I spent thirty years as a local government officer – in libraries and the arts, beginning in London and ending up in Blackburn as a Principal Officer. Simultaneously earning more money from a career as a hack novelist and journalist to support a wife and three children.
I took early retirement in the 1980s and ran the Theatre of the Unemployed at Tamworth Arts Centre for the next seven years. This ended when my leading professional actor died (see the Sam Whitbread thread of my Ankerside novel).
It is a convention that local government officers cannot be active in local politics. My political activities of the 50s and 60s (CND, Committee of 100) had ceased, especially as I climbed the career ladder. But in the 1990s I resumed local politics, becoming first a borough councillor and then a county councillor. What might be called a gamekeeper turned poacher.
I wrote 16 hack novels – television spin-offs, ghosting and the like. I wrote 17 plays over the years but most of them for specific occasions or specific casts or to meet specific regional arts association criteria.