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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Local Authors


We have 20 years experience in publishing, editing, designing and promoting local and business books.  

We are committed to bringing quality books to potential readers, and to maximising the potential of each book.

Our dedicated in-house team is always on hand to take you all the way from manuscript to eBook or printed copy. Every author is treated as an individual, not a number.

Email your manuscript to Lynn Davidson, or tel 0191 3731739

Copies are available from Lynn Davidson  mob 0755 2086888

Sir Paul Nicholson KCVO - Brewer At Bay

Lives in Brancepeth Village, Durham
Sir Paul resigned as Chairman of the group on 26 March 1999 after the board of the company, against his advice, had decided to close both Vaux Brewery in Sunderland and Wards Brewery in Sheffield. He gives a full account of the destruction of the breweries and has some pungent comments on those responsible for the loss of so many jobs in Sunderland and Sheffield.
Born in County Durham, Sir Paul recounts his childhood with affection. His education at Harrow and Clare College, Cambridge which gave him the grounding required for a future in the business world, are colourfully described. Also included are details of his National Service during which he was commissioned in the Coldstream Guards. His prolific business career began when he initially qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse, subsequently joining Vaux in 1965 and rising to the position of Managing Director in 1971.
However, not only does Sir Paul write about his vocational activities, horses have always been an important part of Sir Paul's life and in 1964 he completed the Grand National Steeplechase and twice won the Liverpool Fox Hunters Race. He has always enjoyed coaching and is a past President of The Coaching Club, the country's oldest horse driving club.
Sir Paul has held various senior positions outside of Vaux, including Chairman of the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation, the body set up by the government to bring economic regeneration to the areas of the two rivers. He was formerly a director of Tyne Tees Television plc from 1981 to 1992, as well as a director of Northern Electric plc from 1990 to 1997.
In 1993 he was knighted for services to industry and to the public in North East England, and was appointed Lord Lieutenant of County Durham in January 1997. In 2011 he was appointed as Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO)
Currently involved in business as a non executive director. He is married to Sarah and has one daughter, Lucy.

Brewer at Bay chronicles the full and varied life of a man with his roots based firmly in the North East Sir Paul Nicholson's family were involved in the Vaux Group's, Sunderland Brewery throughout the 162 years of its existence.

'Sir Paul Nicholson's book details the working - and end-of-workings - of Vaux Breweries'
Bill Jamieson - Executive Editor The Scotsman


For anyone that knows Vaux, the North East and the Nicholsons this book will fall into the ‘must have’ category. For those not included in these groups the book will be a riveting account of an unusual and eventful life from which the reader will learn how a businessman is formed and how a businessman leads his life’.
Sir Frederick Holliday - Chairman of Northumbrian Water and former Vice-Chancellor of Durham University

‘For City practitioners, the most absorbing section of this entertaining life story will be the detailed account of the events leading up to the demise of Vaux in 1999. The misjudgements of financial advisers and board members are relentlessly exposed, as is the full tragedy of the snuffing-out of this essentially decent and by no means unsuccessful company’.
John Walters - Leading City Brewing Analyst

‘He tells a story that is tragic both for him personally through Vaux Breweries and also for those living around the Sunderland area. His assessment of the Vaux decline should be compulsory reading for all Northern Business Schools’.
Sir George Russell - Former Chairman of Northern Development Company

‘Sir Paul Nicholson tells a real story. Never complacent, he has always accepted or created challenge. He has been a fine champion of the North East, firm on the front foot and fierce in defence........... His book is a tapestry with all the colours and hues, and will be enjoyed by all who read it’. 
Sir Angus Grossart - Chairman of Noble Grossart Ltd (Merchant Bank) 

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Harry Moses lives at Aycliffe village and was born in Tow Law

The Faithful Sixth A History of the Sixth Battalion The Durham Light Infantry

The Durham Light Infantry was one of our finest County Regiments. This is the story, of the 6th Battalion DLI and of the best men from County Durham who served first as Volunteers, and later as Territorials, and who fought with such distinction in two World Wars.

Harry Moses has long been fascinated by the history of the 6th Battalion DLI and this book is the result of his many years of meticulous research.


Harry Moses from Tow Law, a village in South West Durham now living in Aycliffe Village, was educated at Wolsingham Grammar School from 1941-1948. On completing his National Service in 1950 he commenced employment with Durham County Education Committee. He worked for this Authority from 1950 until 1963. In 1963 he entered Teachers’ Training College and in 1966 commenced his teaching career at Eaglescliffe Junction Farm Primary School until his appointment as Head Teacher at Aycliffe Village County Primary School in 1972. He retired on 31st December, 1993.
In the 1980s he renewed his research into Military History, particularly the First and Second World wars and the experiences of the County Regiment, The Durham Light Infantry. Harry is a member of The Western Front Association. Since 1988 he has been a part-time interviewer with The Imperial War Museum. 
Harry Moses received The Alan Ball Local History Award 2002 for The Gateshead Gurkhas. 
He lives in retirement at Aycliffe Village with his wife Audrey. They have two children and three grandchildren.


The best from gods own country
If you interested in local history then this is a must. Centred around Bishop Auckland it really brings home the pride that still exists within the county. These were Territorial and they gave there best and then more. A fantastic read. Hard to come by so get one if you can.
Anne Johnson (Middlesbrough)

Harry Moses is a Durham lad who, since retiring, has researched and then written numerous books about the Durham Light Infantry; three battalions of which formed part of the famous 50th Northumbrian Division in both WWI and WWII.
In this book Harry has included personal accounts of veterans of one of those battalions, the 6th Battalion, which brings to life the battles, what the sacrifice in terms of dead and wounded achieved, and the impact on the men involved.
Generally speaking, I don't believe that we really understand the sacrifice these ordinary and yet extra-ordinary men (and others like them) made, a sacrifice that enables us to live the life we do in the free society we have today. Read this book, then you'll understand.
Fantastic read.
Thomas McAlistair

For Your Tomorrow A History of the 2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry 1919-1955

Foreword by General Sir Peter de la Billiere KCB, KBE, DSO, MC, DL.

The author has written a fine account of the history of the 2nd Battalion The Durham Light Infantry from 1918-1955. In the desperate battles in France and Burma the Battalion fought with considerable courage and added more laurels to the history of the County Regiment. 

I thoroughly recommend this book

All proceeds from these books will be paid to the Regimental Association and Charities.

Following re-organisation in 1919 the 2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry sailed to South Russia, then to Turkey before moving to India in 1920. It remained in India for 16 years. On returning to England, it was part of the BEF which moved to France in 1940. During the action on the River Dyle (Belgium) 2nd Lt. Richard Annand won the first Army VC in World War II.

After suffering heavy losses at St. Venant (France) in May 1940, the survivors of the Battalion returned to England. Re-organised it sailed for India in April 1942. Involved in fighting in the Arakan and at Kohima, the Battalion added to its laurels as a fine fighting unit. Following the Japanese surrender, it sailed for Singapore and took part in the disarming of the Japanese forces. For a short period it formed the guard over Japanese war criminals in Changi Jail. Its final period of service in the Far East was back in Burma in 1947 chasing Dacoit terrorists. On returning to the UK it was placed on suspended animation until re-organised in 1952. It served in Germany until final break up in 1955.

The book covers the whole of the period of history from 1919 to 1955, particularly through the eyes of those officers and soldiers who served with the Battalion in peace and war, reinforced with over 50 photographs and 9 maps.

In an interview to The Northern Echo's Duncan Leatherdale, Harry says 

'I have been fascinated with military history since I was a nipper, especially the DLI as they are all local lads.'

Other Books written by Harry Moses:
The Fighting Bradfords Northern Heroes of World War One
The Gateshead Gurkhas A History of the 9th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry 1859-1967
The Durhams In Korea 1952-53
For You Tommy The War Is Over - DLI POWs In WWII

If you would like to buy this book please visit:

John C. Foster Lives in Langley Park, Durham

Theatre Royal Newcastle Upon Tyne The Grand Old Lady Of Grey Street Memories 1950-2000

In this fascinating book, theatre buff John Foster traces productions and personalities that have graced the Theatre Royal stage during the years 1950-2000. He captures the colourful characters, shows, stories and history of this period. Written with the passion of someone with an all-consuming hobby, it is an informative read not only for people in the North-East but for anyone with an interest in stage and screen. It features a wealth of statistics and inside information, plus critical reception, cast lists, and pithy commentary about each show.

This book is a comprehensive history of theatre ranging from Peter Pan during the 1950s all the way up to Mark Little in his London hit Defending The Caveman, the 2000 winner of the Best Entertainment Olivier Award as it we know it today. Like every art form, theatre has been changing and evolving since its inception more than 2000 years ago. As informative as it is entertaining, this book offers an accessibly written history as it is written in chronological order and is richly illustrated with memorabilia of the period.

John C. Foster has long had a keen interest in theatre. In 1958 he joined the Durham Amateur Dramatic Society and took up acting. Most of his appearances were with this Club but he was also a member of the Langley Park Players and appeared in other productions for Elsie Craig Shaw. At Durham he was a producer for the Society whose plays were staged in St. Margaret’s Hall and later at the Assembly Rooms. During his time with D.D.S. he adapted ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ’Dracula’ for the stage. Mr Foster is an avid collector of all types of theatre memorabilia and is a member of the Ephemera Society of Great Britain.

Any profits from this book will be donated to the 

Of Theatre Royal Newcastle Upon Tyne

Looking At Durham Stage and Screen Memories 1884-1963

Written by John C. Foster who lives in Langley Park, this book is a warm and insightful exploration of the theatre and film industry in Durham from 1884 to 1963.  The author is a knowledgeable and passionate guide, taking us on a chronological journey that traces the development of the arts in Durham from the day The Royal Albany Theatre opened, thereby ending a period of 15 years in which the city had no theatre.

Illustrated throughout with pictures embedded in the text the book can serve as an excellent reference though the many entertaining and amusing anecdotes ensure that it is no text book. Instead it is a lively, informative and well-written book, a must-read for anyone interested in the arts in Durham, as well as the general reader.


A new book Looking at Durham Stage And Screen: Memories 1884 - 1963, compiled by John C. Foster, takes a year-by-year look at theatre both professional and amateur in Durham City

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The Improbable Bishop Ian Ramsey of Durham - John S Peart-Binns

A succession of masterful figures had the honour of serving as Bishop of Durham; saints and sages, prince-bishops, warriors and statesmen, builders and governors, reformers and controversialists. In 1966 a most unlikely candidate stepped into this mix. Born and bred in Lancashire, Ian Thomas Ramsey’s background gave few clues as to his future calling.

A brilliant and original thinker, his works on philosophy, theology and science developed and popularised new concepts in each discipline. Ordained in 1940, he served a curacy at Headington Quarry, Oxford and spent twenty three years as an academic: a lecturer and chaplain at Cambridge followed by a professorship at Oxford. Ramsey was an unexpected but inspired choice for appointment as Bishop of Durham. Ian Ramsey was immediately embraced by the people of Durham and soon the Church of England had an irrepressible and popular bishop in their midst. Focusing on Ramsey’s years in Durham The Improbable Bishop depicts a man whose compassion and work ethic made him ‘Everybody’s Bishop’ in pit villages, rural communities and secular institutions across the county. The book is a sensitive but rigorous assessment of the virtues, strengths, vulnerabilities and limitations of a man who left a lasting legacy in Durham and whose ideas influenced thinking across the country.

The author, John S. Peart-Binns, is a critically acclaimed episcopographer of fifteen prominent twentieth century subjects. In 2008 he received an M.Phil. with distinction from the University of Leeds for his thesis on Establishment and Disesstablishment in the life, thought and work of Herbert Hensley Henson, Bishop of Durham. Born and brought up in Bradford, he now lives with his wife Annis in the hub of the universe, Hebden Bridge in the South Pennines.


An affectionate and critical assessment of Ian Ramsey’s time as Bishop of Durham … one of the many good things about this book is the affectionate but shrewd memoirs by those who knew Ramsey and worked with him.
Well researched and informative. It contains some very amusing and attractive photographs. Well worth a read.
Christ College Oxford
In his latest biography Peart-Binns has done a great service. He has reminded us of a great scholar and churchman whose work on a number of moral and ethical issues influenced the thought of a nation.
Canon Malcolm Grundy Teal Trust

If you would like to buy this book please visit:

Lord Graham of Edmonton - From Tyne To Thames
Lord Graham was born on Scotswood Road, Newcastle, 
in a time of hardship, Edward Graham began working for the Co-operative Movement in 1939. He joined the Royal Marines and was badly wounded whilst preparing for D Day in May 1944. 

He served as Prime Minister of the Tyneside Youth Parliament before going on to qualify in Secretarial and Management skills at the Co-operative College. In 1976 he achieved a BA through the Open University, who later awarded him the honorary degree of Master of the University. Lord Graham became a councillor in Enfield in 1960, going on to become Leader and served as Leader of the new London Borough of Enfield upon its creation in 1964. During this time, he fought his first Parliamentary election and in 1974 entered the Commons as Member for Edmonton, while acting as National Secretary for the Co-operative Party. During his parliamentary career, Lord Graham served as the Private Parliamentary Secretary to Alan Williams, the Minister for Consumer Affairs in the department headed by Shirley Williams, and served as a Lords Commissioner to the Treasury (Senior Whip), Opposition front bench spokesman on Sport, Defence and Northern Ireland and Opposition Chief Whip from 1990-1997. This is the story of a boy from depressed Newcastle who, despite leaving school at 14, always knew he was capable of gaining a degree. After achieving a BA through the Open University (becoming the first and only MP to do so) Lord Graham rose to become the Opposition Chief Whip in The House Of Lords and was invited by the Queen to become a Member of her Privy Council in the House of Lords. Ennobled in 1983, his never-failing enthusiasm for political life makes him a fascinating and incisive chronicler of the inner workings of the House of Lords, and the book is rounded off with affectionate pen portraits of many of the friends and colleagues with whom he shared his parliamentary years.

He remains an eloquent and passionate member of the Second Chamber, where he is currently enjoying life and continuing to play an important role in major debates.

Lord Graham recounts his experiences of growing up in poverty as the eldest of five children, his service in the Royal Marines where he was badly wounded by friendly fire and his advancement up the ladder of the Co-operative Movement where he received the greatest honour the Co-op can bestow, becoming President of Congress. He remembers with gratitude all those who have helped him throughout his career. A life-long member of the Labour Party, Lord Graham reveals an intimate view of the wilderness years of Conservative Government and pays tribute to the dedication of those Labour Peers who, in refusing to retire to ‘God’s Waiting Room’, carry on the fight, of course, via the usual channels.

the earlier chapters colourfully chart his growing up and describe the background into which he was born.
Melvyn Butcher

the book includes his difficult but hilarious battles with Tory peers during the 1980's when Labour peers were grossly outnumbered in the House of Lords
Enfield Independent

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Olga Rutherford Abrahams - A Geordie In Japan  
Olga Abrahams lives in Whitley Bay

A Geordie In Japan is the extraordinary story of Olga Abrahams and her journey from the North East of England to Japan and back again. She now lives in Whitley Bay a girl from a Northumbria mining village and a staunch atheist until her university years, Olga Abrahams was an unlikely missionary. Christianity led her into teaching and missionary work, first in China and then in 1952, Japan. She encountered a nation scarred by the catastrophes of World War II and undergoing a traumatic transition from military imperialism to liberal democracy. Left to fill a spiritual void created by Hirohito’s announcement that he was not, in fact, divine Christian missionaries faced great challenges. Supported by her husband Doug she learned the language, immersed herself in the culture and came to love the country and its people. Just as Japan changed during her time there, so too did Britain.

The country she left in 1952 was almost unrecognisable by 1985 and so Olga’s retirement and homecoming meant many readjustments. She threw herself into local politics and was elected as a Councillor in the London Borough of Harrow.

This book is the life story of an intelligent young Geordie from socialist home, the story of a most unlikely missionary candidate who eventually spent a life time of service in japan - I love the personal and intimate detail and honesty in this book and commend it to those who read this review, as a good read, written for the glory of god, but then, Doug and Olga Abrahams are two of our dearest fellow workers and friends.
  Denis Lane Evangelical news

A Geordie in Japan will resonate with anyone who has ever been enchanted by other cultures or has found themselves looking at their own from a fresh perspective. It is a moving account of cultural and spiritual discovery that will delight and inform in equal measure.
Freelance Market News

God moves in mysterious ways, so it is said, and so it proved for North east woman and communist Olga Rutherford Abrahams. At first a confirmed non-believer, her conversion saw her spend 30 years in post-second world war Japan doing missionary work with her husband, Doug.
Mike Kelly Evening Chronicle

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Ray Gibbon - The Way It Was
Ray Gibbon lives in Witton Gilbert
The Way It Was, Tales from a Policeman’s Notebook is a well written and entertaining collection of short stories taken from the author’s time in three north-eastern police forces. Wittily illustrated with cartoons and pictures this book is an enthralling look at policing as it used to be. Packed full of amusing anecdotes from his police days Ray Gibbon also writes with great warmth about his family, colleagues and the many entertaining characters he meets in the course of his duties.

Ray Gibbon had a distinguished career, he served in three North-Eastern Police Forces; The Durham County Constabulary, the amalgamated Durham Constabulary and finally the Northumbria Police Force. He received the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. He spent many happy years serving with the Dog Section and has fond memories of his faithful partner Rebel. Post retirement Mr Gibbon spent his time doing voluntary work with various charities, such as the Samaritans. He also served for 20 years in the Citizens Advice Bureau; eventually he became a Durham City Councillor. He had the honour of serving as Mayor of the city in the year 2003/2004 and became an Alderman of Durham in 2008. He married Margaret Allen in 1956 and they have spent many happy years together, they have a son, daughter and 4 grandchildren


Wittily illustrated with cartoons and pictures this book is an enthralling look at policing as it used to be. Packed full of amusing anecdotes from his police days Ray Gibbon also writes with great warmth about his family, colleagues and the many entertaining characters he meets in the course of his duties.
National Association  Of Retired Police Officers (NARPO)

This thoroughly enjoyable memoir is a warm-hearted and nostalgic collection of tales from the past.
Chief Constabule of Durham Constabulary Jon Stoddart

The author chronicles his training as a dog handler, his experience of raiding a so-called massage parlour in the West Midlands and the eventual realisation that a policeman's lot, although not entirely unhappy, was not well rewarded. The reminisces of a policeman working in days before technology was applied to policing will be valid for the social historian and others interested in the wider topic of law and order.
Terry Gilder, Staffordshire Newspaper

Many of his stories are of what Dixon of Dock Green called an ordinary copper just patrolling his beat, and all the more fascinating, and more credible, for it.

Ray is well known to a number of members - as a policeman, active City councillor and City Mayor in 2003-2004.  He came to us today to recount some of the incidents in a long career in the police force and to reflect on the way things change.  I particularly liked his story of the snow shoes which were part of the equipment at Greenside Police Station - winters could be bleak up there.  Ray told us how they were eventually replaced by a Land Rover - the snow shoes never went out but the Land Rover was never in!
Ray had kept many of his "official" pocketbooks and these have proved to be a rich source of recollections, leading, eventually, and much persuasion, to the publication of a book - and I'm sure he won't mind me reproducing the cover above.
In proposing a vote of thanks to Ray, Grenville Holland (City Mayor 2008-2009) praised him for his long and effective public service and stressed the importance of the "beat bobby" - one of the four pillars of a peaceful community - the priest, doctor, teacher and policeman.  Has their absence lead to the "broken society"?
Rotary Club of Durham

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Peter R. Shuker - Half a Century of Further Education                     
Peter Shuker lives in Darlington
Sitting somewhat uncomfortably between compulsory and higher education, further education has often been referred to as “the Cinderella of English education”. This book traces the progress of the sector from the early 1950s to the beginning of the 21st Century. In doing so, it identifies many of the key issues that helped transform colleges from relatively low status organisations to purposeful institutions providing an excellent vocational educational experience to millions of people. This book traces the progress of the sector from the early 1950s to the beginning of the 21st Century. In doing so, it identifies many of the key issues that helped transform colleges from relatively low status organisations to purposeful institutions providing an excellent vocational educational experience to millions of people. The author recounts his personal experiences in five colleges, including a college of education, and documents his involvement in local, regional, national and international initiatives to raise the quality of opportunities for students in colleges. One of his driving ambitions was to promote the use of developing digital technologies to enhance the learning experiences of students, giving them more control over their own progress, studying at a time and location that could best meet their needs.

Peter Shuker’s nineteen years as a college principal at Darlington enables him to give a unique personal account of the challenges that faced managers and college staff when coming to terms with the radical changes imposed on the sector during the last half century.   

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Brian Greenwood - Shop!

Brian Greenwood lives in Harrogate
Brian Greenwood has led a widely varied life as Chairman of Britain's largest privately owned menswear chain, Chairman of numerous property companies and as the longest serving Chairman of any Public School. His sporting interests have ranged from Athletics to Deer Stalking. His family and business life have seen both triumphs and tragedies.
His life has been a complex tapestry with many colours and hues. Its story will be enjoyed by all who read it.
He and his wife Enid live near Harrogate; they have a son and daughter and four adult children.

Brian Greenwood’s experiences in building what was once Britain’s largest privately-owned menswear chain coupled with 50 years involvement in independent education, together with a very wide range of sporting interests, all make for entertaining, informative and frequently amusing reading. This profusely illustrated book with its foreword by Lord Norman Tebbit CH ranges from the origins of the Greenwood menswear empire, through the acquisition of other firms such as Dunn & Co. and Hodges - once a household name throughout South Wales and the south west - to a succession of commercial disasters in the period of the early 90s recession.
Parallel to the business story are the affairs of one of the North’s leading independent schools - Woodhouse Grove and tales of sporting activities as diverse as athletics, rugby and hunting in South Africa.
In writing his memoirs of a long and interesting life, the author sets out to produce a book which would never be dull but would rather be a thoroughly enjoyable read - he has succeeded!

'The rise of the Greenwood family fortunes began in Bradford in the 1850's when Brian Greenwood's great-great-grandfather took up the trade of hatter, which was carried on by his son and then grandson, who expanded the business into a gentlemen's outfitters. Shop! traces the fortunes and misfortunes of his descendents - most notably Brian Greenwood himself - through a hundred and fifty tumultuous years including two terrible wars, the devastating slump and depression of the inter-war period, the height and the fall of the British Empire and that of the Greenwood empire too.
The story has in it the stuff of a TV saga.'
Rt Hon Lord Tebbit CH

'Brian Greenwood's life could make a novel. In fact, he's now writing three thrillers based on his experiences.'
Chris Holland, Telegraph & Argus

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David C Fanthorpe - Little Tyke 
David Fanthorpe lives in Castle Eden
This fascinating, lightly written, and sometimes funny autobiography of an unlikely captain of industry is an inspiring account of the extra-ordinary rise of a boy from “ ragged working class childhood obscurity  in the 1940’s to the Boardrooms of Europe and the U.S.A. in the 1980’s and 1990’s”. He recounts his Doncaster Grammar School education followed by a First Class Honours Degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Bradford and this sets the scene for a career in Industry and the business world. He could not have envisaged in those early days that this early aspirations would take him to the position of European Vice President of the Black and Decker Corporation in Spennymoor prior to his retirement in 1995. He tells the story of the times he lived through, giving an informed, light commentary on “the struggle by British manufacturing industry to compete in the increasingly hostile and rapidly changing post War commercial world and the birth of Globalisation”. His account of life in the Global business world brought him into contact with fascinating people including politicians, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, captains of international industry and ordinary working people.  Remarkably, he treats them all, including the politicians, in the same irreverent affectionate terms as the factory girl. He now lives in Castle Eden.

Copies are available from Lynn Davidson  mob 0755 2086888