From a suggestion in a creative writing class, Christine Dodsworth went on to produce Shandy on Sunday.
It is a memoir of her not always happy childhood in Harrogate – and about the lives of her grandparents and parents and the development of the spa town – now one of the happiest places to live in the country.
Mrs Dodsworth left Harrogate when she was 24 to follow her husband Charles in his career, returning regularly to see family.
She now lives with Charles, they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last year, in Berkshire.
“I have written this story for my two daughters, two grandsons and three granddaughters,” she said.
“It is a tribute to my ancestors too as their sacrifices should not be forgotten,” she said.
The author’s grandads were in the World War One and her dad also fought in World War Two including at Anzio.
Mrs Dodsworth writes movingly and honestly about her fractious relationship with her mother Vera Wardman, nee Hodgson, her loving father Charles, a painter and deocorator, and her older brother Geoffrey who died in a motorbike accident.
The book began with the chapter called Being Thirteen which details her brother’s death.
Mrs Dodsworth was born Christine Wardman on October 21 1946 at the family home in French Street, Harrogate.
Her memoir contains details of her life at other addresses in the town including Cheltenham Parade and Bilton Lane.
She went to Harrogate Grammar School and first started work as a civil servant at the age of 16.
She was assigned to Scottish Ledgers in the Post Office Savings Bank in what was known as ‘the huts’ in St George’s Road.
It was where she met her husband Charles – who she calls Chas. He played cricket for Bilton Cricket Club and both played badminton at Rossett Sports Centre.
The couple married at St Luke’s C hurch on Mrs Dodsworth’s 21st birthday.
The wedding reception was held in the Imperial Room above Betty’s Cafe.
Shandy on Sunday is full of anecdotes about growing up in the town, going to the pictures, what the family watched on television and outings, laterly in her dad’s car.
Mrs Dodsworth has used the archives of the Harrogate Advertiser as one source of research for her book.
Shandy on Sunday is published by Matador, priced £12.99.
It is available from Nidderdale Plus in Pateley Bridge, also independent bookshops Castlegate Books in Knaresborough and the Little Bookshop in Ripon.
It can be bought from the publishers at www.troubador.co.uk