Festival swoops to help daughter of famous writer

Delphine with the replacement puffin, sent to her by Amble Puffin Festival. Picture by Jenny Colgan
Delphine with the replacement puffin, sent to her by Amble Puffin Festival. Picture by Jenny Colgan

A search for a toy puffin has ended with a best-selling author agreeing to give a talk at an annual event in Amble to celebrate the iconic birds.

Romantic comedy and sci-fi writer Jenny Colgan made an appeal via social media to ask for help in tracing her daughter’s cuddly companion, lost somewhere in Edinburgh Airport.

Not only was Neil the puffin Delphine’s favourite toy, but he is also a character in several of Jenny’s books, most notably the Polly and the Puffin series.

The #findneil post was retweeted more than 1,000 times and messages of support for the novelist’s young daughter came in from a variety of people, including Harry Potter author JK Rowling – and Amble Puffin Festival’s own social-media team. Several days later and with Neil the puffin still undiscovered, the puffin-festival committee offered to send a replacement – to the delight of Jenny and her daughter.

The Sunday Times best-selling novelist tweeted a picture of a grateful Delphine cuddling her new soft toy, with the words: ‘Huge and slightly teary thank you to @AmblePuffinFest who sent us a new Neil!’ and added that her daughter was thrilled with the gesture.

Jenny, who has also written Dr Who stories, told the committee that she and her family would visit the puffin festival and offered to give a talk on Neil the puffin, for children and families and anyone who likes the birds.

Jenny will be giving the talk at 5pm on Saturday, May 28, at 42 Queen Street, Amble. Tickets for children cost £1 and this includes a gift at the event. Tickets can be purchased from 42 Queen Street; N&F Young, 8 Queen Street; Amble Town Council or Development Trust offices at Fourways 2; or on the door.

The talk will take place during the Amble Puffin Festival, which runs from Saturday, May 28, to Saturday, June 4. The festival features a range of activities around the town for all ages, Visit the event’s website for details, see the Facebook page or follow on Twitter @AmblePuffinFest