Cars brought to life in story books

PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 June 2016

Geoffrey Pearce and Elizabeth Shackleton Collinge.

Geoffrey Pearce and Elizabeth Shackleton Collinge.

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A North Somerset man has been writing story books for children based on the adventures of two classic cars that are more than 70 years old.

Geoffrey Pearce, aged 77, of The Chestnuts, Winscombe owns the vintage vehicles – a 1939 Sunbeam Talbot nicknamed Harriet and a 1934 Hillman Minx saloon called Gladys – and has been penning a series of stories based on memorable journeys.

Mr Pearce, a member of the Savoyards singing group, teamed up with illustrator and fellow singer Elizabeth Shackleton Collinge, aged 64, of Spring Hill, Weston to produce the books.

Mr Pearce spoke of his inspiration behind the books. He said: “It was the existence of the cars and their experiences travelling, and the fact that my family were read Gumdrop, about the Austin 12, or Thomas the Tank Engine at bedtime. These books are written in a similar fashion.”

Four books have been released so far, titled Introducing Harriet, Harriet Goes To Yorkshire, Harriet And Gladys and Harriet And The Wedding.

Why Harriet and Gladys? Mr Pearce explained: “The names are from the registration. JK are the prefixes of the Sunbeam Talbot, which made me think of JK Rowling and Harry Potter, so that’s where the Harriet came from.

“The other one is DG, and I couldn’t think of anything so I reversed it and made it Gladys.”

Mr Pearce now has plans to produce six further books in the series.

He said: “The stories are written, but it’s a question of getting them split up into pages and illustrated, and eventually printed.”

The author’s favourite book in the series is Harriet And Gladys, the third story to be released. He added: “I like the wedding one, and I’ve given all the brides in the family one.”

The books are available from Caxton Library, in Woodborough Road, Winscombe.

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