It has been an extraordinary amount of time since I last wrote a blog.
As you know I published my social history book The Last Class in November 2021, well, it also kept me busy in 2022.
With help from my beloved Mr H, I spent a lot of time honouring the requests of the Midland Adult School. This was to send a copy to every public library in Birmingham, plus every current and past member who we had details for and of course copies for people who requested to purchase one. They are still trickling out of my hands; I am now on my last 18 out of an original 300 copies. Other copies have sold on Amazon and through the publisher Brewin Books.
It is not a best seller by any means but that was never the intention. My pride emanates from the fact that I have recorded, forever, the story of a Philanthropic Organisation which had a significant part in bringing education to the working class of Britain. I recorded the personal memories of some of its members and along the way achieved something that I know makes my late Great Grandad Tom very happy.
I organised a launch of the book for the Rubery Class at my mom’s house. The look of surprise on their faces when they walked into the room where I had the books laid out in true ‘book launch’ style lit up my heart and settled in my everlasting memory. Alan, one of the members took a step back from the table and when I asked him why he said “I had absolutely no idea it would be so professional, a real book.” I asked each member to sign a copy of the book which will be treasured record of them all.
I was also invited to do a talk to the Lickey Hills Local History Society. The room was packed with friendly faces, a few familiar, many not. The last public talk I gave was in 2011 at a Brain Tumour conference so I had to try and control my jangling nerves. But after the first five minutes with my notes in hand I got into my professional swing.
A friend subsequently came across a review of my talk in The Village Magazine. The article started with…
“The guest speaker at the Lickey Hills Society had the packed Trinity Centre enthralled writes Keith Woolford. Dawn Hamill, who gave a talk on The Story of the Midland Adult School, was part of a family that took advantage of, and ultimately benefited from the scheme.” A tingle of elation ran through my body as I read it…
Now that life has resumed and some kind or normality post Covid lockdowns exists, I need a plan. So, even though my mobility took a big hit, and my new - post Covid - normal now includes two walking sticks instead of one, a rollator called Canardly and a Zimmer frame, I shall get back to regularly exercising my brain at the lap top.
I may even set up a new Blog because Blogger have made their blog site even harder to negotiate or maybe its my older brain getting weary...