When I was a kid, knee high to a grasshopper, Dad used to take me for a Sunday morning stroll through Liverpool City centre, where four years later, the devastation following the Blitz, in which George had been an Auxiliary Fireman, was still very evident. On the rare Sunday it rained – doesn’t the sun always seem to shine in childhood days – he’d entertain me with his collection of esoteric water colours and sketches.
When he died, relatively young and unexpectedly a few years later, his paintings and sketches were missing. Many years later, I was taking a last look around the family home and climbed into the rarely-ventured-into loft. In the gloom I found an old tea-chest full of old magazines and buried beneath them, a cardboard box..
It contained two books, one an old, dog-eared, hard-backed exercise book, yellowing pages packed with the water colours and sketches I’d seen as a child. The second, an Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) Training Manual, with cartoons illustrating the lighter side of Dad’s traumatic experiences in the fire service during the Liverpool Blitz. They needed to be shared and “Flights of Fantasy” was born.
It’s a book everyone can enjoy with descriptions of George’s early life in the fishing port of Ramsgate followed by his city life in Liverpool at the end of the Great War. Still in Liverpool it continues through the inter-war peace, and the Second World War. Readers are sure to emphasise with the experiences of the AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service) as they heroically fight the fires of the Luftwaffe Blitz over Merseyside in 1940-41. But it’s also a book that will appeal directly to aviation enthusiasts or those with a broad interest in the history of the first half of the 20th Century. And for art lovers, there’s the superb, slightly naive paintings and sketches.
Getting or sending it couldn’t be easier. All that’s required is a short on-line visit to its Liverpool publisher. Just click on the following link World of Creative Dreams and the book can be sent directly to distant family and friends. Meanwhile a few pages to whet your appetite…
STOP PRESS: The story of the book as covered by the Isle of Thanet new blog…here.
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