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They Left It Too Late-bookcover

By: Tony Smith

They Left It Too Late

Pages: 258 Ratings: 5.0
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Justin Ebberson was 26 years old and came from a working-class family in Bolton. In 1958 Justin had two strokes of luck, three if you include Jean Baxter, a girl that he fell in love with. The first stroke of luck came in the form of a house that was left to him on Roa Island, near Barrow-in-Furness and the second was a job that fell in his lap with the only firm on the island, Isherwood & Son, Photo-Etching Specialists.Isherwood & Son introduced Justin to Jean Baxter, the love of his life, and a womanising Deputy Managing Director in the form of Commander RN (Rtd) Rupert Isherwood who brought emotional chaos into their lives, the outcome of which could not be foreseen. Justin constantly struggled to stay in control of events but was it all worth it? Only time would tell.

The author was born in Blaenavon, Monmouthshire, but now resides in Atherton, Greater Manchester, with his wife Jean. Most of his working life was spent as a college lecturer whereas in his spare time he spent 25 years in uniformed service, firstly with the TAVR (REME) followed by the RAFVR (T) and finally with the RNR (SCC). Nowadays when not caring for his wife he writes, reads books and builds model aircraft. He also has a craving for Brass Bands and is notorious for having his head in the clouds.


Customer Reviews
3 reviews
3 reviews
  • Helen Farrimond

    Everyone likes Justin Ebberson. He is friendly and gets on well with work colleagues, bosses and neighbours. Previous experience and fear of rejection make him hesitant to pursue the 'love of his life,' Jean Baxter, so he passes up opportunities and makes no progress romantically for almost a year. Women are interested in him! He has a couple of lucky escapes but he manages to remain faithful to Jean. He is a conscientious employee and his efforts to modernise the workplace in readiness for new technology are described in some detail. Justin's social life is repetitive, consisting of regular Saturday night visits to the local pub with a group of workmates, all women, and the occasional brass band concert, amateur dramatic production or dance. He spends most Sunday mornings working on his 'plot.' Although a self-confessed novice gardener, the results of his labours are impressive. He enjoys regular chats with his neighbours, Arthur and Nellie, always accompanied by tea and home-made cake. The author's knowledge and interest in brass band music and the RAF history in the area are evident, and he is often most descriptive when describing these passions. He has also thoroughly researched the history of this small group of islands and his chats with Arthur yield much information on that subject. 'They Left it Too Late' is an interesting read with a teasing cliffhanger in the last paragraph, which definitely makes the reader want to know what happens next.

  • Alan King

    What a compelling and involving book. Having fallen in love and married in the 1950's I identified with so much of the author's wonderful 'word pictures' of the individuals and the times. We lived on a council estate as part of a mining community and life certainly wasn't easy and was very cold during the winter, something portrayed brilliantly by the Author. I 'recognised' so many elements of the period as, like Justin, I too was struggling to make my way in business. I found myself genuinely caring about him in particular but so many of the other characters too. 'They Left It Too Late' is a thoroughly good read as well as a 'Time Capsule' of the period and the area and I finished it wanting more, always a good sign. Please let Justin be okay!

  • Alan King

    Having lived and loved throughout the 1950's, I found this book a rewarding and involving read. The author has the skill to 'paint' both the time and the characters clearly and with great feeling. I really cared about and 'recognised' many of the characters but Justin in particular left me wanting more. I simply had to know how his life progressed and I still want to. More please.

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