Born in 1947 in Hackney. Went to school in the East End and then to Teacher Training College in Norwich. Left college in 1967 and went to work at The British Museum where he stayed for the next 37 years until taking early retirement in 2004.
His first book was published in 1969. Called GAAM, it was a book of poems co-written with Herbert Tyler.
Norman became well-known as a writer on local, family and sports history from the 1970s onwards. His first book on local history, Clacton in Camera, was published in 1984.
He has now had a total of 25 books published.CONTINUE READING →
The Blitz had made many families in the East End of London homeless. One solution was to erect prefabs on fields and open spaces to give temporary accommodation to those bombed out. It was in one of these ‘modern’ boxes that young Norman Jacobs grew up through the 1950s and 1960s.
This is a memoir of ordinary working class life as the age of austerity gave way to a new affluence. It is richly packed with nostalgic details: the rationing, the bomb sites, the local characters, the street markets, the camaraderie and the sheer hard graft needed to keep working class families going. Stodgy school food, jumpers for goalposts, Listen with Mother, greyhound racing, pie and mash, holiday camps, and the advent of American style burger bars and labour saving devices in the home.
This is a lively, detailed and humorous picture of a post-war Hackney childhood.
Norman's story is set against the major events of the time: the Festival of Britain, the Coronation, Rock n' Roll, Beatlemania, mods and rockers, the Cuban missile crisis and the assassination of President Kennedy. Packed with humour and happiness, pathos and sadness, the ordinary and the extraordinary – this is a glimpse into to a way of life that has vanished for ever.
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