Monday, 31 August 2009

Top quality

The name John K Walton brings joy to all. Now a professor of social history at Leeds Metropolitan University, he has published some marvellous books about northern institutions. My two favourites are Blackpool and Fish & chips and the British working class, especially the latter. It is packed with wonderful regional detail, like the scraps, bits (or in Dewsbury, shoddy) which top off fish & chips even more finely than mushy peas do. The fish and chips book, published by Leicester University Press in 1992, is a rival for Phil Sidey's Hello, Mrs Butterfield (see below) in my most-thumbed category. Blackpool is published by Edinburgh University Press, 1998. John's Riding on Rainbows is another must, a history of Blackpool's Pleasure Beach and its rusty and somewhat peeling-painty, but perennial, place in British popular culture, Skelter Publishing 2007.Check out anything else by John; to inspire you to do so, I append a picture of his rosy and hirsute northern face.

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