It's taken twenty years of thinking about and five years of writing, finally my new book is in the bookshops. A complete departure from my photographic work, "Flights of Fantasy" is an illustrated memoir that paints a picture of life during and between the two World Wars.
It nearly never happened. As a kid, my father often let me look through his water colours and sketches. When he died, unexpectedly just a few years later, I inherited them. The only problem was, they were missing. Lost.
Many years later, whilst relocating from the family home, I was taking a last look around when something told me to climb into the rarely-ventured-into loft. In the gloom I found an ancient tea-chest full of old magazines and buried below them, a cardboard box. It contained two books, one an old, dog-eared, hard-backed exercise book, its yellowing pages packed with the water colours and sketches I'd seen as a child. The second book was an Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) Training Manual, with cartoons sketched on blank pages, pictures that illustrated the lighter side of the traumatic experiences experienced by the fire service during the Liverpool Blitz.
My father was a self taught artist and his charming artworks were too good to gather dust, they needed to be shared. But how? It took me twenty years to figure out how - and "Flights of Fantasy" was created.
The book is a combination of fact and flights of imagination (hence the title) and brings to life the 30's and the contrasting grit of wartime. It recalls the lives and bravery of ordinary people in the first half of the 20th Century, aviators and wartime firefighters as they fought the fires created during the Luftwaffe Blitz over Merseyside in 1940-41. All through the eclectic art of George's father beautifully reproduced in Flights of Fantasy.