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  1. Hi!
    I have just read the ‘Death on the Oyster Bay Trail’ and found it interesting. As I expect you have found, if you write a novel set in a well-known and much loved area like the North Kent coast you risk getting emails from grumpy, know-all old gits like me telling you where you have made mistakes! As you have made several errors in your description of the area I thought I would just focus on the more damaging ones.
    Pg. 8 Long Rock is not, and has never been, ‘a boggy marshland resulting from the residual run-off from the local sewage works’. It is an ancient headland, formed by the natural deposition of material from the tidal flow and deserves to have its wildlife protected. Many of us prefer the direct route across the ‘long grass’. Try it at the weekend!
    Pg. 131 The now thankfully preserved, signed and walkable ancient routes did not get their name through ‘advertising agency’s tourist marketing’. They are part of the attempt by KCC to preserve these paths in good shape. Before them the county was covered by hundreds of public footpaths, each of which had a number. They were not all walkable, most were overgrown, and to keep them all going was unaffordable. Many of them went nowhere of interest, so the better ones were given finance and support. Their names all have meaning and history [except the Oyster Bay Trail as this is fairly new and is a cycle route – not a footpath]. For example, the Saxon Shore Way follows the lines of where the Kentish coast was in Saxon times. So, it does not go around Thanet, but cuts acrosss along where the old Wantsum Channel used to be. You might be interested in a book called ‘The Saxon Shore’ published in 1924 by Bodley Head.
    Pg. 135 If Finn was ‘indifferent to the lure of the Shipwright’s Arms’ he would have had to have walked through Faversham first. Look it up on a map!
    Pg. 153 Pity you couldn’t mention the ‘Principality of Sealand’ on Rough’s Tower, although you missed out the naval maunsell forts all together.
    Pg. 185 Herne Bay has a shingle beach.
    Pg. 172 Is ‘troglodyte’ the right word?

    I could go on, but worry not, our famous local authors – Julie Wassmer, Katie May, Val Hennessy and Alison Dilnutt have all made some wonderful booboos when it came to describing Whitstable. Alison has Belgium where the coast of Essex is!

    Best wishes,

    Bob Simmonds


    • Dear Bob, many thanks for reading Death on the Oyster Bay Trail and your comments – it is always good to get a bit of local knowledge! Have you ever gone out to visit the Maunsell Forts? It is something I would love to do one day. So far, I have never coincided with good weather conditions for the trip. Happy reading! The Mudskipper.


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