Boy from Stonehaugh

One of my readers (Parker) who lives in the first house I ever lived in – in the tiny village of Stonehaugh – tells me that the 60th anniversary of the village is to be held on Saturday 31 May 2014. Will I be there? Of course; and with many members of my family from three generations. And hopefully I’ll meet some of the many Stonehaugh-ers who have called in here at my website. It would be great to put faces to virtual friends.

A small thank you to my readers in Stonehaugh

In recent days I have had a lot of comments on my Stonehaugh page which are still coming in and which I’m slowly getting round to answering (every single one) – and I promise I will.

Stonehaugh is a little village in Northumberland where I first lived in 1955 and which I always refer to as my Hometown which I visit at least once every year. This little collection of photos was taken in 2013 on one of my pilgrimages and I’ve published it as a small thank you from me to the residents (and former residents of the village) for calling in here on my website and telling me all about life in Stonehaugh past and present.

Whether you are a regular reader of my website (or a new ‘Spailpinner’ just calling in) I hope you take the time to check out my Stonehaugh page and read the comments. When you’ve done that you might like to google Stonehaugh and have a look at some of the beautiful scenery around our little village or better still take a trip there to see the Country and Western Festival or the new Sky Viewer. Maybe….just maybe….I’ll see you there? X


ManBoy Geordie. Memoirs of a child in care.

south-shields-1958A few new readers asked if I would republish my memoirs of life in a children’s home and through foster care. I had taken them off to do a sort of final edit but have put them back on line because of the recent interest. There are four chapters which detail the breakdown of my family, life in a children’s home and my subsequent move into foster care. They were difficult memoirs to write and there have been times when I’ve questioned why I wrote them. I think initially, as a displaced child, I had a great need to make some sort of sense of my life and put things in their proper place. Having worked in the social care profession for 25 years I now know how important life story work is and how healing it can be. I think I somehow had the idea too that my writings might be helpful to others brought up in similar situations and be a catalyst ¬†giving them courage to face their own demons, although I afterwards felt that to be patronising and arrogant.

These days it isn’t unusual to see dozens of books on sale written by people who have had dreadfully abusive childhoods and it’s very easy to become cynical or fed up with hearing people bleating on – and I can equate with that. Readers of this post (or those who read my memoirs) are very welcome to express whatever they feel about my writings; I’m a big boy now, far removed from the vulnerable little man in the photograph. I’m also incredibly strong mentally; probably due in part to having the balls to stare pain straight in the eye because if I’ve learned anything I know that’s what takes it’s power away.

ManBoy Geordie chapters 1 to 4 are here on my website and readers are very welcome to read and comment as they wish


You can take the Boy out of Geordieland but not Geordie out of the Boy

Just back from my whirlwind trip to my homeland full of all sorts of emotions. I think pride in my roots is probably the most overpowering thing I feel. I absolutely love Northumberland and its beauty; I even love the bleakness of my village Stonehaugh.

To Parker (who now lives in my childhood home) I did knock on the door to say hello but sadly you weren’t home. But I did check out your new social club which must be a real plus for the little community. Had I come on a Sunday I would certainly have taken advantage of the breakfast on sale at ¬£5 but it wasn’t to be.

I’m uploading more photos on my page ‘2012 Geordieland’ but it may take me a while. Those who are interested may have to check back from time to time; I took time out at Hadrian’s wall and the Angel of the North. Hope it’s not as long before I return x x


My childhood home is the third chimney from the left.

Geordieland my homeland

Just back from my whirlwind trip to Geordieland and I’m totally exhausted. I went home to take my sisters ashes to our village of Stonehaugh, Northumberland and spend some rare and special time with my beloved family. I’ll make a new page tomorrow with my photos (Geordieland 2012) and upload my photos but for now goodnight everyone x alan x