HE’S best known as South Tyneside’s most colourful and alternative historian ...
But now Erasmus Bottle is stepping outside his comedy comfort zone to deliver a damning indictment of red tape in our public services.
Erasmus, the alter ego of South Shields writer Dave Walker, is renowned for his witty monologues centred on flights of historical fancy.
North East coalmining and seafaring are just two of the areas he has focused on in the past.
But his tales are usually bouts of absurdest fantasy designed to get his fans chuckling.
Now Mr Walker, of Spohr Terrace, has decided to ‘get serious’ in response to his concerns over local authority cutbacks and ‘bureaucratic confusion’ in the police service.
His latest work, which has the draft title of ‘Nothing Can Possibly be as Daft as Real Life’, is to be delivered at a yet-to-be-set-date in the autumn at Newcastle Civic Centre.
He was inspired to write his latest opus after talking to friends in the police force, in addition to retired town hall workers.
Mr Walker said: “I have been giving talks to folk from the public service trade unions’ retired members’ societies, speaking to audiences who have worked in town halls and similar places all their lives.
“Over cups of tea, they tell me tales of their experiences that made my hair stand on end.
“One retired lady in Darlington told me that when she started work at the town hall she could walk down the corridor and have a chat with friends.
“It made her feel part of a team. Now if you go away from your workstation for a minute, it’s panic stations. You have to fill in a chitty if you want to go to the lavatory.”
The talk will centre on a ‘culture of micro-management’ which Mr Walker claims has come between staff and their bosses.
He added: “Management has become an aim in itself and those who manage don’t seem to have the faintest understanding of or interest in what they are managing.”