Matlock park’s famous train to star in new series of children’s books

Little David, the train in Matlock's Hall Leys Park, is to star in a new series of children's books by debut author Alison Coffey and illustrator Claire Duberry.
Little David, the train in Matlock's Hall Leys Park, is to star in a new series of children's books by debut author Alison Coffey and illustrator Claire Duberry.

The Hall Leys Park train which has thrilled generations of visiting children since 1974 is to embark on new adventures in a series of books.

Little David and the animals which live in the park have been turned into storybook characters by local illustrator Claire Duberry and debut author Alison Coffey.

Alison, 45, and her husband John have run the company which operates the train and rowing boats since 2015.

She said: “We’ve been talking about this ever since we took over. The train is so popular and there are little things happening every day with the ducks and squirrels that it lends itself to stories like this.

“It’s such a beautiful park that people love coming to and we hope this will give them more reasons to visit.

She added: “It was a massive learning curve because I’d never written a story before. I’ve always loved children’s stories though, and have been reading them to my eight-year-old since he was a baby.”

“The first time I saw what Claire had done with the illustrations was quite emotional. She has captured all the tradition and nostalgia which makes Little David so loved.”

The first book in the series, made by Derbyshire Dales Design and Print, will go on sale for £6.99 at Easter from the boat shed or www.matlockboatsandtrain.co.uk.