I was pleased to meet local man John Brogan recently. He has written a book called Born in Yorkshire Lost in Space. John is 72 year and describes himself as “a typical Yorkshireman” born and raised in Rotherham. Some years ago he had a brain haemorrhage resulting in the loss of his long and short term memory. His is a great story of recovery and more.
Here is a short excerpt from the part entitled ‘The Black Sheep, white boots and a sex scandal’ to whet the appetite:
“If wi ant ad thee. Wi wud own a row of houses bi na. This was a comment mi Mum would often make when I came in from playing, the arse end of mi trousers ripped out, an the soles of mi shoes hangin off. Born in November 1946 some 12 years after my elder brother Peter, Mummy’s ‘favoured one’ and seven years before my younger sister Kathryn, ‘Daddy’s little princess’.
I suppose I was the genuine Black Sheep of the family. I did not become aware of this mantle until much later in life, and on reflection, I considered myself an ordinary kid, that lived in Canklow.
(As our local readers will know) Canklow is a council estate which gained a reputation, during and after the war years, as a somewhat shady area, with lots of even shadier characters, and generally described by other residents of Rotherham, in polite terms, as ‘rough’.
I grew up in Canklow in the 40s, 50s and 60s and for me it was home. To me, it was, and as far as I knew, no different to any other area in Rotherham. I was too young to understand class, rank, rich, poor. As far as I was concerned everyone in Rotherham lived just like me.”
By the time of his brain haemorrhage John owned a successful mortgage brokerage, and his memory was one of the main tools of his trade. After finding some old photos he popped some of the childhood memories which the photos reminded him of on to social media. The response was amazing. People encouraged John to write the book. The book was published on Yorkshire Day — 1st August.
John said: “The journey was not easy, but the results, for me, have been fantastic. My memory is not what it once was, but that could also be due to the ageing process.” John added: “There must be more people like me who have a story to tell in their lost memories.”
I think he is right. Let’s hear from readers and put a few more in print so do get in touch with me so we can help share them.
In the meantime let’s not forget that reminiscence, even just some old photos shared are a key way of keeping loved ones with memory problems feeling a full part of the family. A shared local book can also jog memories. John Brogan’s is available from Amazon in paperback priced at £7.86 and Kindle at £2.35.