Born in 1966, I was brought up in Gloucester (UK) and have lived all my life in and around the city. I left Saintbridge School aged 16 after an undistinguished academic showing and went to work in enemy territory: Cheltenham. It was only much later that I returned to academia to complete an MBA at the University of Gloucestershire.
Being a Gloucester boy working in Cheltenham, the antipathy toward my home town was quite surprising: Cheltenham people tend to adopt a distinct air of superiority over Gloucester, which is quite odd for two towns separated by only 10 miles.
I don’t really know why I eventually started to take an interest in Gloucester’s history, but once I did it became quite addictive. I decided to make use of my research: I wanted to capture and share this interesting history in a simple, non-academic, easy reading style. Gloucester’s heritage is far richer and goes back much further than Cheltenham’s and I hoped to redress some of the imbalance of opinion between the two towns.
This book was published in April 2007 as The story of Gloucester.
Having written the book I assumed that would be it: I’d got that out of my system and could now revert to slobbing about without any particular purpose. However the research bug had bitten and stopping was harder than I thought.
I am an enthusiastic beer drinker, and the pubs of Gloucester have played an important role in my life. There are far more interesting pubs in the city than I could squeeze into my first book so, sticking with the advice that you should write about what you know, I decided to write a book on Gloucester pubs.
This second book was published in May 2010 titled The Story of Gloucester’s Pubs.
I now now completed the hat-trick, with my third book, Gloucester Then and Now published in June 2012.
This book takes old pictures of Gloucester and compares them with photos taken from the same spot today, allowing you to clearly see how the city has developed over the years.
For more information on all three books, see my website: www.darrelkirby.com