Originally posted on Spitalfields Life.
‘Islington Council is unveiling a plaque for my friend & mentor, the novelist Nina Bawden, at midday on Friday 11th September, at her former home, 22 Noel Rd, N1, and you are very welcome to attend.
In recent years, a recurring highlight in my existence had been the opportunity to walk from Spitalfields through Hoxton and along the canal path up to Islington to enjoy a light lunch with novelist Nina Bawden, who lived in an old terrace backing onto the canal and whom I considered it a great honour to count as my friend.
I first met Nina when I took my copy of “Carrie’s War” along to a bookshop and queued up with all the hundreds of other children to have it signed by the famous author. She appeared to my child’s eyes as the incarnation of adult grace and authoritative literary intellect, and it is an opinion that I have had no reason to qualify, except to say that my estimation of Nina grew as I came to know her.Years after that book signing, Kaye Webb, Nina’s editor who had encouraged my own nascent efforts at writing, rang me up at six-thirty one evening to say she had just remembered Nina and her husband Austen Kark were coming to dinner that very night and she had nothing to give them. At this time Kaye was over eighty and housebound, so I sprinted through…’