Walking around the North Staffordshire town of Leek, you may hear the unusual saying ‘Leek – out of the noise’. Tucked away in between hills, this quaint market town is the setting of this nostalgia-steeped memoir that returns the reader to walk the gas-lit streets of Michael Fisher’s post-World War II childhood.
The narrative covers Michael’s early world, from his engineer father’s self-crafted toys to the ‘December Disaster’ when the Christmas tree caught fire. Amusing tales of seaside holidays and family antics are woven with the bustling market days of the 50s, the annual ‘May Fair’ and street parties and special events, such as those to mark the Queen’s coronation in 1953.
Behind the warm stories of childhood is Michael’s uneasy adolescent relationship with his father, from which he retreated into the welcome arms of a favourite aunt.
Michael Fisher was raised in Leek and is still living within Staffordshire. He is a widely recognised authority on the art and architecture of the English Gothic Revival. His previous books include Staffordshire and the Gothic Revival, Alton Towers – Past and Present, Gothic For Ever and Guarding the Pugin Flame.
Michael is a history graduate, a former research scholar and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He is a contributor to several heritage-related publications such as Country Life and was an historical adviser to the Time Team. Ordained to the Anglican priesthood in 1979, Michael is now retired from parochial ministry but continues to serve as an honorary assistant priest in the Lichfield diocese.