Fistful of history

AUTHOR: Former Brierton Comprehensive teacher Keith Gregson with one of his previous books.
AUTHOR: Former Brierton Comprehensive teacher Keith Gregson with one of his previous books.

A RETIRED teacher turned author will see his hard work rewarded over the next few months when he has five books published.

Keith Gregson, who was head of history at the former Brierton Comprehensive School, off Catcote Road, Hartlepool, has been very busy over the past 18 months.

The 62-year-old historian is due to have five different books commissioned by three different publishers.

Mr Gregson, who has had more than 400 articles and a handful of books published over the last eight years, said: “Two of the books have been commissioned by the Stroud-based History Press and both have family historians in mind.

“A Viking In The Family and Other Family Tree Tales started life with the simple title, Interesting Ancestors, and that is published on September 9.

“The book contains a large number of tales from different family historians, explains how their research was carried out and gives advice on the do’s and don’ts of creating a family tree.”

“Sporting Ancestors: Tracing Your Family’s Athletic Past has a self-explanatory title and is the last of the five books to be published.”

That book will be published in January next year.

But before that two other books, commissioned by the Bath-based educational publishers Hometown World, will hit the shelves.

Both are due for publication in mid-October and they are aimed at helping youngsters of primary school age to appreciate national history through local examples.

Mr Gregson said the books – A Children’s History of Sunderland and A Children’s History of Northumberland – are “lively and well illustrated” and can be used at school or in the home”.

The fifth book, due out on October 10, is One Among Many – the Story of Sunderland RFC 1873.

Mr Gregson beat off fierce competition to have the book published by MX Publishing after winning a competition in the top rugby magazine, Rugby World.

He added: “The book is not just for Sunderland folk.

“It is the story of the development of a typical English rugby club set against what is happening elsewhere both in sport and society.”

Mr Gregson said there are a number of references to Hartlepool in the sporting books in particular with Burn Road Harriers, Rovers and West Hartlepool Rugby Clubs all getting a mention.

The married dad-of-three retired from teaching in 2003 and also works as a freelance writer, musician and historian.

Mr Gregson, who lives in the Ashbrooke area of Sunderland, is well known around the region for his musical work and in particular for his song writing with school children.