There are only brief references to Arthur Wakely in Barefoot on the Cobbles. His escape from his Devonshire home, to become a coachman in Midlothian, Scotland, was an example to Albert that there was a world beyond the fishing villages on the north Devon coast.
Arthur William Wakely was the eldest of the Wakely family and the only surviving son in a family of girls. He was born on 21 April 1861 in Peppercombe Valley. Initially he moved to Bideford and worked as a painter but shortly afterwards changed his occupation. In 1882, he married a Scottish girl Mary Eliza MacAulay in London, where they had no doubt met whilst in service. They moved with the family to their Scottish home in Edinburgh, by which time Arthur is working as a coachman. Arthur and Mary had at least eight children. We lose track of Arthur and his family after 1901.
‘It was from Polly that he learned that there were two more sisters at home, Ada and Ethel and a brother, Arthur, who was making his own way in the world.’
Barefoot on the Cobbles will be published on 17 November 2018. More information about the novel can be found here. Copies will be available at various events in the weeks following the launch or can be pre-ordered from Blue Poppy Publishing or the author.