MADELEINE Wilson had always loved writing.

It was her daughter, Rebecca’s encouragement while she was housebound following an operation on her toe that prompted Madeleine to pick up her pen and hand-write the fictional novel she has recently published.

“I’ve always liked writing stories and it just rolled along in my head. I used to write stories when I was young, my best subjects were English Language and English Literature.

“I liked writing and I still do - at the moment I am writing about my own life,” says the 78-year-old from Brighouse, who is intending passing it on to her daughter and her 16-year-old grandson Ellis.

Madeleine prefers to handwrite rather than tap out her tales on a computer. Being housebound following her operation gave her the time and the opportunity to produce ‘From Wellies and chapped legs to brogues.’

Published by Austin Macauley Publishers, the book opens with a snapshot of memories of Madeleine’s childhood, playing out with her pals in her home village of Hipperholme where she grew up.

“I grew up in Hipperholme and my memories, at the beginning of the book, are memories from my childhood - how we used to play and how we used to play together,” she explains.

Madeleine’s memories lead into the story of the central character in her fictional read about a 10-year-old boy called David.

While David’s peers have a decent up-bringing, the young lad has a mum he loves dearly but he’s ashamed of her drinking.

His mum has a reputation in the village but David is eager for his pals not to find out their association - but they soon find out.

When his mum dies at Christmastime, a special time for families getting together and spending precious time with friends and loved ones David is taken into care, but his escape from where he is being looked after leads to him being put into a remand home.

Determined not to stay there, David escapes for a second time and is taken under the wing of Hobo, a local character who is renowned for pushing his belongings around in a pram.

Hobo had been a surgeon but when a man he had operated on died, and his wife died shortly after, their family held Hobo responsible, pursuing him and eventually wrecking his home and forcing him to flee to a life on the streets.

David is introduced to Hobo following an accident when Hobo takes care of him. The pair end up living on a canal boat until, eventually, Hobo sends David to live with his brother on the South Coast where he gets a good education earning him a place at university.

During his medical studies, David returns to his home village where he becomes reunited with his childhood friend - Rebecca.

“She looked after him at school and gave him half her orange,” says Madeleine, explaining the special relationship between the two friends.

Eventually the relationship develops beyond friendship and the couple marry in what is anticipated to be a happy ending to this wonderful charming tome.

Having penned her debut novel, is Madeleine planning any more?

Quoting the famous writer and food expert Prue Leith, Madeleine hints of her ambitions to write another book: “Once you’ve written one book it’s like an itch - you have to keep scratching it,” she says.

As they say, watch this space.....

‘From Wellies and chapped legs to brogues,’ by Madeleine Wilson, is published by Austin Macauley Publishers and is available online through and all good booksellers. Visit

By Sally Clifford