I was born in Kingston-upon-Thames but remember little of my early years as I was brought up in South Wales at the age of three. after school, I trained to be a teacher in York. My main subject was Physical Education and my subsidiary History, in which I gained a distinction.
I taught Physical Education and History for many years at schools in Yorkshire and it was during this time that I became interested in both modern history and the process of examining history. I taught the Schools’ Council History Project for several years. The process of ‘historying’ was a skill that pupils began to understand through the approach of the project and they learned to be competent in differentiating between primary of secondary evidence. For my last three years in teaching, I taught A Level British Social, Economic and Political History 1909-1939. This sparked my interest in 20th. century history which was to become the background to my writing more than twenty years later.
I already had qualified teacher status and a Diploma in Physical Education when I began studying for a Master in Education Degree. This I achieved when I was ready to leave teaching and I used my skills learned both at college and as a teacher to write a thesis which led to the award of M.Ed. in 1981. A quarter of a century in sports management ended with my retirement in 2008 and, within a year, I was fully into my writing career.
On my home page, I have already mentioned coming across Before Hindsight and, more than twenty years after I’d first seen it, I retained a fascination for the programme and the disturbing elements in it. Appeasement was the watchword in the pre-war years as Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain sought to avoid war by cultivating productive relationships with Hitler and Mussolini. To achieve this, his henchmen tried to control those elements of the media critical of his foreign policy through attacking newspapers, censoring the BBC and misleading cinema audiences by replacing original narration with right wing propaganda in newsreels. The massacre of nuns by Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War was, the audience were told, by left-wing Republicans. Guernica, where so many innocent folk were murdered by air attack, , was the responsibility of Republicans The Times told its readers not, as we now know the German Condor Legion.
This then, was the basis of the plot for my first novel The Blue Pencil which was published by Sacristy Press in 2012 and has been followed by two other novels. A fourth novel, provisionally titled Lovers and Heroes is currently in preparation. Liberating Belsen : Remembering the Soldiers of the Durham Light Infantry was published in 2015. I’m pleased to say that sales of my books have qualified me for full membership of the Society of Authors.