Talking about The Generations In Betw

Cover of Ben Simpson's 'The Generations In Between' SUS-151119-123633001
Cover of Ben Simpson's 'The Generations In Between' SUS-151119-123633001

The Generations In Between is a remarkable Family History of John Hornby Maw, onetime Mayor of Hastings, who lived in a smuggler’s house on West Hill, where he entertained some of the great painters of the day.

Written by Ben Simpson the story depicts how Hornby Maw made his fortune in surgical instruments, creating the first baby’s bottles- one of which became a ‘killer’ bottle.

As this fascinating story tumbles down through the centuries and generations other character’s are met along the way, including surveyors, ministers, mine owners, ironmasters, tea merchants, brewers, émigrés, engineers, soldiers and diplomats.

Described as “An excellent compendium of family histories” by J Margaret Page of the Quaker Family History Society, the book embraces the writer’s paternal roots in Westmorland: yeoman farmers whose subsequent generations took bold steps into commerce and industry.

There are insights into life in Palestine, where Sir John Shaw, the writer’s uncle who retired to Winchelsea, was the target in the bombing of the King David Hotel, blown up by the Irgun.

This story of a family culminates in a revealingly candid insight into the career of the author’s father, Joe Simpson who served as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for a decade, until his death in service in 1968.

Peter Neyroud, Cambridge Institute of Criminology; former Chief Constable says The Generations In Between is a fascinating journey through a “British” family. “It shows just how varied our forefathers were and how our present has been built from a patchwork of different nationalities and backgrounds,” he said. “The book reads as both a moral tale about the importance of family and a series of stories of lives that have contributed to the development of our nation, culminating in the life of Ben’s father, Joe Simpson, who was the first Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police to rise from the ranks and one of the finest who led the force at a time when that institution faced huge challenges.’

Poet and writer Carmen Bugan says The Generation In Between is “Meticulously researched.” Whilst Tony and Kathy Herbert – Friends of Ironbridge Gorge Museum say: ‘The author’s researches are themselves something of an adventure story with unexpected pieces of the jigsaw puzzle revealed through diligence and serendipity.”

The book costs £10 plus £3.50 (UK) p&p Paperback, available early December.