Local author and budding historian Dennis Perkins will be unveiling his latest book at a special signing in Darlington later this week.

‘Darlington Grammar School’ offers an insight into the history of the school where Dennis was himself a pupil, and its publication comes almost 50 years after the school’s closure.

Dennis will be at the Centre for Local Studies in Crown Street Library to sign and sell copies of the book, price £12.95, on Wednesday 30 November, 1-3pm. There will also be a small display about the Grammar School.

Born in 1943, Dennis worked as a solicitor before taking early retirement when he decided to indulge his passion for history. He decided to embark on a historical research project and Darlington Grammar School seemed an obvious candidate.

Married with one son, and a grandson, Dennis is also the author of the historical novel ‘Shrouded Eagle’, published in 2009, which tells the tale of a plot to install Napoleon’s infant son on the throne of France.

Dennis said:

“When I was at the school, I was not particularly keen on it, but as nearly 50 years have passed since it ceased to exist, I think it is increasingly important that it is remembered for what it achieved.

“During its time at Vane Terrace much happened to the school. In its earlier years it had pupils who boarded and a preparatory department. Then it experienced financial problems and fought a long drawn out battle with Durham County Council to retain its independence. The school lost, yet Durham County did not win!

“Later as a local authority school it grew to an extent unimaginable in earlier years, before facing its final battle. The book is not one filled with reminiscences. It sets out to give an impartial and comprehensive account of what happened at, and to the school during its 92 years at Vane Terrace.”

Katherine Williamson, Local Studies and Reference Librarian, added:

“We were lucky enough to welcome Dennis for a talk on his research into the school earlier this year, which proved very popular, and we’re delighted to welcome him back for this book signing event.

“With Christmas coming up it’s a great opportunity to meet the author and have the book signed as a special gift for someone with an interest in local history.”

To find out more about events log onto the website at Centre for Local Studies, pop into the centre at Crown Street Library, call 01325 349630 or email local.studies@darlington.gov.uk.