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What's Tha Up To?: Memories of a Yorkshire Bobby

What's Tha Up To?: Memories of a Yorkshire Bobby [Kindle Edition]

Martyn Johnson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Product Description


This is a heart-warming read, well written with compassion and humour (Anne Cater New Books)

A wonderful slice-of-life autobiography . . . vividly atmospheric (Daily Express)

Book Description

A nostalgic look at the long-gone days of the bobby on the beat

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 295 KB
  • Print Length: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (15 Sep 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751547778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751547771
  • ASIN: B0057MLQOA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #80,886 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Martyn Johnson is an Author, Metal Detectorist and Historian. He lives in the beautiful village of Wentworth in South Yorkshire. He was born in Darfield, some five and a half miles north east of Wentworth and is the son of a coal miner. He left school at the age of fifteen and took up employment as a blacksmith. His work changed dramatically four years later when he joined the Sheffield City Police where he served as a 'beat bobby' at Attercliffe in the east end of Sheffield, until 1969. A two year spell in the CID followed but, missing grassroots policing, he returned to the beat for a further seven years. Martyn is a well known metal detectorist and has appeared on many BBC Radio Sheffield programmes talking about his hobby with his big, big pal the late Tony Capstick who was a well known and loved radio presenter and actor. Martyn,being a long-time resident of Wentworth village, assisted and advised Catherine Bailey when she was researching her best selling book, Black Diamonds.

Martyn has recently released his memoirs entitled 'What's tha up to - Memories of an Attercliffe Bobby'. The book details his life as a 'beat bobby' in a large working-class area of Sheffield during the 1960s and 1970s. In only three months this best selling book has already gone to reprint and is receiving excellent reviews from as far afield as Canada, Australia and the USA. His book is full of humour and some amazing true life stories

Martyn and his wife Christine have just published a book, which is a post card history of Wentworth Village. It is a fascinating insight of the history and events in this beautiful village over the last 100 years. It is simply called Wentworth.

Martyn is a born raconteur, local historian, author and has some interesting stories to tell! By popular request he is currently working on a follow up to What's tha up to. He cannot believe that people love his first book and he expected it to be just an interesting insight for his grandchildren to read. He was taken aback by the lovely comments he has received from people who have bought and read it.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only they were all as good as this. 12 Sep 2011
At first glance, you will probably reject this book in favour of something else. After all, there is no reason why you should think that the recollections of a policeman from Sheffield during the 1960's and 1970's should be of interest except, perhaps, for other policemen or maybe the people from Sheffield. If you do reject this book, however, you will be denying yourself an excellent and compelling read.

Like the author, I also left school at the age of 15 and I well recall the time when police constables had a beat which they patrolled faithfully - checking every door was secure along their own personal route (their beat). In those pre-radio and pre-mobile phone days, these `Bobbies' were required to meet at pre-determined times with fellow constables and their only means of attracting attention was their police-issue whistle. In each town would also be found a police box to which each `Copper' had a key and from where they could call the station. It was also in the 1960's that Dr Who first appeared and he chose that police box as the design for his Tardis...

Author and former Policeman Martyn Johnson has portrayed his life in uniform with great style. In short, this man can write and what he writes is funny, witty and yet, at the same time, often telling. None more so than his account of his first arrest and how he ended up helping that thief steal the coal which was so much needed by a young lady with no food, no heating and a small child.

At 6 feet one inch (1m 85cm), Johnson was a big lad and, having spent a short time as a Blacksmith before joining the force, he was also a strong lad.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 2 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I was born and brought up on Attercliffe Common, living there right up to when the houses were demolished we got to know a lot of the local Bobbies who used to do their beat in the area and see us across the road safely to school.

Throughout the book I could visualize every location, street, sounds and the different vehicles that Martyn Johnson described, as well as the shops and characters. I was 16 years old and had started my first job not far from Attercliffe police station on Whitworth Lane, when Martyn was starting work as a young constable. Thanks Martyn for all the good memories that came flooding back.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 13 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
first class book on the old times in sheffield,felt that i was there and still punding the beat,well written book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 15 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Brilliant story of the way the way it used to be bobbies on the beat. how it was and how it should still be
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's tha up to? 5 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great service, prompt delivery. I absolutely love this book and, although I never re-read books, I definitely will with this one. I have also read the next book, What's Tha up To Nah?, equally as brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the good old days 7 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this was a very good insight into the life of a policeman back in the days when police were respected. This was a lovely read a book you could pick up and put down whenever you had a while to spare. I enjoyed it so much I bought the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read 20 Jun 2013
By telboy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very good read for people of a certain age, meaning the days when people respected the police, and the police respected the people
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining memoirs 24 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Martyn Johnson's writing. It's as if you have him sitting next to you reading these memoirs. They are written using local colloquialisms and very much aimed at retired or serving police officers. However, I gained much enjoyment from these stories, particularly the humorous ones - and I'm sure that there are characters in the book that we can all identify with. I am currently reading the sequel which is just as enjoyable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars gift
bought as a gift, she loved it .
Published 15 days ago by Mrs. L. Robertahsw
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very enjoyable good old fashion bobby bring them back
Published 1 month ago by diane
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Married to a police man now
Great book. Married to a police man now. Better people skills in those days.
Published 2 months ago by Linda warcup
5.0 out of 5 stars Great feed back!
Gave a present, well received, feed back 'great'!
Published 2 months ago by MH
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written
Well written if you enjoy gentle sagas about policing in the James Herriot manner. I actually prefer more gritty realism, swearing, and filth, because that's really what the job is... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jonathan Nicholas - Author
5.0 out of 5 stars Yorkshire Police Story
Well written by an ex police officer. His reminiscences about community policing in a poorer but happier time in Yorkshire.
Published 3 months ago by Dogonradio
5.0 out of 5 stars many laughs
very true o life lovely to hear the old story of how policing was done years ago some sade tales but funny
Published 4 months ago by mick held
5.0 out of 5 stars very very good read
as an ex bobby this is how it was a career based on quick wit and common sense j jenkinson
Published 5 months ago by joan
5.0 out of 5 stars Ey up.
I loved reading this book, it took me back to my youth. I was brought up in a small town in Yorkshire and this book brings back so many memories of the local bobby. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs Gillian Millett
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting
nice light reading, interesting to read how different things were when he was a 'bobby', todays lot couldn;t knock the skin off a rice pudding.
Published 7 months ago by michael collins
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