Former Chad reporter has first book published - at age of 71
A former journalist with the Chad has put pen to paper in retirement too for the publication of his first book at the age of 71.
Graham Bradshaw, who lives in Mansfield, has pieced together ‘Love In Time’, a book of six short stories about relationships in six successive decades, starting with the 1960s.
He has also written a memoir about his days as a reporter and sub-editor, including at the Chad, whom he joined back in the early 1970s, even before Jeremy Plews began his 36-year stint as the paper’s editor.
Originally from Nottingham, Graham spent eight years at the Chad before moving to the Leicester Mercury and then spending 21 years at the Eastern Daily Press in Norwich before he took redundancy in 2006.
”When I retired in 2014, I wondered what I was going to do, and I was inspired to write by a long-time friend of mine, Paul Westmoreland, who lives in the Lake District,” explained Graham.
"From the age of 12, he used to write books and send them off to publishers. In 2017, he finally succeeded with the publisher, Austin Macauley.
"On his website, there was an invitation for submissions. I’d scribbled bits and bobs, so I sent a couple of short stories.
"Paul was always churning out stuff. I can’t say I was, but then I got a sudden splurge.
"I got my act together and sent more to Austin Macauley. The 70-page book has now been published, and is available at Smiths, Waterstones and other book shops, as well as Amazon or the publishers, for £7.99.
"At the heart of each story is a relationship which reflects a different era. One is between a man and his dog, while the last one, set in the possible near future, is my light-hearted protest about how computers have taken us over!”
The book aims to show that while the decades and technology race on, the need for love and to be loved defy the years and all conventions.
Graham says the response to the book so far has been positive, including from friends and from his wife and “literary agent”, Glenys (nee Marshall), who hails from Mansfield Woodhouse and also used to work at the Chad, as well as at Mansfield Brewery, as a receptionist. The couple have been married for nearly 25 years.
More books might be in the pipeline, but writing isn’t all that’s keeping Graham busy during retirement.
He is also a keen volunteer, working in an Oxfam book shop at Newark every Monday and, as a keen gardener, helping a group on Wednesdays to grow vegetables for public sale at The Workhouse museum in Southwell.
He also enjoys keeping in touch with old acquaintances from the Chad, most notably veteran former photographer Roger Grayson.
“Roger started at the paper at about the same time as I did,” recalled Graham. “We are good friends with him and his wife, Frances.
"To be honest, I got bogged down writing ‘Love In Time’, and it took me two years, mainly because of Covid.
"It was Roger who encouraged me to finish. He said I should hurry up and get it done before I snuff it!”