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Writings of late Haverhill man are published almost four years after he died




A book that was pieced together from a carrier bag full of scripts has been published – fulfilling a long-time ambition of a Haverhill man who died three years ago.

The book by Harry Phillips, Fred Ferret & Anthony Adder, has been published by Haverhill-based Stour Valley Publishing, although at the moment it has only been printed for family.

The owner of the publishing company, Carl Mynott, got together with Audrey Woodley, one of seven children born to Harry and his widow Beryl, to make the late amateur writer’s dream come true – posthumously.

Beryl Phillips holds a photo of her late husband Harry Phillips and a copy of his posthumously published book, Fred Ferret & Anthony Adder. Submitted picture
Beryl Phillips holds a photo of her late husband Harry Phillips and a copy of his posthumously published book, Fred Ferret & Anthony Adder. Submitted picture

Audrey, who is the manager of Haverhill Library, said: “He had been writing this for donkey’s years and although it was about the animals it has a lot of aspects about his life as a youngster and his family.”

After her dad’s death in March, 2018, at the age of 85, Audrey gathered together ‘lots and lots’ of scripts, all jumbled up and containing, because Harry was dyslexic, lots of mistakes.

She said: “I literally got together all of his work and I started to make sense of it.

Audrey Woodley
Audrey Woodley

“Twelve years ago I did the best I could with it and sent it off to lots of publishers but because it wasn’t rounded off they didn’t want to take it on.

“So we got in touch with Carl and I said ‘look, I’ve got this, it’s dad’s and it’s a mess’.

“I literally gave him this carrier bag full of scripts and he said ‘I really want to do something with it’.”

The synopsis for the book says: “Fred the ferret has made his way from London to the countryside and along the way he has new adventures and makes new friends with other creatures that keep him company and teach him how to survive in new surroundings.”

With Harry having moved to Haverhill in the mid-60s as part of the London overspill, the autobiographical aspect of the story shines through.

Audrey added: “Carl has done an amazing job getting it all sorted out.

“Dad always wanted it published and I tried very hard for him. At one point I kept sending it off and he kept getting refusals. Because he was dyslexic there was just too much wrong with it.

“He sees it in spirit. He knows it is there.”

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