Unfortunately, This Event Has Now Been Cancelled

Meet the Author and Enjoy The Book Talks

Monday 12th March at 11:00 am

at Severn Valley Country Park Visitor Centre,

Chapel Lane, Alveley, Bridgnorth, WV15 6NG

(To Book telephone: 01746 781192 or pay on the door)




Author and journalist Chris Arnot has offered two book talks as fund raisers for Alveley Mining Heritage group held at Severn Valley Country Park on Monday 12th March starting at 11:00 am and  priced at just £3 each or the two talks for £5. Come and enjoy these talks in the beautiful surroundings of the Severn Valley and take some refreshments along the way.

Chris Arnot was a regular Guardian contributor, writing on education, sport, local history and community issues. He also wrote for the Observer, the Independent and The Times, and still contributes to the Telegraph's Pint to Pint column. A former Features editor for the Evening Telegraph in Coventry, he applies a wealth of journalistic background to his research and engaging written style. Previous titles include Britain’ s Lost Cricket Grounds, Britain’ s Lost Breweries and Beers and Britain’ s Lost Mines.









 1. “Small Island by Little Train”

         A Narrow Gauge Adventure

     by Author Chris Arnot

        Talk Starts:- 11:00 am

Narrow-gauge lines were the oddballs of the British railway system.  They could get to parts of the UK that main-line trains couldn’t –  round sharp bends and up steep gradients in largely remote parts of this small, offshore island with its widely varying landscapes.  They were built on the whims of wealthy men, be they the owners of slate mines, sand quarries, paper mills or dairies.

Today they carry passengers rather than freight as part of the “leisure industry” .    One weekend author Chris Arnot found himself on the UK’ s only official desert, on England’ s south coast, watching flocks of exotic birds explode across an expansive skyline.    The following Sunday he was being shunted up Britain’ s second highest mountain as part of a five days of train-trails through Wales.   He also found himself tumbling down a steep railway embankment in the wilds of Scotland, en route to visit Santa Claus down a disused lead mine. And late one night, he groped his way across a treacherous track in pitch darkness in coastal Cumbria.  


* Small Island by Little Train: a narrow-gauge adventure, is published by the AA, at £16.99.






2.“Thanks Shanks”

     By Author Chris Arnot

     Talk Starts :- 12:15 pm


Inspirational Head Reveals Debt to Legendary Football Manager


The paths of Bill Shankly, Denis Law and David Kershaw crossed briefly at Huddersfield Town FC in the 1950s. Shankly and Law would go on to join football’s immortals. Kershaw would not.

Instead he became a major figure in education. He was the head teacher who transformed Coundon Court School in Coventry from chaos into an Ofsted league-topper. The number of “good and outstanding” primary schools doubled under his chairmanship of Coventry’s Education Committee. 


He is still employed by the Department of Education to intervene in failing schools elsewhere, aged 75. Yet at 14 he’d left school in Bradford semi-literate with no qualifications.  Shankly it was who felt obliged to tell him that he was never going to make it as a professional footballer. “But,” he added, I think you’d be a great teacher.” He then backed his judgement by paying for his protégé to make it into teachers’ training college.


Ghost-written by Earlsdon-based author and journalist Chris Arnot, this is the first time that Councillor David Kershaw, CBE, JP, Hon D Ed, FRSA, has paid tribute to the legendary manager who broke his heart before changing his life.


It will appeal to football fans, educationalists and anyone who enjoys a transformative tale of triumph against the odds.


*Thanks Shanks is published by Takahe at £10.95. ISBN: 9781908837097.