THE Idle of Sam Cowgill’s youth is no more.

“The village well at Town Gate, on which I sat collecting car and trolley bus numbers, is no longer there,” he writes. “The red wooden police box has vanished. The Box Works in Croft Street has ceased operation. The land on which the Jowett car plant stood has been put to other use. The railway station and bridge, YEWCO, Watmough’s printers, my old primary school, picture house and George’s mason’s yard that belonged to another age have all gone.

“The old fire station and library have relocated. The horse trough on the Green remains, but has been paved around. “The Methodist church at the bottom of Albion Road is demolished. A community centre now occupies the site.

“However, my Idle lives on. Memories sustained by vision and emotions stirred from deep within me are immovable.”

Sam writes about his 1950s boyhood in the village in his new book, An Idle Boy. It is, he says, a “thank you” to his grandmother and all the other folk of Idle who helped to shape his life.

“The book speaks of, and is dedicated to four lovable characters of that era that others who lived there may recall - George Oates, his daughter, Nelly, Sydney Barker and Bertha Dickinson,” says Sam. “None changed the world, sought fame or yearned for monetary gain, yet their loving hearts and gentle natures are worthy of recognition.

“To me, they represent the backbone of society. A silent minority, they transferred something of themselves over to me. I experienced their love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, faithfulness and self-control. My path in life may well have been different had I not had their loving guidance and encouragement.”

Adds Sam: “My book highlights the village as I knew it in the mid 1950s. In some small way, it recalls the social history, lifestyle, schooling, and religious life of the village.”

Now living in Scarborough, Sam writes with fondness of his time at Thorp Secondary Modern School, of Sunday school and Idle Church, with its familiar bells. He reflects on the Whitsun Tide services held on the village green, the old railway line nearby, the old shack and mason yard, where George Oats, the village stonemason, taught him to letter headstones and make chisels.

Through his endearing writing style, which draws the reader in as if they were back in the village as it was in Fifties, he writes of events from the past and pays tribute to colourful characters.

Nostalgic scenes of Idle’s industrial past leap from the page, along with its housing, churches, school life, and leisure time.

“ The book carries the reader back in time to 1955, describing the way we lived, the happy times, and some fraught times when the rounder’s bat, the slipper and the cane were used,” says Sam. “I’m sure it will bring lots of memories back.

In his moving final chapter, Sam writes: “The last time I was in Idle Gran’s house, 4 Croft Street, was boarded up and the three outside coalhouses had been demolished. My own 17th century house at 7 Town Lane was now a bookshop.

“While a change in the name of progress cannot be arrested, efforts to conserve aspects of the village have been positive. For me personally, it’s the people rather than the buildings that bring a place alive - enabling relationships to blossom, generating memories and making history.”

Sam has written several books, including four children’s books, two historical novels, two biographies, and self-help guide to the internet. An Idle Boy is his latest work.

“I took up writing to improve my grammar. My children’s book series, Adventures of Ibby, is designed to help children with grammar and punctuation,” says Sam.

He is now working on his next book, which he says will be set in the early 1960s, with the main character a male nurse.

Proceeds from An Idle Boy will go to two charities supporting orphanages in India. One is Destiny India, which Sam refers to in his biography Love a Reason to Live, about Ivan Squillino, who set up the charity with his wife, Daphne.

The other Stepping Stones Ministries, a non-denominational Christian organisation, based in Scarborough, which has two homes in India, Bethel House for 40 boys and Bethany Home for 40 girls.

* An Idle Boy by Sam Cowgill is available from Amazon and on Kindle, priced £6.50