Hereford author casts pools of light on an adventurous life

Peter Cruttwell, based in Hereford, has published his illuminating memoir, Street Lamps, which offers a unique insight into his extraordinary life. 

Peter Cruttwell presents this colourful and well-observed portrait of his passage from war-time childhood to his teenage schooling, travel in war-torn Europe as a boy of 15, service in Military Intelligence and a remarkably varied career in business all over the world.

Street Lamps is an unusual type of autobiography because it describes the life of somebody with absolutely no public recognition. However, it offers a unique personal record of seventy turbulent years in the history of our time; and it is a fascinating and entertaining read.

Laced with insight and frequently irreverent personal opinion, the book consists of 170 ‘light-pools’ which are individual cameos depicting episodes in a life led randomly and without obvious design or direction but, as the author remarks “propelled by a strong instinct for enjoyable survival”. The years from 1937 to 2007 are presented in an astonishing range of vivid, amusing, alarming and sometimes very serious snapshots from an adventurous and eventful life, whose highlights include: surviving the Blitz, spying in the Soviet Union, tutoring Liza Minnelli and facing a murder rap in Kosovo.

“I decided to call my book Street Lamps,” observes Peter, “because its vignettes and anecdotes, stretching over 70 years, are pools of light in the darkness of life, illuminating the waypoints I’ve passed and experiences I’ve been privileged – or unfortunate enough – to have had.”

Copies of Street Lamps, Peter's fascinating memoir, are available on request from Matador.

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