This film is part of Free

Forties Child

For Tom Wakefield the pit village of Chadsmoor provided more than a birthplace, it was inspiration amongst the slag heaps.

News 1980 5 mins

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With its cramped rows of houses contrasting with the green spaces of the nearby Cannock Chase, the pit village of Chadsmoor was transformed into a place of wonder in the eyes of the school boy Tom Wakefield during the Second World War. Forty years later, and now a successful novelist, he reflects on those fading memories of childhood places and faces with reporter Peter Green; memories that may actually outlive the coal mines of Cannock themselves.

Forties' Child, Tom Wakefield's autobiography of growing up in Chadsmoor was published in 1980. Wakefield worked as a teacher before taking up writing in the 1970s producing a string of highly regarded books often set in the North Midlands. He died in 1996.