GOOD OLD ROTHERHAM ROOTS

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We have just had the most wonderful time visiting three schools in and around my home town of Rotherham.

A Molly fan with Molly's new updated hairstyle

Dronfield Stonelow are old friends and it was brilliant to be back with them again. We did our updated full-blown Mokee Joe presentation in front of all of KS2 and it went down a storm. In the afternoon I ran a workshop with Year 5 and based it on my popular Ten O’ Clock Caller short story collection – most of the pupils had already read it from way back when they were in Year 3! The day passed all too quickly and before we knew it we were back the next day to sign a whole load of books. Since our visit, we have received a great letter from Mrs Collins and her Year 6 group saying how they were taken up with the whole Murray family involvement in what we do. It was a moving letter and I’ve already written a reply thanking them for taking the trouble. Great fans! We will keep on coming back to this ‘brill’ school! By the way – one of the lovely girl fans at this school had the same hairstyle as I’m thinking of giving Molly in the next Mokee Joe book. She agreed to have her pic taken with me…hope you like it!

St Bedes RC Primary up Kimberworth way was our next port of call. This school really is close to our roots. I spent most of my childhood at Kimberworth and my dad went to St Bedes when it was an older and smaller school at Masbrough. Again, we performed our Mokee Joe presentation in front of a big KS2 audience, and again, it went down a storm. We really couldn’t believe how long the book-signing went on for a few days later. All of the pupils without exception were so friendly and polite to us. The short-story workshop  was carried out with another great set of pupils…they were so taken up with the seriously spooky Ten O’ Clock Caller story. Thank to all at St. Bedes…we will be back and not leave it quite as long this time.

Final visit was to Anston Park Juniors and it was great to link up with our friend, Mrs Bartholomew, who has just taken over as Head there. The hall was packed with fans – around 300 +, and Mr French showed spirit by wearing an ‘electric blue’  jumper…I call it Mokee Joe blue! This audience proved they had the best sense of humour ever and I had to cut down on the jokes in the end to make sure I completed the presentation. Big appreciative audiences mean big book-signings! The next day we ran out of time and we never got to the three Year 3 classes. Never mind – we returned the next morning on the last day before half-term and made sure they all got their books to take away with them. It’s a good job we did return as the Year 3’s were queuing around the hall and buzzing with enthusiasm.

Oh well…that’s that and what a way to finish before the half-term break. Have a lovely break everybody and don’t forget to put the clocks back! If you do forget, you might just get a visit from the Ten O’ Clock Caller at eleven o’ clock!

PJM

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