One of my challenges this year is to visit the library each month and choose a non fiction book. The book I've brought home for January is Scenes From East Leeds by John Gilleghan.
It doesn't look like the sort of book which jumps out at you, a plain green hardback cover with no photographs or drawings on it.
There are, however, two reasons for me choosing this book. The first is that it contains lots of interesting information about places which I know well, all from the area where I grew up and still live, and it's all in bite sized, easy digestible sections.
The second reason is that the author was one of my teachers at middle school. He was born in the area and after obtaining an honours degree in Botany and Zoology at Durham University, he obtained a post at the local grammar school teaching Biology. It was in 1974 that he was appointed Head of Science at the newly built middle school where later I was to become a pupil and where Mr.Gilleghan would become my Science teacher. He took early retirement from teaching in 1991 but he's very well known in the area as his love of local history and travel has led to him presenting very popular colour slide talks which he presents to local groups.
The book is based on a 100 part local history series, Scenes From The Country, which was published in the free local paper. It's intended to be a comprehensive A to Z guide to villages, people, estates, events and landmarks in East Leeds and in the distribution area of the paper in which it was published.
This is John Gilleghan outside Whitkirk Church, the church in which Mick and I were married.
I've enjoyed reading about my local area and I've learnt many things from this book. As you might expect, places I've mentioned many times on my blog feature in the book and I've learnt more about them.
This is one of my old Science books from the time when Mr.Gilleghan was my teacher.
I'd just moved to middle school and I had just turned ten years old.
This topic concerned the diet of mammals. I think the drawing is supposed to be a wild cat. As you can see, I got an A for this work, he obviously wasn't grading my drawing. Now you can see why I didn't take Art.
The school was just outside Temple Newsam, a place I've written about many times. We often visited it when covering certain topics and it was the ideal place when our topic was about trees. Some more fabulous art work there. It's interesting to see the Elm included in the work, though Dutch Elm Disease is mentioned too as it was around this time that the trees were being attacked by this devastating disease.
The library book is due back now, so I shall be scanning the shelves to see what I might choose for February. It's interesting how this month's book took me on a trip down memory lane.