This is the fourth in a series of unique books by Patrick B Hayes where he explores
a rich seam of accounts of ghost stories and mysteries .These tales are pinpointed on his home turf of Erdington North Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield. The stories are based on “true personal experience and the author’s research…”
Patrick was born and bred in these outlying city suburbs .He is well placed as a playwright, author and performer to bring this area to life as he casts his vivid imagination over the intriguing history and mysteries which lie below the veneer of suburban life.
It’s often said a writer should draw material from that corner of the world he knows.
Patrick achieves this ideal admirably. He skilfully weaves various strands into his account…painstakingly researched local history, carefully documented accounts of strange goings on, a sense of the continuity between past and present. The result is a very readable book.
The stories are told through the eyes and words of two chief characters.
Fr Michael is a pragmatic down to earth Catholic missionary priest from Galway. He has worked in the Far East yet the Tropics have taken their toll. He finds himself struck down with a bout of malaria and forced by his order to convalesce
in a hospital in Brittany France.
There he crosses paths with a young French woman, Dr Florence. An innocent good humoured rapport evolves. But there is to be a dramatic twist in their friendship.
The patient and doctor are about to become collaborators in investigating paranormal activity in North Birmingham
Sometime after Brittany, Fr Michael is now in a run down parish in North Birmingham. One rain swept night his faithful doctor appears on his doorstep. Fr Michael shares with Florence that he has become captivated by some of the local strange occurrences in Erdington, “one of the most haunted places in Britain.” He has even begun documenting the evidence and testimonies.
Florence’s curiosity is stirred. The two friends set about a journey, investigating these places first hand, places such as Pype Hayes Hall, New Hall and Sutton Town Hall. No reader familiar with these places can ever again think of them in the same light. This is the power of Patrick’s storytelling
Tales yet to be told has a brilliantly paced plot. Patrick has the flair of the playwright to make things happen with crisp, creative dialogue. His descriptions are light touch yet startlingly vivid. Fr Michael is, “a solid man and his hands could have well pushed a plough as hold a chalice.” (p10) It is a must read for anyone living in or who has a connection with North Birmingham, one for their book shelf to be shared with friends and family.
I found this book delightful. The general reader will not be disappointed.