Article and Photographs: Jonathan White
Yvette Fielding launched her debut ghost story book – ‘The House in the Woods’ – at a sold-out event at Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge on the evening of Tuesday 28th September 2021.
Yvette was interviewed by author Katherine Woodfine about her new book which is the first of a new series for readers aged 11 years and over. Yvette also read a spookily scary passage from her book to the forty people present at the event. There was also an opportunity for attendees to ask Yvette questions about her career.
Yvette was the youngest ever Blue Peter presenter at age 18, and she went on to host and produce Ghosthunting With… and Most Haunted to become television’s ‘first lady’ of the paranormal.
In ‘The House in the Woods’, when Clovis, Eve and Tom decide to play with a ouija board in an old abandoned house on Halloween, none of them foresees the horrors they’re about to unleash. What starts out as a bit of fun, soon transcends into something far more terrifying when a distressed and determined spirit follows them home. Before long the friends are caught up in a series of events beyond their wildest imaginings and their journey to becoming ghost hunters begins.
Budding reporters, Year 11 pupils Harriett and Jessie from St Thomas More Catholic School in Crewe, interviewed Yvette before the event for the first issue of their school’s glossy new magazine, ‘The Catchment’.
The ticket price included a signed copy of Yvette’s book and an extensive range of snacks. Two people in the audience were also lucky to win tickets, kindly donated by Yvette, to a future ‘Most Haunted’ event.
Yvette Fielding said: “In this book I have drawn upon some of my own experiences when dealing with the paranormal. I kept remembering what it was like when I ventured into my first ever haunted house. It was Michelham Priory in East Sussex. I’ll never forget the fear, terror and utter adrenalin-fuelled excitement. I spent the night shaking, and doing a lot of screaming, but once it was all over and dawn arrived I just couldn’t wait to do it all over again. I had been bitten by the ghost-hunter bug.”
Denise Lawson, Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge, said: “It was great to have another sell out author event. A huge thank you to Andersen Press who facilitated the event and Yvette for launching her book with us. Once again thank you to our local community who supported the event and those from afar. People travelled from as far afield as Lancaster and Suffolk. We look forward to hosting Yvette again for the launch of her second book of the trilogy.”
Future events at Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge include:
- Friday 15th October – Leena Dhingra, actress and author of ‘Exhumation’. In the summer of 2018, Leena Dhingra went to Cardiff to play the role of Nani Umbreen, an elderly Pakistani woman, in an episode of Doctor Who called ‘The Demons of the Punjab’. Nani Umbreen has a secret that she does not want to talk about – the Partition of India. The Partition is also a part of Leena’s story: born in India, Leena and her family were forced to abandon their home in Lahore and flee to France in 1947, when their city was placed in Pakistan. Another family secret is the execution of Madan Lal Dhingra, Leena’s great-uncle, who was hanged in London in 1909 for the assassination of British army officer William Hutt Curzon Wyllie. Viewed as a murderer in England, in India Madan Lal is hailed as a great patriot and freedom fighter. In 1976, his body was exhumed and returned to India where he received a hero’s welcome. Part history, part memoir Exhumation is a powerful and engaging story of family secrets that throws light on the dark legacy of colonialism. Born in India, Leena Dhingra and her family were forced into exile in France in 1947 after the Partition placed their home city of Lahore in Pakistan. An author and actor, her TV credits include The Bill, Casualty, Prime Suspect and Dr Who. She has also starred in EastEnders and Coronation Street, and most recently appeared in the Channel 4 drama series Ackley Bridge. A Londoner for many years, Leena now lives in Cheshire. Tickets are £12.99 and include a copy of ‘Exhumation’ and delicious snacks. Cash Bar available.
- Friday 22nd October – Rev. Malcolm Lorimer returns to launch his novel ‘Murder on the Ribblehead Viaduct’. Murder on the Ribblehead Viaduct is set in the 1970’s when the line was double-track over the viaduct. Seven young friends embark on a special rail journey on the Settle & Carlisle Railway. One of them falls out of the carriage over the viaduct and is killed. It is thought to be an accident or suicide. Ten years later a notebook written in code is discovered and it appears there may be reasons why murder is suspected. Rev. Malcolm Lorimer was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire and has completed 40 years in the Methodist Ministry. He has served in Stockton-on-Tees, Heald Green, Sale, Moss Side, Manchester and Nantwich. He has been chaplain at Lancashire CCC and recently been made a Vice-President of the club. He has written and published books on Lancashire cricket and also two other crime novels. Tickets are £10 which includes a copy of Malcolm’s book and delicious snacks. Cash Bar available.
Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge opening times: Monday to Saturday (9am to 4:30pm, last food orders at 4pm), Sunday (10am to 4pm, last food orders 3:30pm).
The Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge’s premises were built soon after the Fire of Nantwich (1583) and are an excellent example of the architecture from this period. Seen from the front there is a distinct ‘sinking’ to the centre of the building. This is also prominent internally on the 2nd floor. The cause is supposedly due to half the building having been constructed (1584) over Castle Street’s cobblestones and the other half over the then filled, dry moat of the castle. (Mini piles and a steel frame have been utilised to stabilise the building).
There are four main features of interest within the Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge:
-The front right-hand room has floor to ceiling oak panelling. The panelling was originally throughout the whole of the first floor. The floorboards are also thought to date back to 1583.
-Above the serving area is a Tudor ‘Vine’ plaster ceiling that has been carefully restored and copied. These would have been house warming gifts from local merchants.
-The front left hand room’s right-hand wall has a wonderful example of ‘builders score marks’. These were used to line up the appropriate sections of timber. The timber is scored/etched throughout to allow plaster to successfully adhere to the wood.
-The fourth area is up the narrow staircase leading from the coffee lounge – “Watch your head!” This area has hardly changed in 420 years and would have housed the servants and certain small livestock (during winter months). There are 3 bedrooms on the right-hand side and a communal area to the front.