Growing up in a mining community in County Durham, Val R. Brown dreamed of one day becoming an author. That goal had to be put on hold when, aged fifteen, she left grammar school to attend commercial college where she trained to be a secretary to help boost the family finances. Later in life she returned to college to study and qualify as a trained social worker, which proved to be an interesting but temporary period of her life. By this time she had moved to Coventry, married and raised four children who all flew the nest to attend university. This gave Val an opportunity to take up a third career. Val had always had a yen for the North East and so she and her husband moved up to the beautiful Durham Dales in the middle of the Pennines to set up a little antiques shop. This was everything they hoped it would be but after thirteen years they began to miss their family. It was time to retire and move south to be closer to their many grandchildren. Then living in St. Albans, Val was invited to join a creative writing group. Over the years she had written poetry, especially in times of stress, but the practical necessities of life had overtaken her childhood dream to be an author. Writing with the group rekindled her interest and led to her writing this, her first publication, to commemorate the centenary of her mother's birth in 1914. Other books are in the pipeline.