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Beaminster author’s double decker appears in print
2:00pm Friday 18th January 2013 in News
PUB landlord Chris Arnold is in the driving seat for a new career as an author with his London bus.
He bought an old London Routemaster bus and restored it to working condition after his daughter Charlie said she needed a lift to her prom.
Since then, the bus has been used for numerous charity events and Chris couldn’t help but notice what a draw it was for children who couldn’t resist the lure of the top deck.
The former sales and marketing consultant has already had a complete change of career when he and partner Kim Hagley took over the Greyhound in Beaminster last April.
But he thought he’d turn his hand to literature as well.
And now he has just published his first children’s book The Adventures of Ruby the Routemaster.
Chris, who writes under the pen name Christophe Dupuy, said: “We have owned the bus for a few years now.
“I grew up in London and always had a hankering for one but couldn’t afford to as they shot up in price after they came out of service.
“We ended up buying one that was due to be scrapped.”
There followed an arduous nine months sourcing parts and rebuilding it in time for the prom.
The bus has also been used to raise money for St Margaret’s Hospice, to launch poppy appeals and as Santa’s grotto.
He said: “Wherever we go the kids love her and I just got to thinking that perhaps there is a story here.”
He actually wrote the book two years ago but shelved it because he couldn’t find an illustrator.
It was at Sherborne Country Fair he saw a fellow author selling books about a tractor and liked the drawings so much he got in touch with the artist who agreed to help.
He is planning an official launch in Beaminster Square and probably a book signing in Waterstones.
With his best friend running a printing business in Taunton and a background in marketing, Mr Arnold decided to publish Ruby’s adventures himself and he already has the second book written.
The first book is a true story of how Ruby came to be part of the family, glamourised slightly for children, he said.
The books are aimed at children between two and nine.
Still he loves his other new career too as landlord of the Greyhound.
“I absolutely love it. It is good fun and we thoroughly enjoy it,” he said.