20/8 Richard Booth overleden

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor richard booth hay on wye
Richard Booth was de oprichter van de eerste boekenstad ter wereld, Hay-on-Wye op de grens tussen Engeland en Wales. Boekenstad Bredevoort is opgericht met dit voorbeeld voor ogen. Booth heeft indertijd ook Bredevoort bezocht.

Richard Booth, who turned Hay-on-Wye into a second-hand bookshop capital, has died aged 80.

He was responsible for transforming the market town in Powys into the world’s foremost home for books.

Mr Booth – who dubbed himself “king of Hay” opened his first bookshop in the town’s former fire station in 1961 and was honoured with an MBE in 2004.

Anne Addyman, from Addyman’s Books, said: “This town has become what it is because of him.”

His passion for Hay-on-Wye also led him to proclaim it an independent kingdom on 1 April 1977, crowning himself as monarch and issuing passports to locals.

The self-styled “king of Hay” also issued his own speeches – including at Christmas – and awarded peerages.

Ms Addyman said: “We are absolutely devastated. It feels like we have lost our father, he is such a legend.

“We are going to have black books in the windows and a week of mourning for the king of Hay.

“He was unique. He was the first person to diversify a rural economy, what he did was cutting edge in the 60s and 70s.

“There are now over 50 book towns in the world, Hay is still the best, he was like the emperor of the book town movement as well.”

Peter Florence, director of the Hay Festival, said he introduced a lot of people to the idea of antiquarian books and Hay would have “gone under” without his brilliant idea of diversifying beyond just a market town.

“He was genuinely and deeply eccentric,” he added.

“There was a time when he first started out when he was a tremendously charismatic, visionary entrepreneur who had great fun. He wasn’t really in it for money, he was in it for the craic, for the party and the good times.”

Mr Booth was also a regular pamphlet writer and chairman of the Welsh Booksellers Association as well as life president of the International Organisation of Book Towns.

He stood for Socialist Labour for Mid and West Wales in the 1999 Assembly elections and was a friend of trade unionist Arthur Scargill.

On the anniversary of Hay’s “independence” on 1 April 2017, Mr Booth reminded people the town had declared itself independent of the EU in 1978 with “Hay’s Hexit”.

“Hay is now world famous not only for its books and culture, but for the revolutionary spirit of its citizens, who have struggled for 40 years against an overwhelming tide of government bureaucrats, quangos and big business corporations, who have sought to stifle our peoples’ originality for the benefit of their own agendas,” he wrote.

Listing his recreations for Who’s Who, Mr Booth said: “Creating a monarchy in Hay because democracy has vanished and the divine right of kings is an effective opposition to the divine right of the officials; gardening.”

Obituary Honorary President of the IOB, Richard “King” Booth

All of the IOB members join us in expressing sadness at the loss to our Honorary President Richard Booth, an initiator and a long-time friend of all book towns around the world.

As the key initiator and main driver of the first Book Town, set up in Hay-on-Way in Wales, Richard was a leading figure in motivating the set-up of book towns all over the world.  As an ally for the value and recycling of second hand books, Richard promoted the concept of book towns in at least 4 continents.

Richard might have been a bit eccentric, crowing himself as the ‘King’ of the book town Hay-on-Way, but this gesture merely reflected his ultimate passion about books.

Those who have known Richard, know that he never backed off from a good discussion and always had a recommendation ready for Book Towns, to develop, to flourish, to innovate. He believed in the power of ideas, and in the power of sharing those ideas.

Obituary Honorary President of the IOB, Richard “King” Booth

All of the IOB members join us in expressing sadness at the loss to our Honorary President Richard Booth, an initiator and a long-time friend of all book towns around the world.

As the key initiator and main driver of the first Book Town, set up in Hay-on-Way in Wales, Richard was a leading figure in motivating the set-up of book towns all over the world.  As an ally for the value and recycling of second hand books, Richard promoted the concept of book towns in at least 4 continents.

Richard might have been a bit eccentric, crowing himself as the ‘King’ of the book town Hay-on-Way, but this gesture merely reflected his ultimate passion about books.

Those who have known Richard, know that he never backed off from a good discussion and always had a recommendation ready for Book Towns, to develop, to flourish, to innovate. He believed in the power of ideas, and in the power of sharing those ideas.

From all members of the IOB, we sent strength and comfort in these difficult times to his family and loved ones. The King is gone, but is not forgotten !

Bron: BBC Wales