After a time, this obsession of his became a problem and instead of acting the part of the engaging storyteller he undoubtedly was, he began writing down his stories, resulting in something that lacked the sparkle of his narrative style. Luckily I could usually get him to begin reminiscing after we had dissected his efforts, and that was what went down on paper. Given my respect for his age, I was not strict enough in enforcing what I knew to be best and in the end the sessions became too onerous and I gracefully bowed out.
I have kept William's stories in a file with the intention of publishing them one day and that time has now come. I have written a letter to the Nelson Leader to try and contact his relatives in the hope they can provide some photographs and perhaps some stories of their own they remember William telling.
William Bell was born on 25 April 1901 and had vivid recollections of his childhood in Skerton, a suburb of Lancaster. I would ge grateful to hear from anyone who knew him and can provide more information about him and the stories he told.