This slim volume paints a fascinating picture of life in rural middle England as seen through the eyes of one man growing up in the 1940s and 50s. It tells the story of the author’s early life through to adulthood: from his days at primary school to his first job at 15 with British Railways London Midland Railway and then his second job with Midlands Electricity Board, which was to set him on the path to a successful career in the finance industry.
Of interest to the ringing fraternity will be the section devoted to John’s experience as a ringer at St Werburgh’s Old Blackwell (6,7cwt) in the days when London Stuprise Minor, in his words, “was generally accepted as the most difficult method of all” —- how times have changed! However, many of the other aspects of ringing described here, such as the teamwork, emphasis on good striking and commitment to duty are still relevant today.
Those interested in the railways will also find this book fascinating as the bygone world of steam trains and working practices in the industry are brought vividly to life.
The author has an eye for descriptive detail and this easily read, interesting book will be a source of nostalgia for some and a social history lesson for others.
Ringing World February 2012