15:00 Tuesday 24 December 2013

Brenda tells story of her unhappy marriage

Written byMARK MCKAY

Brenda Backhouse Brenda Backhouse

AN East Staffordshire grandmother, famed for her crazy fund-raising adventures, has recounted her childhood memories in a soon-to-be-released memoir.

Brenda Backhouse (pictured) has put pen to paper in a two-part book about growing up on a farm in Leigh, near Uttoxeter, during the 1930s and 40s.

The 83-year-old comes from a large farming family in Uttoxeter, who have lived in the area for 150 years.

The former Uttoxeter Girls High School pupil taught at the former Bradley Street School and St Mary’s School in the town, before leaving the area to get married at the age of 22.

The dare devil grandmother, who has previously raised money for charity by abseiling down high-rise building, skydiving and paragliding, also lifts the lid on a largely unhappy 28-year marriage.

The books, entitled Gather Ye Rosebuds and Marriage: Is This It, will be released to the public through Pegasus Publishers on January 23.

Mrs Backhouse said she started ‘scribbling notes’ about her colourful life about three years ago before she received the go-ahead from the publishers earlier this year.

She said: “Hopefully it will help me get rid of some of the memories because the marriage was not very good.

“I was never properly me when I was married because I couldn’t be.

“Before that I was having a lovely time and everything was really good but I got married which was against my parents wishes.

“But at the time the more they said no the more I wanted to do it.”

Despite her unhappy marriage, Mrs Backhouse said she enjoyed her childhood working on her parent’s farm.

As a young adult she decided to move to Stafford to work in the county library before she attended college in Sheffield as an aspiring teacher.

Mrs Backhouse, now of Victoria Street, Yoxall, then found work at an infants school near Hull despite leaving college while in the upper sixth and not attending university.

Then, after enduring 28 years of a troubled marriage, Mrs Backhouse decided enough was enough.

She decided the time was right to leave her husband after the youngest of her five children left for university in 1981.

She said: “It’s not a happy scenario but my childhood was great because I worked hard on the farm and I had lots of boyfriends which was nice.

“I have been scribbling bits down about my life for a few years and this year I decided to finish it off.”

Anyone who is interested in purchasing Mrs Backhouse’s memoirs is asked to call 01223 370012.

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