Author

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Jon Blake’s latest book for children, Thimble Monkey Superstar, is shortlisted for the 2017 Lollies (Laugh Out Loud) awards, but to win will need your vote! – more at www.jonblake.co.uk.

Jon Blake is the author of over fifty books, primarily for children and teenagers. He was brought up in Southampton (with a grandad in Portsmouth) but spent much of his childhood on the Isle of Wight where his father had an electrical goods shop. In 1969 Jon’s father was the electrical contractor for the 2nd Isle of Wight Festival of Music, as a result of which Jon, at 14, had access to a backstage pass and a range of experiences which he drew on for When Dylan Sank the Isle of Wight (first published as 69ers).

Jon’s previous successes include the picture book “You’re A Hero, Daley B” (ill. Axel Scheffler, worldwide sales of over 100,000) and “Little Stupendo” (shortlisted for the Children’s Book Award).

Other big sellers include “One Girl School” (over 35,000) and literacy hour favourite “Mark Two”.

In 1995 Jon’s TV play ‘Life’ was shortlisted for a Writers Guild Award, while in 2002 he won a BBC Talent award for his adult radio sitcom “Degrees R Us” (series broadcast on BBC Radio Wales). Jon is particularly noted for original and anarchic humour, typified by “Stinky Finger’s House of Fun” and the subsequent “House of Fun” series.   However he has also written politically-charged fiction for an older readership, including “The Last Free Cat”, selected for the prestigious 2013 International Reading Association Young Adult Choices list.

Born in Mortimer, Berkshire, and living in Southampton between 1960 and 1973, Jon went to Exeter University, where he was a contemporary of the organiser of the present-day IOW festival, John Giddings. However, Jon dropped out from his drama course and worked in a furniture shop in Winchester before continuing studies at York University and Bretton Hall. He subsequently became a teacher and community centre warden in Peterborough and Nottingham.

Jon moved to Cardiff in 1987 and spent 19 years in the Adamsdown area before moving to Canton.

Besides being a writer, Jon has been involved in many community projects and teaches creative writing at the Bute Park Education Centre. He is also an activist, musician and songwriter, veteran of many bands and recently the originator of the Song For Adamsdown project.

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  1. Hi Jon,

    When I first saw this photo

    I thought this was surreal because neither the photographer (David Hurn) nor the publisher (Word Magazine) seemed to know that the man wearing a green shirt in front of that “invalid’s car” was Syd Barrett, the co-founder and recently dismissed member of Pink Floyd, actually recently replaced by the guy depicted just below at the “modest VIP area” of the festival (David Gilmour).

    David Hurn took some other interesting photos at IOW’69 and he happens to be exposing his photos at Third Floor Gallery at 102 Bute
    St. Cardiff CF10 5AD, Wales.

    The Upcoming Exhibition
    Passing Time by David Hurn
    19 November 2010 – 9 January 2011
    The Opening night preview: Thursday, 18 November 2010, 7pm.

    He will attend to autograph books and photos. Maybe you want to drop by and ask him if he has any other photographs from that day that he thought it was not worth publishing…

    Cheers,

    Pat

  2. Hello – what a fascinating and informative site. I attended the 1969 Festival with my old school friend Keith who now lives in St Edmonds Walk near the Festival site. We are interested in finding the actual location and have heard of someone who conducts guided tours. Can anyone help with information ? Thanks. Peter

    • Hi Peter – sorry about the delay replying. I don’t know about the guided tours, but the site isn’t hard to find: just take the A3054 to Wootton and go up Palmers Road till you reach the Aldeen Nursery – that’s it (from St Edmonds Walk go to St Edmond’s church, turn left, then right). My video of Dylan now and then has pics of it. Glad you like the site – the novel is still available!

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