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At East Berwickshire U3A's February open meeting, Noel Hodgson gave a talk about the Battle of Flodden from the perspective of writing his novel, Heron's Flight.

Tuesday, 14th March 2017, 12:00 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:03 am

Noel, who had been a principal PE teacher at Wooler for many years, and though now retired, still teaches gymnastics at local schools, has a passion for local history and creative writing.

Between 2003 and 2012 he self-published three poetry books – Below Flodden in 2003, Dancing over Cheviot in 2008, and A Grand Land in 2012. The poems are a celebration and appreciation of North Northumberland, its people, places and events.

In 2013 he self-published a historical novel, Heron’s Flight, based on the Battle of Flodden, 1513. The book was written to mark the 500th anniversary of the battle.

In his talk, Noel used extracts from his book to bring the battle and the characters involved in it to life.

With a young King Henry VIII embarked upon a military expedition in France, the ageing Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, is commissioned to muster a substantial English force and confront King James IV of Scotland. At the head of his troops, the Scottish monarch has crossed the border into England in a display of solidarity with his ally, the French Queen. The notorious English outlaw John Heron, whose reputation and exploits are feared on both sides of the border, offers his services and those of his men, to the Earl of Surrey’s cause.