Search

Novelist Bob Boyton, comic John Hegley and poet Dzifa Benson’s gig for Camden Cold Weather Shelter

12:00 29 January 2013

Novelist  Bob Boyton

Novelist Bob Boyton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

He’s a “lost preacher”, a “grammar school boy gone bad” and “the worst labourer Camden has ever seen”.

He’s a “lost preacher”, a “grammar school boy gone bad” and “the worst labourer Camden has ever seen”.

Bob Boyton’s story is one of twists and turns, taking him from an upbringing in Southend to trade unions in Thatcher’s Britain to comedy, writing and a friendship with comedian and political activist Mark Thomas.

The common thread in this gruff comedian’s life has been his dedication to politics and homeless campaigning - demonstrated in the charity event he will host on January 31 called A Bookish Evening.

When Mr Boyton came to London in the 1970s, he was seeking “streets paved with adventure”.

Instead he found a city torn apart by union struggles, homelessness and anger.

Now, with fellow writers, poet Laureate John Hegley and performance poet Dzifa Benson, the 62-year-old author, who lives in College Place, Camden Town, will raise money and awareness for the Camden Cold Weather Shelter.

The charity provides shelter, food and clothing for more than 100 homeless people over the winter and Mr Boyton is passionate about their work.

He said: “In a recession it’s the most vulnerable people who are hit first and they’re the people who end up on the street.

“Public services are being slashed and there’s no safety net any more.

“The Cold Weather Shelter is the first rung of people climbing back to safety.”

Mr Boyton doesn’t mince his words.

As a writer who cut his teeth squatting in Camden, amid vociferous union anger, he has powerful convictions and a desire to change things.

His own book, Bomber Jackson Does Some, was released last year, and at the event the 62-year-old author will read extracts from the story, which follows a homeless ex-boxer in search of redemption.

Mr Boyton calls himself a “lazy writer” but his deadpan self-deprecation hides a novel full of the painful struggles facing those in Camden’s Cold Weather Shelter.

“I wanted to work with a character and talk about the obstacles facing him as he tries to lead a life away from drink, homelessness and prison,” said Mr Boyton.

He is most enthusiastic about watching his fellow authors, including celebrated comic John Hegley, with whom he shared the London comedy circuit in the 1980s.

Together, the group promise to bring some of Mr Boyton’s rebel rousing attitude to Kentish Town Library.

* A Bookish Evening will be held at the library in Kentish Town Road, Kentish Town at 7.15pm on January 31. Entrance is free with a suggested £5 donation.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

06:00
GCSE results are out tomorrow

Teenagers across the country face one of the most nerve-racking days of their young lives today with the publication of GCSE results.

Yesterday, 16:11
Mansfield Bowling club is run-down but beloved by residents in Dartmouth Park. Photo: Polly Hancock

Residents are urged to opposed an appeal from developers to build a “luxury” housing developent on the 100-year-old Mansfield Bowling Club, after their plans were rejected

Tue, 17:03
Hungry: Liam Gallagher (Picture: Adam Butler/PA)

Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher has revealed he once pelted former Hampstead neighbour Jamie Oliver’s windows with stones and demanded a bacon roll.

Tue, 12:06
Kemi Adeyoola

A “cold-blooded killer” who murdered an elderly Golders Green woman should not be freed anytime soon, a top judge has ruled.

Tue, 11:14
The dog was photographed attacking a swan    picture: Ron Vester

Photographer Ron Vester captures the dramatic moment when a female swan fights off a dog on Hampstead No 2 pond and amazingly escapes with no physical injuries

Tue, 11:13
Councillor Hayward with members of the LaSWAP sixth form consortium

Camden council leader Sarah Hayward was full of praise for A-level students across the borough following the publication of their results last week.

Mon, 18:35
Homes for Haringey has come under fire after the letting agency it set up and funded rented out just two homes in ten months

Haringey Council has come under fire after it was revealed a letting agency it set up and funded at a cost of over £400,000 has rented out just two homes in the last ten months.

Mon, 17:49
Almost half of Camden households are set to receive fortnightly waste collections from next April

Camden Council is set to press ahead with introducing fortnightly waste collections for around half the borough after a rebellion against a new £200 million contract with existing provider Veolia was derailed.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now