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Epic autobiography unveiled in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 22:22 07 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:44 05 July 2010

A LOWESTOFT man has given the first two parts of his autobiography to the Lowestoft Record Office.

Jim Cheeseman, of Breckland Way, handed over the first two volumes of his autobiography, One Hell of a Life, to public service archivist William Wexler after working on the book for the last five years.

A LOWESTOFT man has given the first two parts of his autobiography to the Lowestoft Record Office.

Jim Cheeseman, of Breckland Way, handed over the first two volumes of his autobiography, One Hell of a Life, to public service archivist William Wexler after working on the book for the last five years.

The two volumes, Before I Was a Man and Now I am a Man, total over 300 pages each and tell the story of his life from 1927 through to 1976. They cover his childhood in London, evacuation to Sussex, training with the National Fire Service and time as a waiter on the Queen Mary ocean liner, as well as many other fond memories from a life journey that has seen him go on to be a successful Lowestoft businessman and town councillor.

Mr Cheeseman, 81, has been writing his life story since July 2003 and with the help of his wife and proof reader Margo and technical adviser Tim Horne.

“I wanted to give future generations the chance to read about an ordinary, yet ambitious and enterprising man living in my times,” said Mr Cheeseman.

“I also thought how, if my grandfather had done it, I would love to be able to sit down and read all about his life.”

William Wexler, who accepted the book on behalf of the Lowestoft Record Office, which is at the town's library, in Clapham Road, said: “We thank Mr Cheeseman for this as we depend on donations and deposits. We are always open to collect anything to do with local history.”

Extracts from the volumes have even been stored in London's Imperial War Museum as it is very rare to be able to read about a teenager's perspective on the war, the training process for the National Fire Service and the experiences of someone working in the Royal Naval Canteen Service.

Mr Cheeseman has begun writing the next volume, entitled Now I Should Be a Mature Man.

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