Picture courtesy of Norman Rockwell. Picture link.


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Mick Coyle

yorkshire lad. ani book+cover


At this moment in time I’m writing my school day memoirs. The reason being a couple of years ago I embarked upon a project “The Family Tree” Very shortly into this project I came to a dead end, my grandfather having died (I estimate back in the early 1930s) and also any family and friends who knew him or of him having since passed on, I was at a loss.

I did try the usual Births and Deaths registry and so on for a Benjamin Coyle but to no avail, not until I found out his name was Michael Benjamin Coyle which explains the proverbial brick wall.

The point I’m getting at is what was my Grandfather? Was he a gentleman? Was he rough?

This we will never know, he must have had some interesting, exciting and humorous tales to tell his offspring, but sadly they are lost forever.

I therefore believe that everyone should keep their memoirs in the form of a diary or even write a short book, something to be kept in the family or maybe, in the case of a biography, published for the media; after all you don’t have to be famous. A couple of examples:-

Fred Pass, “Weez Mi Dad”.

Frank McCourt, “Angela’s Ashes”.

I suppose the real reason for writing these memories is to let my great........ grand kids know what I “The old git” was really like.

My writings are titled “I was a Yorkshire lad” and they are memories of myself as a very young child up to my adolescent years.

From these memories you should form an idea of life back in the 50s and so get the gist of an average child’s formative years being raised in a proletarian suburb of Sheffield and also you will come to understand my lackadaisical, cavalier attitude to authority and education resulting in what I can only describe as borderline illiteracy by the time I left secondary school.

I try not to be the victim of self denigration.

I have extracted a few pages just to give one a “taster” so to speak. In these you will read of the battle of wits between me and my sister, which I invariably lost; and the lengths I would go to just to avoid any confrontation with my parents.

The picture I paint of Wybourn School is the picture of the 50s and 60s and so has no reflection on today’s standards of education enforced upon its pupils.

Nostalgia can be a comforting retreat from the shackles of reality.

However, when writing this book I did find myself becoming a hostage to the past, a great place to visit, but one should not dwell.