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In the heart of Ashington – a bustling Geordie mining town – a handsome red-brick vicarage, surrounded by rambling gardens, stands proudly among the rows of terraced houses. It is the perfect place for playing games, keeping secrets and chasing the ghosts of previous occupants, and it will be nine-year-old Barbara’s new home now that her father is to be vicar in this strange new place.

In this charming memoir, Barbara Fox recalls a childhood where parishioners knocked on the door at all hours of the day and night, and where no one batted an eye at the collection of waifs and strays who regularly joined the family at the kitchen table. This is a warm-hearted, classic tale of family, community and the unforgettable thrill of childhood adventure.