Book describes life on breadline

Headlong Into Pennilessness by Michael Glover
Headlong Into Pennilessness by Michael Glover
0
Have your say

A RETIRED housewife has found herself the cover star of a new book which details her family’s austere existence in 1950s Sheffield.

Patricia Eales, aged 70, is featured on the front of her brother Michael Glover’s memoir Headlong Into Pennilessness, in which he writes about their early life in a terrace house in Fir Vale.

Patricia - just seven years old at the time - is pictured at Michael’s christening more than five decades ago.

Michael grew up without a father in a poor, two-bedroomed house on Coningsby Road, sharing the tiny house with five other relatives.

Despite his deprived upbringing he has fond memories of the house - but Patricia said she doesn’t share her brother’s view.

“I couldn’t wait to leave that house - it was tiny, damp and horrible,” she said.

“Wild horses wouldn’t drag me back to an existence that was ruled by the make-do-and-mend attitude of the time, nightly arguments about money and the freezing cold outside toilet.”

Patricia moved to a semi-detached house in Holymoorside, Chesterfield, in the early 1970s, where she still lives today.

Her brother went on to gain a degree at Cambridge University and worked as editor for publishing house Mirror Books, as well as an art critic for The Independent newspaper.

Patricia said Michael never knew his dad, and that she didn’t meet him until she was four years old after the Second World War.

“He appeared in all his khaki army gear with a huge handlebar moustache,” she said.

“He was nearly black from years under the hot sun in Burma. My mother fainted.

“The man that came home in 1945 was very different from the one that left in 1939, according to my mother.

“Their marriage was one of the many casualties of the war.”

n Headlong Into Pennilessness is published by ACM Retro and available in The Star shop on York Street, Sheffield, priced £9.95. It is currently being serialised in The Star’s Retro supplement on Saturdays.