Colin Denby Shares a Few Photos from his Talk at Chorley Library
At the start of this month, author of the fantastic book 'The Price of Freedom', Colin Denby went to Chorley Library to speak about his book and his childhood growing up in the last years of the second world war and the remains of the country left behind.
Colin Denby was born in Yorkshire on the 29th November 1938 at the start of the Second World War. Always a sickly child, he had 11 different homes in the first 14 years of his life, most were of poor construction, many with water running down the walls in winter, and when it rained. Doctors told his mother that in their opinion her son would not reach his teens.
As a child he was frail and weak with the most horrendous stammer. An elderly spinster teacher of English used to take great pleasure in exploiting this defect by selecting him to read to the class every day. When the words failed to come forth from his trembling body, she would drag him by the ear to the front of the class and scold him for being stupid. She would then place a dunce hat on his head and have him stand in the corner of the classroom. Because of his stammer he had to endure bullying every day. He hated school and failed the 11+ examination.
Throughout his formative years his mother was his rock and saviour, as he lay in his sick bed sometime barely able to breathe. She would sit by his side and sing to him pieces of music from the great operas. She would tell him time and time again; "Heal yourself ... Fight ... there is no CAN'T."
In June 1960 he was conscripted into the armed forces, one of the last to be called upon to perform National Service. He was sent to the Royal Military Police training depot at Woking, in Surrey. Sixteen weeks later having passed all the tests, he was sent to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, France (S.H.A.P.E.). The most prestigious posting in the British army. He was by now an athlete of some note, this opened doors which were closed to others. Whilst there he guarded most of the heads of states of Europe, as well as America. He was involved in the showdown between JFK and Nikita Khrushchev. For twenty-five years he was subject to the Official Secrets Act, so his military experiences have remained secret.
In 1963 he married his childhood sweetheart Brenda. They celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2013. They had two sons, Paul and Craig. Paul was killed at the age of 15 having been hit by a car. They were devastated beyond belief. However, they donated his eyes and kidneys in the hope that others might benefit. A young boy from Luton received Paul's kidneys and managed to track them down (never been done before), resulting in all three of them appearing on the Anne Diamond and Nick Owen Television programme; Breakfast TV, (November 84).
In the 2010 Parliamentary Elections Colin was the UKIP candidate for Rochdale.
Now aged seventy-six, Colin spends his time writing about his life's experiences.
Pictures courtesy of Chorley Library.