Tuesday, June 17, 2014


As I'm an avid fan of local history, it was a pleasure to read this latest book by Patrick Denney.  He obviously knows much about Britain's oldest recorded Roman town of Colchester and is one of the leading researchers of its history.

Patrick is a Blue Badge Tourist Guide and is also secretary of the Friends of Colchester Museums. This latest book delightfully reproduces the recollections of at least forty five people, half of whom were born before 1920 and the interviews took place over a period of more than twenty years.

Many aspects of life are featured in the selected extracts, including memories of growing up in an age without modern conveniences: no television, video games or even telephones, in some cases.  Patrick has included tales from his interviewees of lives spent simply, sometimes in very straitened circumstances when every single penny was spent in keeping families fed and clothed.

The illustrations and photographs used in the book are wonderful, some amusing, but often poignant and the book gives us glimpses of a world that has long gone, maybe for the better. However, there is such charm and simplicity herein which will make the reader think a little differently about our so-called sophisticated modern times.
The class of 1950 from Old Heath School, Colchester

Amberley Books £14.99 ISBN 976-1-4456-1854-8

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