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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

New book looks at growing up at The Wheatsheaf at the corner of New Road and Darnley Road, Gravesend

23 March 2014
by Julia Roberts

Angela Young’s parents, Ernie and Pearl Pridmore, ran The Wheatsheaf at the corner of New Road and Darnley Road in the 1950s and 60s.

Angela Young (centre) and her parents Ernie and Pearl Pridmore, landlord and landlady of The Wheatsheaf in Gravesend, with regulars gathering for the annual pub outing

Angela Young (centre) and her parents Ernie and Pearl Pridmore, landlord and landlady of The Wheatsheaf in Gravesend, with regulars gathering for the annual pub outing

Angela has fond memories of pulling pints behind the bar as a child and joining regulars, including her grandfathers and several uncles, on annual pub outings, and has now tapped into them to write her first book, Hollow Victory.

The autobiographical novel tells the story of Maureen, the teenage daughter of a landlord and landlady running The Victory pub in the Swinging Sixties and her dreams of escape from being “cooped up” in her hometown of Gravesend.

Angela Young pulling pints behind the bar of The Wheatsheaf in Gravesend, which was run by her parents Ernie and Pearl Pridmore in the 1950s and 60s

Angela Young pulling pints behind the bar of The Wheatsheaf in Gravesend, which was run by her parents Ernie and Pearl Pridmore in the 1950s and 60s

Angela, 60, said: “Huge chunks are from my own personal memories and Maureen’s feelings are certainly my feelings.

“Obviously there were a lot of characters who drank in my parents’ pub but I have tried to change them to make it a novel.

“It draws on my experiences as a child growing up in the 50s and 60s and the whole social change that was going on at the time, not least what was expected of a pub.

“It stopped being the centre of everybody’s lives and changed completely. My parents weren’t able to change with the times.”

The Wheatsheaf pub, New Road, Gravesend

The Wheatsheaf pub, New Road, Gravesend

Mr and Mrs Pridmore’s first pub was called The Victory and was in nearby Clarence Place.

When Angela was three years old, they took over The Wheatsheaf and ran it until 1970 while Angela attended Wrotham Road Primary School and then Saint George’s secondary.

Regulars at The Wheatsheaf in Gravesend, which was run by Ernie and Pearl Pridmore in the 1950s and 60s

Regulars at The Wheatsheaf in Gravesend, which was run by Ernie and Pearl Pridmore in the 1950s and 60s

After leaving the pub trade, Mr and Mrs Pridmore continued to live in the town. Angela moved to London at 21, where she enjoyed a career as a researcher in the advertising industry.

The divorced mother-of-one has not lived in a pub since she was 17, and has never had plans to work in the trade herself.

She has written Hollow Victory around her full-time job as a teaching assistant in a primary school in Buckinghamshire, where she now lives.

“It has taken me about four years to write and get it published but it was something I have always wanted to do and thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Angela is now working on her second book, called The Creek, a historical novel set in Northfleet at the end of the 1800s, which she hopes to complete in six months.

Author Angela Young who has written a book, 'Hollow Victory', based on her life growing up in Gravesend pub, The Wheatsheaf

Author Angela Young who has written a book, 'Hollow Victory', based on her life growing up in Gravesend pub, The Wheatsheaf

In the meantime, Angela will be at Gravesend’s visitor information centre, Towncentric, in St George’s Square from 11am on Saturday to launch Hollow Victory.

It can also be bought from Amazon, Waterstones and other shops, priced £7.99.

Click here for more news from Gravesend.

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