Blackout and auserity don’t sound like the most promising subjects for an engrossing read, but author Roger Atkinson is proud of what he has achieved with his new book.

The full title is Blackout, Austerity and Pride: Life In The 1940s and he’ll be signing copies at Letchworth’s David’s Bookshop next month.

Roger, now 87, was a pupil at the town’s St Christopher School during the last three years of the Second World War.

The book features details of life at the school in the 1940s, but its reach is much broader than that.

Roger, a lifelong bus and bus-ticket enthusiast, has produced a work of social history, written primarily from his own experience.

Woven into the narrative of wartime and postwar life in times of shortages and rationing are many everyday staples from a period already almost forgotten.

The universal use of buses, the absolute authority of government, and the strong presence of municipal pride are all cornerstones in a work which also covers the long-term consequences from the Great War – including the number of disabled ex-servicemen, widows, spinsters and those thrown out of work during the grim years of the Depression.

GIs in Britain, army service as a conscript, the black market, German prisoner of war camps in Scotland, courtship and attitudes to sex all come in for attention.

Tickets for the signing session are £3, deductible from the £20 cost of the book if you buy a copy on the evening of Tuesday, April 5.

To find out more about what’s in store at the Eastcheap shop in the weeks ahead, visit