As a 20 year old, Poulton man Stan Vines decided to leave Britain for Australia with no real job plans at all.
With a pal to accompany him on the adventure, he was one of the last ‘Ten Pound Poms’, an initiative by the then Australian government to import new blood to help get the country’s economy up and running, from the 1940s to the 1970s.
But, as Stan’s debut book ‘A Sense of No Direction’ reveals, his bold idea back in the early 1970s did not exactly go to plan.
And as part of his adventures, the duo also had a hair-raising experience in Afghanistan, which is included in the book.
Now, to promote the biographical travelogue, Stan will be giving a talk on how and why he wrote the work and got it published, in a public event at Poulton Library on Friday June 21 at 2.15pm.
The event will include food and drink supplied by Poulton businesses.
Ten Pound Poms were called that because they only had to pay £10 in processing fees to migrate to Australia and the Commonwealth arranged for assisted passage on chartered ships and aircraft.
Stan, 68, a divorced father-of-one who is just moving back to his native Poulton from Blackpool, said: “We were just young lads with no real experience of the world and no real plans, but we thought going to Australia would be a great adventure.
“Going halfway around the world for just £10 seemed to good an opportunity to miss out.
“But when we finally got into Australia, we found out that things were not exactly as we’d been told they were.”
The whole story of Stan’s Australian experience has lots of twists and turns and makes a compelling read.
In fact, Stan’s varied and adventurous life continued for many decades.
Later he was in London, working in marketing before setting up his own joinery business,
He then spent 20 years in Greece, based just outside Athens, where he was involved in marketing and shipping and was able to indulge his love of sailing.
And it was a terrifying experience on his sail boat, when a storm whipped up and threatened to wreck the vessel, that sparked off memories that led to him writing the first lines of the book.
He said: “I was very stressed and it took me back to when I was 20 and found myself in a real scrape in Afghanistan, and I just wrote things down.”
Stan did not initially intend to write a full book, but as the chapters mounted up, he realised he had something more ambitious on his hands.
His attempts to get the work published did not garner immediate success - but he persevered.
He said: “I got a lot of publishers saying “no” to me but I never saw it as rejection.
“I took the view that it was just a way of telling me to try elsewhere, where I’d have a better chance.
“When the firm Austin Macauley told me they were going to publish it, I was delighted.
“I’ve now got two other book projects on the go.
“I would urge others to never give up, if someone won’t publish your work, just keep trying elsewhere.”
Entry to the talk is free, with no ticket required.
Signed copes of the book will be available on the day and the book can also be obtained via Amazon, WH Smith and other outlets.