Former newsman with the Sunday Mail and Scottish Mirror, Frank Hurley has written an autobiography about his childhood days growing up in the post-war era.
In the book, Frank reveals he was a lad torn between two countries – Scotland, the place of his birth and homeland of his beloved mother and England, where he spent most of his time growing up.
His English dad was in the Army during the Second World War and garrisoned north of the border. That’s when he met and wooed the woman of his dreams – the most beautiful girl in the village of Bannockburn, in Stirlingshire – historically noted for the killing of English soldiers in a famous 14th century battle. Fortunately, Frank’s dad survived this particular skirmish.
Post-war Britain was austere for many people – especially the Hurley family. What made it worse was that Frank’s mum’s heart was always back in Scotland. So much so that with her children in tow, she fled the suburban landscape of southern England and hitch-hiked back to the hills and glens of home.
Although Frank did eventually return south, the young Frank had begun a lifelong love affair with Scotland.
In this nostalgic, humorous and sometimes tragic story, Frank Hurley tells of the hell of living in homeless hostels in the sprawling London Borough of Croydon and the unbridled happiness of running free in Highland hills and catching trout in burns and lochs.
Frank tells how, growing up, he stole flowers from people’s gardens to sell in the local market; shovelled piles of manure to be sold around the doors as fertiliser; developed a near-fatal fascination for the bow and arrow and was a budding garden shed chemist until an experiment with chlorine gas accidentally killed off a neighbour’s cat.
Then there were dark days when his mum became a violent monster from the side effects of a sedative prescribed for anxiety in the 1950s.
Yet Frank survived this tumultuous childhood – protected, of course, by a ridiculous, outsized and second-hand trenchcoat that was never off his back.
Frank Hurley is an award-winning journalist having worked for the Sunday Mail, Scottish Daily Express, Scottish Mirror, Paisley Daily Express and The Glaswegian.
The Boy in a Trenchcoat is published by Macdonald Media Publishing and is now available in paperback, priced £9.99.
For further information contact Norman Macdonald on (o) 01505 816980 or (m) 07958 648814 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
‘A heart-warming story from the hills and glens of Scotland to the streets of post-war England.’