Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Word from Heather at Peakirk Books, Norfolk

I’ve ordered Minor and Major from Peakirk Books in Norfolk, U.K., and have been getting great customer service from Heather Lawrence. Here’s my order info:

ITEMS ORDERED-------------

Item.........MILLS, George:, Minor and Major
Item Number..14155

Peakirk Books
Cherry Tree Lodge
Guist Bottom Road, Stibbard
Nr Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 0AQ
United Kingdom
Phone: 01328 829944

It's in transit, but cooler than simply sending me the book itself, Heather graciously consented to research George Mills. Apparently Peakirk is still in the process of moving its location and a “reference book on Boys school story authors” was in the old place. After retrieving it, here’s what she found out, from an e-mail stamped Wednesday, March 10, 2010; 5:57 AM [bold face and italic are mine]:

Hello again

Ref George Mills - I retrieved my book and it told me the following (unfortunately more about the books than the man).

G. M. taught for many years at a prep. School after himself being a pupil at one - Parkfield, in Haywards Heath) - so unsurprisingly his 3 school stories have a similar setting. Meredith & co was 1 of the first prep school stories of its kind, lighthearted & whimsical, a forerunner to the Jennings books of Anthony Buckeridge, in so far as it emphasizes the comical side of school life. However the importance of games & work are not forgotten.

The real hero for many is Uggles, a bulldog owned by 1 of the boys whose unexpected appearances cause havoc. King willow was equally a high spirited. Minor & Major was set in a different prep school. - even more whimsical than the previous 2.

Sorry not to have more useful information. The school he went to is located in Sussex, if you want to try and locate it - it may have some information on old pupils.

Kind regards


Thanks, Heather, for going above and beyond! So, we know that Mills apparently wasn’t primarily a writer, but a veteran teacher at a prep school after having attended one in West Sussex [Parkfield, in Haywards Heath] as a boy. Above, left, you can see a photograph of Haywards Heath [circa 1950] describing that location as “St Wilfrid's Church and the Schools.”

Does anyone have any information on “the Schools”? I'd be very much obliged...

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