Middlesbrough author raised by nuns pens second book on her colourful life

MANCHESTER MEMOIRS: Anne Fothergill with her new book 'Don't let the riff-raff in'.

MANCHESTER MEMOIRS: Anne Fothergill with her new book 'Don't let the riff-raff in'.

First published in News
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AN author brought up by nuns in a Catholic orphanage in Middlesbrough before living in a boarding house with prostitutes and thieves has written a second book about her colourful life.

Anne Fothergill, who wrote the popular Memoirs of a Nazareth House Girl, was abandoned by her mother in 1951 when she was just two and spent her early years largely sheltered from the outside world.

At 17 she found herself living in shared accommodation in Manchester with people she has described as being "on the fringes of society".

Her new book, Don't Let the Riffraff In, set in 1966, is now on the shelves and details her experiences in a boarding house nicknamed the Den of Iniquity by the people who lived there.

The nights were broken by the cries of one of the tenants, an old Holocaust survivor who suffered from horrible nightmares.

Mrs Fothergill, 65, of Thornaby, near Stockton, said: "I was really naive and innocent when I left Nazareth House in the early 1960s, as you can imagine, having been raised by nuns.

"I met a girl called Katie at my sister's wedding.

"We decided to leave Teesside and go to Manchester. We ended up sharing a bedsit in an old Victorian boarding house.

"Sex education was virtually non existent in the orphanage and although it sounds shocking today, I didn't even know what a gay person was.

"But all of a sudden I was living alongside a lesbian couple, and a gay lad called Liam.

"There were also a few prostitutes and petty thieves. I didn't know what had hit me. Her life became entwined with those of her fellow tenants, who she grew to love.

"It was an extremely exciting time in my life," she said.

"The people I met were on the fringes of society, and they taught me a lot about being tolerant, and really opened my eyes to the world.

She spent four years in Manchester before returning to her native Teesside, where she married Alan, now 63, a maths teacher, and had three children and seven grandchildren.

Don't Let the Riffraff In is now on sale at Waterstones in Middlesbrough and at

Guisborough Bookshop and will be on Amazon by the end of August.

Anne will be doing a book signing at Guisborough Book shop on Saturday, September 6 from 11am to 2pm.

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