Helen Forrester (The Book)
Helen Forrester was born June Huband in Hoylake, Wirral, Merseyside, the eldest of seven children of inept, socialite, middle-class parents who lived on credit. When her father was made bankrupt during the Great Depression, the family was thrown into poverty. Evicted from their comfortable home in an English market town and with nothing more than the clothes they stood up in, the large family took the train to Liverpool where they hoped to rebuild their lives.
While Forrester's father searched unsuccessfully for work, the family were forced to live together in a single room. As the eldest child, the 12-year-old Helen was kept away from school to look after her six younger brothers and sisters. For the next few years the family were forced to rely on meagre handouts from the parish, and the kindness of strangers. At the age of 14 Forrester rebelled against her life of drudgery and her parents agreed to allow her to attend evening classes to make up for her missed years of education. Throughout her teenage years, Forrester worked for a charitable organisation in Liverpool and Bootle, which provided background for her novels Liverpool Daisy, A Cuppa Tea and an Aspirin, and Three Women of Liverpool.
Helen Forrester (June Bhatia) died on 24 November 2011 in Edmonton, Alberta. www.helenforrester.co.uk
Rob Fennah (Script Writer)
Rob Fennah began his career in the entertainment industry when he was still at school - joining his first band 'Buster' in 1974. Two years later the group signed to RCA records and had numerous top ten hits in Europe, Japan and Austrailia. By the age of 18 Rob had received a gold album and a number of best seller awards. Rob has performed at some of the worlds most prestigious venues including: The Sydney Opera House, Austrailia and The Budokan, Tokyo.
In 1984 Rob teamed up with his brother Alan and formed a new band, Alternative Radio. They were the first artists to sign to EMI's re-launched Parlophone record label (made famous by The Beatles) on which they released the classic single, 'Valley Of Evergreen'. This song formed part of a BBC Radio 1 session which was subsequently voted 'Best Session of the Year'.
Rob's first venture into theatre happened in 1986 when he and Alan teamed up with friend and journalist, Mark Thomas, to write the highly acclaimed musical, 'First Night'. The show was premiered at the Glenda Jackson Theatre and was an instant hit, selling out every night and receiving rave reviews both locally and nationally. The theme song from the show, also entitled First Night, went on to become a Radio1 record of the week.
Teaming up with Liverpool footballer Craig Johnston proved to be an interesting collaboration. As Craig's guitar teacher, Rob was asked to help him write a song for the club and, just for a laugh, Rob accepted the challenge. In 1988 'The Anfield Rap' was released reaching number 3 in the UK charts. Rob is still trying to cope with the aftermath!
A meeting with author Helen Forrester in the 1990's resulted in Rob's adaptation of her most famous work, Twopence To Cross The Mersey.
Rob has recently completed a new stage play entitled, Lennon's Banjo. It tells the story of a Beatles fan who unearths a clue to solving the greatest mystery in rock history - the whereabouts of John Lennon's first musical instrument which has been missing for over 50 years.