Search

Son’s rubbish obsession inspires mum to write bin man book set in Southwold

06:31 17 March 2014

Fleur Bateman and her son William, with her new book 'Burt the Bin Man' .Fleur wrote the book about her son Will who loves bin lorries and is set in Willswold, which is based in Southwold.

Fleur Bateman and her son William, with her new book 'Burt the Bin Man' .Fleur wrote the book about her son Will who loves bin lorries and is set in Willswold, which is based in Southwold.

A young boy’s obsession with rubbish has inspired his mum to write a book about a bin man and his adventures in a town based on Southwold.

An image from Fleur and William Bateman's new Burt the Binman book called Burt's Day Off.
A view of Southwold lighthouse with Burt's lorries in the foreground.An image from Fleur and William Bateman's new Burt the Binman book called Burt's Day Off. A view of Southwold lighthouse with Burt's lorries in the foreground.

Fleur Bateman began telling Burt the Binman stories to her son William when he was two years old.

After more than five years, and some encouragement from friends and family, she officially launched her first book - Burt’s Day Off - in Southwold on Saturday.

William, now eight, is mildly autistic and is obsessed with anything to do with rubbish and recycling.

Such is his passion for the subject, he once bid £3,500 for a full-size bin lorry when his mum briefly left her eBay account unattended, asks to look inside dustbins wherever he goes and owns his own set of miniature bins at home.

Mrs Bateman, who lives in Great Paxton near St Neots, said: “Wills is on the autistic spectrum and everything is magnified. Rubbish is a big thing to him.

“The whole thing with Burt the Binman started from a young age. All he wanted to hear was a story about a bin man and there was nothing out there.

“We made up our own stories and Wills invented all the characters and their names.”

Mrs Bateman, 45, said she set the stories in Southwold - renamed Willswold in the book - because it was a favourite family holiday destination.

The book features hand-drawn images of familiar scenes by artist Melanie Thorne Nightingale, including the pier, Southwold shops and cafes and the lighthouse.

Burt also own his own beach hut, which is based on the hut Mrs Bateman and her husband Paul always rent when they visit the town with William and his older siblings Bryony, 19, and Elliott, 16.

Burt the Binman has a team of friendly lorries and always saves the day.

In the first book, Burt’s Day Off, he helps reunite a tearful young girl with her lost teddy bear.

Mrs Bateman said she intended to write a series of stories based on the character and was already planning the next book, which will be based on last year’s tidal surge and feature Burt turning the wrecked beach huts into something positive for the town.

■ Burt’s Day Off costs £4.99 and is on sale in Southwold at Chapmans of Southwold in High Street, Joules Clothing in East Street, Wells Photographic in Queen Street and WH Smith in Market Place. It can also be bought online at burtthebinman.co.uk

0 comments

Other news

Yesterday, 17:45
Marina Theatre and Cinema in Lowestoft, Suffolk. Picture by Mick Howes

An all-singing, all-dancing comedy show begins a jam-packed schedule of events at the Marina Theatre this week.

Yesterday, 17:25
Oulton Broad Dragon Boat Festival 2016

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Businesses, clubs and organisations from across the region have been getting their teams together for this year’s East Anglian Dragon Boat Festival.

Yesterday, 15:10
The diversions in place during work on the gas mains in Oulton Broad. Graphic: Archant.

Work has started today on a major project to replace ageing gas mains in Oulton Broad.

Yesterday, 17:32
Pakefield Singers presenting a fun-filled cabaret evening – entitled With Love. Picture: PAKEFIELD SINGERS

Popular concert choir, Pakefield Singers, celebrated Valentine’s Day by presenting a fun-filled cabaret evening – With Love – at Carlton Colville Community Centre.

Most Read

Yesterday, 15:10
The diversions in place during work on the gas mains in Oulton Broad. Graphic: Archant.

Work has started today on a major project to replace ageing gas mains in Oulton Broad.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:14
Ball organisers Mark Haylett and Beverley Luckins outside the ballroom at the Ivy House Country Hotel. Picture: LOVEWELL BLAKE

A “glitzy event” is aiming to raise funds for a range of worthy causes.

Read more
Pakefield
Yesterday, 17:14
The OrbisEnergy centre in Lowestoft.

Offshore specialists James Fisher Marine Services will breathe new life into a major disused site in Lowestoft when it takes over the former offices of AKD Engineering.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:14
Suffolk had the most unanswered 999 calls of any police force in the country, according to the figures. Photo: Tim Ockenden/PA.

People seeking emergency help abandon more 999 calls to police in Suffolk than anywhere else in the country, according to figures.

Read more
Liberal Democrats
Yesterday, 17:05
Village sign at Carlton Colville, Lowestoft. Photo: Bill Darnell.

The latest Waveney District councillor’s monthly drop-in surgery for Carlton Colville residents will be held next week.

Read more
Carlton Colville

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter