A Lancashire author who has spent years getting inside kids’ psyche through his day job – as a theme park designer – has published his first children’s book, and sparked his part in an unexpected quest to save a British icon.
His tale charts the story of a war hero. The hero is the WWII Spitfire and the story-telling style is of intimacy delivered wrapped in blankets and lit only by the flames of fire and candle. Nostalgia hangs in the air as the story begins and continues in percussive heart-beat rhythm because, it is the night before Christmas, and this time there’s a twist.Deciding to talk to the people best placed to help launch the book Hewitt approached The Spitfire Society: a band of aviation purists who’ve never got over their first love and are now the aircraft’s white knights.
Hewitt’s book signing at the Tribute to the Spitfire Festival in the gardens of Polesden Lacey House in Surrey was an unmitigated success and now he’s been asked to step inside a very elite inner circle to help ensure the future for the most charismatic fighter plane of all time.He said: “I am so in awe of these men, and they are mostly men, who have dedicated themselves not only to preserving these machines and keeping them in the skies, but to building future generations of enthusiasts. They want to make sure the glamour isn’t lost as we recede over time from those who knew the nimblest WWII war horse first hand. I am absolutely privileged to have been asked to be involved. There’s a much, much bigger story to be told about the plans they have to keep the Spitfire aloft, but now is not the time, nor am I the person to steal their thunder.”
What is certain is that there is a pressing need for funds and awareness building ,the ghost of Cameron Crowe will be making its contribution, albeit posthumously.
The book, available from Waterstones, Amazon and www.theghostofcameroncrowe.co.uk priced at £20.00 has been beautifully illustrated by Kayleigh Radcliffe with images that wander wildly between pipe and slipper comfort and Grimms Fairy tale edge. It is suitable for children aged from 5 to 105 but aimed at the 5-11 years market.
Born Chorley Hospital 1965, Went to The Bishop Rawstorne School, Croston, I live in Mawdesley, Lancashire
One of the other versions of me is a singer songwriter. I love the folk tradition for telling a tale within the song. Most of my songs are about real people and events. Towards the end of writing my album Dugdales Flowers I began to dabble with making up people and writing about them.
Then one day I wrote a song called The Ghost Of Cameron Crowe. I would calm an audience down and tell the tale, and they would oblige by stopping dancing and sitting quietly as I unfolded that tale. Then as the song began, they would remain seated and listen to my story set to music.
I think that this is reflected in the rhythm of my book, each page is an open poem. And the story a sonnet to the Spitfire.
Since writing The Ghost Of Cameron Crowe I have struck up a friendship with David Spencer Evans, Chairman of the Spitfire Society. An absolutely charming chap with a wonderful sense of fun. The Society aims to continue to build the Spitfire as a national and commonwealth icon, my role will be to advise in the communicating of this icon to young people. There are exciting plans afoot with regard to the Burmese Spitfires (but that is not for now, there will be announcements over the next few months).
The old man before you casts a shadow of a titan.
They love it. I have always made up bed time and car journey stories for them. It’s odd to think that the first time they heard dad tell the story of The Ghost Of Cameron Crowe was three years at the Ingleton Folk Festival when it was still just a song. And then just a few months ago my wife Sarah sat them down at bedtime and read them The Ghost Of Cameron Crowe the tale that became a song the song that became a story the story that became a book the book that will become a Hewitt clan Christmas tradition.
The book is intended for the 5 to11years market, however parents and grandparents alike have been drawn to reading The Ghost Of Cameron Crowe for themselves.