A North East ecommerce company has published its first book, bringing brought back a modern-classic Geordie fairytale.
North East Gifts, based in Prudhoe, has released a new version of a book that dates back to the mid 1990s.
Tinseltoon – the work of Newcastle author Christopher Goulding – was first conceived in 1994, when he told the story to a friend’s children, Becky, Sarah, Michael and Paul, on New Year’s Eve.
Chris went on to read the story on BBC Radio Newcastle in December 1995, and again on Christmas Day in 1996 and 1997.
A first edition of the story in book form, with illustrations by Chris Mabbott – also based in Newcastle – came out in 1998.
Since then, the story of Tinseltoon has delighted thousands of children from Newcastle and beyond.
Set in the city centre of Newcastle on ‘one enchanted evening’, Grainger the cat tells the tale of what he saw as he roamed the city that night. It was Christmas Eve, and for just five minutes before midnight, the fairy who sits atop the clock of the famous Northern Goldsmiths building, comes to life. She flies around the town sprinkling fairy dust on all the other statues, bringing them to life, turning Newcastle into ‘Tinseltoon’.
North East Gifts first sold the children’s book in 2016 having bought them in bulk from Newcastle Library, who had published the original and its second edition in 2012.
Bill Card, director of North East Gifts said: “We took the last remaining copies that the library had and have sold hundreds over the last few years.
“As Christmas 2021 approached, we completely ran out.”
On learning that Newcastle Library and its publishing arm, Tyne Bridge Publishing, had no plans to reprint the book, Bill decided to contact the author direct.
He added: “Being a published author, Chris’s details were easy to get hold of, and I contacted him to propose that North East Gifts finance a reprint of Tinseltoon.
“Chris was open to the idea from the start and Tyne Bridge Publishing kindly relinquished rights and we started work on a slightly revamped edition for 2022.”
Now, North East Gifts is keen to see the book back on the shelves of local shops.
Bill added: “As a retailer, this is really the first time we’ve produced a product that we ourselves can offer to other retailer in bulk, however we really want to bring the book back to as many people as possible, as we’re always hearing from customers how much their children and grandchildren love the story.
Author Chris Goulding said: “Tinseltoon will always have a very special place in my heart and I was thrilled when North East Gifts approached me to reprint the book.
“Everyone has stories that they remember from childhood and what could be better than a Christmas tale set in a local city?
“Kids around the North East will love this story.”