New book makes comedy gold from Olympic Park

PUBLISHED: 14:00 17 August 2012

Chelmsford author Dot Gumbi.

Chelmsford author Dot Gumbi.


Pearly Kings, Cockney disappearances, pie and mash, and... pirates? Get ready to enter a fantastical race for Olympic treasure as imagined in a new book based in Stratford.

The Pirates of Maryland Point’ by Dot Gumbi, originally from Basildon in Essex but now based in Chelmsford, draws inspiration from the Olympic Games and decides to paint a surreal local legacy that no one but Monty Python could have forseen.

In a uniquely kitsch style, a rumour spreads throughout east London that there is treasure buried beneath the Olympic Park and a secret army has been deployed to try and find it.

Nobody believes this tall tale until a mysterious group of pirates appear and Cockneys start disappearing, prompting the Pearly King of Newham to demand answers.

A local resident, Oscar, accidentally becomes involved while buying a chemical weapon off eBay to rid his flat of cockroaches and a comedic race to uncover the Holy Grail ensues with farcical consequences.

Author Dot said: “There was so much interest in the Olympics, I felt Maryland should have its moment, too.

“And if zany far-fetched fun is your thing, this novel is for you. It’s packed full of pirates, Pearly Kings, pie and mash, and a pub that gets round the smoking ban by making itself an embassy.”

‘The Pirates of Maryland Point’ is Dot’s debut novel although he honed his craft while studying English Literature including Creative Writing at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent.

Ever since, Dot has kept creative by publishing short works in anthologies in the UK, as well as internationally in Hawaii and Slovenia while his poetry has been reviewed by the National Association of Writers Groups.

Dot keeps busy closer to home by writing short plays and sketches to be performed as part of the Essex-based Jibber Jabber festival.

Even the book’s publishers seem to be caught up in Olympic fever as, to celebrate Team GB’s medal haul, ‘The Pirates of Maryland Point’ is available free to download through until the start of September.

Paperbacks are available from while a Kindle edition is also available from Amazon.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Newham Recorder