Saturday 11 March 2017

Close to Home ... Pauline Barclay

As a book reviewer I have made contact with authors from all across the globe and feel immensely privileged to be able to share some amazing work. However, there is always something rather special when a book comes to my attention which has been written by an author in my part of the North of England. So with this in mind I have great pleasure in featuring some of those authors who are literally close to my home. Over the next few Saturdays, and hopefully beyond, I will be sharing the work of a very talented bunch of Northern authors and discovering just what being a Northerner means to them both in terms of inspiration and also in their writing.

Today I welcome Northern Writer

Pauline Barclay

Welcome to Jaffareadstoo, Pauline and thank you for spending time with us today. 

Tell us a little about yourself..

I have lived in several places, Suffolk, Surrey, Holland and the Canary Isles, but no matter where you live, you never forget your roots. I was born in West Yorkshire, Bradford and spent the first fourteen years of my life there. I attended Thorpe Edge infant and junior school, Gregory Girls and Bolling Girls. Two of the schools no longer exist and the one that does has had a name change!

From my childhood I have many memories: walking on the moors, picnicking at the side of a canal watching with fascination as the locks were wound open and closed. With my sister and friends we would play in Peel Park. My younger brothers, in the summer, paddled in the paddling pool there.  Though I never did join the Nig Nog swimming club at the baths on the other side of Peel Park, I hated cold water then and still do now!  

Throughout the years I lived in Bradford, I visited my nana most weekends. Things changed a little as I grew older, but only in the fact that I could see her on my way home from school. My nana was a strong lady and little daunted her. When I attended Gregory Girls, which was situated at the top of Church Bank, I would often call in to see my nana before heading for the bus to take me home. Nana lived and worked closed by to the school. Even in her early seventies she still worked in one of the small woollen mills off Barkerend Road. It was to the mill I would pop in to say hello. It seemed quite normal to slip through the entrance door after four o’clock to see her, though how we managed a conversation beggars believe, the noise was deafening!  The redolence from the wool was overpowering, yet it never occurred to me this was not normal. It was only years later when I was grown up and working in an office, I realised how hard life must have been back then for my nana, though I never ever heard her complain. She lived until she was ninety two.

Pauline and her Nana

The memories of those early years of my life played an important part in helping to make me who I am. Many years later I decided to write a novel about life in the mid-sixties, a story that would include how life was for many working class families.  As well as using the backdrop of a wool town I wanted my characters to be excited at owing a new appliance that would revolution washing days; a twin tub. My mum was so proud of having one, even though it had the nosiest spin dryer in the road! And, how back then, people dreamed of the luxury of central heating, we certainly did. How making a telephone call meant you had to walk to the end of the street to a telephone box where you had to understand the A & B buttons. I remember being too small to look in the mirror above the coin box.  And, of course, the clip clop of the rag and bones man’s horse as he called out for any old iron. It is hard to image dishwashers, flat screen TVs, internet ad mobile phones were as far away as the moon back then. Yet the sixties were a time of great change and filled with so much hope for everyone, especially women.

That is my little meander down memory lane. I hope it provoked a few nostalgic moment s for you too. Thank you for listening and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart. 
Love Pauline x

My passion is to write about events that happen in life and change everything for those involved as well as those caught up in the maelstrom. I want my characters to sit at your side, steal your attention and sweep you up in their story. Stories that will bring tears to your eyes, have you laughing out loud and sometimes, what they share with you, will stay  in your hearts for a very long time.

I am from Yorkshire, UK, but have lived in several different locations including; Suffolk, UK, Surrey, UK and Holland.  Today, I live on one of the beautiful volcanic islands of the Canary Isles with my husband and our two gorgeous rescue doggies.

Years ago I gained a BA (Hons) degree from the Open University, today I spend my time writing fiction. I have six books published, plus a 20 minute short festive story. I am now busy working on book seven. When not writing I love to run, walk, cook, read, take lots of photographs, play around with my Photoshop and spend time with my family and friends.

I am also the person behind the successful, Chill with a Book Awards for Indie authors.

Find out more about Pauline at…

Author Page Face Book: Pauline Barclay
Twitter: @paulinembarclay
Instagram: paulinebarclay

Warmest thanks to Pauline for spending time with us today and for sharing with us her childhood in Bradford.

I hope that you have enjoyed this week's Close to Home feature

Coming next week : Kate Rigby



  1. Hello Jo a HUGE thank you for having me on your fabulous blog. x

    1. Hi Pauline, thank you for being a fabulous guest and for sharing your memories with us x


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