Book of childhood memories marks a unique year for University couple

Posted by pt91 at Oct 28, 2011 03:00 PM |
University of Leicester graduate Elvina Hill has just published Whimberries on the Coity, a lively and moving portrait of life in a coal-mining community in South Wales launched at the Heritage Centre in Blaenavon.

Elvina began writing this story of her childhood for her children and grandchildren when she and her husband Professor WH Brock spent a year in Philadelphia. While away from home and familiar surroundings, she found she could vividly recall early years spent in her grandparents’ cottage on the South Wales coal field at Garn-yr-Erw near Blaenavon during World War 2.

More recently, her sister discovered a box of their father’s letters to their mother (about 400 of them) written when he was on active service in the Middle East. These letters not only confirmed her memories of those years and helped to recall others, they also added a new dimension by relating her father’s side of the story, and some of the letters have been included in the book.

Elvina Brock (née Hill) read Combined Studies (English and American Studies) as a mature student from 1974 to 1977. Following her PGCE she taught English and Drama at Leicester High School (formerly Portland House School). One of her fondest memories of Leicester is taking part in the music drama How we lost America which Dr Lois Potter (English) wrote to celebrate the bicentennial of the USA’s independence in 1976.

The Eastbourne Herald also notes that Elvina and Professor Brock also recently celebrated 51 years of marriage, making this a unique anniversary for the couple as for the first time they will both have published books to their name (see previous newsblog piece on Professor Brock’s history of Chemistry).

Whimberries on the Coity is published by Old Bakehouse Publications, priced £8.80 including postage and packing. Orders to Old Bakehouse Publications, Cooperative Terrace, Abertillery, Gwent NP13 1EA.

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