New book tells the Bagwell family’s ‘inspirational’ tale

Stan Bagwell of Sidmouth Trawlers with his wife Mary and Christine Hardy who has written a book abou

Stan Bagwell of Sidmouth Trawlers with his wife Mary and Christine Hardy who has written a book about him. Ref shs 2279-14-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

A book charting Sidmouth’s maritime history through the eyes of one of the town’s best-known families goes on sale next month - with all of the profits going to charity.

All I Ever Wanted recounts stories from Stan Bagwell’s life, from boyhood fishing trips with his father to the launch of his family business.

Compiled by local author Christine Hardy, it tells the tale of his family’s struggle to make a living and develop Sidmouth Trawlers, which at its peak had two shops, four boats working from the town and a trawler which fished from Brixham.

The book will be officially launched on May 1, as part of this year’s Sea Fest, with proceeds going to the Fishermen’s Mission.

The charity offers financial and emotional support to fishermen and their families, and helped the Bagwells when their son, Ian, was lost at sea in 1998.

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Author Christine completed the book after 18 months of work, interviewing Stan and his wife, Mary, to bring together their ‘inspirational’ tale.

Christine said: “I first met Stan and his family in 2002 when I wandered into Sidmouth Trawlers in search of fresh fish.

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“He reminded me a little of my own father and it wasn’t long before we were bantering with each other.

“Over the years, I have got to know Mary, his daughters, Lynn and Kay, and his grandsons, Ryan and Kieran. But there was so much more I didn’t know.

“It has been a privilege to listen to Stan and Mary and I am honoured that they shared their hopes, dreams, triumphs and tragedies with me.”

Christine added that much of the book is written from Stan’s own perspective, in his language, so some sections do not necessarily follow the rules of grammar.

She said: “He uses a little Devon-dialect and swears a bit, but without this, he would not sound like Stan, and I feel strongly that his own voice should be heard.”

The book will be launched at Paragon Books on May 1, priced £12.

Stan, Mary and Christine will be at the shop between 3pm and 4pm to chat and sign copies of the book.

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