Norman Jacobs is one of Britain's most prolific local history and sports writers with 26 published books to his name.
Born in Hackney, London, in 1947. He went to school in the East End before leaving the capital for Teacher Training College in Norwich. On leaving college in 1967 he went to work at the British Museum where he stayed until early retirement in 2004. His latest book is a nostalgic look back at his childhood growing up in a prefab in Hackney in the 1950s and 60s. Rationing, bomb sites, local characters, street markets, the sheer hard graft needed to keep working class families going, stodgy school food, jumpers for goalposts, Listen with Mother, greyhound racing, pie and mash, holiday camps, and the advent of American style burger bars and labour saving devices in the home all play their part in the story. It is a lively, detailed and humorous picture of a post-war Hackney childhood.
As well as being a personal history, the story is set against the major events of the time: the Festival of Britain, the Coronation, Rock n' Roll, Beatlemania, mods and rockers, the Cuban missile crisis and the assassination of President Kennedy. Packed with humour and happiness, pathos and sadness, the ordinary and the extraordinary - this is a glimpse into to a way of life that has vanished for ever.
As well as writing books, Norman has had many articles published in a wide variety of journals and magazines. These include Apollo, Local History Magazine, Essex Journal, Picture Postcard Monthly, Speedway Star, Vintage Speedway Magazine and Cockney Ancestor. Between 1990 and 2005 he was editor of Clacton Chronicle, described as the ''best local history journal in the country'' by Local History Magazine.
He is also a well-known speaker on a variety of subjects including local history and Victorian and Edwardian Music Hall. He is currently secretary of the Essex Archaeological and Historical Congress, chairman of the Clacton and District Local History Society and chairman of the West Cliff Theatre (Tendring) Trust.
Norman is married with two children, two grandchildren and two cats and lives in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, where he is a member of the Nomads Leopards table tennis team.