Sheridan's mother's memoirs were published on 26th March 2023, which would have been her 100th birthday. It was a mammoth job to compile this book, and Sheridan was thrilled to complete it just in time to publish on this special date. Sheridan especially loved the research involved in this project, which included masses of fact-checking, and wherever possible, tracing descendants of her mother's friends and acquaintances.
How to buy
Order a copy at your local bookshop. The book is available from all the usual trade suppliers.
I really hope you enjoy it!
The Cine Films
The book is accompanied by all Sheridan's family cine films from the 1950s onwards. There's a playlist on YouTube.
What's Greenwich Girl about?
Margaret Green was born in 1923 in Commerell Street, Greenwich. She began her working life as a milliner in Mayfair, a bought ledger clerk at John Lewis in Oxford Street, and a wages clerk at Merryweather's, the fire engine manufacturers in Greenwich.
During the war, she volunteered as an air raid warden on the bomb-scarred streets of Greenwich, and her family provided a ‘home from home’ for three young men serving in the Royal New Zealand Air Force: John Spencer Horan, Leslie Plimmer Russell, and Grant Alan Russell.
Margaret survived danger and loss and went on to train as a nurse at the Miller General and the Royal Masonic Hospital. After witnessing Churchill's victory speech in Whitehall on VE Day, she was inspired to join the war effort in the Far East. She is believed to be the youngest VAD to serve in India.
Her letters trace her courtship with John Green, an ambitious young engineering apprentice from Charlton, and their early married life in Grotton and Glasgow. John's career took Margaret back to India, this time with two young children.
The family later settled in Brighton and Hove, where as Managing Director of Rayner, John fulfilled his dream of building Britain's first dedicated intraocular lens factory.
Retirement brought both joys and challenges, including John's devastating decline with Alzheimer's, and Margaret’s battle for recognition for her husband.
If weight is anything to go by, Greenwich Girl is good value for money! This is a meaty book, packed with all the memoirs, letters and notes Sheridan's mother left behind. There are so many interesting strands. Here are just a few of the many topics covered:
- Life in Greenwich in the 1920s and 1930s.
- The village of North Aston.
- SELTI (South East London Technical College).
- May Queens of Merrie England.
- Wartime Greenwich.
- Training and working in Millinery.
- Volunteering as an ARP Warden.
- RNZAF Bomber Crews.
- Red Cross training during WW2.
- The Royal Masonic Hospital.
- VAD Red Cross Nursing in India.
- Abbotababad and Dehra Dun.
- Westcombe Park Rugby Club.
- Women working at the Midland Bank.
- Grotton, Lancashire in the 1940s.
- Hardgate, Clydebank, Dunbartonshire in the 1950s.
- J Stone and Co in the UK and India.
- Calcutta (Kolkata) in the 1950s.
- Post colonial India and partition.
- British schools in India (Miss Scrimshaw's School).
- Manufacturing in India.
- Rayner Optical Company.
- Rayner Intraocular Lenses.
- An honest account of John's Alzheimers.
This compelling life story has been compiled and edited by Margaret’s youngest daughter, Sheridan Parsons, using memoirs, notes, diaries, and letters, to create a captivating narrative of an extraordinary life lived through extraordinary times.