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I bought a boat (and ended up with 24) I bought a boat
(and ended up with 24)

Written by Jack Orrell
with two chapters by Sheila Orrell

ISBN: 978-1-901253-53-5

(Old ISBN: 1 901253 53 8)

148 pages, paperback, 146mm x 208mm.
30 B&W photos, 20 Colour, 2 maps

Published by Leonie Press, July 2006.
Reprinted March 2010.

Price: £ 7.99 Postage and Packing:

About the Book

In his first book "It's muck you want!" Jack Orrell described his double life in the 1950s as a successful optician in Ellesmere Port and as a farmer 35 miles away at Whixall in Shropshire - where he and his wife Sheila turned a semi-derelict property into a model modern farm.

Now at the age of 90, he has written this sequel, which tells how he and Sheila moved to the Wirral and he took up sailing even more seriously, going in for various national competitions in fast racing dinghies before deciding to broaden their horizons by buying a succession of sailing cruisers. Sheila was an indispensable member of the crew because she could cook and was never seasick, and she contributes a chapter about one of their cruises and another on a walk they undertook together around the coast of Anglesey. They had many adventures at sea and some close scrapes, especially on delivery runs with new boats.

The book also talks about their move to Anglesey where they first lived in the lovely Old Barracks Cottage at Beaumaris and then bought The Minnows, a former fisherman's cottage in a wilderness on the edge of the Menai Straits which they turned into an idyllic home with a fabulous one-acre garden.

You can also read about their caravanning exploits ("What do you do when you can't sail any more, other than commit suicide?" asks Jack), their purchase of a holiday flat in Majorca, their interest in painting, and their delightful kittens.

The book is a tribute to an indomitable couple who live life to the full at an age when most of their contemporaries are taking it easy. Jack jokes at one point, "By this time you will probably realise that we are not normal stable people..."

About the Authors
Sheila and Jack Orrell
Jack was born in Walton, Liverpool on June 2nd, 1915. His father, who was a Sergeant in the R.G.A., was killed on the Somme in 1917, so Jack was raised in a household consisting of his mother, her spinster sister, two half sisters, an African green parrot, a Sealyham and two Pekinese dogs. He went to Alsops High School in Liverpool, and enjoyed a happy but uneventful childhood. His elder sister's husband husband Ron, a 6 ft 'He-man' became his hero figure. He taught Jack so much - a knowledge of the countryside, fishing, shooting, the art of self-defence and a love of motor bikes and then cars.

An uncle thought Jack should follow his example and become a dentist. This was abhorrent to Jack who wished to be a motor mechanic. Eventually a compromise was reached and he became an optician, setting up his own practice in Ellesmere Port.

During WW2 he served in the Army after it was decided that opticians would be drafted into the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He was posted to many different parts of Egypt and Palestine and finished the war as a Staff Sergeant.

Sheila, his beloved "blue-eyed blonde" also trained as an optician and comes from Sale, near Manchester. She was responsible for the practice during the war but gave up when Jack came home and concentrated on running their home and raising their family of three children. For ten years she worked alongside him as a farmer's wife while they completely restored the rundown property at Whixall. She has been a willing partner in all her headstrong husband's adventures...

Cheshire Life, December 2006, p160
Click on the cover photo to see the original of this review.

You can find the magazine's website at .

What fun! I would like to order two more copies as Christmas presents for "Old Salts" - AHE, Knutsford 4906

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