Monday, 24 November 2014

Traveller of a Lesser Road with Mike Yates

Mike Yates, author of a book about Ralph Bates gave an excellent evening of entertainment type of performance in the Central Library last Thursday. The audience were helped along with a handout giving a synopsis of his life, ending with the fact that he died at 101 and his ashes are scattered on Naxos, a Greek island where he spent much of his time when he wasn't in New York.

Mike told the story of Ralph Bates, the Swindon born writer, with help from a couple of the Phoenix players doing some of the reading, and Ray Ward helping out by putting on 6 excellently chosen pieces of music, making me realise how good Mike is also at choosing appropriate music. It was a great evening and I couldn't help but wonder to Colin Curtis, event's organiser at the library, if we could persuade Mike to put on a musical evening when he could tell us about his folklore and folksongs.
On the way out, I looked at Mike's collection of Ralph Bates books, some of the covers were lovely:
Above the books in the cabinet, and below a few close ups of the covers:

 The Olive Field is the most well known and although like the others, out of print, it is available second hand.
The paperback versions of the books are not expensive, but the hardback versions much more expensive.
There is a great website which expands on the Ralph Bates story at
It's very impressive.

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