Southwold: Burt the Binman book to tour Suffolk’s bookshops

Author Fleur Bateman and her William in Soutwold for the launch of Burt the Binman

Author Fleur Bateman and her William in Soutwold for the launch of Burt the Binman - Credit: Nick Butcher

A mother-of-three who wrote a bedtime story for her autistic child set in his favourite Suffolk town will be touring around the county’s bookshops this week.

Fleur Bateman’s Burt the Binman book chronicles the adventures of a heroic refuse collector who inspires people to recycle in his hometown of Southwold – named Willswold in the story in honour of her eight-year-old son William, who helped devise the idea.

The first-time author said she was inspired by William’s obsession with recycling to write a story she could tell him a bedtime.

Based in Southwold – a town Mrs Bateman says gives her son a “fuzzy feeling” – the characters soon began to take shape and their exploits developed into a fully fledged story.

The first copies of the self-published book arrived just before Christmas – making the perfect present.


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“His face just lit up – it was one of those moments you just want to put in a jar and keep for ever,” Mrs Bateman said.

Mrs Bateman, who has visited Southwold since she was a child, began promoting the book in the New Year and said she was blown away by the response.

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“We are having an amazing adventure,” she said. “To do something like this for your child is such a special privilege, it’s been so lovely and he has enjoyed it so much.”

Mrs Batemam, William and a Burt the Binman mascot will be touring around WH Smith stores across Suffolk and Essex to promote the book.

Tomorrow: Newmarket 10am; Bury St Edmunds, 12.30pm; Beccles, 3.30pm. Friday: Lowestoft, 11am; Southwold, 3.30pm. Wednesday, August 20: Woodbridge, 12 noon; Ipswich 2pm.

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