SHAW pensioner Bill Clegg has just published his first book at the age of 70.
But don’t go hunting for Bill’s new poetry volume and planned future books under his name.
In memory of and as a poignant reminder of his early life in Barrow-in-Furness, Bill has written ‘Reid Inside’ under the nom de plume of Kevin Anderson.
Bill’s back story is contained in the book which is available through Amazon for just £3.
It is also on sale at Donnelly’s café and the Coffee and Sandwich Shop on Market Street, Shaw.
“This is my first venture and it has taken off very well,” said Bill, a former union representative at Warburtons Bakery on Glebe Street in Shaw.
“The collection of poems is based on a lot of stuff that has influenced my life: places I have worked, people I have met, things I have done.
“I used to write ideas down on a writing pad or notebook but never did anything with it.
“At Warburtons, I wrote on a variety of topics for the union journal but that’s as far as it went to getting anything published.
“I’d write poems and put them on Facebook and I would get really positive comments.
“A couple of times people would say why don’t I put them together in a book.
“I was a bit dubious because I am not a writer and didn’t think they would go anywhere.
“But I showed them to someone who has since helped me with the book and they said it was all readable stuff.”
So, why Kevin Anderson and why Reid Inside?
“I was born in Barrow, my birth name was William Reid but I was adopted because my biological mother was unable to look after me,” Bill explained.
“The family who looked after me until I was adopted was called Anderson. They decided to call me Kevin.
“They wanted to adopt me but due to rules at the time weren’t able to.
‘The family who eventually adopted me were called Clegg. So, I then became Bill Clegg.
“For years, the Andersons didn’t know if I was alive or where I was.
“Fortunately, during the course of my family research, I managed to find the lady who has since died.
“So, this book of poems in a tribute to them. And the feedback from the family is they are really chuffed I have done it this way.”
And as a further reminder of his Cumbrian roots, the front cover of ‘Reid Inside’ is a shot of Jubilee Bridge which links Barrow town centre to Walney Island.
Bill, who worked at Warburtons from 1977 until the factory closed in 2012, already has a second book in the pipeline but he’s keeping that title under wraps.