Welcome to What's Tha Playing At Nah?, the fourth volume of Martyn Johnson's acclaimed series of stories about policing during the 1960s and 1970s. Whether 'on the beat' or 'as CID', once again Martyn enthralls, surprises and shocks his readers with tales set in an almost forgotten era: a veritable Lost World of people, places and phrases in his beloved Sheffield. Steven Spielberg please note. Who will you meet on the journey? Well, there's the usual myriad of lovable characters, from Big Derek the doorman and Mr Dar the tailor to 'Caribbean-singing Henry' and cross-dressing 'Doreen'; and not forgetting Cecil the resident barman at 'Mucky Mary's'; Marlene the prostitute, and 'old Fred' the tramp. Among the less savoury are Mr Dirty Bastard, Mr Car Thief, Mr Money-grabber aka Nasty Pimp, Mr Sticky Fingers the burglar and Mr Nasty the rapist; and several 'perverts' of the worst kind. As usual, Martyn's down-to-earth honesty and humour shines through the pages; but he never loses sight of the human condition in all its forms: good, bad, sad and happy.
Martyn Johnson was born at Darfield, near Barnsley, the son of a coal miner. Leaving school at the age of fifteen, his first job was as a blacksmith. His work changed dramatically four years later when he joined the Sheffield City Police Force where he served as a 'beat bobby' at Attercliffe until 1969. A two-year spell in CID followed but, missing grassroots policing, he returned to the beat for a further seven years. Passionate about local history, Martyn is a well-known metal detectorist and has appeared on many BBC Radio Sheffield programmes talking about his hobby. A long-time resident of Wentworth village, he also assisted and advised Catherine Bailey when she was researching her best selling book, Black Diamonds.