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Bromley author publishes first novel

PUBLISHED: 13:09 05 February 2018

Author Robert Creffield. Picture: Robert Creffield

Author Robert Creffield. Picture: Robert Creffield

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Author Robert Creffield, who was born and raised in Lewisham but lived in Bromley for 40 years, has written his first novel.

Days of Hope and Broken Dreams. Picture: Robert Creffield. Days of Hope and Broken Dreams. Picture: Robert Creffield.

Set in South East London in August 1977, ‘Days of Hope and Broken Dreams’ is based around the infamous Battle of Lewisham, where local residents and anti-racist protesters came out in their hundreds to stop The National Front marching through the streets of New Cross and Lewisham, under the inflammatory slogan claiming that: ‘85% of muggers are black and 85% of their victims are white’.

Mr Creffield said: “I have written Days of Hope and Broken Dreams from first hand experience of someone who ‘came of age‘ during the 1970s in South East London.

“The social and political background events of that period are alarmingly relevant today, with the re-emergence of far right groups and their narrow white supremacy fervour.”

The story follows Theo and Sandy, two friends in their early twenties seeking love and meaning in their lives whilst caught up in the turbulent events surrounding the National Front march.

Theo is a complex character, moody, sensitive, over logical and obsessed with finding the ‘perfect’ love.

Sandy is more easy-going and finds love and fulfilment with Mavis from the office and his joy is in stark contrast to Theo’s despair.

Sandy tries to persuade Theo to join him on the anti-National Front march but he is hesitant to get involved; he eventually agrees after Joe, a black friend of Sandy’s, is savagely beaten-up by NF activists.

However, Theo’s participation is not whole-hearted and he struggles to find real commitment to the cause.

He slides into a malaise of disillusionment and introspection that evokes a traumatic moment from his childhood.

Mr Creffield added: “Whilst the hopes and aspirations of those who fought the fascists back then in The Battle of Lewisham have to some extent been dashed by the spreading menace of nationalism across Europe and the USA, there is every reason for optimism with the counter rise of Labour’s socialism in the UK’s popular vote.

“The experience of young people on their journey of self-discovery to find love and meaning in a difficult world remains timeless.”

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