|About the Book|
A personal account of a childhood spent in Kirkby, the first of the Liverpool overspill towns. The story takes me back over 35 years to when my parents first moved to Kirkby where my dad was employed during the second world war as a civil servant at the Royal Ordnance factory. Along with other key workers at the factory, mum and dad were housed in one of 200 purpose built homes on the Kirkby Park estate. With a population of around 3,000 made up mainly of farming people, the pretty little town was just a few years later to be developed into the new town. As the town grew, so did its crime figures and its reputation spiraled as the population figures reached 50,000 at its peak. After the war, the houses on the estate were bought by Liverpool Corporation and subsequently passed to Kirkby Urban District Council in 1958. Any hopes of moving out of Kirkby were by this time impossible as mum and dad were now expecting their fifth child and with a growing family to feed, dad, no longer able to support the family on his salary, went to work on Liverpool docks as a crane driver, working sometimes seven days a week. And so Kirkby was where I spent my childhood, along with my seven brothers and sisters. As I walk through the estate, 35 years since I left Kirkby, I recall the people, the events, Liverpools working life and social life, and the humour which together made me and my family who we are today. As I travel through the years, I note the .changes I lived through, from the days when our telephone was the one in the red box on the corner of the road- our first television set, to todays technological world. The story glimpses scenes through the years of family life and school days where the remnants of Victoriana ran parallel with Beatlemania in the Swinging Sixties, and of how mum and dad, quite amazingly, managed to take all ten of us on holiday each year. I recall local ghost stories told to me over the years and although my lifelong interest in the supernatural never produced any ghosts, I do relate what happened the moment I was told my mum had died, fifteen years after dad had also died, which led me to believe that he was there for her that day. My parents were extremely proud and hard working, providing the best they possibly could. Having thought very many times over the years of how difficult it was for them and of how I never heard them complain, although mums hair would practically stand on end at times, I wanted to look back to see how it was that they did manage. I answered my own question as the closer I looked the more I could see clearly that quite simply, they were in it together and by working as a complete partnership, with honesty, many of lifes hurdles can be overcome. We were inspired by mum and dad, with their legacy of love, selflessness, work ethics and honesty, and last but never to be forgotten, the ability to see the funny side.