Life as a 'Hebburn lad' - grandad pens memoir to raise money for charities close to his heart

A grandfather has penned a memoir about his life in South Tyneside.

By Sarah Sinclair
Thursday, 18th June 2020, 11:09 am
Updated Thursday, 18th June 2020, 4:25 pm
Michael Lynch has written a memoir about his life growing up in Hebburn.
Michael Lynch has written a memoir about his life growing up in Hebburn.

The Life and Observations of a Hebburn Lad, written by Michael Lynch, 76, tells the story of growing up in the town, before going onto become Hebburn’s youngest councillor at the time.

Michael was just 23-years-old when he was elected for Labour in 1967 before joining Durham County Council in 1970.

The book takes readers from his years at St. Aloysius RC Infant School through his involvement with various local organisations, to his apprenticeship at Wardley Colliery and later employment with Northern Gas.

Michael Lynch was a elected as a councillor for Hebburn in 1967.

He moved away from South Tyneside in 1971 to work for British Gas in London.

Michael, who now lives in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder autoimmune hemolytic anemia in 2009 – a condition where the immune system destroys red blood cells in the body.

Since then, the grandfather-of-six has been in hospital more than 30 times, overcoming a heart attack and colon cancer but recently was diagnosed with cancer again, this time in his lungs.

All of the proceeds from the book are being shared between Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and the Huntingdon Community Cancer Network all of which have helped him during periods of ill health.

Michael and his wife Sheila on their wedding day in 1965.

“I wanted to write it partly for my grandchildren, but it was my wife who encouraged me, she has been by my side all along,” said Michael.

“It was always going to be for the charities which have been a huge support over the years.”

In December 2019, after sending his book to the publisher, Michael became so ill he feared he wouldn’t get to see the finished item.

But fortunately it didn’t come to that and around 200 copies have now been printed and distributed

Michael Lynch (centre) was captain of the Senior Football Team at St Aloysius school in 1957-58.

He has since been contacted by a number of former colleagues and their families in South Tyneside.

“It’s allowed me to reconnect with people from the area,” he said.

“I just hope that my recollections will be of assistance to all my family and will provide a memento for future generations, especially those with a Hebburn or Geordie heritage.”

To enquire about getting a copy of the book email: [email protected]

St. Aloysius school leavers, 1958.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

How to subscribe to the print edition

It’s easy to subscribe to your local newspaper. We have arranged a special 20 per cent off subscription offer for people to take advantage of. Visit, choose the newspaper title, the type of subscription and enter your details.