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John Douglas, author


John DouglasJohn Douglas's first book A Walk Down Summer Lane sold out after it was published in 1977.

His prolific writings during the 1970s and 80s also included comical poetry, the Bull Ring Song and the Spaghetti Junction song.

John's family said he was always writing, even while holding down a full-time job at Birmingham airport and raising seven children.
Daughter Carol Douglas, aged 45, remembers her fun-loving dad always had a story to tell.

He had visited 24 countries after joining the navy at 16 and was the Home Fleet lightweight boxing champion.

Back on Civvy Street, John adopted a menagerie of animals including goats and even a donkey he collected in the back of his Jag and drove home down the M6.

Carol said: "He was great at typing. He used to type, talk and drink coffee at the same time. You could always hear him tippy tapping on one of those old black typewriters."

John who was born in Newtown Row, just off Summer Lane, said his biggest ambition was to write a book. The characters in his first book and From Summer Lane, written in 1979, were based on the people in his street and himself, who he cast as Georgie.

Carol said: "Georgie was a cheeky little chappy, always up to mischief but who didn't get into trouble."

In From Summer Lane, John wrote: "One day, Georgie thought, walking away into the shadows, I'm going to write a book about this place. About these wonderful, colourful characters; the happenings and happiness of Summer Lane."

John retired to Cornwall in 1989 with Joan, his wife of 39 years.

John Douglas died in 2007 aged 67.


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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017