Adam's books for bricks idea

A children's writer from Wigan is hoping to rebuild his house with books.

Adam Short, 31, is making an unusual plea to Wigan's public to help him save his historic 18th century cottage on School Lane, Upholland.

The author has launched a "Books-for-Bricks" campaign to raise money for desperately-needed work on his home

He became locked in a battle with insurance companies and utilities workmen over structural damage discovered shortly after moving in.

Adam has been told repairs to his chimney are urgently needed and is currently living with his family at his parents' house in Shevington Moor because his cottage is unsafe.

Any pay-out from whoever is liable for the repairs is a long way away, forcing Adam to launch his unique "Books-for-Bricks" campaign to pay for the work.

The IT worker, who writes children's books in his spare time, said: "We bought a lovely cottage and did the usual stuff like a survey, and the verdict was the property was sound and mortgageable.

"In March 2008, United Utilities did some work to our property which was forced on us as part of UU's commitment to keep water supplies upgraded.

"In December we had to contact the council as the appalling quality of their road repair had led to potholes forming.

"The house would literally shake as passing trucks hit the rut.

"In January we discovered a large hole in the chimney breast that looked to be undermining the chimney stack and the roof above.

"We contacted our insurance company, who told us we weren't covered and UU said they wouldn't take any responsibility.

"They did send a surveyor to assess it and said the damage was due to the age of the property.

"An independent surveyor agreed and stated the application for a mortgage should have been refused as the house was in immediate danger.

"We've had to find our own builder as we can't allow the house to fall down while we argue with people.

"It's in a conservation area and we were told in no uncertain terms that it needs to be done immediately so we're trying to get enough money to get the work done.

"I've had a book published which sold a few copies but has never done anything special.

"I've asked my friends to spread the word and get people to buy the book on the understanding that every penny raised will go to getting the house fixed."

Adam's book, "Sir Parsley and the Dragon and Other Stories", is a series of short story-length poems.

It is available from all major online retailers or can be ordered through WH Smiths stores.