Published: 28/08/2016
ISBN: 9781785892875
Format: Paperback

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About the Author

Brian Fish was born into the turmoil at the end of the First World War. His arrival coincided with the importation of jazz from the USA. He enjoyed the dance band era as a teenager. He attended two... read more

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Curves of Freedom
An Autobiographical Journal
by Brian Fish

This unusual autobiographical journal uses anniversaries, current issues and pieces of news as hooks on which to hang memories, stories or comments. The author’s birth in the Peak District of Derbyshire, and his loyalty to that delightful piece of countryside and its quarrying industry, are fully featured. He records his experience of the worst days of the Birmingham blitz while a university student. Then followed his commissioning in the Royal Engineers and active service overseas.

His first post-war role was as explosives engineer with ICI Nobel Division. Then followed ten years on the scientific research staff of the National Coal Board. Finally, he held the joint appointment as Director of the Institute of Quarrying and managing editor of Quarry Management. During this period he took an active part in settling the qualifications and titles for the various grades of engineer. During negotiations with the establishment, he was accused of acting in defiance of the Privy Council! Overseas business trips are recalled including two extensive tours of Australia and New Zealand. The first was special because he enjoyed a personal guided tour of the Snowy Mountains hydroelectric scheme, and the second because of meeting ‘Shorty’ O’Neill, the famous trade union leader of Broken Hill.

The author remembers an early enthusiasm for Henry Hall and the BBC Dance Orchestra. At the age of sixteen, he was introduced to classical music, which became a lifelong enjoyment. Art is recalled as his favourite and best subject at school. There he developed an interest in the Impressionist movement, which grew with the years.

When he was young he became a Christian, a faith which influenced the rest of his life. In retirement, he was active in Church administration, and was treasurer and churchwarden of St Peter’s Church, Canterbury.

This second edition of Curves of Freedom is aimed primarily at those enjoying autobiographies. The unique format will be an added attraction.

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The story starts with the author's birth in 1920 at Chinley in the Peak District of Derbyshire. The unusual history of Chinley is traced, as is that of the author's family, about which unexpected discoveries are made. The importance and influence of quarrying in the Peak District are explained, and the author's support for that industry is vindicated.

Education at Latymer, London, and at Wyggeston, Leicester, is compared and contrasted. An adventurous introduction to the mining industry is described, followed by an unorthodox arrival at the University of Birmingham and three wartime years of enjoyable but exiting experience there. The final chapters deal with the author's development in the Christian faith, and his enthusiasms for music, art and sport.

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