AUTHOR Stan Smith has written books about the history of Brinsley and Underwood for years.
About to launch his 30th book this weekend, Stan said he has a ‘compulsion’ to write and has put pen to paper for as long as he can remember.
Each Spring he writes a book about the history of Brinsley, and each autumn he writes a book about the history of Underwood and Bagthorpe, and raises money for the respective village churches in the process.
Mr Smith writes books for the Heritage Press, and, as a member of St James’s Church in Brinsley and chairman of the Basford History Society, he also writes newsletters.
The 73-year-old said: “I don’t even remember not writing. I have a compulsion to write and do it every single day.”
The author, who lives in Cherry Tree Close in Brinsley, and has been a member of Nottingham Writers Club for 20 years, writes true stories about the villages’ history and says he enjoys the research part as much as the writing.
He uses everything from old copies of the Advertiser to the internet and census forms to form his research, but says often his inspiration comes from something he came across working on a previous book, or a story someone has told him in the street.
“Either I come across something on my travels through my work, or a reader will come back to me and say ‘have you heard about this?’ and I will follow it up,” he said.
“I have always taken cuttings out of newspapers and magazines and I have books, the internet and an extensive collection of reference books.
“And not only that, I go around talking to people, and they always have photographs, diaries, journals, letters and so on. People hang on to the strangest of things.”
In a previous book, Mr Smith’s inspiration came from a picture he saw on the Advertiser’s Memory Lane page.
He saw a photo of a doctor, who, according to the story, had attended the murder trial of a Sarah Barber.
“It sparked my curiosity and I wanted to find out all about this Sarah Barber,” he said.
“I got hold of national and local papers and each thing led me somewhere else and I followed the clues.
“I found out all about her execution, and even the shops where she bought the poison to kill her victim,” he said.
Mr Smith – known as author Ztan Zmith – is launching his 12th book about his home village, Brinsley – This was Then, at a spring fair at St James’s Church, tomorrow, Saturday, April 2.
It features stories about villagers such as Gaffer Wright, John Lee and George Bestwick Pearce. After the event, the new book, which costs £1.99, will be available from Brinsley Post Office or from Mr Smith direct on 01773 783009 or email@example.com.
Brinsley’s spring church fair will take place between 10am and 2pm and there will be a host of stalls selling Easter chocolates and gifts, cakes, bottles and games.
The full list of Mr Smith’s books can be found at www.ztanzmith.co.uk.