Former Galloway Gazette duo team up to tell the true story of one boy’s survival

A retired Galloway Gazette photographer has published his first book – the true story of his own austere childhood in West Yorkshire during the 1960s.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 11:08 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 7:32 pm
Former Galloway Gazette photographer Peter Foster carried the secrets of his childhood for decades

From living the high life with his family as ex-pats in the Middle East, Keighley born Peter Foster’s life was to change in the instant his mother committed suicide on New Year’s Day 1965.

From that moment on, the young boy had to endure daily squalor in a freezing old car with his alcoholic father, starvation, physical abuse and bullying.

He was then taken into a bleak care home in Ilkley where life became even tougher.

Peter’s only salvation was his love of fishing and a one-in-a-million schoolteacher.

His autobiographical story Staring Into Water is published as both a 200-page paperback and e-book.

Peter (70) was a chief photographer and a regional photojournalist in Dumfries and Galloway for more than 20 years before taking retirement in 2016 and returning to West Yorkshire.

Staring Into Water has been edited and published by his former Galloway Gazette editor Nic Outterside, now an established independent UK book publisher.

Nic said: “I have known Peter for 23 years, and always considered him a good friend.

“But I knew absolutely nothing about his childhood. It was like a secret he carried around inside him.

“It was only when he sent me the first draft of his book 18 months ago that an “oh my God” sensation swept over me.

“And I knew immediately that it was a story that had to be told to a much wider audience.”

Peter added: “Growing up in the 1960s was a very different experience from what it is today. Children had no voice and life was what it was – we just accepted and got on with things.

“My story has been a source of self-torment for over 50 years.

“It’s a story I know should be shared with more people, and now with the help of my good friend Nic, that story has come full circle as my true account of those four turbulent years, the guilt of the children’s home and ghosts of the past, have finally been put to rest.”

Staring Into Water is available from Amazon and Waterstones.