The Launch of ‘Walk Wakefield 1460’

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in News

The long awaited launch of Helen Cox’s follow-up to The Battle of Wakefield Revisited took place on 19 March 2011 at Waterstone’s Booksellers in Wakefield.

In Walk Wakefield 1460 Helen is our guide to all the sites connected with the battle.   The book contains a brief history, directions to the sites (including maps), and up-to-date information on opening times and admission charges for visiting.

Helen Cox and her husband Mick Doggett at the launch of Walk Wakefield 1460 (photograph © Mike Wilson)

Helen reported that there was a good turnout for the launch and was particuly happy to see some who had travelled long distance to attend, like a Battlefield Society member from Preston in Lancashire, and a Richard III Society member from Beverley in East Yorkshire.  Some people bought copies of both Wakefield Revisited and Walk Wakefield.

This was followed by the first meeting of the recently formed ‘Friends of Sandal Castle’ group on Saturday, 26 March 2011, which was a tremendous success.  This event had been advertised in the local paper with the result that the visitor centre was crammed so full that they ran out of chairs, and it was standing room only at the back.  Four new ‘friends’ of the group signed up on the spot, while many more people took application forms away, and altogether the event raised over £85 for the group’s future work. Helen and popular author Keith Souter had great fun speaking on ‘Sandal Castle in Fact and Fiction’.

Councillor David Hopkins of the ‘Friends’ wrote this little report:

More than sixty people attended the Friends of Sandal Castle Fact or Fiction afternoon in the visitor’s centre on Saturday March 26th.

Before introducing the contributors, Vice Chair Mary Wood Invited people to sign up as a Friend; and come forward with ideas for events to promote the Castle. Novelist Keith Souter read his prize winning short story “A Villain’s Tale” and then read spirited extracts from two of his novels centred on the castle, other local areas, historical characters including Robin Hood and, as expected, Richard Duke of York.  Following refreshments, Archaeologist turned Historian Helen Cox captivated the audience with her detailed knowledge and revelation that, given the sketchy and mostly later written account of the events surrounding the castle’s history, including the 1460 Battle of Wakefield, Fact and Fiction are difficult if not impossible to determine. The afternoon ended with Monica Graham thanking the speakers and those attending for making the event such a success.

Helen Cox and Dr Keith Souter speaking on ‘Sandal Castle in Fact and Fiction’

The friends group can be contacted on info@sandalcastle.org.uk and further info can be found on the Sandal Community website www.sandal.org.uk .

Both of Helen’s books are being stocked in the visitor centre or – for those of us a bit further afield – can be ordered from YPD Books.  I’m impatiently waiting for my copy to arrive!

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