarke, whom we lost so tragically earlier this year. Chris was the founder of The Sharpe Appreciation Society and when I was introduced to her back when we started the books, she took me under her wing as she did with so many. Despite having a family, a job and running the SAS, she still found time to introduce me to all the people we needed to help make our books so special. The director of Sharpe, the producers and of course the wonderful cast, who have supported us and the charities so vehemently ever since.
Nottingham Waterstones were very gracious hosts and come the day, come the hour, The Chosen Men, Jason Salkey and Lyndon Davies, and our very own flogged man, Paul Bigley were seated ready for the affray! They began signing and very soon, we needed a barrier to ensure that people were seen in the correct order. After a very short while, a very special Chosen Man came to sign with them. The wonderful John Tams quietly came in to take his place at the table. This was very exciting indeed for us as it was the first time John had been able to join us at a signing and the Chosen Men were clearly glad to see each other.
As ever the guys signed books and photos until their fingers went numb! They posed for photographs and chatted to people, who made it very clear to them that Sharpe was still a force to be reckoned with.
We were also very happy to welcome a representative from the CHILDREN with LEUKAEMIA Charity, Pippa Gough, who was happy to answer questions from members of the public.
Please allow me now, on behalf of myself and my fellow ‘Chefs’ to thank everyone for their continued support in these difficult financial times. Sadly Childhood Leukaemia recognises no financial recession. It does not stop affecting children because funds for research may be harder to come by. In these times it makes it even more important to keep this and other charities in our hearts and minds.
So a big Thank You to Sophie, the events manager at Waterstones for making us so welcome, to Pippa for her support and enthusiasm ever since I first approached her. To the members of the 3rd 95th Regiment of Re-enactors who guard us at every event, so gallantly and with such a fun spirit. To our wonderful Partisan, Laura, who not only stood guard in the shop window to draw people in, but also helped us with much of the arrangements as she is a Nottingham Lass! A thank you also to the supporters of our books, the Sharpe books and the Sharpe series. And, most especially, a massive thank you to Jason, Lyndon, Paul and John, without whom these events would not be able to take place.
It was a memorable event, our own tribute to a wonderful lady.
In Memory of Chris Clarke, Whom We All Miss Greatly.