Newport Pagnell childhood memories become best-selling book

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A charming book about an ordinary childhood has become an extraordinary success in Newport Pagnell.

John Dunbabin, 85, wrote A Newport Lad, to preserve his memories for his sons and grandchildren.

He donated it to the town’s Historical Society – and copies were snapped up so quickly that a reprint was ordered almost immediately.

Crammed with photos of days gone by, the book tells how children amused themselves by swimming in rivers, gleaning fields for wheat and skating on the frozen Mills Fields in the winter.

John describes moving with his family to Greenfield Road when he was four, with Billy Martin’s horse and cart carrying the furniture.

He recalls buying halfpenny ice creams from a cart owned by Mick Mazzone, pulled by a small donkey.

“Our family, like most others in Newport Pagnell, was not well off. But I always felt we were happy and generally people were very friendly and everyone seemed to have a job,” he writes. John served an apprenticeship at Salmon and sons, which later became Aston Martin and spent his entire working life in the town.

“I am happy and proud to have been a Newport lad,” he said.