Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the two hundred and eighty-third, is of autobiographer and interviewee Chris Pownall. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Author Chris R. Pownall, who now resides in Nottinghamshire England, was born in 1943 in the rural Cheshire village of Bosley. He has an older sister Cynthia Edwards, who also has ambition to become a published author.
Their parents, Robert and Lucy Pownall were hard working and caring individuals, whose standards and values were, rooted in the future lives of their two children. Sadly Robert died prematurely, leaving Lucy to complete the parenting of Cynthia and Chris who were 17 & 9 years of age respectively, at the time of his death.
Chris failed his 11+ examination and received a secondary modern school education, leaving full time education at 15 years of age, with no academic qualifications to his name. He managed to secure an engineering apprenticeship at a nearby mill and attended Macclesfield College of further education, studying mechanical engineering until the age of 22 years.
Upon completion of his education and apprenticeship, Chris was promoted to the drawing office, but after 18 months in this responsible job, he decided it was time to move on.
In 1967, he joined the Merchant Navy, serving with the famous Blue Funnel Line, as an Assistant Engineering Officer. Whilst this was exciting and adventurous, Chris decided a life at sea was not for him, so following his initial training and one voyage to the Far East, he called it a day.
To further his engineering knowledge, he obtained employment as a design draughtsman, working for an engineering manufacturing company, and eighteen months later, he was employed by James Walker & Co Ltd, which marked the beginning of a forty-year career in technical sales.
Chris progressed within the James Walker organisation, in a succession of sales management roles, finishing as an Industry Marketing Director, specialising in high performance sealing technology, within the global Metallurgical Industries. This role was to take him on many overseas travels, and in the last two years of his employment, he focused upon writing strategic market plans for some existing, plus new sales territories.
Although Chris has a loving wife Pat, retirement didn’t come easy, and after a few months, he was missing the demands of his occupation, with the days seeming endless.
He decided to take up writing and to date he has published five books, with more on the way. Writing has provided Chris with a retirement interest, as well as a major challenge, giving him great satisfaction, when a difficult project is finally completed.
Chris has a long-standing reputation for being there when things go wrong and there are many examples of this in his three autobiographical books. He has encountered freak weather in faraway places and some of his working colleagues were reluctant to travel with him, knowing that something unpleasant was more likely to occur if he was around. Earthquakes and tornedoes in China to ice storms in the USA are among Chris’ encounters with Mother Nature.
Humour has always played an important part in Chris’ life, which manifests itself in his written work. He has witnessed many amusing situations throughout seven decades of life and he has appreciated the humorous side of everyday living.
As in most people’s lives, Chris and Pat have had their share of sadness, when at the age of eighteen, their son Robert, suffered a near fatal head injury. This was a life-changing situation, which required great courage and determination on the part of their son Robert as well as unrelenting support from their Daughter Tracey, for Robert to regain his life after this tragic event.
Chris has recently had a feature published in the magazine ‘Shipping Today & Yesterday’. It is entitled S.S. Talthybius 1944 to 1971, which was the Blue Funnel Ship on which he sailed to the Far East in 1967. The voyage included a visit to Shanghai in the People’s Republic of China at the height of the Proletarian Cultural Revolution, under the chairmanship of leader
Moa Zedong. The story of what happened during this visit is detailed in Chris’ memoirs.
Since Chris and his wife Pat retired, they are enjoying overseas travel, having taken holidays in Australia and China, plus six cruises with P&O cruise lines, and hopefully, there is much more travel to come. All this has provided Chris with additional material of life experiences, which he has included in some of his books.
And now from the author himself:
True to say, I have had a colourful life and my employment has provided much opportunity to travel to faraway places, and experience many interesting things.
With the exception of the first three chapters, the book is not structured in chronological sequence; instead it covers specific subject matters in separate chapters, which overlap in time.
The book focuses upon the humorous aspects of my life, which have occurred in many forms.
Book number two entitled ‘Onwards and Upwards’ ISBN 978 1907728136 is the sequel to my memoirs, comprising much more humour and revelations about my life, all set out in a very different style to my first book.
I believe my readers will find something to suit most aspects of interest, including travel, social history, viewpoints & opinions, plus much more, all wrapped up in a humorous package.
My third book ‘A Long Journey Back’, has been my most difficult literary task to date, as it tells the true life story about our 41 year old son Robert, who at the age of 18, suffered a near fatal head injury. I found it very emotional writing about such sad and worrying times, but I felt the need to go public about the tremendous determination and courage on Rob’s part, in regaining his life.
The book explains what happened following the accident, including life-saving neurosurgery, time spent in a coma, plus the very long haul through rehabilitation.
I wanted to pay my respects to my wife Pat and our daughter Tracey, who were unbelievably brave at Rob’s most critical time of need, and their support and encouragement was an amazing inspiration to anyone faced with a similar situation.
Whilst Rob made a remarkable recovery, he was left with some physical difficulties and the book describes how he managed these problems over a twenty-year period in a highly professional job.
As the years have passed by, Rob’s physical disabilities have deteriorated and employment has become a problem. The book concludes with Rob explaining how he has combatted discrimination towards disability, and he gives advice to others in similar circumstances.
Book number four entitled ‘Dane Mills Bosley’ ISBN 978 1907728402 has been my most enjoyable literary project to date. It’s about two mills in rural Cheshire, where I served my engineering apprenticeship between 1958 and 1966.
These mills have a very long history dating back to circa 1766, when they were constructed by the famous industrialist Charles Roe. I have provided an overview of the history, and then moved on to describe the business during my period of employment. I explain the manufacturing processes involved, plus details about the machinery, including the manufacturer and how they work.
My main objective in writing this book was to capture the culture of the place and I believe I have achieved this with anecdotal stories about many of my fellow workers. Social historians will find these stories interesting and many of them are highly amusing.
My most recent book is the third in a series of autobiographical works, containing many subjects omitted from the previous two. I go into more details about my childhood, describing what country lads did during the 1940s and 1950s, their leisure activities, and the games they played.
In this book I recall my specific memories of the market towns of Macclesfield and Leek during the 1960s & 1970s, plus me recollections from attending Congleton Senior Boys School between 1954 & 1958. As Congleton was not my hometown, after leaving school I lost contact with all my fellow pupils. Part of my research for this book was to try and trace any classmates from form 3rd Tech ‘A’, and the results are detailed in the book. I wanted to discover what some of these lads, have achieved in their lives, having all failed their 11+ examination, like me. Readers will be amazed at the results as well as learning about the very strict disciplinary regimes in place at that time. Teachers of today would be imprisoned for repeating some of the things that took place in my time. Having said that, we had the utmost respect for our teachers as those who read my book will discover.
The remainder of this book is an anthology of stuff that has made me laugh, with the last chapter covering my recent 18-day stay in an NHS District Hospital. As always, I had my notebook and pen with me, and I was able to make some interesting and humorous observations!
You can find out more about Chris and his books from:
- Chris’ website www.amazing-life-stories.webs.com
- Funny How Things Work Out is published in the UK by Pneuma Springs Publishing – http://www.pneumasprings.co.uk/FunnyHowThingsWorkOut.htm
- Onwards and Upwards is published in the UK by Pneuma Springs Publishing – http://www.pneumasprings.co.uk/OnwardsandUpwards.htm
- A Long Journey Back is published in the UK by Pneuma Springs Publishing –http://www.pneumasprings.co.uk/ALongJourneyBack.htm
- Dane Mills Bosley is published in the UK by Pneuma Springs Publishing – http://www.pneumasprings.co.uk/DaneMillsBosley.htm
- This is the Life is a Chris R. Pownall self-published book, using the CreateSpace publishing platform in the USA. – http://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Life-Chris-R-Pownall/dp/1482618125
Please note that all Chris’ books are available from Amazon both as paperbacks, as well as Kindle versions. Simply type Chris R. Pownall into the Amazon website ‘books’ search bar and they will all appear.
This applies to Amazon UK, plus all the other Amazon global companies.
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