Sunday, September 10, 2017

A Grimsby Life: The memoirs of Harry Goulding

This page is dedicated to the memory of our grandfather, Albert Henry 'Harry' Goulding and to the promotion of the two volumes of his memoirs - 'Henry the Ninth' and 'Man's Estate.'

In the late 1970s, he sat down to write his memoirs. He surmised that very few people would ever read them because, as his puritanical father so often drummed into him, he was a ‘nobody,’ and would always remain so. The details of his life and times were written longhand on sheets of paper rescued from a skip and lay for many years in the safe-keeping of one of his grandchildren until they were transcribed into two books; the first, 'Henry the Ninth' detailing his childhood days up until the end of his college days; the second, ‘Man’s Estate,’ chronicling his often-turbulent career as an eccentric schoolmaster in Grimsby.

In ‘Henry the Ninth’ we learn of the poverty of his childhood; the struggle to supplement his ½d per week pocket money; the rat-catching and the pig-keeping; his annual trips on the trawlers; the yearning for independence from his domineering father; the family war over his grandfather’s will; his struggles at school; and his eventual and reluctant choice of profession, among many other incidents, happy and bitter. In addition, his story represents a valuable local history insight into life in the poor quarter of Grimsby in the early part of the twentieth century.

‘Man’s Estate’ deals with his volatile teaching career in Grimsby at both primary and secondary level; his lack of proficiency at school politics; his allotment on Carr Lane and his battles with the inspectors; his ‘careers’ as a local referee, pig-keeper and member of the Home Guard; his son’s triumph over early adversity; the final, happy teaching years at Old Clee; and the various jobs he tried after his eventual retirement. It deals honestly with his social failings, his relationship with his cantankerous father and his views on education and gives a valuable insight into the lot of the humble teacher from the 1920s to the 1960s.

For nearly forty years, the number of people who have read his story could have been counted on the fingers of one hand. Now, hopefully, many more people will be able to read this fascinating story of an ordinary life packed to the brim with interesting anecdotes, great humour and sadness. To facilitate this, we have decided to release the books for sale in a not-for-profit capacity.
The cost for each book is €12 or €22 for a set of two, which includes shipping worldwide. Please pay by the Paypal button in the sidebar to the right. Use the top button to purchase a set of the two books. Use the second and third buttons to purchase individual copies.
Please note that people in non-Euro areas (GB, USA etc) are able to purchase via Paypal in their own currency.

The books may also be ordered direct from and will soon be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Ingrams.
Any queries please mail Peter Goulding at

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