Poet turns to prose and looks back 500 years

A north Northumberland poet has turned his hand to prose to publish a novel inspired by the Battle of Flodden.

While Noel Hodgson has written prose in the past, Heron’s Flight, named after one of his protagonists – John Heron, who joined the English forces with his band of henchmen, is the first that he has published.

Noel, who was a teacher at Glendale Middle School for more than 30 years, said: “I have always wanted to do a novel on Flodden.

“I have been very interested in the battle since I moved up to Wooler in the early 1970s and I started taking youngsters up there every September.”

The novel takes as its backbone the historical facts of the 1513 battle and its build-up, but writing prose allows Noel to ‘develop personalities and bring the story alive’.

The book was released on Tuesday, but Noel said: “I have let people read it and I have had a lot of positive feedback.

“Whether you are interested in history or not, it’s an adventure as well.

“I’m not boasting, but it would make a good film, because the chapters are short and it’s very visual.”

Heron’s Flight, published by The Reiver Press and priced at £7.50, will be available in local shops between Berwick and Morpeth.