A BOWLING-BORN man has published his first novel, which is set against the backdrop of the Clydebank Blitz.

Frank Woods, who is in his 70s, donated a copy of his new book, Where the Bridge Lies, to Clydebank Library as thanks for their help with research.

The novel intertwines two timelines. In 1941, the Clydebank Blitz robs Nessa Glover of her husband and five children. Struggling with her new reality, she becomes a shipyard welder and finds herself drawn into trade union activism. One day she visits Harmony, a commune built on ideas of equality and unity – but not everything is quite as it seems.

The novel also gives us the 1980s story of Keir Connor, a traumatised war correspondent whose father dies and he is left with a letter that takes him to Clydebank in search of answers. His journey leads him to Harmony, now called Laggandarroch, a residential school for disadvantaged children, as he tries to unlock the past.

Frank said: “The novel reflects the long life I’ve led. I grew up amid the sights, sounds and smells of a shipyard village where bomb sites were our adventure playgrounds.

“After graduating from Glasgow University I worked as an exploration geologist in Canada, a journalist in Aberdeen and a primary school teacher, before settling into a 25-year career as a psychologist with a special interest in disadvantaged children and their families.

“Along the way, I’ve rubbed up against a fascinating range of people and experiences. The novel isn’t autobiographical. It’s fiction, a tale that I’ve created. I’ve been able to draw from my life in ways that enrich the story.”

Frank will read from Where the Bridge Lies at the Bay Inn, Bowling, at 7pm on Wednesday, March 13, and at The Heritage Centre, Clydebank Library, at 6pm on Wednesday, March 20.

Both events are free and open to all.