School in­spec­tor will be at fes­ti­val

Rochdale Observer - - WHAT’S ON WITH ALL ACROSS THE ARTS -

CO­ME­DIAN, au­thor, poet, broad­caster, lec­turer, ed­u­ca­tional guru, speaker and born racon­teur, Ger­vase Phinn will be mak­ing a wel­come re­turn to the Lit­er­a­ture and Ideas Fes­ti­val.

Ger­vase will be talk­ing about his life and his writ­ing, while giv­ing an in­sight into his lat­est book, The School at the Top of the Dale.

This is the first novel in a new series and the lat­est from this best­selling au­thor. As with much of his writ­ing, this new book is a warm and hu­mor­ous por­trayal of life in a small York­shire vil­lage, full of colour­ful char­ac­ters and laugh-out-loud mo­ments.

Newly qual­i­fied teacher Tom Dwyer has been given his first post in Ris­ing­dale, a sleepy lit­tle vil­lage at the very top of the York­shire Dales.

Un­sure if he’ll ever fit into this close-knit com­mu­nity, Tom joins a mot­ley crew of staff at the vil­lage school.

With pupils who know more about sheep than they do arith­metic, Tom has his work cut out for him. Add to that an al­ter­ca­tion with the beau­ti­ful but stand-off­ish Miss Janette Fair­born and an ar­gu­ment with the lo­cal squire’s son, Tom’s first term proves a bap­tism of fire.

How­ever, Tom soon finds him­self grow­ing fond of Ris­ing­dale and with a class of lively and de­mand­ing pupils, an end of term show to put on and a jewellery thief at large, he will find him­self at the cen­tre of drama, re­vealed se­crets and plenty of love, laugh­ter and new friend­ships.

For 14 years, Ger­vase taught in a range of schools. He then acted as gen­eral ad­viser for lan­guage de­vel­op­ment in Rother­ham be­fore mov­ing on to north York­shire, where he spent 10 years as a school in­spec­tor – time that has pro­vided much source ma­te­rial for his books.

Ger­vase is per­haps best known for his warm­hearted rem­i­nis­cences about his life as a school in­spec­tor in the York­shire Dales and for his best­selling Lit­tle Vil­lage School series of nov­els.

Af­fec­tion­ately dubbed ‘the James Her­riot of schools,’ he also has writ­ten a wide range of aca­demic books, short sto­ries, chil­dren’s po­etry and fic­tion.

He has four grown up chil­dren and four grand­chil­dren and lives near Don­caster.

See Ger­vase on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 15, from 6pm to 7pm at Rochdale Parish Church, St Chad’s, Spar­row Hill, Rochdale.

Tick­ets cost £10. Form more in­for­ma­tion, visit rochdalelit­er­a­turefes­ti­val.

●●Ger­vase Phinn

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