City Voices were very lucky on Saturday 17th May to have local writer, journalist and historian Fred Hughes present a talk about his life and work, and read excerpts from his work in progress - a very different kind of autobiography. Fred has had an interesting life to say the least, having been born just before the outbreak of WWII. Fred was forced to leave school at the age of 15, having been prevented taking his 11 plus exam. Since then Fred has had many different occupations, including that of police officer, and is writing his life story in the form of an "alter ego" through whose eyes readers will see the world and the events not only in his life, but on the world stage. Fred was keen to say that Forrest Gump it is not! The thing which resonated with many of City Voices members present, was Fred's description of himself as an "outsider". Without going into the reasons for this, it may be that outsiders make the perfect writers, as they must experience the world alone to make sense of it, and not necessarily from the bosom of a normal loving family. Fred's autobiography seems to be so much more than "just" a life story, amazing though Fred's life clearly was! In addition to journalism, Fred has published several books including : Mother Town - local history (2000). Images of Burslem - local history (2005). Roses from Ashes - biography of Sir Barnett Stross (20012). His historical speciality is the Historical development of the North Staffordshire pottery industry and coalmining. In addition, Fred has the roles of Community development: community champion, Director & deputy chair Mitchell Arts Centre, Chair of Bethesda Chapel Trust and many other local community projects, in addition to which he still writes a column for The Sentinel. Many thanks to Fred for a fascinating couple of hours.