Bay writer Walmsley's work is given a new printing

TWO books by an author who wrote about his adventures in Robin Hood's Bay have been republished by the society that was formed to celebrate his writing, writes Carl Gavaghan.

Although Leo Walmsley died over 40 years ago, his novels, which focus on life among the fishing communities, are still widely read across the world.

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Walmsley's first novel, Three Fevers, was made into the very first film by movie-mogul J Arthur Rank in 1935, calle the Turn of The Tide.

The book was republished by the Walmsley Society in 2005.

And the film is commemorated by a plaque at the bottom of Robin Hood's Bay on the side of the Bay Hotel.

The new reprints, Foreigners and Angler's Moon, are the latest titles to be added to the society's portfolio and even include special editions in large print.

Graham Higson, of the Walmsley Society, said: "The books are still very readable and lots of people are searching for them on the internet. They appeal especially to people who live in the area, have been to Robin Hood's Bay on holiday or have had the stories read to them as a child."

Foreigners, set at the turn of the 20th Century, is the story of a boy's struggle to become accepted in the tight-knit fishing village where even his parents are constantly reminded they don't belong. Set against a backdrop of rugged coastline, the Robin Hood's Bay of Walmsley's boyhood has changed little which adds to the book's appeal.

Angler's Moon was Walmsley's last book, originally published in 1965, and covers recollections from his childhood in Robin Hood's Bay through to his later years living in Fowey in Cornwall, where his home was an ex-Army hut alongside a secluded creek. These are the previously untold stories from his semi-autobiographical novels.

Mr Higson said: "When you read his books he's such a good communicator – you're there in the story with him. It's so good to see these books back in print."

There was more to Walmsley than his books. He served in the Royal Air Corps and in later life became fascinated by the lobster fishermen in Robin Hood's Bay and would go on to invent the world's first collapsible lobster pot.

Many modern pots are still based around his original designs.

He could also be quite controversial.

"He was the first person in Robin Hood's Bay to get divorced,"said Mr Higson.

"He would get shunned, you have to remember that at that time divorce was extremely rare and very much taboo."

The society believes his appeal is set to grow even more with the publication of the two books. Both titles feature new cover designs and the standard editions each retail at 6.99.