Writer back in Hartlepool to launch book inspired by Henry Smith’s school teacher

A NOVEL LAUNCH: Peter Kennedy who will unveil his new book tomorrow

A NOVEL LAUNCH: Peter Kennedy who will unveil his new book tomorrow

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A FORMER Hartlepool man will unveil his new book this week - and he would love the man who inspired it to be there.

Father-of-two Peter Kennedy will be back in his hometown to unveil his publication called Fishermen’s Tales tomorrow at 8.30pm.

A NOVEL LAUNCH: Peter Kennedy who will unveil his new book tomorrow

A NOVEL LAUNCH: Peter Kennedy who will unveil his new book tomorrow

He is hoping his former school teacher Peter Dawson, who he has not seen since the 1980s, can attend the launch.

Mr Kennedy said: “He is the man who sparked the flame in me to write.”

The 46-year-old now lives in the Poplar area of London with his wife Lupe, 45, and two children Emily, 11 and Lucas, aged five.

But he is originally from the Central Estate in Hartlepool and went to Henry Smith’s Grammar School where Mr Dawson was his teacher during his ‘O’ level year of 1984.

“I first thought about being a writer when I was about 15 but I didn’t have the confidence. But then, when I was doing my ‘O’ levels, I remember we read 1984 and it was like a flame for my ideas.

“I went home, opened up a dictionary and thought to myself ‘this is brilliant’.”

Mr Kennedy then left Hartlepool to study English and social studies at Bretton Hall college in Yorkshire.

He eventually settled in London where he now lives with his children and his wife who works in investment banking at Canary Wharf.

He said: “I have already written one book and that one took me 13 years but I knew all along that it was a practice for this one.”

He described Fishermen’s Tales as “a look at Hartlepool’s culture and heritage”.

It looks at the town through the tales that people tell in familiar settings such as round the camp fire and in pubs, and which are passed down through generations.

He added: “I thought ‘why can’t I write about something celebratory and romantic, about the culture. It is warts and all and it is something of an examination of North-East working class culture.”

Mr Kennedy’s plans are to hold the book launch at The Pot House (Harbour of Refuge) public house on the Headland in Hartlepool, from 8.30pm.

He plans to play the accordion, read a chapter from his book and lead people to the beach where he will read more of the book.

Copies of Fishermen’s Tales, which is £7, are available either on the night or by writing to Mr Kennedy at 46 Dingle Gardens, Poplar, London, E14 0DN.