Octogenarian Kenilworth author still going strong - The Leamington Observer

Octogenarian Kenilworth author still going strong

AN OCTOGENARIAN author’s latest children’s book features a character just as colourful as he is.

Kenilworth resident Cyril Hobbins’ new book Uncle Buckle – inventor extraordinaire is a picture book aimed at youngsters of primary-school age and tells the tale of an inventor who creates engineering marvels.

Uncle Buckle’s amazing contraptions take him along the ground and into the air, powered by steam, petrol and sometimes simply man power. Anything that finds its way into his workshop can be recycled into something new and exciting.

And the book’s author Mr Hobbins has also had a varied and colourful life. Now over 80-years-old, his career has included stints as a carpenter and joiner, teacher, social worker and toy maker.




He was even invited to Hollywood by Disney to help promote the re-mastered Pinocchio.

Today he’s showing no signs of slowing down, with Uncle Buckle being his first foray into digital artwork after a lifetime of creating everything from homes to theatre sets and from pointillist portraits to Pinocchio.


Mr Hobbins said: “I’ve written Uncle Buckle for the kind of child I was, perhaps a little shy and a bit bookish, but with an imagination that took me to other worlds. I began to read at a very young age and loved working out what long words meant, so the story isn’t dumbed down for my young audience.”

Candy Evans of Spring View Publications added: “Cyril and I worked together to bring Kenilworthian Ron Owen’s book of cartoons to life a couple of years ago in On the Funny Side of the Street and since then I’m proud to call Cyril a friend. It’s been great to work with him to publish Uncle Buckle.

“In a way it’s a community effort as he was inspired by local artist Chris Saunderson – on whom Uncle Buckle is based – and encouraged to pull the pictures together in a book by Michelle of Castle Home Luxuries in Smalley Place.”

Uncle Buckle is available to order online at springview.uk or buy at Castle Home Luxuries (near the library) or Kenilworth Books in Talisman Square.

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