Pupils on trail of Mariah Mundi

TOURISM in Scarborough could be about to benefit from a touch of magic.

Best-selling fantasy author Graham Taylor gave more than 50 schoolchildren from five South Yorkshire schools a guided tour of the town, pointing out places and people which inspired his novels.

The tour is the first of 35 the author has planned for this year.

He said: “By the time we’re finished this year almost 2,000 schoolchildren will have visited Scarborough – many of them for the very first time.”

Mr Taylor took the young fans on a guided tour of the town, visiting locations that inspired his best-selling Mariah Mundi books.

“We start at the Grand Hotel, which is the Regent Hotel where Mariah, the hero gets his first job in the books and then go down Bar Street explaining its history, and down to the Market Vaults and then end up at the Golden Grid, which is the Golden Kipper in the novels, for a fish and chip lunch,” he said.

The trip is certainly proving popular with youngsters. The Scarborough awaydays grew out of the author’s national school visits, which ignited the imagination of the pupils.

Joan Townend, marketing and events officer at Dearne High School in Barnsley, said: “The children have just loved it, they’ve been really enthusiastic. They’ve got a better understanding of the books now they’ve seen the places they’re set in.”

And Mr Taylor’s example has led to the pupils putting pen to paper, with Dearne High students publishing their first book, Out of the Shadows.

Mrs Townend said: “It’s an anthology of fantasy stories and very much inspired by Graham’s books the Doppleganger Chronicles. We’re currently liaising with him on our second book.”