Helping to put a historic route on the map
Research undertaken for my screenplay Trafalgar has left me with a deep knowledge and enthusiasm for the story of Lord Nelson, the Georgian Navy, The Napoleonic Wars and a myriad of related topics. Consequently I was delighted to be invited to act as a consultant to The Trafalgar Way
The Trafalgar Way is the route taken by the messenger after The Battle of Trafalgar. Thanks to the 1805 Club this has become a historic route and following an initiative connected with the Trafalgar bicentenary celebrations in 2005 the route is now permanently memorialised with plaques at coaching inns where the messenger changed horses.
My first task has been to create a short story contest and this was launched in October 2018. I was also commissioned to write short story about Lieutenant Lapenotiere's delivery of the momentous news of Trafalgar. The story can be downloaded or read on the website at thetrafalgarway.org
Prizes for the best short story in the three age categories include cash, publication in a book, presentation on HMS Victory and, in the youngest category, a visit to the pupil's school by a replica post chaise express coach pulled by two horses with a postillion rider - of the type used by Lieutenant Lapenotiere to deliver his message.
As part of the launch I have been interviewed on BBC Spotlight, BBC Radio Cornwall and BBC Radio Devon.
Television report by BBC Spotlight at Nanstallon school near Bodmin in Cornwall:
BBC Radio Cornwall also mentioned the competition throughout the day as a news item and ran this longer report in the early evening which included an interview with the headteacher Sarah Hawker and some of the children:
I have also delivered talks to many hundreds of pupils at schools in districts through which The Trafalgar Way passes, including Cornwall, Dorset, Devon, Surrey and Feltham and Hounslow in West London