Merelda Badcock née Dunn is a mariner’s wife, whose life has been shaped by the rugged North Devon coast. She was born in Clovelly, into a seafaring family, on 3 March 1882 and married Frank Badcock in 1905. Over the years, she watched her menfolk risk their lives on the ocean. Her three sons were all born in a small Clovelly cottage. We meet her at the end of the book, when, desperate for food, her husband, having just returned from the war, puts out to sea on New Year’s Day. Merelda is left waiting anxiously on the shore, as her husband’s fishing boat, the Annie Salome, sets off into a storm.
‘There was silence as Merelda Badcock and Rose Harding arrived at the lifeboat house, hands clasped, faces white and strained. The women had grown up together on the quay and were well used to the tragedies of the sea. Now they were united in fearfulness, husbands in danger and brothers attempting the rescue.’
Barefoot on the Cobbles will be published on 17 November 2018. More information about the novel can be found here. Copies will be available at various events in the weeks following the launch or can be pre-ordered from Blue Poppy Publishing or the author.