Biographical research and publications

There are now three biographical books in the Mifair Publishing series, between them looking at the life of an Olympic gold medallist and music hall variety artist; a career soldier who rose from boy entrant to Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant; and an industrialist that was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution and whose family became significant benefactors. All three titles are available in either paperback or kindle formats on and its regional sites.

One of Life's great charmers

One of life’s great charmers.: A biography of Charles Kay: Sporting legend, songwriter and well-loved comedian. 1870-1928

Charles Kay, also known at various times as Charles Beachcroft Kay, C B Kay, Charles Beachy Kay Beachcroft, C B K Beachcroft, and even as Jack Trent, was a larger than life character who seemed to excel at pretty-well everything that he did, whether at being a ‘Gentleman of Independent means’, a sporting legend who played at County level in cricket, hockey and rugby, captained an England cricket team that won a gold medal in the 1900 Paris Olympics.

He introduced ‘ping pong’ and roller skating to the west country, won major shooting competitions, was a respected baritone singer, acted as ‘mine host’ and entertainer at all kinds of local events and venues, was a regular gambler, landlord or licensee of various east Devon public houses and, eventually, becoming a well-known Music Hall variety artist, song writer, comedian, actor and touring theatre company manager who played at venues throughout the UK, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand for more than twenty years. Purchase from Amazon

William Kay

William Kay: Cotton manufacturer and liberal benefactor. 1775 – 1846.

This book is about one such Lancashire family; a family that revolved around clothing, fustian, cotton spinning and woollen, calico and cotton manufacture for well over 200 years prior to the Industrial Revolution, and believed to date back to at least the 1500s. It is the story of William Kay and his children and grandchildren – as well as his parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters – that have been researched and recorded over a period of more than a century, looking at where this particular Kay family and ancestors lived in Bass Lane, Walmersley, their occupations and business relationships, their church affiliations, and the charities, dispensaries, schools and hospitals that they supported.

It is also a story of wealth created, spread throughout a family, and ultimately largely given away to the poor and disadvantaged, for overseas missionary works and to charities. Purchase from Amazon

Born to Soldier

Born to Soldier: The Life and Adventures of Charles John Fairley

This book records the life and adventures of Charles John Fairley who was born into a family in which his father, grandfather, great grandfather and various uncles had all had distinguished army careers.

His father served in the Royal Field Artillery in the Crimean and Maori Wars, while his grandfather had almost 40 years of army service, initially joining as a boy drummer at the age of nine and then, from the age of 18, service as a gunner in Gibralter and Alderney. It was therfore not unsurprising that Charles John enlisted in the army at the age of 17.

He was stationed with the Royal Engineers in Singapore and Gibralter between 1890 and 1898 before seeing active service in the South African War between 1899 and 1902. Back in civvy street, it was not long before he re-enlisted at the beginning of the First World War, only to find himself involved in the fighting in France and then Salonika. He completed his army service in 1919 with the rank of Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant. In World War II he helped to train the local Home Guard.

The book details his life and adventures, often in a humerous way, until shortly before he died in 1956.. Purchase from Amazon