Bob’s novel dream comes true after life story is made into a book

Margaret, Helen and Bob
Margaret Benson with Helen Carter and Bob Benson

A Blackhall resident’s dream of having his life story made into a book has come true thanks to a kind-hearted care home Administrator.

Robert ‘Bob’ Benson befriended Helen Carter, Administrator at Field View Care Home in Blackhall Colliery, during his visits to the home to visit wife Margaret, when he would share stories of his and Margaret’s adventures of times gone by.

It was during one of these visits that Bob told Helen he had been writing his life story for the past three years, handwriting his notes before initially starting to type these up on a typewriter. After telling Helen of his dream of having his story made into a book, she offered to type it up for him, adding the beloved photographs from his travels and binding it to form his novel, “The Last Green Bottle.”

Helen presented Bob with the book on his 89th birthday as a surprise gift.

Bob was thrilled with his present. He said: “I have spent over three years writing my life story but because of set backs and my spelling, I wore two type writers out, and by then computers took over. My wife has now gone in to a care home and luck would take a hand, I was to meet a young lady on one of my visits and I shared my story. When I finished, this young lady said she may be able to help. I told her what to expect and she said, that’s ok. On my 89th birthday she presented me with my story, all in excellent writing. I am beat for words, she has worked wonders!”

The book chronicles Bob’s whole life, from early childhood and family life, to talking about his life travelling and living abroad in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and also explains how he met wife Margaret before moving to Canada together where they married.

Helen said: “Whilst typing Bob’s story I had lots of chuckles and lots of tears too. The places they saw and the life-long friends they made over the years is some achievement, and a lifestyle many people today can only dream of.

It was an absolute pleasure to be given the opportunity to read of their adventures and when it came to handing the book over to Bob the look on his face was priceless. He was so thrilled with it he asked for more copies so that he could sent to family and some of the friends he made who still live in other parts of the world.”



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