Exploring Arundel's dark side...

Arundel authors Martin Alderton and Karen Tunnicliffe explore the town’s dark side with their latest publication.

Martin and Karen
Martin and Karen

Arundel The Dark Side has been self-published at £5 and is available from Arundel bookshops Kim’s and The Book Ferret, McColl’s newsagents and The Post Office in Arundel.

It is also available online at eBay and by contacting the authors for free home delivery in Arun and Chichester areas.

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Martin explains: “We self-published Arundel: A Postman’s View the year before, at the start of Covid. We do historic tours in the town and have done for seven years.

“Suddenly we couldn’t so we used some time to put what we do, in more detail, into a book.

“A tourist type book but also for locals too,” Martin explains.

“ We got ten guests to write pages about specific areas of the town, the local bobby from the 60s, the fire chief from the same era and others.

“That’s what spawned the idea of compiling The Dark Side, the many ghost stories, the murders, smuggling, highwaymen and strange stories around the town.

“We knew there was a gap and a good opportunity for a well-priced book but nowhere to sell them from.

“We sold from where we could, mostly Facebook groups and selling pages.

“In 12 months we had sold over 800 books, many with free home delivery.

“As a postman I’m good at that!

“Being a tour guide and growing up in Arundel is inspiration by itself, but once I had the idea and, particularly The Dark Side, it was talking to people. Drawing on their stories, their memories, bringing them together, has been an amazing experience.

“We have learned so much and realised much of the personal stories and history from towns like Arundel will be lost forever if they are not listened to, written down and even published, as we have.

“Postman’s View was a stand-alone one off until we realised just what we had created.

“The response and sales showed us an appetite for local history and facts.

“So the Dark Side was a natural follow up, with all the info and stories we had.

“And so we move on and a third book is being built. More a comic-book style, it’s aimed at kind of eight to 14-year-olds and it’s a timeline book, covering the Romans right through to the Victorians, with a time bar running through the book, a couple of pages from all the main eras including Normans, Vikings Tudors etc. But it’s aimed at the young ones. It has information about the children in each period, how they dressed, worked, played.”

The reason behind the writing was “Covid, plain and simple, not being able to take the thousand or so a year guests around the town, not being able to do presentations at groups, clubs etc, not being able to go to shows and exhibitions to promote what we do and Arundel as a whole.”