Everything the family needed was within walking distance in the village, and life with four older brothers and a sister in their crowded council house was exceedingly lively.In her late teens, Pam grew dissatisfied with her life as a Civil Service clerk with only the local 'hop' for scintillating excitement.
An eagerly-awaited country childhood memoir by one of Britain's most-loved personalities. Pam Ayres was the sixth child in a hard-up family who lived in a council house, her parent's generation were harrowed by the war. Yet they lived by the green in the village of Stanford in the Vale, where everything you needed was within walking distance and the sound of motorcars was rarely heard. Then reaching her teens, Pam realised how few opportunities she had. At fifteen she started working for the civil service. Pam knew she had to reach out for more, and sought it first in the WRAF. But it was some time before she discovered the unique talent that would make her one of Britain's best-loved comics. Containing Pam's much-loved combination of humour and poignancy, The Necessary Aptitude""is a beautifully written memoir of growing up in the country in post-war Berkshire.
Pam Ayres has been a writer, broadcaster and entertainer for over 35 years since winning the talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1975, and she has become an audience favourite for her sharp perception of the comic detail of everyday life. Pam is the author of several bestselling poetry collections, including With These Hands, Surgically Enhanced and The Works. Many of her poems are in school textbooks in countries including China, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, South Africa, Ireland and Singapore. Pam's books, record albums, CDs and DVDs have sold many millions, and she is a regular guest on radio programmes such as Just A Minute, Loose Ends and Saturday Live. Her own programme Ayres on the Air will be entering its fourth series in 2012. Pam performs her solo stage show annually to sell-out audiences throughout Britain and around the world. In 2004 she was awarded the MBE.
"Ayres gives a wonderful account of what it was like to grow up poor but respectable in post-war rural England. Some of her writing in the early chapters, describing life as the youngest of six children in a council cottage in the Vale of White Horse, Berkshire, has the original freshness of classics such as Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford" -- Kathryn Hughes Mail on Sunday 20110911 "I find her work sweet and sour, gentle and sad, and often very moving in its wistful way ... The descriptions of post-war Berkshire life in The Necessary Aptitude are wonderful ... The world Ayres evokes is Hardy's Wessex ... I do admire (and envy) this marvellous woman" -- Roger Lewis Daily Mail "Excellent ... Unsentimental, especially about herself, Ayres gives a surprisingly moving account of what it was like to grow up poor in rural England without any "aptitude" for making something of herself" -- Kathryn Hughes Christmas Guide to a Cracking Read, Mail on Sunday 20111211 "Highly readable ... Pam's memoirs are a masterclass in effective and effervescent prose" The Lady "An evocation of long-gone village life as captivating as Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford. At the book's height, she reaches up and touches Laurie Lee" Buckinghamshire Life