Author’s memories of Spen

NEW BOOK: Cleckheaton-born author Peter Blamires has published his first novel, loosely based on his time in the Spen Valley.

NEW BOOK: Cleckheaton-born author Peter Blamires has published his first novel, loosely based on his time in the Spen Valley.

0
Have your say

AN author has published his first book packed full of knowing nods and references to his childhood growing up in Spen.

Peter Blamires, 64, has published Second Wind – under the pen-name Ray Hobbs – that tells the story about a dozen aging classical musicians who find themselves forced out of an orchestra, which means the world to them.

The lead character is TV and film composer Frank Morrison, who decides to reinvigorate the devastated musicians by forming a new band, playing dance band tunes from the 1930s and 40s.

The tale follows their progress as they seek to establish themselves as a new band and settle old scores with the younger group which ousted them from their beloved orchestra.

There is even a passionate romance at the heart of the story, coupled with the detailed research that went into the main story.

Peter now lives in Kent, but drew on his childhood growing up in Cleckheaton, and later living in Birkenshaw, for the landmarks and reference points in the book.

“Frank’s flat is in Prospect Road, but then fiction takes over. From his flat he can see the old public baths in Tofts Road, which in reality you can’t see from there,” said Peter.

“There’s a reference to the railway station and references to Northgate and Westgate as well. But there is a Wool Exchange in the book, and I based it on the one in Bradford. I think everyone will recognise certain bits from the area.” This is Peter’s first novel, which he has spent the best part of two years putting together, and it was published last month. It is already available at Waterstones and via Amazon.

He credited his former English teacher at South Parade Secondary School – now West End Middle School – for his love of writing.

“He was called Glyn Jones and he pumped us full of enthusiasm for Shakespeare and Dickens,” he said. “He was absolutely marvellous and really inspired me – I owe him a great deal.”

Second Wind is published by Spiderwize.