Apart from a 4 year break in South Africa when I was newly married, I have lived in Leicestershire all my life. We moved to Blaby in 1973 when we returned from South Africa and in 1979, I took on the job of Clerk to Blaby Parish Council (i.e. the village council), which I did for 27 years. Blaby is a medium sized village (6500 people) and I got to know it quite intimately over that time and being the Parish Council Clerk, I became part of the village history. In centuries to come, when people look up their forebears in the burial registers, it will be my name they see as having made the entry, as part of my job was to look after the cemetery (though not the church yard).
Blaby is on the outskirts of Leicester. We like it here. The motorway to the rest of the world is only a short drive away. The bus stop to Leicester is one minute walk away and the countryside is 2 minutes in the opposite direction.
I am sixty-four and married. I retired at the end of 2007, but went out and found a similar job last May because I missed having structure in my life. My two children are grown up with homes and careers of their own. I have had work printed in the small press, (short stories and poems), articles published in the local community newspaper, (The Courier) and the occasional article in the ‘Leicester Mercury’ (a city wide evening paper).
I started to write stories about local people for The Courier about 3 years ago when the editor was short of copy and asked me to ‘rustle something up.’ I’d just visited a local museum where there’d been an exhibition about the Suffragettes. It was always believed that it had been suffragettes who’d burnt down Blaby railway station in 1914. My friend, a local historian, had told me his aunt had been one of the women responsible. History is full of people and their own stories and it’s not just about kings and queens and bloody battles. My experiences whilst working for the village had taught me a lot about the people who walked the same streets that I’m now walking. So I began to research and write these stories.