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This is about me and where I came from

Richard at 9 months

I was born, in London just after the Second World War, into a family with three older sisters, a mother, and a father newly home from the war, but still in the Air Force.

We lived in Haverhill Road, Balham, South London. Later, just after my younger brother was born, we moved to Kensington. It was a city full of bomb damage and general confusion.

For a little tear-a-way like me it was a city full of adventure playgrounds, known by the rest of the population as "bomb dumps" courtesy of the Luftwaffe.

Richard with Dr Fisher

After a few years we moved out to Croydon and a successful eleven plus exam took me to Archbishop Tenison's School in South Croydon. It was a grammar school of 'the old school', and we boys were convinced that our Latin mistress, the awe-inspiring but now much loved Miss Taylor, was at the school opening in 1714. Of course the girls thought she was lovely simply because of the terror she instilled in the boys. While Miss Taylor was the senior female mistress, our headmaster was Mr Norman Cresswell a man, who, like Miss Taylor, was passionate about education.

The education was classical. History was chronological from the ancient Greeks through to the Romans, on to the Dark Ages and all the way up to Victorian England. Geography was world-wide. Lots of red on the map and we were taught to be proud of our country's achievements. Science consisted of Physics, Chemistry, Biology all as seperate subjects with their own '0' levels at the end of the fifth year. It was a Church school, being affiliated to St Peter's Church in South Croydon, and Christian Religious Instruction was wide ranging and in depth.

After five years of almost undetected crime at Tenison's, I sat for and passed the entrance exam to join the Royal Air Force as an apprentice aircraft electrician. Otherwise known as a Trenchard Brat and subjected to intense training at RAF Halton.

I served for twelve years and worked on such diverse aircraft as the Beverley transport, Victor 'V' Bomber, Lightning Interceptor, Dragon Rapide, and Hunter fighter. By the time I was thirty, with a young family to support, I felt the pull of civvy street and decided to settle down. I was demobbed in North Wales and bought my first house, a new one, on the Wirral, at Great Sutton. (three bed detached with garage and central heating £4950 - the mind boggles).

I then worked at various jobs ranging from Insurance Broking and Retail, to Contract Management in the building industry. All the while I had an itch that wouldn't go away. Well, it seemed to when I was making up stories for my children. That's when I knew I wanted to write. It was early retirement that finally gave me the incentive to work at it seriously. I began writing short stories and managed to get a few of them read out on South Coast Radio.

Overseer was my first novel and I go into more detail about the book elsewhere on this site and hope that you will take a look.

My next novel is the first part of the Jill Bennett trilogy, Daddy's Girl, and my next is the second part of the trilogy, Come Softly To Me, both of which feature on the Jill Bennett page. The third part, The One Nine Seven Murders, is currently being written and should be available in June 2016.

I have published both with Smashwords and Amazon as e-books and as paperbacks with Feed-A-Read.

The part of writing a novel that, for me, is the most fun is the research. I guess it was Norman Cresswell who instilled in me a love of finding things out. How I wish that the internet had been around when I was at school. I often think of the teachers at Tenison's and how I would love to have been able to confront them with facts that I have since discovered. Especially the physics teacher, Frederick Pratt.

Not the best name for a teacher, not with the kids in my class, but there we are.

There is so much science that is not taught to children because it flies in the face of traditional scientific thinking. It is a fact that a great deal of modern science is based on unproven theory and I do get cross when it is taught as if it is proven. At least I can write about it.

Richard Cudlow

Talking about research, we've managed to trace the family tree back to 498, almost within living memory of Roman Britain. Tracing the family back so far has meant shock, awe and not a little bit of embarrassment. I've devoted a page to it as the story just keeps on getting bigger and bigger. I hope you find it interesting.

My latest project was to join the team at Radio Phoenix at Neath Port Talbot Hospital. I do a regular programme called Cudlow's Sunday Soapbox (luckily it's broadcast on a sunday). It consists of what I call 'Our Kind Of Music' combined with nostalgia, a short story and anything else I can find to chat about. The music is mainly 40's, 50's and early 60's and helps make up two hours of relaxing listening. What I especially like about it is that, unlike conventional radio stations, I get to choose the music and can tailor it to my listeners.

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