After years of working as a journalist and in the academic world I finally have a book, which will be published sometime after October 2011.
The book has nothing to do with journalism, but is all about how the streets of Grimsby got their names. History is something I am passionately interested in and always have been. My father is, I suppose, a military historian of some sorts. His business makes buildings and accessories for the wargaming market – think tiny soldiers and grown men re-enacting the Battle of Waterloo or some Western epic. I’ve grown up on a diet of Napoleon, Wellington, Blücher, the date of the battle is engrained in my memory (it’s June 18th 1815 if you didn’t know) and it rained.
Every childhood holiday involved going round buildings to look at the architecture and details, so my father could make them. We even visited Waterloo and it saddened him to see the state of disrepair it was in – the buildings that is – Hougoumont being the special one. Anyway, as a result of my upbringing I was fascinated with history – dates, battles, lifestyles, culture. I would digest anything to fulfill my hunger for that subject. If I hadn’t have become a journalist I would have gone into historical research or archaeology (maybe there’s still time!).
As a result of this I decided to write a book about how the streets of my town got their name. Blow me only the other year, Dr Alan Dowling brought one about Cleethorpes, so I had to pursue mine. The publishers agreed to take on the book as a sister companion to Dr Dowling’s. I am 9,000 words short of my target and finishing off the research on the last few streets and writing the introduction.
I am also in the process of photographing some of the streets and looking for old images of others. This project brings together my writing and research skills and means I get a book published. Woohoo! You know what all friends and family will be getting as a presents! My deadline is the end of October and the book will be published anytime after that. Be prepared I may be in a bookshop near you doing a signing, so do pop in and say hello if you see me.
[Street Names of Grimsby to be published later this year]