Tin Baths, Hot Summers & Rock ‘n Roll- author's latest work brings back wonderful memories of Shiney Row
A Wearside author’s latest book is an unapologetically nostalgic look at when things were very different.
Tin Baths, Hot Summers & Rock ‘n Roll by Davey Ashfield, who is originally from Shiney Row, spans the 1950s to the early 1980s, humorously relating the social and cultural changes of the times.
It should appeal to many, especially those who recall “when social distancing was limited to those who had a bad hair day with the school nit nurse.”
The book is personal, but also universal, particularly to those with working class backgrounds. However, it has a foreword from Ned Lambton, Earl of Durham; one of his predecessors had a memorable encounter with Davey’s grandfather, which is mentioned in the book.
Davey’s father, George Ashfield, was originally from London and moved to the North East during World War Two.
On George’s first day in Shiney Row he was alarmed to notice that everyone in the pub appeared to be carrying a gun. It turned out that they were all poachers.
The 322-page book also takes a wistful look at music, television, (lack of) hygiene, barbers selling contraceptives, school, pubs, Christmas and much more.
Davey, 66, is now retired from the oil and gas industry and lives in Devon. But the past never leaves him and he is “chuffed” with the final product.
He said: “I’ve been writing it for a few years. This is the book I’d always wanted to write. It’s about life when I was young.
“I wrote it for my father and all the blokes I knew back then. We lived in a great community and in the end you always look back to your roots.
“I used to drink in Shiney Row Club with my dad and all the miners and they would say ‘Son, you’ve got your tickets’, meaning I’d been educated, ‘you’ve got to write these stories’ and I used to say I would.
“It wasn’t until I had the time that I thought ‘I’ve got to put this down’. Everyone I speak to remembers this and that; we’ve all got our memories and often they’re common to working class people across the world.”
Tin Baths, Hot Summers & Rock ‘n Roll can be ordered through Waterstones and Amazon.