Obituary Note: Bob Cattell 

Bob Cattell

British author and bookseller Bob Cattell, who wrote the Glory Gardens series of children's books and founded the Bookboat, a children's bookshop moored by Greenwich pier in the 1970s and '80s, has died. He was 74.

In a Guardian obituary, Bridget Taylor, his partner for 50 years, wrote that during the mid-'70s, while working in PR and advertising in London, Cattell and a friend, Chris Moore, found a traditional Humber Keel barge in Rotherhithe. After two years of weekends and evenings laboring on the conversion, they sailed across the Thames from a slipway on the Isle of Dogs and moored alongside the Cutty Sark in Greenwich.

The Bookboat opened in 1978 "and proved hugely popular, with several successful book fairs and other events run alongside," Taylor noted. "A couple of years later, now sole owner of the Bookboat, Bob converted a Routemaster bus into the Bookbus, which operated as an educational charity in south-east London, taking books, authors and illustrators into schools and running holiday reading programs."

Cattell sold the Bookboat in 1986 and the Bookbus in 1990, after which he concentrated on writing. His book series Glory Gardens was conceived to address the dearth of cricket books for children. The first two books, Glory in the Cup and Bound for Glory, were released in 1995, and the series evenntually reached nine volumes. 

After Glory Gardens, he went on to publish other children's titles including the Butter-Finger trilogy with the poet John Agard; Bowl Like the Devil and, with David Ross, the football series Strikers. Later came First XI and Second XI, two collections of short stories for adults set in cricket-playing countries around the world. Recent collaborations with illustrator Michael Woods resulted in Reynard the Fox, a new translation of the medieval fable, and Agon, a selection of Greek myths.

Taylor observed that "Bob was a voracious reader, avid traveler, generous host, controversial conversationalist and consistent friend."

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