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THE STORY SO FAR

 

George East was born in Hayling Island, Hampshire on January 31st, 1944. Probably due to an oversight, no blue plaque has been fixed to the wall of the cottage.

He arrived in the midst of an air-raid, and his mother never forgave Goering and  the Luftwaffe for targeting her greenhouse. It was also not a happy delivery for the midwife, whose bicycle was destroyed by a stray bomb aimed at the nearby Portsmouth Dockyard.

At the end of the War, the family moved back to Portsmouth to run a lodging house where travelling fair and circus acts were regular guests. During these formative years, George learned to juggle and developed his love for unusual characters, prestidigitation and other benign forms of deception. His literary talent first appeared at the local High School, where he would write pornographic stories during Religious Instruction classes and sell them to his classmates.

Leaving school at 16 without a single qualification to buy a motorbike and  become rich and famous, George achieved his first ambition almost immediately.  Sadly, his beloved Velocette 350 was totalled in a spectacular crash involving a milk float, a hearse and a horse shortly after purchase.

 After working as a plumber and welder and accidently inventing the first-ever hot water flush toilet, George decided to become a rock star. Making his own electric guitar, he became founder member and manager of The Rockin Hot Rods, and enjoyed a brief spell of local fame before a systems overload on the amplifiers during the group뭩 signature number (Be Bop A Lula) started a fire and burned their only regular venue to the ground.

 

Deciding to seek his fortune in other lands in 1966, George set off for foreign parts by stowing away after a long session in a pub on what he thought to be a merchant marine boat heading for exotic climes. It turned out to be the Isle of Wight Ferry, so our hero jumped ship at Ryde. He then headed for the Continent, where he worked and fiddled his way through France, Italy, Austria and Germany before ending up in Spain, where he was arrested for cheering the bull at a corrida in Barcelona.

 

Returning to England, George fell in with a gang of local likely lads and sewed his wild oats as he followed a number of interesting and varied occupations to gain experience of Real Life. Professions included night club bouncer and DJ (sometimes at the same time), brewer뭩 drayman, baker뭩 roundsman, university student (expelled after one term for forging entry qualifications) graphologist, actor, car dealer, hypnotherapist, astrologer and grave digger.  During this time he did, as he says, the only really sensible thing in his life and met andmarried Donella

.DJ 'King' George

 

Now having tried about every other possible career and feeling ready to take on the mantle as the country뭩 most celebrated author, George assumed his wife뭩 name and wrote hundreds of romantic photo-story scripts for such respected organs as Jackie, Bluejeans and Love Hurts magazine.  Having unwittingly exposed his true gender during an all-female romantic writers conference, he had to find other outlets for his creative talents.

Frustrated by his early failure to become a successful author, George continued his quest for material wealth, with spells as a radio producer and presenter (1975-80), pickled onion manufacturer, private detective, seamstress and publican (1983-86). It was during his time as a pub landlord that his bed fell through the upstairs floor into the public bar, and he at last achieved worldwide if fleeting celebrity. After appearing in hundreds of newspapers, television and radio programmes around the world and being awarded an honorary doctorate in Bedology by an Arkansas correspondence college, he became history뭩 first and last human bed-tester.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having discovered there was more money to be made out of embellishing the truth than selling beer, George left the pub, bought a bow tie and set up a PR, marketing, promotional and publishing company.

           

In 1986, he devised and organised the first-ever cross-Channel trade show, which involved hiring a ferryboat and taking more than a thousand publicans on the ultimate booze cruise from Portsmouth to Cherbourg. Most of the guests returned safely, while George and his wife stayed behind to discover the delights of Lower Normandy.

A windfall resulting from the fairly legal transfer of a large number of public houses from one company to another enabled the Easts to invest in their first second home in Normandy in 1989, when they bought The Little Jewel, a one-bedroomed cottage in the heart of the Cherbourg peninsula. After receiving an offer they could not refuse, they sold The Jewel while the paint was still drying, lost all reason and bought the nearby and very ruined Mill of the Flea (le moulin de la puce)

Petit Bijou

Don and Son George outside La Puce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having made a catalogue of cock-ups during the process of finding, buying and restoring their corner of a foreign field, George then decided to help others avoid the pitfalls by writing and publishing a book about their experiences. Astonishingly it was a big hit (see FRENCH CONNECTIONS) and was followed by a series of books following the couple뭩 small adventures as they moved around France.

Now to be found in England, Spain or France, George is concentrating on his series about a dodgy Special Branch officer in charge of Portsmouth Continental ferry port. The Inspector Mowgley books are set at the beginning of the Millennium, and based on the author뭩 personal experiences and brushes with those who make a living within or outside the Law.

George outside pub, being arrested

 

 

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