Carmarthen care home resident publishes his life story

As part of National Storytelling Week residents and staff at a Carmarthen care home were given the opportunity to hear a reading of a book written by one of their own.

Eric Jackson, a resident of Plas Y Dderwen care home in Johnstown, has spent the last few years compiling and sorting the stories of his life into a 200-page book.

The autobiography, highlighting his years as a schoolboy evacuee through to his experiences as a 14-year-old aircraft cadet and eventually his family life and the comical mishaps that can befall a welsh farmer.

The book has been a labour of love and laughter over the last few years.

Mr Jackson started to write the book and later as he suffered ill health, his daughter Linda took on the role to take down her father’s words and finish the final chapter.

Mr Jackson’s daughter-in-law Sian also spent numerous hours preparing the books for the editor.

Published author Roger Penn, who is a family friend, edited the raw autobiography and produced the polished final piece, the family were delighted by the end result and praised Mr Penn for his brilliant job.

Mr Jackson’s story of a boisterous lad experiencing the first effects of the Second World War, to a young down to earth man who would then feel the urge to enlist early and do his bit for his king and country is a story that many men and women of that generation can understand.

The feeling around the care home at Eric’s first reading was described as sobering and heartfelt.

He was evacuated from Rock Ferry, Birkenhead near Liverpool, aged eight with his 13-year-old sister May to Newtown in Mid Wales.

Due to there being no really danger at that time at home and his unhappiness with being away from his family, he returned to Rock Ferry later that year.

This, unfortunately, didn’t last as air raids began in on Merseyside in the summer of 1940 and in 1941 just before his 10th birthday he was evacuated again to Oakley Park in Powys to stay with a blacksmith and his wife, where he would discover his love of all things farming and nature.

Mr Jackson stayed with the family up until his late teens and early 20s, when he began to move around for work.

He would later move to the Carmarthen area in his early 30s just before the birth of his second child.

He has stayed here ever since and most recently lived in Llansteffan for 19 years before moving into Plas y Dderwen care home with his wife June.

Kath Evans, general manager at Plas Y Dderwen (pictured above with Mr Jackson), carried out the book reading during National Book Week on Mr Jackson's behalf and said: “It was heart-warming to be able to experience a part of Eric’s life through his book."He and his late wife June have been a part of the Plas Y Dderwen family for many years and it is wonderful to see all these stories that we have heard over the years put into a book for others to enjoy."

The book is entitled Time Flies and has only been printed for family at the moment - but it is hoped it will soon go into general circulation for the public to to enjoy.

Mr Jackson and his family would like to thank everyone involved in the book but also extend a special thanks to everyone that that made all his wonderful memories possible.

He can often be heard around the home telling someone one of his stories to which he will usually end with, “I’ve wanted for nothing more in my life than I already have, my life and family are everything I could ask for.”