War on the Wheels

War on the Wheels
The story of the people

Friday, 23 October 2015

Story Terrace blog interview

I was delighted to have been asked by Story Terrace to be interviewed for their blog. Here is the link

This is some of the interview

Your first book, War on Wheels, is set to be released in September 2016. Can you tell us a bit about it?

How long have I got? This was a labour of love. My Mum had kept albums some three or four inches thick of her’s and my Dad’s war. Five years after she died, I opened them and was entranced. I found a man I hardly knew. He was Bill Williams aged then 45 and brimming with energy. When I, as a very young teenager, knew my Dad he was seventy and terminally ill. Bill couldn’t have been more alive. He had been given the job of setting up a massive depot that would handle the vehicles that would give the British Army its wheels. Of course it wasn’t just him; some 250,000 soldiers, ATS and civilians were involved as they pressed ahead with tasks that had never been done before. Some failed, but they learned from their mistakes. They laboured long and hard and created a vast organisation that in the end triumphed. The story had never been told before. The vast enterprise would never happen again.

 If you could choose any person in history to do a Story Terrace project with, who would it be?

William Smith Williams published the Brontes. He and his brother came to London in the late seventeenth century, their family having been for generations ‘dealers in hides’ just outside Oxford. As well as publishing some of the greatest writing in the English language, William Smith Williams and his wife produced some remarkable progeny: Anna Williams who in 1870 was Professor of Singing Music at the Royal College of Music and Sir Arthur Lowes Dickinson who was a founding partner of Price Waterhouse in the USA to name but two. I would love to write their story.
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