A WOMAN, who lost her parents at a young age, has used her relationship with her uncle, who became her guardian, as inspiration for her first novel.

Mary Andreasson - who has penned her novel ‘Uncle Ken and I’ under her maiden name of Mary Tomlinson - grew up in Didsbury as a young child but her parents sadly died when she was aged 14 and 16.

Her uncle Ken and auntie Jessie, who lived in Ilkley became her guardians, while she attended a boarding school. Her uncle Ken Crewe worked at Kirkstall Forge and lived at Manor Park and then in Wells Road in the 1950s until the 1980s.

Mary, who went on to marry Paul, a Norwegian and move to Norway aged 22, said: “While sorting through old photos, I got the idea that I would like to write about my uncle because he was such an interesting person.

“I realised very quickly that I didn’t know enough about him to write a biography. Then I realised that most of my memories of him were incidents where I was also involved. I knew that writing about the relationship between my uncle and myself was not sufficiently interesting and to make it work I needed a good story which could provide a framework. This had been at the back of my mind for some time, when, suddenly, a vague memory from early childhood popped up. I immediately understood that this provided the story I had been searching for and I could now start to write.”

The resulting book is a work of fiction but it has helped Mary come to terms with a lot of the sadness she has experienced in her life.

It follows Frances who has a chance meeting with James in Cannes. He is the spitting image of her late uncle. The search for an explanation for the striking likeness takes Frances on a journey back through memories of childhood. The book is published by Austin Macauley Publishers and is £8.99. Visit https://www.austinmacauley.com/book/uncle-ken-and-i