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T'ree Tins Of Turpenine

T'ree Tins Of Turpentine

January 20, 2022

“Go on, say “T’ree tins of turpentine!”, you bogtrotter!” was one of many jeers towards Irish families in Leicester in the 1950s and is the inspiration behind the title of Tim O’Sullivan’s debut book.

In 2008, after realising how much people enjoyed his stories at family gatherings, weddings and funerals, Tim picked up a dictaphone and began verbally recording his memories. Originally a passion project destined to be read by the wider O’Sullivan family, Tim was inspired by his son, Ryan, to publish his memoir.

Tim’s anecdotal accounts give harrowing and humorous insights into life as a marginalised child in the 1950s. Born to a dirt-poor Irish mother, Tim weaves rich tales of living in extreme poverty on the unforgiving Mowmacre Hill council estate. This book will strike a chord with baby boomers and entertain any reader looking for first-hand nostalgic recollections of post-war, poverty-stricken Britain.

From narrowly avoiding sexual abuse at a children’s home, becoming a teenage father and enduring two prison sentences, Tim’s life is a rich jigsaw of highs, lows and laughs. He recounts his mother’s struggles at single parenting while avoiding destitution and the shock return of his biological father after being estranged for 17 years. Tim’s brotherly bonds are brought to life with stories of John - the brother Tim didn’t know he had for the first few years of his life and the tragic addiction-fuelled unravelling of his sister, Mary.

Tim’s determination to rewrite his childhood narrative resulted in a rock-solid marriage with his wife, Pam, unshakeable devotion to his children, and numerous business ventures that accrued great wealth.

T’ree Tins of Turpentine encourages you as a reader to think about your own stories and how they will be passed down to future generations. Tim’s work is an inspirational reminder that no matter how hard you experience childhood suffering, with faith, love, hard work and a lot of laughter, it is possible to overcome adversity.

Read his amazing true story. 

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