Introduced by Emma Balch, in memory of Barty Brotherton-Ratcliffe
This is the first of a series of posts in memory of Barty Brotherton-Ratcliffe, a dear friend in Hay who died in June 2016. There are many reasons why I was so fond of Barty and why we forged such a good friendship in the relatively short time that I have lived in Hay. I will talk about those in other posts, but I had to start things off with a Tintin book.
Anyone who visits Barty’s wonderful stationery shop in Hay cannot miss how much of a Tintin fan he was! Barty’s enthusiastic love of all things Tintin was also highly infectious and there are now loads of kids around Hay who are fans of Hergé’s books and characters. Not least my two boys, Seth and Bo.
Barty with ‘snowy’ that he loaned to Bo for World Book Day earlier this year (see photo below)
Last month, on the first Saturday of the Hay Festival I had a bookstall in the Cheesemarket in the centre of Hay. Seth and Bo put in their hours helping me sell books, but mid-afternoon they asked if they could run down to Bartrums and read Tintin books.
Of course Barty happily obliged and they sat cross-legged engrossed in Tintin for almost two hours! Barty always chatted to them about the plots and the characters, and which book in the series they could read next, and helped them rummage through the boxes of figurines and badges to find the one they had saved up to buy.
Dear Barty. He always had time for people, whoever they were, even two small boys with just one pound coin in their pocket, on a busy festival day in the shop.
Bo as Tintin, with Snowy, for World Book Day
In memory of Barty, who introduced Seth and Bo to the wonders of Tintin and was always attentive to them, I bought them each a special Tintin book from Addyman Books, just up the road from Bartrums. Seth – as the eldest – gets the first (UK) edition, but Bo – who is fascinated with life under the sea – has this early Red Rackham’s Treasure.
I hope they will treasure the books, and grow up to be kind and generous of spirit like Barty.
Just before I bought the books, Anne at Addyman Books in Hay put together one of her ‘Bookseller’s Breakfasts’, complete with Tintin figurines from Bartrums:
This Bookseller’s Breakfast is morphing into brunch or lunch. I have chosen a Tintin theme because today to remember Barty of Bartrums. This phenomenal stationery shop introduced a whole new generation to Tintin in our town of Hay. Of course we have a Belgian bun and croissants to go with our strong black coffee. We have just had in a large collection of Asterix and Tintin books. Most of them are just the normal paperbacks, lovely to read, but we do have some early and first editions from the 1960s They are lovely to handle and quite scarce.