Bookstall champions customer’s work

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A Harrogate bookseller has become the first independent retailer in the country to stock and sell a new book devoted to the Thalidomide scandal.

The Bookstall, at Harrogate Railway Station, has done this in support of regular customer and leading Thalidomide campaigner, Guy Tweedy, who is acknowledged by the authors of The Thalidomide Catastrophe: How it happened, for the search for justice which continues after more than six decades.

Written by Dr Martin Johnson, Raymond Stokes and Tobias Arndt, it is the first comprehensive history of Thalidomide, which was developed and manufactured by German pharmaceutical giant, Chemie Grunenthal, in the late 1950s.

Thalidomide was prescribed to pregnant women suffering morning sickness, however, it was withdrawn after being linked to crippling side effects in new born babies.

A least 2,000 in the UK were born with deformities brought about directly by Thalidomide, and more than half of them died in the womb.

For nearly 20 years, businessman Mr Tweedy, of Harrogate, has worked tirelessly to win compensation and concessions for the hundreds of remaining UK survivors of the drug, from the British and German governments.

Bookstall owner Brian Moses said: “I’ve known Guy for many years and I’m full of admiration for the lengths and efforts he had gone to fighting for thalidomiders.

“Selling this book is my way of showing support for his ongoing campaign.”

Mr Tweedy, who was born with shortened arms and fingers fused together, said: “I’m grateful to Brian for helping to raise the profile of the Thalidomide scandal by selling this book.

“This is the definitive history of Thalidomide and clearly demonstrates that thousands of victims could have been spared the damage it has done to their bodies, if only the manufacturer had paid heed to the alarm bells that had been ringing for years.”

In addition to being available at the Bookstore, the book, priced at £11.99, can be bought on Amazon.