Every week BARBARA FISHER looks at issues that affect us all – the issues that get you talking. You can join in by emailing email@example.com
BRING on the gas and air. I’m celebrating the birth of my book which comes out this week. It really is a bit like having a baby; maybe slightly less painful.
Tales From An Old Hack – Memoir Of A Local Reporter, covers my 20 years as a journalist in Hillingdon, as well as a personal memoir. It includes some historical, and hysterical, photographs including the cover, taken in 1997, with Screaming Lord Sutch when he was a parliamentary candidate here.
You will see me as a small child wearing the Fair Isle beret that kept me safe and, as an 18-year-old student, wearing droopy overalls while a chalet maid at Butlins. Much later, I’m living it up with some boozy friends at the Prospect of Whitby at Wapping, including Mr F, although we were not then an item.
I’m also pictured with a pitbull and with a group of Greenford children when I was their class teacher. Different photos and happily no connection between these two incidents.
There’s a recently elected Tony Blair, snapped when he visited Uxbridge, and Ken Livingstone, when he was Mayor of London, popping into West Drayton.
Then there’s me trying to catch up with former Uxbridge MP Sir John Randall on the political trail with Jeffrey Archer (who walks very fast).
This was all in the dark ages – pre-phone cameras and certainly before selfies became the norm – so I am indebted to the many Gazette photographers who gave me hard copies of their photographs to keep.
The book otherwise would have been seriously picture-deficient and we all know the importance of visual aids, don’t we? (I am particularly addressing teachers here!)
It’s been a mind-boggling gestation period (longer than an elephant actually), as many of the poignant, happy and sometimes ridiculous news stories and features were before the internet, so had to be tapped into my computer.
I’m still not absolutely sure I can throw away the boxes of old newspaper cuttings even now, as de-cluttering is a concept I’ve yet to get to grips with.
Though no longer a staff reporter it’s great to still have links with Hillingdon borough through my Bm@il column – and because we’ve lived here for 40 years. It’s always good to get feedback from so many of you (most recently a group of ladies in the Swan and Bottle, Uxbridge).
We share a lot of history, don’t we? Join this old hack if you can, for a book signing on Saturday October 6 from noon at
Waterstone’s in Uxbridge.