Clare Balding is walking with dogs (and their owners) throughout this series of Ramblings.
Prog 6 - Whitley Bay with Barry Stone
In this week's programme Clare Balding meets author Barry Stone, his partner Paul and their dog, Bonzo the black Lab.
Barry's childhood was coloured by the secret of his father's homosexuality and alcoholism; both parents had been traumatised by their experiences during the second world war and Barry had a deep personal struggle in coming to terms with his own sexuality.
Over the years he attempted to write his story - eventually burning one manuscript of 300,000 words - and it was only at his mother's funeral that he was struck by the need to write through the 'voice' of Brucie (his childhood pet dog). The resulting book, a semi-autobiographical novel called 'Barking at Winston' was initially self-published with local distribution but was quickly picked up commercially and is now selling successfully around the country.
Barry and Paul take Clare on a favourite local walk through Whitley Bay to the village of Holywell. Starting at Barry's childhood home, the place where Brucie first came into his life, they head down to the beach and then the promenade of Whitley Bay sea-front. From there they turn inland and walk through Holywell Dene - a beautiful and peaceful area of ancient woodland - before heading home.
Producer Karen Gregor.