Note regarding the Sillitoe Talk

A note from James Walker, who presented the recent Sillitoe Spring Talk (March 2018):

Many thanks for inviting me to The Park. It’s taken me 40 years to visit, proving that patience really is a virtue. Here’s the reading list I promised.

  • Alan Sillitoe, A Man of His Time (2009) – the story of Arthur Seaton’s great grandfather Ernest Burton. This is my favourite Sillitoe book of all time.
  • The Sillitoe short about the young boy who witnesses a man trying to hang himself is called On Saturday Afternoon. This appears in the short story collection Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1960). Please click the link to read, as the story is a free download.
  • The novel set on the Broxtowe Council Estate was The Killing Jar (2007) by Nicola Monaghan.
  • The story of the lace factory owner that I said was a kind of precursor to Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was Penny Lace (1946) by Hilda Lewis. 

One member of the audience asked me about Pat McGrath. I’ve done some research… Pat was born in Nottingham in 1954 but moved to London in 1970. He is best known for The Green Leaves of Nottingham (1970) which he wrote when he was 14! Like Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, it’s set in Radford. It tells the tale of a boy returning home from Borstal who gets involved with organised crime. The Green Leaves of the title refers to a local pub. Sillitoe wrote the introduction to the book and it was later turned into a play, produced at the Playhouse between 1971-2. Pat McGrath has also written a short story collection, People in the Crowd (1978), mainly set in Notts. There’s not much out there on him. Don’t confuse him with the author Patrick McGrath who was born in 1950. 


James Walker
Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities
School of Arts and Humanities
Nottingham Trent University