THERE was a sell-out audience for former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion’s reading at the Royal Hotel, Scarborough.
More than 160 people yesterday listened to extracts from his latest work Silver: Return to Treasure Island.
The event was a fundraiser for the organisers of the afternoon, Scarborough Museums Trust.
“We were really thrilled to get him to come here,” said trust press and PR consultant Jeannie Swales. “His book Silver has really caught the imagination and we are delighted he will be sharing extracts from it with a Scarborough audience,” she said.
Sir Andrew was last in the town in 1976 – when he was a lecturer at Hull University – where he enjoyed hanging out with friends in St Nicholas Gardens.
“I have a vivid memory of being with friends and eating fish and chips in the gardens near the Town Hall and looking out into the bay,” he said.
“I can’t say I would have been able to immediately take you there but when I looked out from the balcony of the Royal I was magically transported back there,” said Sir Andrew, who was surprised to learn the Hispaniola – the ship in Treasure Island and a name of the pub in Silver – sails in South Bay.
The writer talked about the idea behind Silver – a sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
He read from the book – which sees the son of Jim Hawkins and the daughter of pirate Long John Silver – the heroes of the original – return to the island in search of buried silver. He also answered questions about prose, poetry and his 10 years as poet laureate. “I was pleased to do it – and I was pleased when it ended,” he said.
Sir Andrew was also the guest of honour at a private viewing of Fears, Foes and Faeries – which has a strong sea-faring theme – the latest exhibition at Scarborough Art Gallery and Museum.
It opens to the public on Friday.