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Dear Bob 2: Letters From Home


Dear Bob 2 continues the wonderful snap-shots of life in Middlesbrough in the early 1930s, which began in the sell-out original Dear Bob. Each week Bob’s Mam writes to him on HMS Norfolk with the news from the town. Life is tough for Mam and her neighbours in Grove Hill, but as before she can find things to smile about. The cast of unforgettable characters continues in all its hilarious detail: Dad still has his dictionary close to his nose, Stan Cole’s shed is the place where the unemployed men put the world to rights, Ta Ta Pet is still collecting the insurance and spreading the gossip. Mam is her strong self, telling the story with well-observed Teesside wit, warmth and wisdom.

About Bert Ward

Bert Ward was born in North Ormesby Middlesbrough in 1922 and lived on the Grove Hill council estate from age seven. He joined the Royal Navy aged 15 and left in 1946 having had a variety of unskilled and semi-skilled jobs. In 1956 he left the railways where he was a goods guard to work as a rigger at ICI Wilton and attended WEA classes. In 1957 he went to Ruskin College, Oxford, on a trade union scholarship, then worked for the AEU in London. For research into the British apprenticeship system he was awarded a mature state scholarship and studied economics and politics at the LSE. He started writing poetry and short stories when working as a senior lecturer. When he retired to Middlesbrough, he attended Andy Croft’s and Heather Bennett’s Creative Writing classes. Mudfog published some of his short stories, notably Dear Bob 1931 and 1932. He has since published Dear Bob 1933 himself and has just completed and published a brief political autobiography, Who’ll Take The Collection? Both these titles are available from Mudfog Press by post (see contact information), but not from INP.

Price £7.99