Barry William Doughty was a war baby, born on the 11th of November 1940.
For circumstances known only to his mother, (now deceased) he was born in the town of Greenock Scotland, and was brought directly back to Portsmouth, his mothers home town, It is in and around Portsmouth that he has spent his life up until the present. His earliest memories are of his home in Walmer Road, Fratton, close to Portsmouth FCs ground.
He remembers with clarity the little footbridge in Walmer Road and the hazardous bombed buildings that were his playgrounds just after the war, and features in his book: Angels of the mud.
It could be said that ones birth, often means getting the short straw with regard to health. Call it the will of God or to the non religious, being one of life’s lottery losers. Barry was born minus a left hand and forearm. An act of nature, according to his mother and one can only accept a mothers word that this be the case. However one should always count their blessings and Barry, now at the age of 67 certainly believes he has been blessed. His disability did not prevent him from earning a living as a skilled toolmaker or finding Margaret, the best wife in the world. After almost 50 years of marriage they have seen their four children grow up to produce 12 grandchildren. Barry started writing as a hobby around the age of 45 he enjoys driving, walking and attending his Lovedean, Creative Writing club. It was around 1948 when Barry and his sister, Brenda, alighted, from the train at Portsmouth’s harbour station. As they crossed the causeway, they heard a young voice call out,
“Oi! chuck us a coin mate!” As did others, Barry and his sister stopped and peered over the railings to watch the antics of the Pompey mud larks. In later years Barry remembered a work associate’s story. He told Barry of the time he’d crossed the causeway when returning from the Isle of Wight and was witness to a young lad in trouble out on the mud, The boy was apparently rescued by firemen stretching their ladders out on the mudflats. This and other memories from the past have influenced the writing of this book. Memories, snippets of ones infantile days that seem to get lodged in the archives of ones mind. Everyone has them, and to most people they’re faded, half forgotten, pictures that were only vivid when created, but Barry found them a great help when writing “Angels of the Mud.” He believes it is much easier to imagine a situation when ones characters are put in places that one remembers, even if the story and characters are fictitious.