A Life’s Tales, by Joseph Hucknall

I received this book last Friday. Every spare moment this weekend was spent reading it – I finally finished it this morning. A fascinating insight into the mind and mores of a man whose life and experiences could not be more different from my own. Time, place, customs and the law all played their part in the development of this resolute and winning individual. He left school at fourteen, and used his time since then extremely well.
Born into an enormous family, shackled by poverty and prejudice, he overcame his adverse circumstances through hard work, ambition, a ruthless honesty and modest charm. An example of this is his slightly sly way of introducing the names of very famous people he has encountered – I want to know more!!
The book generally would benefit from expansion. I would love more details – but its open-heartedness makes you feel you have really got to know the author! Lovely.

What I did find out about, and it made me feel quite nostalgic, was the power of Woolworths. I had no idea it was such a large chain. I can still just about remember counter service, and going with my mother when I was about seven to buy new crockery and cutlery – I still have two or three of the spoons we bought then. That I think was in the Bayswater branch!

I have to admit that I have actually met the author once or twice, as he was a neighbour of my father’s, but we have never really had a chat. I hope that can be remedied in the near future, as I really enjoyed the book.

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