Charles Kay

Charles was born in suburban London at the beginning of the present Queen’s reign. He studied Geography and History at Leeds University before turning to Librarianship. After thirty years as Reference Librarian at Crawley Library, the opportunity to take early retirement was too good to miss and he can now devote his time to reading and constructive loafing. He keeps his hand in with occasional relief work and remains a member of Crawley Library’s Readers’ Group.

He enjoys exploring the highways and byways of the Metropolis and uses his knowledge and librarianly research to devise the routes for our annual literary walks in London. He collects books and picture postcards on London and the history of ships and shipping and enjoys listening to music, especially the works of that great Londoner, Handel. His favourite authors are James Thurber and Thomas Burke and he can bore for England on obscure aspects of London.

He lives in Hassocks with several thousand books and a small cat named Archie, who sought refuge from a neighbour’s boisterous children and has stayed ever since (with his owners’ blessing).

In addition to guiding our London walks each year, Charles has given a talk on the little-known writer Thomas Burke and led a London walk in Burke’s footsteps in May 2011.

At the October 2013 meeting he spoke on Mark Lemon, first editor of Punch and friend of Charles Dickens.

Our recent walks have taken us in the footsteps of Shakespeare and Dickens in and around Southwark and to literary and artistic Chelsea.