Born in Melton Mowbray in 1939, I now live in Ashby-de-la-Zouch in north-west Leicestershire. I was a Primary school teacher for thirty years, including headships of village schools at Cauldon Lowe in Staffordshire and at Sudbury in Derbyshire.
I escaped from teaching when I was fifty, tunnelling out from underneath a mountain of paper, in order to write full time. My first stories were science-fiction tales for children. These were broadcast on BBC Radio Leicester, then published as a children's book. I then started writing gory crime and horror stories, under the pen-name Jack Wainer.
Since then, I have written seventeen off-beat local history books, all published by Countryside Books:
Leicestershire & Rutland Tales of Mystery and Murder
Leicestershire & Rutland Murder Casebook
Leicestershire Ghosts and Legends
Memories of the Leicestershire Coalfields
Those Were The Days - Leicestershire in the 40s, 50s and 60s
Derbyshire Ghosts & Legends
Derbyshire Tales of Mystery & Murder
Memories of the Derbyshire Coalfields
Nottingham Murder Casebook
Staffordshire & The Black Country Murder Casebook
Ghosts & Legends of Staffordshire & The Black Country
Staffordshire Tales of Mystery and Murder
Memories of the Nottinghamshire Coalfields
I always turn my books into talks. Having been a jacket-and-tie, short-back-and-sides teacher for so long, I am now the only pony-tailed 69 year old in my town.
I love listening to New Orleans jazz and drinking cider. I am a member of the [url=http://www.thecwa.co.uk/]Crime Writers' Association[/url] - and the convenor for its Midlands chapter. (Like the Hells Angels, the CWA refers to its regional groups as chapters). I am also the current chairman and programme secretary of Ashby Writers' Club, founded in 1984, which originally grew out of some short story writing classes I was running at two local colleges.
My most recent book is called The Dirty Thirty. It's about the thirty courageous Leicestershire miners who supported the 1984-5 miners' strike, in a very hostile local environment.