RODNEY Cam’s earliest memory is an unfortunate incident in a pub.

Aged three, he was carrying a jug of ale behind the bar at the Fisherman’s Hut in Hunslet when he tripped and fell. The jug broke and a piece of it pierced his tongue.

“Blood was streaming from my mouth, I was wrapped in a towel and bundled into my grandfather’s black Austin 12 along with Mum and Dad and Grandad, who was the only one able to drive,” recalls Rodney.

When he arrived at the Leeds Dispensary his mouth was clamped open and a nurse attempted to put a stitch into his tongue without anaesthetic - something he remembers with horror to this day.

Rodney spent his life in pubs. His maternal grandfather, Bertie, ran the Fisherman’s Hut and, as an infant during the Second World War, Rodney was admired by the pub regulars.

Despite his father telling customers in the pub that 16-year-old Rodney would never amount to anything, he went on to have a successful career in civil engineering. In 1967 he set up a building and civil engineering construction company and later established a builders merchants, with depots in Drighlington and Selby. He is also a former owner of The Symposium restaurant in Idle.

Pubs were in Rodney’s family, with his grandparents and parents running them, and he witnessed changes in the industry over the years. Between the early 1940s and the late 1960s his family ran the Fisherman’s Hut, the Brown Cow in Whitkirk and The Red Lion in Wyke.

Now Rodney, of Clifton, has written a memoir, The Landlord’s Son, looking back at his life and three decades of social history in local pubs. He brings vividly to life the wartime and post-war years of pub life, recalling family and working life behind the bar: “Delivery day was usually on the same day. The dray was drawn up at the side of a trap-door set into the ground which gave access to the cellar by a sloping ramp with a narrow flight of steps. The barrels were skilfully dropped with a twist of the wrist from the cart onto a padded sack, then lowered down the ramp restrained by a thick rope. Once in the cellar the barrels were rolled into position and again skilfully placed onto two parallel steel rails known as the gantry.

“The draymen continued this operation until the delivery was complete, in the Fish Hut’s case usually 12 barrels a week, but on high days and holidays even more. A brass tap was then placed over the bung by either Bertie or my father and driven into the barrel quickly by use of a wooden mallet so as not to lose any of the contents. A core plug made of bamboo was then driven into the top of the cask to allow the ale to breathe.

“Mother, being a softie for all animals except mice, always had a treat for the Shires in the form of a mint or a lump

of sugar, and Grandad gave the draymen a free pint when their delivery was complete.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Rodney Cam with his bookRodney Cam with his book

The Landlord’s Son is available online by emailing, online from Amazon or pre-ordered from book stores, including Bradford Waterstones. Rodney, who had a quadruple heart bypass at Leeds General Infirmary several years ago, is raising funds from sales of his book for the British Heart Foundation.

l FROM a landlord’s son to a farmer’s son...the latest book by TV’s Chris Jeffrey is an entertaining look at his life rearing rare breeds.

Chris was a pig farm manager, a milkman, insurance adviser and animal nutrition rep before landing a TV career at the age of 60. Suddenly he was teaching farm skills to the likes of model Caprice and ex-footballer Paul Merson as the patient but no-nonsense judge on Channel 5’s Celebs On The Farm. As Farmer Chris, he’s also been a popular regular on The Yorkshire Vet.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Chris with some of his 'Plum Pudding pigs'. Pic: Frank Reid Chris with some of his 'Plum Pudding pigs'. Pic: Frank Reid

His acclaimed autobiography, Farming, Celebs & Plum Pudding Pigs - tales of “hilarity, heartbreak, happiness, hopelessness and honesty” of his life from a North Yorkshire village to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, via the Sahara Desert - was published in 2020.

Now he follows it up with Big Tales from My Little Farm, which sees Chris at home with his wife, Farmer Kate, on their 40-acre Yorkshire farm. It tells of how Chris finally realised his dream of becoming a farmer - then realised just how much he had to learn. With “laugh-out-loud humour and cry-out-loud despair”, Chris looks on as a massive cattle feeding ring falls off the back of his trailer while going uphill; his tractor steering fails on a country lane; his sheep escape - again - along with the goats; his sow has a litter of just one piglet and his Jack Russell terrier eats an entire Terry’s Chocolate Orange...

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Chris with his wife, Farmer Kate, at their North Yorkshire farm Chris with his wife, Farmer Kate, at their North Yorkshire farm

Julian Norton, star of The Yorkshire Vet, provides the foreword and an additional chapter in this entertaining memoir.

Big Tales from My Little Farm by Farmer Chris, published by Great Northern Books, priced £14.99, is available at (01274) 735056 or visit

l ALSO from Great Northern Books is Railways And The Dales, a collaboration between two veteran recorders of the railway scene in words and pictures.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tank train between Redmire and Leyburn. Pic: Gavin MorrisonTank train between Redmire and Leyburn. Pic: Gavin Morrison

Since 1967, David Joy has written over 50 books on railways and aspects of the Yorkshire Dales. Gavin Morrison, one of Britain’s most accomplished railway photographers, has compiled more than 60 books. They celebrate four decades of working together in this fascinating book, contained more than 150 of Gavin’s favourite photographs depicting lines serving the Dales. David’s evocative text reveals how they have changed from the late 1950s to the present. The result is a nostalgic depiction of railways in a glorious corner of God’s Own County. Coverage includes the legendary Settle to Carlisle railway and many other lines, from forgotten branches in Nidderdale and Wensleydale to electrified routes carrying commuters into Leeds.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Collaboration between a renowned Dales writer and railway photographer Collaboration between a renowned Dales writer and railway photographer

David Joy is from a family that has lived in Upper Wharfedale for more than four centuries. His passion for railways began in teenage days spent at Grassington station during its last years, when he was allowed to ‘help’ in the signal box and ride the footplate on the daily goods train. A former editor of the Dalesman, he has an MBE for services to the environment.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Wormald Green Royal. From Railways and the Dales. Pic: Gavin MorrisonWormald Green Royal. From Railways and the Dales. Pic: Gavin Morrison

Gavin Morrison got his first camera in 1943 and his hobby was soon an obsession. He has amassed 200,000 images in one of the largest personal collections still in the hands of the original photographer. Now living near Mirfield, he continues to record the changing railway scene.

Railways And The Dales by David Joy and Gavin Morrison is priced £19.99.