My dad, Norman Buckle, left school in 1940 and worked in an office for a couple of years before he joined the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy for his WW2 service.
He attended Normanton Grammar School and in the school magazine for the Summer Term that year there is an essay he wrote entitled I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside.
The essay starts with a quotation from W.W. Jacobs: We shall smell the Chemical Works rather than that "honest, seafaring smell compounded of tar, rope and fish, known to the educated as ozone".
After I'd read Norman's essay I Googled the quote and found it was from At Sunwich Port by W.W. Jacobs. Amazingly, although the book was published in 1902 it was available to download from Project Gutenberg and also the Amazon Kindle Store as a freebie. I read a few pages; identified the quote; and found that the book had some fantastic illustrations. Then I forgot about it until a couple of days ago.
I was sorting out the Waiting To Be Read folder on my Kindle and was going to delete At Sunwich Port but decided to take another look at it. And how glad I am that I did: it's a really good read. It's a tale of two families who are at loggerheads because the fathers have fallen out. The children don't get on but as they mature things start to change. The story, set in a turn-of-the-century coastal port town, has lots of unexpected twists and turns which work really well. The book is reminiscent of Charles Dickens but not so wordy and I really enjoyed reading it.
William Wymark Jacobs (1863 - 1943) was a prolific writer of short stories and half a dozen novels in addition to At Sunwich Port. His claim to fame is that he was the author of a renowned horror story, The Monkey's Paw, which was filmed in 1948.
Jacobs' short stories were often published in magazines and illustrated by Will Owen.
The illustrations in At Sunwich Port are also by Will Owen (1869 - 1957) and they really enhance the book. Owen became a household name because of his invention of the Bisto Kids and other iconic images for Bovril, Lux soapflakes and Lifebuoy soap.
The Kindle version of At Sunwich Port is no longer available but if you want to get hold of a copy follow this link to Project Guttenberg.
I'm a former primary school head teacher now enjoying family history, e-publishing and gardening. I'm the author of "Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" and was delighted when the book became an Amazon 2015 bestseller in the Social History category. I'm the founder of Spurwing Ebooks which is at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for book details and information about new releases and special offers. Details of my books are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-Murray/e/B009R7CRVC and the other books I've published are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Murray/e/B007AQZMZK