Helen Forrester: Liverpool author honoured with blue plaque

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Helen Forrester
Image caption,
Helen Forrester was born in Hoylake in 1919 and died aged 92 in 2011

One of Merseyside's best-known authors has been honoured with a blue plaque outside her childhood home.

Helen Forrester, whose real name was June Bhatia, is known for her harrowing but uplifting autobiographical work Twopence To Cross The Mersey.

She died in 2011 aged 92, but her son Robert Bhatia was there to see her plaque erected in Hoylake, Wirral.

Mr Bhatia said it was "wonderful" to recognise the place where his mother "longed to return".

She lived at 5 Warren Road with her grandmother and mother.

She described her school holidays there as "the happiest days of my childhood".

Image caption,
The blue plaque was unveiled in a special ceremony at 5 Warren Road in Hoylake

Mr Bhatia said: "It is really wonderful to recognise a place that was so important to my mother, and so much a part of the stories she told me as a child.

"Then later in her books it plays a prominent part as a place that she really longed to return to."

The Wirral Council blue plaque coincides with the launch of a national tour of a stage play adaptation of Forrester's third volume of autobiography, By The Waters Of Liverpool.

Her rags-to-riches tale about growing up during the Depression years in Liverpool was published in 1974 and later made into a stage play.

Born in Hoylake in 1919, Forrester moved as a young child with her family to the south of England where they lived comfortably until her father went bankrupt in 1930.

The family returned to Liverpool and fell into poverty, with the 12-year-old Forrester left to bring up her six younger siblings.

Her first book was published in 1959, by which time she had settled in Ottawa, Canada with her husband.