Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Popping Up in Kendal

Yesterday I dashed over to Kendal for a couple of things.  One was a talk by author Davina Blake about her novel 'Past Encounters', the other a visit to Kendal's new "pop up shop", where the council let out an empty shop unit to aspiring traders on a cut price, week by week basis.  I had thought it might be fun for a group of local (and local-ish) authors to take over the place and use it to sell our books.  However, a quick look round yesterday suggests it may not best suit our needs, as it's very small and very, very basic.  For anyone who's already set up in the trading business, or who wants to own a shop and doesn't mind buying all the equipment first, it's fine.  For us, possibly less so, but it was interesting to go and see it.

The shop comes with a separate, lockable storage unit in a building across the yard at the back.  I also had a chance for a quick peek inside this and it was fascinating, because it apparently used to house either police cells, or the town lock up.  You can still see two tiny rooms, which look like toilet cubicles only without the plumbing, built into the thickness of the walls.  Kendal never fails to amaze me - everywhere you look there's some new and unexpected slice of history.

Davina Blake's talk, at Kendal Library, more than made up for any shortcomings of the pop up shop.  Her book, a World War 2 historical/romance, is set against two main backdrops - one, the filming of 'Brief Encounter' at Carnforth railway station, and two, the so-called Long March to Freedom of Allied POWs towards the end of the war.  The story of how Davina set about research both elements made for an entertaining hour, with lots of illustrations and a cup of tea and a cake thrown in!

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