Harpenden writer puts a life into words

PUBLISHED: 10:46 06 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:19 06 May 2010

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A NOSTALGIC author who lived in Harpenden for 30 years has written a book on the challenges he faced as a young man living in the town. John Cooper, aged 70, published Making Ends Meet: A Working Life Remembered earlier this summer as a sequel to his firs

A NOSTALGIC author who lived in Harpenden for 30 years has written a book on the challenges he faced as a young man living in the town.

John Cooper, aged 70, published Making Ends Meet: A Working Life Remembered earlier this summer as a sequel to his first autobiography, A Harpenden Childhood Remembered, which kicked off his writing career back in 2007.

John's second account takes his reader on a journey through the ups and downs of a career spanning nearly half a century, including his time as a young apprentice with Vauxhall Motors, his call to National Service and a bleak spell of redundancies in the 1960s.

John, who moved to Watford in 1968 after marrying his wife Betty, said that researching and writing was his new-found passion: "I love digging up my past and putting it down on paper and I wish I'd dabbled in a researching career before now. It's such a rewarding experience to write about your own life like I have."

He added: "I've thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of producing this book and I've met some fascinating people along the way, from the actress Shirley Anne Field to eight-times world motorcycle champion Phil Read, both of whom make an appearance in my book. I'm very thankful for the exciting experiences this book has given me."

John, who has two children and one three-year-old grandson, has thrown three parties to celebrate the release of his book and at all of his signings he donates a proportion of sales to charity.

John said that he hoped he could continue to raise money for charity with his books: "I love doing book signings and supporting places such as the Watford Peace Hospice at the same time. It's lovely to have parties to celebrate the book's release and I think my family are quite proud of my achievement."

John, whose hobbies include collecting old postcards of Harpenden, is currently half way through writing his third book, which will be a pictorial book on Harpenden to illustrate how the town has changed over the decades.

Making Ends Meet: A Working Life Remembered can be purchased from The Book Stack on Bowers Parade, Harpenden.

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