Memoir of a Rochdale girl

Date published: 03 August 2022

A Rochdale podiatrist has penned her memoir, ‘Beneath the Starry Host’ and discovered that whilst you can take the girl out of Rochdale, you really can't take Rochdale out of the girl.

The memoir covers Jo Feakin’s life as a northern girl of Italian Irish descent growing up in the 1970s.

Born at Birch Hill Hospital in 1970, Jo became an army kid at the age of nine. She spent her teenage years at boarding school before travelling the world, where she went on to live in North and South America working in Houston, New York and Quito in Ecuador, before finally returning to Rochdale.

The book retraces Jo’s steps with lots of local and historical information with some humorous anecdotes along the way. No matter where she was in life – and the world – a link to her hometown was always around the corner.




Jo continued: “It all started by looking into the history of my town of birth – Rochdale – and the major part it has played in world history. When piecing together my own story, I was astonished to discover how much the tiny fragments of my life interlinks with this interesting mill town wherever I have been in the world.

“I didn't expect to discover, through local research, just how much Rochdale has impacted the whole world through the years. I was further astounded to find that as I travelled to the various parts of the world just how many links back to Rochdale I found. When I looked into the history of Rochdale, I couldn't believe how much of my varied life connected with its past.

“It is truly a town of immense importance that has impacted the world in many, many ways. My hope is that this book will be an inspiration to others."

Jo says she decided to write her book because “we all have a story to tell” after she was given a memoir to read and told that she should write her life story.

She explained: "So many times I hear people tell me that they would love to write a book. I believe there is a book in all of us. We all have a story to tell. It has been a great experience to write my own story, which is now recorded for future generations. If I can do, it anyone can.”

Jo’s memoir also contains original poetry by her late father-in-law Andrew Feakin, who wrote over 6,000 poems during his life.

‘Beneath the Starry Host’ can be bought directly from Jo’s website; a portion of the proceeds will go towards helping refugees locally.

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