Author John Croft releases his debut book, Rhymes of a Dewsbury Lad

An author who was inspired to set nostalgic memories of his life to rhyme during lockdown has released his first book - at the age of 74.

Monday, 1st November 2021, 4:30 pm
John Croft with his book, Rhymes of a Dewsbury Lad

John Croft was encouraged by his daughter to join Facebook in April 2020 during the first Covid lockdown.

John, 74, who was born in Thornhill and is currently enjoying his retirement in Liversedge, started posting nostalgic stories he had written about his childhood experiences, which have previously been featured in Margaret Watson's nostalgia column in the Reporter Series, and then decided to put them into rhyme.

The first one, called Thornhill Lad, was written and posted in December last year.

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John, who was born in Thornhill but now lives in Liversedge, began writing the rhymes for his book during lockdown

"I joined the Dewsbury Pictures Old and New group and I posted in there," John said.

"I put a rhyme in there and got a lot of good comments and it just took off from there.

"It must have tapped into some bit of my brain. I had all that time - you couldn't go anywhere, so I wrote two or three rhymes a day."

John's book, Rhymes of a Dewsbury Lad, contains 71 pieces of writing, many featuring an illustration by his son James, who is a full-time children's book illustrator and artist.

"I went through all my life experiences - meeting my wife, getting married, going on holiday," John said.

"And then I started doing nostalgia - what we did in the summer holidays, on bonfire night, at Christmas.

"So many people said if I wrote a book, they would buy it.

"I have sold 65 books in the first week it's been on sale.

"I have written about 200 rhymes altogether in a year. There are 71 in this book and I would like to do a second book."

Rhymes of a Dewsbury Lad by John Croft is available to buy online via