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At Your Leisure: The Festive Gift That Keeps On Giving

Oct 27, 2022 | Leisure & Lifestyle

A story written more than twenty-five years ago has been given new life by a regional gifts retailer.

On New Year’s Eve 1994, author Christopher Goulding told a story to his friend’s children. That story was Tinseltoon – about the fairy from the clock on Newcastle’s Northern Goldsmiths building flying around and bringing the city’s statues to life.

Chris went on to read his story on BBC Radio Newcastle in December 1995, and again on Christmas Day in 1996 and 1997. A first edition of the story in book form, with illustrations by Chris Mabbott – also based in Newcastle – came out in 1998. Since then, the story of Tinseltoon has delighted thousands of children from Newcastle and beyond.
Online retailer North East Gifts first sold the children’s book in 2016, having bought them in bulk from Newcastle Library, who had published the original and its second edition in 2012.

Bill Card, director of North East Gifts said: “We took the last remaining copies that the library had and have sold hundreds over the last few years. As Christmas 2021 approached, we completely ran out.”

On learning that Newcastle Library and its publishing arm, Tyne Bridge Publishing, had no plans to reprint the book, Bill decided to contact the author direct.

He added: “Being a published author, Chris’s details were easy to get hold of, and I contacted him to propose that North East Gifts finance a reprint of Tinseltoon.

“Chris was open to the idea from the start and Tyne Bridge Publishing kindly relinquished rights and we started work on a slightly revamped edition for 2022.”

Chris said: “Tinseltoon will always have a very special place in my heart and I was thrilled when North East Gifts approached me to reprint the book.

“Everyone has stories that they remember from childhood and what could be better than a Christmas tale set in a local city?”