Kelso lays claim to setting for JK Rowling’s new novel

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IT has not even been published yet, but already Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s latest novel has sparked a storm of interest over its inspiration.

The Edinburgh author’s first book aimed at adults, The Casual Vacancy, will be published in September and concerns the rivalries and political intrigues in the fictional town of Pagford.

Now residents of both Kelso, in the Borders, and Richmond, North Yorkshire, are laying claim to be the real-live version of the book’s setting, saying there are similarities between them and the details already revealed about Pagford.

The basis has come from a description of Pagford released by the publisher, which claims it is an “idyll” with a “pretty facade” and a 12th-century abbey. While other details are a closely guarded secret it hasn’t stopped speculation mounting, with the book expected to be a bestseller and any real-life connection set to provide a tourist boom.

The author herself, as with her previous books, is remaining tight-lipped over any real life connection.