These articles have been previously published in national and local British newspapers and magazines and now collected in one book. They start with four London walks around Camden, Hampstead, Highgate and on to Petticoat Lane and Camden Market taking in the Monument. There are several pieces on Hertford where I live with notes on its history, culture and people. Also included are articles on Englishmen who have contributed something unique to our culture. Here you will find George Bradshaw of Bradshaws Timetables and Railway Guides, Henry Andrews of Old Moore’s Almanac, Thomas Clarkson and the defeat of slavery, Charles Macintosh and the invention of the waterproof mac; entertainers such as Leslie Welch the Memory Man. Flanders & Swann and Sir Alec Guinness; and concludes with a pen portrait of some truly eccentric politicians and an honourable mention of an Irishman and a Frenchman who had one of the most bizarre variety acts ever.
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About the Author
John Barber was born in London at the height of the UK Post War baby boom. The Education Act of 1944 saw great changes in the way the nation was taught; the main one being that all children stayed at school until the age of 15 (later increased to 16). For the first time working class children were able to reach higher levels of academic study and the opportunity to gain further educational qualifications at University. This explosion in education brought forth a new aspirational middle class; others remained true to their working class roots. The author belongs somewhere between the two. Many of the author’s main characters have their genesis in this educational revolution. Their dialogue though idiosyncratic can normally be understood but like all working class speech it is liberally sprinkled with strange boyhood phrases and a passing nod to cockney rhyming slang. John Barber’s novels are set in fictional English towns where sexual intrigue and political in-fighting is rife beneath a pleasant, small town veneer of respectability. They fall within the cozy, traditional British detective sections of mystery fiction. He has been writing professionally since 1996 when he began to contribute articles to magazines on social and local history. His first published book in 2002 was a non-fiction work entitled The Camden Town Murder which investigated a famous murder mystery of 1907 and names the killer. This is still available in softback and as an ebook, although not available from Smashwords John Barber had careers in Advertising, International Banking and the Wine Industry before becoming Town Centre Manager in his home town of Hertford. He is now retired and lives with his wife and two cats on an island in the middle of Hertford and spends his time between local community projects and writing further novels.