Oving author explores industrial strife in new book

Oving author Tony Barnard is in print with Red But Not Dead, published by PublishNation at £7.99 for a paperback and £1.99 for a Kindle version and available from Amazon

Tony Barnard
Tony Barnard

As Tony, aged 66, explains: “Red But Not Dead is a story based in and around the British Leyland Longbridge plant in Birmingham in the mid 1970s and early 1980s.

“The narrative is set against a background of constant industrial relations strife and the company’s struggle for survival and recovery under a new management team.

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“It is a tale that is told on different levels.

“On one level it is centred around the Franks family, a multi-generational working-class family whose lives all revolve around and are impacted by the factory but it is also a story about status and social mobility and the erosion of the once clearly defined class lines in English society.

“The book will appeal to people who are interested in the British car industry or the social history of Britain in the 70s and 80s.”

Tony added: “During the time that the book is set I was working for the catering company that managed the catering contract at the BL Longbridge plant. I remember the turbulent industrial relations issues so well and the changing nature of manufacturing and its impact upon the workforce.

“I think that there will be many people who either worked at Longbridge or were associated with it in some way or those who just lived through these times that will be interested in the story that it tells.”

It is a stand-alone publication and is Tony’s fifth book. He has written three other novels. The first was The Sheffield Avengers which he describes as a “story of supreme courage.”

“It is two boys who grew up together in the district of Tinsley in Sheffield against a backdrop of the declining fortunes of the once world-beating steel industry, one indebted to the other from an early age and both with powerful ambitions.

“The Sheffield Avengers is the story of their development, their personal relationships with their families and their lovers, acts of supreme courage and the restoration of pride. Made in Sheffield is a global endorsement of quality, strength and consistency that can apply to its people, products and a warship that carried its name.

“Fast paced and international in its breadth and reach, The Sheffield Avengers is a meticulously researched and compelling what-if story of the skill and courage of Britain’s Special Forces during the Falklands War in 1982.”

The second novel was High Five in Jerusalem.

“Tarik Tanovic was only 15 years old when his father was murdered by a sniper from the Serbian army who laid siege to the city for over three years.

“The book is Tarik’s story of coming to terms with his loss, overcoming his own demons and endeavouring to equalise events and reach catharsis in order to get on with the rest of his life.”

Paris Hide and Seek was published in June 2020: “‘Paris Hide and Seek is a fast-paced story set in May 1968 against the tumultuous events, les événements that were happening in the city and across much of France at that time.

“The story culminates in a desperate chase through the streets and subway system of Paris before concluding with twists in the tale.”