Cobbled Streets and Penny Sweets
Happy Times and Hardship in Post-War Britain
Born in the 1950s in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Yvonne Young experienced a childhood that was inextricably entwined with her community's lifeblood – the shipbuilding industry. This evocative, sometimes hard-hitting portrait of everyday life in the more deprived part of the city depicts the characters she met and the challenges she faced, tempered with a healthy dose of Geordie humour.
Christmas at War
Heartwarming True Stories of How Britain Came Together on the Home Front
Gleaned from first-person interviews, diaries and letters, this collection of festive wartime recollections evokes a less materialistic, more stoic world. From memories of resourceful makeshift dinners, handmade presents and carol singing during the black-out to an account of Christmas day in Colditz, the stories range in tone from humorous to heartbreaking.
Cracked Eggs and Chicken Soup
Memories of an East End Childhood Between the Wars
Norman Jacobs’s portrait of East End life in the 1920s and 1930s is based on conversations with his father. Isaac's great affection for the area and its diverse population becomes clear as he recalls their hardships – the overcrowding, the unemployment and the hunger – and their simple pleasures – the music hall, the two-valve radio and the first Wembley Cup Final.
The Godfather of British Crime
The freelance enforcer for the Kray twins, and one of London's most feared gangsters, tells the inside story of the heists, shoot-outs, police corruption and betrayals, including his notorious kidnap and arrest for the Shoreditch Security Express cash robbery.
White Boots and Miniskirts
A True Story of Life in the Swinging Sixties
From the author of Bombsites and Lollipops, this is a memoir of the Swinging Sixties, recounting how Jacky grew up as a free-spirited, hedonistic girl in search of adventure and independence. The decade’s music, fashion and culture has become iconic, but this is a more personal look at a world of souped-up Minis, conmen, typewriters, bed-hopping, tragic romances, flat-sharing, Soviet spies and the smoke-filled pubs of Fleet Street. Slightly off-mint.
The Tragic Bride, The True Story of Reggie Kray's First Wife
If Frances Shea thought her marriage in 1965 was a passport to a glamorous life of West End nightclubs and celebrity friends, this biography reveals how she was misled. Leaving Reggie Kray after eight months, she was dead by 1967, allegedly of a drug overdose. Slightly off-mint.
Scouse, Choppers and Space Hoppers
Happy Days and Hard Times in Sixties and Seventies Liverpool
In this nostalgic memoir, the comedian Crissy Rock recalls growing up in working-class Liverpool during the 1960s, an era when traditional values of community, family and hard work counted for everything, even as bold changes in culture, fashion and music swept through the city.
The Girl in the Spotty Dress
Memories from the 1950s, and the Photo that Changed my Life
One breezy day in 1951, Pat Stewart was photographed perched on the seafront railings at Blackpool, her spotty dress billowing in the wind. It was an image that would become one of the most iconic of the age. Here, she looks back over her life, sharing stories about her dancing career and her time working as a showbusiness agent.
Memories of a Rascal's 1950s Childhood
With a turbulent home life, the young Peter Stockley found adventure and a sense of belonging with his gang, ‘the Scallywags’, in 1950s Liverpool. Their joyful but sometimes dangerous escapades, including exploring bombed-out houses and swimming in rat-infested canals, shaped the rest of his life and he recounts with nostalgia and humour some of his adventures. Slightly off-mint.
Britain's Secret Army: The Munitions Women of World War II
With the outbreak of war in 1939, many factories were turned over to the war effort, while new ones were quickly built to manufacture munitions. Millions of women worked arduous shifts, day and night, dealing with dangerous materials, often after being forced to leave home and live in uncomfortable and unfamiliar surroundings. Based on extensive interviews, this book recounts the experiences of nine 'bomb girls', revealing the hardships that they endured and their often-unrecognized contribution to the Allied victory.
A Dog Called Dez
The True Story of How One Amazing Dog Changed His Owner's Life
John Tovey's story is one of delinquency during a tough childhood in Bristol, followed by episodes of violence, alcoholism and a spell in prison. Redemption for him came following the greatest catastrophe of his life when he went blind at the age of 42. This memoir recounts how a self-confessed 'bad lad' came to view life from a completely new perspective thanks to his partnership with his guide dog, Dez.