Author Fred shares his life’s memories

Fred Bettess's book signing of his autobiography, "Recollections" which took place on the 22 Oct at the Alnmouth Local History Group Coffee Morning.
Fred Bettess's book signing of his autobiography, "Recollections" which took place on the 22 Oct at the Alnmouth Local History Group Coffee Morning.

A CHANCE remark has led to an Alnmouth man publishing his autobiography – spanning nine decades.

Fred Bettess, who is already well-known in local circles as a keen historian, put pen to paper at the age of 93 and has just seen the book launched at a coffee morning held in the village last Saturday.

The book, which Fred has called Recollections, covers his life at grammar school, university, working as a site engineer and his time in the Army in the Far East during the Second World War, followed by his subsequent career at Sunderland Technical College, now Sunderland University.

Fred said: “It was meant to tell any of my descendants who were interested something of my life and I never intended to publish it.

“A chance remark to a friend led to him asking to read it and it was suggested I make it more widely available, but I gave it much thought before I decided to do so.”

Fred was at the Hindmarsh Hall to sign copies of Recollections on Saturday, almost a year to the day since he launched his local history book An Alnmouth Scrapbook at a similar coffee morning.

Copies are still available at the Alnmouth Post Office and Aln Gift Shop.

Writing and history also run in the family. Fred’s late wife, Gladys, gained an honours degree in Archaeology from Newcastle University at the age of 71.

Three years later she was awarded an M. Litt degree with her thesis on the history of Alnmouth.