December 13, 2016

SAVE THE DATE: JANUARY 2017 Drivers’ Club Members Evening

Drivers' Club Event

On Tuesday 31st January, Bowcliffe Drivers’ Club members are once again invited to save the date for what promises to be another brilliant Member’s Evening, this time enjoying a talk from Harrogate businessman-turned-author Ian Townsend about his debut novel, Precarious Fortunes.


Where? Bowcliffe Drivers’ Club

When? 31st January 2017 – 6.30pm for a 7pm start

What? An evening with Harrogate author, Ian Townsend. Drivers’ Club members and guests will be greeted with an arrival drink and delicious bowl food cooked up by Bowcliffe executive chef, John Topham. Alcoholic and soft drinks will be available throughout the evening. 


About the Author:

Born in Leeds, and educated at Leeds Modern Grammar School, Ian has enjoyed a successful business career throughout which he remained a keen supporter of the arts and sport. Semi-retired and inspired by his home in historic Harrogate, Ian turned his attention to his love of storytelling and history. After discovering that the richest woman in England had sought refuge in Harrogate in 1838, and following intensive research by his wife Mandy, Ian penned his debut historical fiction novel, Precarious Fortunes.

Drivers' Club event

About the book:

Precarious Fortunes is a period adventure loosely based on the well-documented visit to Harrogate in 1838 by the remarkable Angela Burdett-Coutts, who despite being just twenty-four years old, was then the richest woman in England. The intriguing fictional adventure leads first in one direction and then another with obstacles appearing around every corner, as it exposes everyday life in Europe’s leading spa town.

The Harrogate Advertiser promises the book is a “Rip-roaring ride into Harrogate’s history” – and on Tuesday 31st Drivers’ Club members will be able to listen to Ian first hand as he discusses the book and the incredible story behind it.

Save the date or get in touch with the Bowcliffe events team to book your place now by emailing or calling 01937 541111.



“Despite Harrogate’s colourful and incident-packed history, there have been few successful attempts to use the town as a setting for a work of fiction. A.A. Thomson’s 1935 story The Exquisite Burden has hitherto been an outstanding exception to this, but now it has been joined by Ian Townsend’s gripping tale, Precarious Fortunes.

This novel uses the historical reality of visits to Harrogate by the extraordinary Angela Burdett-Coutts, the richest woman in England after Queen Victoria, and a party of Russians whose presence could spell great danger for the country. The author’s skillful incorporation of real Harrogate people and places adds to the richness and interest of the text. This well-crafted novel develops with gratifying logic, which after several riveting cliffhanger climaxes resolves itself in a satisfying conclusion”

Malcolm Neesam- Harrogate Historian

Ian Townsend captures well the flavour of 19th Century Harrogate and paints a picture of high society life in a very readable way, with the author’s sense of humour always present. An entertaining and interesting read.” PR

Excellent book, very well written. This book captured my imagination of Victorian times in Harrogate. I read this book whilst on holiday and was unable to put it down. Looking forward to more books from this author.” SP

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