Marlborough children on best behaviour when Tracy Beaker author Jacqueline Wilson reopens bookshop

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Author Jacqueline Wilson and White Horse Bookshop manager Angus MacLennan. (PM1207) Picture by Paul Morris Author Jacqueline Wilson and White Horse Bookshop manager Angus MacLennan. (PM1207) Picture by Paul Morris

Children in Marlborough were on their best behaviour when Tracy Beaker author Jacqueline Wilson cut the ribbon to reopen the White Horse Bookshop.

The new-look store was packed with young fans and older readers eager to show their support for the independent High Street shop.

Hundreds of children waited patiently outside to meet Dame Jacqueline, a former Children’s Laureate, on Saturday.

Although the event was not an official signing, their good behaviour was rewarded when the author sat down with them to chat, sign books and have photos taken.

Shop manager Angus MacLennan said: “It was an absolutely astounding day; far greater than I could have ever imagined. As soon as the ribbon was cut, the ground floor was jam-packed.

“Jacqueline commented on how well behaved the children were; there was no pushing or shoving and they were all very polite.

"We told schools that Jacqueline was coming, so a lot of families turned up, but there were also people here who hadn’t come for her, they had just come to show their support for the bookshop.”

Mr MacLennan took over as manager under new owners Robert Hiscox, of the Rainscombe Park estate in Oare, and Aldbourne estate owner Brian Kingham.

The shop was closed for three-and-a-half weeks, after its former owner, Michael Pooley, handed over the keys.

“This is a very special place,” said Mr MacLennan.

“Saturday wasn’t the right day to look around, because it was so busy. My wife didn’t get to see the front of the shop because she was at the back and couldn’t get through.

“The response we have had has been amazing. There have been a lot of ‘wows’.”

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