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A Blackburn Childhood 1940-58: …Our Book Ends! ONLY 1 copy Available!
Two and Two Halves…and a Dog provides an antidote to the huge amounts of ‘misery’ literature inflicted upon us in its depiction of a happy childhood in Blackburn. It is a vivid evocation of a vanished way of life, many can still recall. It offers review coverage in local press and radio; POS available. Covering an eighteen year period in which horses and carts are displaced by motor vehicles, black and white television joins the wireless as home entertainment and children are re-labelled teenagers, this memoir evokes a time of significant social change. An account of a northern childhood, it delivers snapshots not only of one family and one town, but also of a wider, vanished way of life. Memories of home, school, and leisure activities crowd the pages as Joan, a lower middle class girl, travels from infancy through junior and grammar schools to a place at university. In passing she visits places as far apart as Cornwall, the Lake District and Switzerland. The main location is Blackburn, still a thriving cotton town in 1940 when the account begins, but set on the western outskirts where cotton magnates once built their mansions rather than in the industrial centre. The family: father, mother, brother and sister, live in an old coachman’s cottage in the partly developed grounds of one of these properties, so the surroundings and activities are as much rural as urban. The memories begin with wartime and the departure of the father and two uncles for the RAF, one of them never to return. The hardships of the period form the early background to events important to Joan as her child-sized world expands beyond the enclosed grounds to the local area and school. The circle widens as she grows and the family fortunes improve, encompassing people she meets, organisations she joins and town activities such as its centenary, far more significant to her than the Festival of Britain taking place at the same time. There is grief, joy, humour and family conflict as Joan acquires the attitudes, interests and knowledge she will carry with her as she leaves for university, but always set against the secure background of a loving family. This is no tale of misery and deprivation but an appreciation of a happy childhood….
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