Author’s charitable tribute to his father

Billy Halliwell with his new book

Billy Halliwell with his new book

A Wigan author is using his passion for penmanship to raise money for one of the borough’s biggest charities in memory of his dad.

Billy Halliwell, from Scholes, is donating £1 from every sold copy of his new work War and Pits to Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

“The story goes through to the 1926 strike and the tough times in the 1930s as well as his experiences in the Second World War. It’s based on local stories which I have heard and some of them I’ve made up.”

Billy Halliwell

Mr Halliwell chose to help the Hindley-based charity as his father Harold was cared for on the in-patient unit at its Kildare Street headquarters before he died earlier this year.

The historical novel tells the story of a Wigan lad called Joe and his personal journey through the horrors of World War One, going down the pit, and raising a family.

Mr Halliwell, 60, said he hoped the book would shine new light on the period by presenting it from the point of view of a very ordinary, working-class character.

He said: “A lot of books are from an officer’s point of view, not a man who is in the trenches or down the pit. My story starts off with a youthful apprentice working with an old fellow down the pit and they get chatting about his experiences.

“The story goes through to the 1926 strike and the tough times in the 1930s as well as his experiences in the Second World War. It’s based on local stories which I have heard and some of them I’ve made up.”

Mr Halliwell started writing War and Pits five years ago and finally got it into print in July after getting help from a friend with the editing stage. The book is £4 from the hospice’s fund-raising team. Ring 01942 506261 or email fundraising@wlh.org.uk