Rob is the author of Clem Beckett: Motorcycle Legend and War Hero, which is out now from Pen and Sword Press. Rob was born in Bury in 1945, between VE Day and VJ Day. He’s a graduate of the LSE and had an early career in journalism in Stockport, Bolton, Sheffield, Manchester, and for the Daily Express. He then studied for a part-time law degree in the 1980s and practised as solicitor in Manchester.
Rob previously published Beyond Peterloo: Elijah Dixon and Manchester’s Forgotten Reformers, with co-author Alan Hampson, echoing the theme of forgotten working class heroes (and which I interviewed Rob and Alan about in 2018 for A Helping of History on North Manchester FM). His interest in the Spanish Civil War was sparked by Hugh Thomas’s classic book, which he received as a school prize. His new book on Clem Beckett was ten years in the making, and was triggered by coming upon a local authority ‘local interest’ sign on Glodwick Lows while out cycling.
I’ll be talking to Rob about the new book, Clem Beckett, and about Rob’s continuing interest in working class heroes. And, of course, he’ll be sharing his selections for this week’s Apocalypse Books.
Catch the show on Saturday at 2pm on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).