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Coronation Street author Glenda Young brings the history of Sunderland streets to life in new book

Glenda Young has set her story in her home village of Ryhope. Photo by Emily Pentland.
Glenda Young has set her story in her home village of Ryhope. Photo by Emily Pentland.
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An author has used the Sunderland streets she grew up on as the inspiration behind the first in a series of books.

Glenda Young will see Belle of the Back Streets hit the shelves and published as an audio book in November.

The front cover of Glenda Young's first fictional novel.

The front cover of Glenda Young's first fictional novel.

Set in Ryhope in 1919, it follows the story of a girl who has to take on her father’s rag and bone business, and encapsulates her lifestyle, the characters she meets as well as the relationship with her horse.

It will be followed up with the Tuppenny Child, due to the published in May, which follows the story of another young woman who arrives in the village and is searching for her daughter.

A third is in the pipeline and to also be issued next year.

Glenda, who now lives in Seaburn, has previously written books on Coronation Street, runs two fan websites on the show and pens the soap story Riverside for People’s Friend, as well as short stories which have also found an audience.

It’s an absolutely incredible feeling to be able to hold a copy of the book in my hand and to have it published.

Glenda Young

But Belle of the Back Streets will be her first fictional novel, with residents including Reverend David Chadwick, of St Paul’s Church among those to help her piece together accurate details of the area from the time.

The 54-year-old said: “Coming from Ryhope, I just wanted to write about where I knew and I started thinking about how I knew the streets of Ryhope, so I started thinking about constructing my story around that.

“I went for a really long walk around the village, absorbing as much of our history as I could, thinking about hearing those horse’s hooves and what it was like on a rag and bone round and how she would feel as she worked in that trade.

“It’s an absolutely incredible feeling to be able to hold a copy of the book in my hand and to have it published.

“People I know have said nice things about it, but I’m looking forward to hearing what others think.

“They’ve said it’s dramatic, a real rollicking read.

“The leading lady is a strong woman and you follow her journey together.”

A past admin worker for universities in Sunderland, Durham and London, Glenda has previously studied journalism and wrote in her spare time around her jobs.

She is now a full-time author and is leading a series of talks about her book in libraries in the area.

She has also had a story included in an anthology printed as part of this year’s Ryedale Book Festival and runs a Facebook page about her work.
Belle of the Back Streets is published by Headline on November 1.