A WRITER who grew up in Lydford and now lives on the other side of the Tamar near Gunnislake is donating the proceeds of his latest novel to the local hospice which cared for his niece in her final days.

David Garratt, who writes under the pen name Arthur Walters, is giving all the proceeds from Revenge of the Bones, a horror story set around the Lych Way, to St Luke’s Hospice.

The hospice cared for his niece Terri Lang, who tragically died last year at the young age of 49 of cancer.

Terri, from Lydford, shared both David’s sense of humour and his love of dogs.One of the last things they did togther was take part in a charity walk organised by St Petroc’s Church in Lydford.

The 12-mile walk from Bellever traces the route that coffins were once taken from isolated farmsteads of the high moor back for burial in consecrated ground in Lydford.

David’s latest book, the Revenge of the Bones, is a contemporary horror story which draws on the Lych Way’s history.

Terri Lang with her dogs (she was from Lydford and died of cancer aged 49). Her uncle Dave Garratt is fundraising for St Luke's Hospice in her memory
David’s late niece Terri, with her dogs (Submitted)

It is a sequel to his first, also set on Dartmoor, The Judge’s Parlour.

It tells the of two students staying on Dartmoor who encounter more than they bargain for when they head off along The Lych Way, the way of the dead.

David is more than a little inspired on his writing journey by the legends of this part of the moor. It seemed apt, he said, to donate the proceeds from the book to St Luke’s Hospice which did so much for Terri.

‘She very sadly passed away last year and she was only 49 and they were really kind to her,’ he said.

‘I was in the middle of writing a book and thought this was a way I could help. I wanted to raise money for St Luke’s in Terri’s memory. We walked the Lych Way together in the pouring rain and it is a nice way to remember her. The St Luke’s shop in Plymstock are going stock the book.’

David, 69. who grew up in Lydford on the family farm, has always been fascinated by the legends surrounding the village, with its Medieval ‘castle’ which was a jail notorious for the grisly punishments enacted on those who broke the Stannary laws on the moor.

‘It scares me to death,’ he said. ‘As kids we used to play in there and climb along the top of the wall. As kids you do silly things. There is a weird atmosphere there; one of my dogs won’t go in there anymore.’

Next door, is the historic Castle Inn, where David worked for a time just before he retired after a career spent working in financial services.

He loves the pub, but is a little wary of the resident ghost. ‘I hated it when I was last to lock up on nights. I used to go out the back door and run down the lane.’

Revenge of the Bones, £9.99, is available from St Luke’s Hospice Bookshop in Plymstock and at www.arthurwalters.com.