A few examples of the tragic and stressful times over 45 years, include:

I have been in court countless times and won in a fashion!        I have been threatened with GBH and lost, plus “a fortune”!

I have been threatened with high court action for slander in a public place!   

(The other person involved eventually ended up in gaol, but years later)

My wife and I have been sued by a vindictive neighbour who spent 20 years pursuing an action against us because I was a local councillor doing my “voluntary” job!

Breaking a shoulder and dislocating what was left of it, all in one month!

Having no money, having 15 heavy horses in our care and needing to use vehicles with no road tax and being stopped!

The unbelievable events of 2012, even after I had retired, more court action clouded the horizon; and the prospect of losing “everything”.

This is what the books are all about!

These are a few of the good times!

Getting Married to Ruth!

My appointment as staff member of the Firestone Company, all thanks to my mentor Fred Popham.

Learning “Public Speaking” with the help of Geoff Fossitt!

The fantastic 1980 Flower Festival and public concert with brass band and alto- soprano soloist!

The hundreds of weddings we have attended with carriage and horse and Dalmatian dog, giving untold pleasure to the brides and grooms.

Being members of the Lincolnshire Branch of the BDS and knowing its most wonderful Lady Area Commissioner.

Attending the Royal Tournament with Ruth’s Cub Pack and seeing one boy gain access to Princess Alice!

The filming of BBC film “Working Dogs” at Belvoir castle with Dinan the Dalmatian.

The visit to our Horse Centre of the BBC television “Songs of Praise Team” and the lovely Pam Rhodes.

Cracker and his television stardom.       Goliath and his tragic life.

Finding faith in a time of acute adversity.

Being Assistant Secretary to the Lincolnshire Council of Churches and Sponsoring Body for Ecumenical Partnership (in the 1980’s).

Chairman of Governors for a Secondary School under threat of closure!

Meeting a truly good police officer with the Windmill Express!

This is what the books are all about!

And also a few of the Fun Times:

The amazing van stories from the Boston Standard.

Foreign holidays with Firestone.

Meeting, working with and learning from the most amazing people!

On the team to organise and run the very first Lincolnshire County Scout Jamboree!

Being able to afford one or two descent cars once in a while thanks to Uniroyal!

The various boats we have enjoyed.

Having the help of a “plumber” offered by a consultant surgeon!

Getting “Cracker” to eventually pull a load!

Attending events all over the UK, with our Heavy Horses and wagons.

Filming “Waterland” with Jeremy Irons in Norfolk!

Creating the special event days at Northcote!

The “heaven sent” chance of our retirement home in rural France, when we least expected it!

This is what the books are all about!

Book One  "In the Beginning" 

1947  to 1960


It's a Rum Life!

or.........doesn't everyone live this way?



1995 to 2008

The second volume with incredible day to day stories.


Book Two

"Boston 1960 to 1970"

THIS IS WHAT THE “It’s a Rum Life” Books
............... ARE ALL ABOUT!

Stories on coping with everything that life throws at you!

I sat contemplating in our bathroom this morning, you know, just like one does, and looking at the carpet!
It’s all bits and oddments glued together with gaffer tape. It doesn’t look as bad as it sounds because believe it or not I made a fair job of the joints!

But the thoughts this sight brought vividly into my mind were, “did we ever manage to be able to afford anything really nice”. All my early life and the same during our marriage of over 50 years, we seem to have been making do!
You know, compromising, fixing things that have broken, making things work that are “on the blink”!

It’s just the same with the cars, my sister said to me last year; “isn’t it time you stopped crawling around under cars half your life?
Do I kid myself that I like older cars, “classics” or “collectibles” or is this just an extension of that, always “compromising”?
No, I am positive, I really do prefer older cars, you have to drive them and they have an individual feeling. To maintain them so that you can use them anywhere at any time is an achievement.
The patchwork carpets and rugs rather than superb fully fitted jobs are a choice. The money saved goes somewhere else; like on a river boat or camping car, (motor home to those of you in the UK); be it 20 years old, it still looks grand!

I am also sure that my formative years when I relied on my parents, contributed immensely to this attitude. My school clothes in the mid 1950’s, were always second hand and already worn out or they were made of stoutest corduroy when others had fine flannel!
The family finances were always on a knife edge; both parents smoked continually and squandered what finances that were left on business schemes that did not pay off. They took risks but came off the worst.
I suppose that is why I have taken risks all my life; some have paid off others have not been so brilliant. But I really do not regret any, one little bit!


This is what the books are all about!

Books  Four Volume one and Two

and Five are currently still in construction!


"NORTHCOTE"   Vol  1

1984  TO  1994

This is the big one more than twice a big as Book Three......

in fact it is to be produced in two volumes!


"IVY HOUSE  1970  TO 1984"

240 Pages ... Lots of Pictures

About 40 individual stories......

some short, some much longer...

fun and tragedy side by side!