Clive history finally in print

By Roger Moroney

The long road to completing a unique historical book about the story of Clive is set to end for the authors - but it appears unlikely to hit the shelves at this stage.

Not because it won't be ready - more to do with the fact that pre-orders over the past year have already accounted for more than half the limited number of copies set to go on sale.

"We are rapt with the response so far," author Gary Baines said. "We have ordered 1000 books and once they are gone that is it - no more."

He said the first boxed instalment of 500 copies all had the "sold" label on them.

The book, simply titled Clive and with a distinctive cover designed and painted by renowned Hawke's Bay artist Brent Redding, has effectively been 10 years in the making, and is set to be formally launched at a function at the Clive Rugby Clubrooms on June 30.

Mr Baines said Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule had agreed to take part in the launch.

The past two years had seen the book's progress accelerate as he and local historian Craig MacErlich, along with Clive Charitable Trust members Jim Crook, Tom Libby, Myles Girvan and Don Sorensen gathered "heaps" of information and photographs.

"It has been an amazing thing to do," Mr Baines said.

"We are very pleased with it."

He said it all began with a conversation over a few beers "a couple of years back" and grew from there.

The trust members were all surprised the coastal township's history had never been fully explored and put in words before, as it went back to 1839 and at one point had been lined up to be the central hub of the region.

"We kept coming across things - it just snowballed," Mr Baines said.

Everything from early bars and blacksmiths fill the pages, and Mr Baines was delighted at the number of "terrific" photos and historical documents they came across.

"It's great to be able to put it all together as it's there for all time now - it's history."

Pre-ordered books are $35 and after the launch they will go for $45.

Mr Baines said people could order a copy by ringing Mr Crook on 8700440.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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