Lockdown labour sees legacy complete – after four decades

ONE year on since Britain was locked down, a Carrbrook woman who spent several weeks shielding has published her first book which has been four decades in the making.

Former A&E nurse Linda McLarnon, 70, began writing her mother’s life story 40 years ago and, just before Christmas last year, she finally completed ‘Jenny’s Song’.

The youngest of five children, Linda was particularly close with her mum Martha Jane, affectionately known as Jenny, who would often tell her stories about her family history.

She said: “As a child, I was always the one who seemed to be ill all the time, but it meant I could spend a lot of time with mum.

“My family have always been interested in writing and poetry and when mum died in 1980, I felt inspired to start writing a book about her life.

“Inevitably, daily life gradually started to take over and I had to put the book on hold, and I just never had the chance to return and complete it.

“But when lockdown came into effect last year, due to my ill health I was one of the many who was advised to shield, and I felt it was a great opportunity to finish what I’d started.”

Martha Jane was born in Droylsden 1911. The eldest of four, she was a mill worker throughout her teenage years and in 1933 married fellow mill worker William Dunn at Moorside Methodist Church.

Her story follows her early years, growing up through WWI to the birth of her children, but for Linda there is still much of the story to be told.

She said: “This isn’t a book that has been mass produced. I never intended it as a monetary thing, I just wanted it to be something of a legacy for my son and daughter.

“But it is available on Amazon if people are interested in having a read. It’s not a huge volume but quite a few of my friends who have read it have said I should do a follow up.

“It’s something I am considering, my health permitting, because this book follows my mother’s life story up to my birth and it would be nice to continue the narrative about my siblings.”

• ‘Jenny’s Song’ is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

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