Billly Hopkins' delightful novel HIGH HOPES is based on his own experiences as a young teacher in Manchester in the aftermath of war in the 1940s. From the author of OUR KID.
It's September 1945 and Billy Hopkins is off to London to train as a teacher, with only ten bob in his pocket. Despite his dad's gloomy warnings that he'll pick up bad ways from the toffs down South, Billy survives two years in the Big City, and returns to take up his first teaching job in Manchester - on GBP300 a year!
The catch is his first class, Senior Four, who bitterly resent the raising of the school leaving age, and are all set to take it out on their teacher. Luckily the kid from Collyhurst has some tricks up his sleeve.
And then Billy meets the beautiful Laura. But is she, as his dad says, 'too good for the likes of us'?
Billy Hopkins (better known to his family and friends as Wilfred Hopkins) was born in Collyhurst in 1928 and attended schools in Manchester. Before going into higher education, he worked as a copy boy for the Manchester Guardian. He later studied at the Universities of London, Manchester and Leeds and was involved in school-teaching and teacher-training in Liverpool, Manchester, Salford and Glasgow. He also worked in African universities in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Billy Hopkins, author, husband and father of six, died aged 83 in 2012.