For some months, now, I’ve been working on a book that takes my album ‘Tears Of Morning’ as its starting point. Tears Of Morning is a collection of songs and settings (plus a couple of instrumentals) that have a sometimes tenuous connection with Shropshire. The book will include most of the music and all the lyrics, but with a shedload of additional historical, literary and anecdotal material. It will also include some songs and verse that didn’t make it to the album.
That’s still in progress, and should be available fairly soon, in fact. However, I got (pleasantly) sidetracked.
Originally, I planned to include some drawings by my late uncle, Eddie Parker, who, although he spent his retirement years in Australia, still had a keen interest in Shropshire history and architecture. The drawings were to be published with appropriate commentary and, where possible, contemporary-ish photographs of the same buildings. However, it soon became obvious that I had way too much material to be shoehorned into an appendix, and it deserved a book of its own.
That book is the small but perfectly-formed (I wish!) The Vanes Of Shrewsbury (a title taken from A.E. Housman (A Shropshire Lad XXVIII ‘The Welsh Marches’).
High the vanes of Shrewsbury gleam
Islanded in Severn stream
While the drawings all show buildings in Shrewsbury, the subject matter extends much further: for example, to the collapse of Old St. Chad’s in the 18th Century, the legend of the Dun Cow, how the Dana walkway is connected to the book Two Years Before The Mast as well as my time working with the security firm ESET, Sir John Falstaff and the Battle of Shrewsbury, and the evolution of the Fire Service. It also includes a preview of the book I’m working on now!
It’s available from Amazon in three versions in order of ascending cost:
- An eBook with coloured photographs
- A paperback with black and white photographs
- An edition of the paperback with coloured photographs.