Shiner

£5.00

By Terry Beresford

ISBN: 978-1-84747-376-9
Published: 2008
Pages: 170
Key Themes: biography, bipolar manic depression, family support, friendship, recovery


ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK

Description

‘Shiner’ is Terry’s third book. It is the story from birth to death, rags to riches of a man who suffers from manic depression in his mid life. It tells of his struggle with the illness, and help from family and friends makes a story which has laughter and sadness, friendships and love.

‘Shiners’ early days with his poor family, a father who was a drunkard and shunned him, a mother who doted on all her children, but suffered illness throughout. ‘Shiners’ rise from a prison cell to millionaire status was a treat to write.

About the Author

Terry has been a valued Volunteer with Basildon Mind since the early 90’s and also an extremely loyal colleague and good friend. Prior to joining Basildon Mind, Terry gave many years of dedicated service to the London Fire Brigade on various watches. He was very well respected by all his colleagues. He was awarded the “Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Award”, which is an extremely prestigious award.

Since leaving the Fire Brigade, Terry has had to fight his own battles against an illness known as “Manic Depression”. Despite several admissions to hospital, Terry does all he can to keep himself on an even keel.

Terry is a very caring person who is willing to give his time to helping others. He has given a commitment to his voluntary work in several ways. Terry has worked on the Telephone Helpline at Basildon Mind for many years dealing with very distressed callers, sometimes callers who are feeling extremely suicidal. He has offered a listening ear to them all. Terry served on our Executive Committee for many years and also took on the role of Vice Chair.

Book Extract

Shiner, (Jimmy Collins) was born on the 11th February 1946 at Maud Road, Plaistow in the East End of London. This is his story:

I was one of six children, also the youngest, and unlike my family I knew nothing of the blitz. My brothers and sisters were evacuated to a village in Suffolk and our mum wasn’t happy and went to get them all only after a few weeks. Mum wasn’t very strong. She always seemed ill. Father was a bastard, he would get home drunk and hit out at everyone. He was a law unto himself; he worked in the dock areas of London. When sober he was more of a bastard to all of us. Mum’s name was Victoria, dads was Albert. Don’t know why he wanted so many kids, he seemed to hate us all, and was unapproachable at all times.

As I grew my sister Betty, the eldest, cared for me. Mum couldn’t cope with us all, my three sisters worked around the house, Maud and Elsie along with Betty, while my two brothers Arthur and George went to school nearby. Occasionally Betty would wheel me over to the recreation ground in my pram and sit by the pond to feed the ducks. I’m told I was a good baby, as I slept most of the time, except when dad came home. Everybody hated him. He seemed to enjoy upsetting people and was always getting into fights. He went out with a group of so called mates, who were always looking for trouble.

Mum had suffered from depression for some time, mainly because of dad. He couldn’t have cared less about anybody especially us, his “nearest and dearest”, so called. Mum was lovely, very kind when well. She would play and laugh with us in the street. However, she suffered for the most part with her spells of depression. She received medication. Nothing seemed to work for her. Little was known of the illness in those days. The only thing dad suffered from was wind. He would fart and burp anywhere, yes anywhere. He stunk to high heaven, laughing about it. This is the only time he did laugh at home. The man was an arrogant pig, and would be till the day he died. I grew up in this hole, the only comfort being when we were alone. Well, without dad, we could all relax.

I played in the street with the other lads, football and the like. Betty had moved to a flat in West Ham with her boyfriend Lionel, and they had a child. They were soon to be married. Guess who was going to give her away? Oh yes, for some reason Albert our dad had the job. God knows how it will go. As long as he can hold his tongue and liquor he will be ok. He will probably fart in the middle of his speech. Betty thought it best if dad walked her up the aisle, bless her. She’s more guts than the rest of us.

Mostly my mates and I played in the derelict houses around our street. Bloody good fun it was then, down in the basements, up on the stairs, on the roof, we saw no danger. Terry Smith, my mate, broke his ankle once. For the rest of us we played unscathed. It was now 1951; I was a snotty nosed five year old with so much ahead of me. You too could join me on my journey. The journey to, who knows?

My pals all lived near me in Maud Road. Pete the eldest, Andy, John, Brian, Terry and little old me. These guys will also be on my journey through life. Pete lived next door, Andy in Corporation Street, John in Burford Road, Brian Handpark Road, and Terry lived in Stratford High Street, all very local to my house. Our school was in Palmeston Road, it was called Handpark mixed. Our classroom was on the top floor. Playtime saw the boys playing in one side of the playground and girls in the other. I was always fighting. I loved a scrap. So did my pals or my gang. We were always getting the cane off the headmaster. Sometimes we would get detention after school. I think the six of us held the record for caning and detention.

Back home nothing much had changed. Mum was still the same. Dad was no help. I was always late home from school to avoid him. Arthur, George and Maud were still at home. Elsie had now moved out and lived with Aunt May and Uncle Bill in Stratford. Bill was dad’s brother, they were so different. A nice person was Bill, as too was Aunt May. She could cook like no one I knew. I was often in their house on a Sunday for lunch, lovely! Elsie was well happy there, shame they didn’t have more room then we could all leave home. My brother Arthur was tragically killed in an accident. He was crossing Tramway and was knocked down by a car. He was only 16.


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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 12 March, 2008.