Variety is the Spice of Life: The Worlds of Eric Midwinter



by Jeremy Hardie

Eric Midwinter is a man of many parts whose activities have encompassed a variety of fields of endeavour during his long and highly productive career. Born into a working class family in Sale, near Manchester, in the 1930s, he proceeded, via scholarships to grammar school and Cambridge University, to become a successful social historian, teacher, educationalist, social policy analyst, consumer champion, campaigner for older people, founder of the U3A, lecturer and prolific author. In more than 60 books, Midwinter has written extensively on many subjects, including sport (especially cricket) and the world of comedy and entertainers. He has been a life-long supporter of Lancashire County Cricket Club and Manchester United Football Club, and is a member of both the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the Savage Club in London, the latter providing a congenial hub for many of his social activities. A man of great erudition and wit, as well as being a passionate egalitarian, he is much in demand as a speaker and after-dinner entertainer, and for his written articles and reviews.

Drawing on Midwinter’s published works, together with testimonies from many of his friends and colleagues, author Jeremy Hardie has put together an affectionate portrait of the different worlds of this accomplished polymath. Along the way this story also demonstrates how one caring individual can make significant contributions to the well being of his fellow citizens in a number of different fields, including education, consumer affairs, transport, social welfare and gerontology.

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