The face behind the name……

It comes as a shock when the editor of the church magazine asks you to write an autobiography but here it is.

I was born in 1955, we were then living at 6 Norris Close Ashley. My dad for his pains was the headmaster of the Hugo Meynell school, Ashley between 1955-1980. This inevitably resulted in me becoming a pupil at the same school. More about this in a later book I will be writing. Between 1966 and 23rd July 1970 attended Ashley Secondary modern school at Loggerheads. Left school with no qualifications and also prone to dyslexia .

Began working as a grounds man and worked my way up to Contracts manager. In 1995 was made redundant  and subsequently unemployed. I retrained while unemployed in computer technology, finally finding employment with Staffordshire Police. Here I was an intelligence officer and then migrated to the development of ANPR, (Automatic Number Plate Recognition).  Here I gain two commendations for my developments in this technology nationally .

In 2009 I suffered two TIA, mini strokes and found it difficult to continue working. I took early retirement two years ago and now enjoy the finer side of life. Married to Anne for 38 years and we have a married daughter Lesley and a grand daughter Gemma.

I have always had a deep love of local history and have spent all of my life collecting the stories that go to make up this history. Now I have the time I can collate these stories and start to publish them.

The first ‘Ashley The Crowded Skies’ is available now. Details in this magazine. The second on my computer is ‘Ashley Then and Now’ featuring the old photographs and pictures taken on the same spot as it is today. The third book ‘The Bells Gone’ an in depth account of the Hugo Meynell of my childhood as the son of the headmaster will be written this winter. I always find it a great pleasure to be asked to provide local history. I have provided local history on the Ashley Church DVD ‘Playing on air’ and to the Turner Hodgkiss Community Nature Reserve. Every year in October I am booked to give a talk of local history for the Blore Rural District History Society, this years talk will be entitled ‘Putting Ashley on The Map’ the nineteenth century Tithe and Enclosure Award maps.

Martin Holdcroft

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