Shela’s Own Introduction…

Shela Porter
Shela Porter

Also see Poetry

I moved to Cople in 1995 when I re-married. I am a writer and have published local interest books for children, a biography (Threads of Time 1999) and this year my autobiography (Bridges of Time). Both of these books are of local Bedford interest. I also write regularly for The Bedfordshire County Life Magazine and am an enthusiastic member of The Bedford Writers’ Circle. I give talks on writing as therapy to local W.I. branches and other interested groups.

As an old Bedfordian and very much a ‘townie’ until moving to Cople, I am pleasantly surprised to find myself, thirteen years later; living in such a friendly and peaceful place. I am now a well converted country dweller.

About Shela Porter…

Bridges Of Time book

After a widowhood and two failed marriages with three children, seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren, Shela Porter is now happily remarried and lives in a village three miles from Bedford. Having written poetry, short stories, articles, essays and reports all her life, she took early retirement from teaching in Bedfordshire schools to concentrate on her first interest, writing for children. Her published books for children, both of local interest, include ‘Phantom Island’ and ‘High Summer Magic’ with three more now completed.

Threads Of Time book

A biography of her mother, ‘Threads of Time’, followed and it was the memory of her mother’s words just before she died that prompted Shela to write her own life story. ‘Just get on with it’ was the advice that Shela took to heart, and the result was a cathartic and healing process as she crossed many difficult bridges to reach the next stage on the long journey of her life.Bridges of Time: The True Story of a Bedford Family is available from Waterstones, W.H.Smith and County Town Books in Bedford.

Threads of Time: The True Story of a Bedford Family is still on sale at the above shops and is now in its third reprint.

Synopsis of Shela’s latest book, ‘Bridges of Time’

Bridges of Time

The unfolding of a traumatic span of seventy years, this gripping autobiography tells the story of a woman’s struggle, mostly in Bedford, to achieve happiness as she battles against fate and finally finds peace and contentment in her later years.

The third in a large family of eight children, Shela enjoys early years at school and writes small stories each week for her teacher on pieces of toilet paper.

Ambitions to become a teacher are thwarted when she is taken out of school at fourteen to work in the family business. Long hours and demanding work leave little time for a young social life but it is in the little café that Shela meets her future husband. Marriage at twenty and the birth of three children in the first three years lead to a lonely life on a council estate as her marriage breaks down and her violent and immature husband leaves the family home.

Full time work is imperative to keep the family together but Shela is devastated when her youngest child develops coeliac disease and asthma and is taken away to be educated in a residential hospital school in Hertfordshire. The oldest boy leaves home to live with his father and Shela meets her second husband who promises to look after them all. A gradual realisation that he is an alcoholic who is already seriously ill, prompts her to enter teacher training as a mature student and on qualification, work in Bedfordshire schools.

Now widowed and lonely as her children leave home, Shela begins a questionable relationship with a man whom she eventually marries after his strictly Catholic wife dies. Two years in India follow and then several in Yorkshire as her unhappiness with an unfaithful and controlling husband results in a nervous breakdown and a return to Bedford with a pressing need to re-establish her life yet again.

Now retired, she begins to write again and two children’s books are published with three more completed. Shela realises that writing has helped to save her sanity and begins to give talks on her life and writing as a therapy.

In her early sixties, with all thoughts of romance firmly dismissed from her mind, she meets the caring and gentle man who becomes her new husband and who nurses her back to health while encouraging her to write regularly again. The result is a biography of her mother, ‘Threads of Time’, published to coincide with the start of the new millennium.


Shela Porter A.K.A. Baines
27 Grange Lane
Beds MK44 3TT
Tel 01234 838456
Email: [email protected]