by Valentine Barnes
The author Valentine Barnes invites you to accompany him on a ‘Return Journey’. It is a journey spanning over 70 years and a period of time in which he
recalls, in both prose and poetry, the many and varied experiences he has
undergone. Throughout the pages of this book we are transported to his inner
world of elation, joy, humour, loss and extreme sadness.
Within Return Journey Valentine travels back to the grief and humour on the day of his grandmother’s funeral; he remembers the sadness of the family who lost their parents during
WWII, and he reminisces under a big tree on the site that had once been his
home. He also remembers helping with the Daily Mail Channel Swim, amusing school camp incidents, some stories behind photographs,
and experiences in Cornwall.
At the beginning of each piece of writing Valentine has included a short
descriptive explanation of the material so that the reader can fully comprehend
each piece of prose or poetry and understand how it fits into Valentine’s particular journey through life. He has also included some of his own drawings
and photographs of people, events and places that feature within this book.
Alfred Valentine Barnes was born in 1928. Married to Joy in 1951, they have one
surviving daughter. He served as a Royal Marine at the Deal, Kent Personnel
Selection Office and later at the RM office in London at the end of WWII. After
demobilisation he worked on a number of Fleet Street newspapers, latterly
having a 12 year period as a reporter on the Daily Mirror.
In 1966 he left news gathering and qualified as an English teacher serving for
one year on the staff of a London secondary school. This was followed by his
appointment as Head of English at a Cornish secondary school for a period of
six years until 1975. He then served the same educational establishment as Head
of General and Social Studies and also occupied the role of Senior Tutor.
His interests include writing prose and poetry, acrylic painting, reading,
research, social history, carpentry and model railways.