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

Claire Meir part of a charity raising money for books for Syrian refugees in Turkey. Photo: Nigel Sutton

A mother was inspired to fundraise to buy books for Syrian children in Turkey after imagining what it would be like if her son was fleeing devastating civil war.

The primary school pupils enjoyed a range of workshops. Photo: Jacqui Sinnatt

Camden and Islington primary school children enjoyed a taste of creativity away from the classroom at the Primary Careers Fair held at the British Library.

Yesterday, 17:03
Ray Davies is returning to Hornsey Town Hall

Ray Davies performed one of his first gigs at the iconic venue when he was still at school, before going on to form The Kinks

Yesterday, 15:37
The coffin arrives for the funeral of David Gest arriving at Golders Green Crematorium in north London.

Mourners have remembered music producer and TV star David Gest at a funeral service in Golders Green.

Yesterday, 13:34
PC Shane Moulds has been dismissed for misconduct

A Camden police constable has been sacked for punching a member of the public he was arresting and hurling abuse at him, calling him a ‘posh twat’

Yesterday, 13:33
Big Green Bookshop is raising money for Haringey schools.  Joint owner Tim West  pictured. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Two book owners was sickened when an opportunistic thief stole £600, but their customers were “unbelievably” supportive and in a “tsunami of loveliness” helped them raise more than nine times the amount in donations.

Yesterday, 12:39
Found dead: David Gest (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)

The funeral of David Gest is set to take place this afternoon at Golders Green crematorium, according to reports.

Thu, 15:57
The case will be heard at the Court of Appeal

A man convicted of murdering a reclusive author in his Hampstead home will have his case heard at the Court of Appeal because of alleged police failings.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

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

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe