Gritstone author wins prestigious OWPG Book of the Year award

Outdoor Book of the Year award announced

Andrew Bibby’s captivating insight into southern English landscapes, Back Roads through Middle England (Gritstone Publishing, £13.95), has won the Outdoor Book of the Year award.

The award was announced on Saturday October 13, at the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild awards ceremony.

Andrew Bibby, who is an experienced professional writer who has contributed over many years to the British national press, has written several highly commended books on the countryside and the outdoors. His latest book delves deep into the landscapes of ‘middle England’, the book using the device of a journey he made by bicycle along the belt of Jurassic limestone (sometimes described as cotswold stone) from west Dorset to north Lincolnshire.

In the process of his journey Bibby turns to a wide range of disciplines, including social history, economics, and literature, to help him try to understand why the countryside looks the way it does.

Among other things, his book discusses how the countryside today is shaped by land ownership and estate management, and by changing nature of agricultural subsidies. Bibby looks at the efforts taken by residents in villages along his route to maintain community life in rural areas, and at conflicting responses that are emerging to the call for more housing in greenbelt areas. He suggests that the southern English countryside is at the same time both an old landscape and one which has seen radical change in relatively recent times.

Andrew Bibby says: “I am naturally delighted that Back Roads through Middle England has been awarded this year’s prize as Outdoor Book of the Year. This is a particular honour for me, because the award is made by my peers, fellow outdoor writers and photographers who understand the countryside and who care deeply about it.

“At a time when Englishness and English identity is increasingly an uncertain affair, my book looks for the clues that I believe are to be found in both the past and the present state of the English countryside to help us understand where we are today.”

Back Roads through Middle England is distributed to the trade through Cordee (www.cordee.co.uk) Review copies are available to journalists from info@gritstone.coop. Andrew Bibby can be reached on 01422 844026.

Sedgwick biography book launch

Gritstone member Colin Speakmans’s highly regarded auto-biography of the Yorkshire Geologist and Dalesman, Adam Sedwick, has just been re-released in a joint publication between Gritstone Co-operative and the Yorkshire Geological Society.

At the book launch, held at the Dales Countryside Museum, Hawes, and co-hosted by both the Yorkshire Geological Society (Andy Howard, President) and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (Ian McPherson Deputy Chair.

In the welcome speech Ian McPherson said:  “This book is a jewel.  It’s a something rare for a book about geology – a great read,  a real page turner.”

There was also a talk by Dr Nigel Woodcock of Cambridge University about how Sedgwick was inspired by the geology and landscape on his walk to school, and how his observations and interpretations of the local geology have stood the test of time, followed by a Geological Trail walk lead by Dr John Knight  of the Yorkshire Geological Society.

Paypal has changed its terms…

It seems Paypal has changed the way it works – and not for the better for some of our customers.

Previously you didn’t have to have a Paypal account to be able to use the Paypal system to pay by credit card.

Now it seems they only give you 10 credit card transactions before requiring you to register for an account with them.

We’ve had a few enquiries from customers who do not wish to have a Paypal account as what alternative means of payment we can offer.

It’s difficult as there is no alternative as cost effective for a small coop like ours.

However, just a quick reminder that we can still accept cheques posted with an order to our head office address. (It will obviously take much longer to fulfil the order though as we need to wait for the cheque to be collected (which isn’t every day) banked and cleared before sending any items). But it’s a stopgap while we consider if there are any viable alternatives.

First meeting of Gritstone Cooperative

The inaugural meeting of the Gritstone Publishing Cooperative was held today at the Record Cafe in Bradford.

Andrew Bibby (secretary) commented that it was a historic moment for authors, and a new beginning for the future of self-publishing.

All four founder members (Andrew Bibby, Colin Speakman, Chris Goddard and Chiz Dakin) agree that we look forward to working with each other in the marketing of all our members work.

We are not currently looking for new members while we get established, but are hoping to grow the cooperative once things progress.