Peter Drake, Bramhall Based Author

24 Sep 2014

With 250 illustrations, over 70,000 words plus a comprehensive index and a reference section, Peter Drake talks about his book “Grandpa, do you remember this?” which paints a dramatic view of British life from 1930’s-1960’s.

“My book started as an accident. A very young grandchild innocently asked me if I remembered the Romans. That got me going. I remembered asking my own grandfather, born in 1865, about the past; I supposed I should do the same for mine in language readable by an eight-year-old.

When I was born in 1936 everyone over thirty-five was a Victorian, arriving before the throwaway culture started. Furniture and possessions were passed down the generations. There was no National Health Service, pensionable age seems to have been 65 although the average man died at 60. Many women were unmarried because of the vast numbers of men killed in the Boer War 1890-91) and WW1. Then came WW2.

Children are now required to study both World Wars. Perhaps I and their grandparents could stimulate their interest in what can seem a very dry subject, by relating it to their grandparents’ similar experiences. A friend, whose work was entertaining residents in a care home, asked if she could borrow my notes to stimulate some interest in her group. They normally sat in their dayroom, rarely talking as they had already said it all. My friend read a little about rationing and evacuation and suddenly they came to life. Their memories just needed stirring up.

From that point on I aimed at many varied subjects to stimulate young and old alike. Social history is a fascinating age gap bridge.  Recently I learnt that I too have started on the slippery slope to memory loss so perhaps my grand and great grandchildren can use this book to help me recall the fascinating past in future years.”

The book revives and stimulates tired memories for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s and fascinates children, encouraging them to chat with grandparents while learning more about WW2 history. The bicycle era, largely Victorian, few had cars, phones, central heating or bathrooms. Many cooked on kitchen ranges, Monday was always washing day. Most had never been abroad.  It covers childrens’ wartime life, evacuation, air raids, doodlebugs, rationing and the post war recovery.

‘Grandpa, do you remember this?’ is £22.50 and can be purchased online at

Peter will be selling his books at a special evening at the Brookdale Theatre on 23rd Oct a play called ‘Over the Garden Fence’ an uplifting, comical and nostalgic journey into the happiness, sorrow and joy of family life and relationships that promotes an awareness of Dementia, for more info contact [email protected]

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