It just goes to show that it’s never too late to realise a dream.
Retford man Noel Bradley, a mining engineer for most of his life in the Scottish and Nottinghamshire coalfields, has been writing poetry for years but had given up hope of ever seeing his work in print. Until now! On May 1 this year his book, Thirties Child, will be launched.
“I can’t quite believe it!” said Noel last week. “86 years old and I’m embarking on a new career.”
Inspired by first hand experiences from his life and illustrated with original black and white photographs, his poems and verses are unpretentious, funny, vivid, down to earth, nostalgic, sometimes sad, profound and beautiful. They are poems that literally transport you back to times long since gone; to hardships, love and experiences we can only imagine.
“Everything I’ve written about is true, it all happened,” said Noel. “I was born in 1930 in Liverpool, a city that was hammered into the ground by the Germans. I was evacuated aged 10, but I didn’t stay long; I made my way home to Liverpool. I only met my wife and soul mate twice before I married her. Well, I wasn’t going to let such a beauty slip away!” he smiled with a distinct twinkle in his eye!
“I went down the pits just as mechanisation was coming in and they were hard days. We cut under the coal and as we did so methane filled the air. If the ventilation failed, we were in trouble. Mining brought us to Nottinghamshire and I worked at Bevercotes and Harworth pits. I spent 30 years as a mining engineer and I loved it. I won’t tell you anymore about my poems or you won’t need to buy the book,” he teased.
And Noel Bradley wants everyone to buy his book because he is giving a percentage of profits away to local volunteer cancer charity Team Verrico.
The charity helps young families who are facing rare or hard to treat cancers, fight and win more tomorrows. It also funds research into treatment and diagnosis. Without a doubt Team Verrico brings hope where there is none. And in an effort to boost the amount donated the publisher has waived its commission.
An exclusive pre-launch book signing event is being held at the Red Lion, Epworth on Wednesday April 12. The book will be available to buy at the event, and also from Amazon in paperback and Kindle, priced £9.99.
“I’m looking forward to meeting all comers, having a chat and to signing a few books,” smiles this delightful octogenarian.