Dennis happy to swap plastering for pens

Dennis Swift with his new book, Caught On Site: Confessions of a Tradesman
Dennis Swift with his new book, Caught On Site: Confessions of a Tradesman

It shouldn’t happen to a council plasterer but in Dennis Swift’s case, he is certainly glad it did.

Because the trials and tribulations of life as a tradesman have given him a fund of anecdotes for his new book about the many, many laughs and japes he experienced on the job.

The book is full of short stories and the best bit is that, although people may find it hard to believe, I can guarantee that every one actually did happened.

Dennis Swift

Now 60, retiring four years ago, he has delivered a rib-tickling read about the antics trades people go up to while working on the borough’s giant council house refurbishment programme in the 2000s.

Most of the characters in his collection of short stories are locals.

And all the happenings all took place in Wigan, Leigh and Bolton.

For example, in Something Fishy, Dennis tells a classic tale of a builder long the butt of practical jokes.

His site pals stowed a dead fish behind a panel in his pick up and as the weeks passed, the mystery pong would drive him to a state of despair.

Dennis, from Atherton, said: “The book took three years to write but quite a while was wasted while looking for a publisher.

“Many of the mainstream operators actually liked what they read after I sent them a manuscript but then decided for whatever reason not to take it any further.

“But my efforts were finally rewarded when Lionel Ross from i2i in Manchester came to my rescue because he thought it was good enough to see the light of day.

“The book is full of short stories and the best bit is that, although people may find it hard to believe, I can guarantee that every one actually did happened.”

Dennis, a dad of three now celebrating some 38 years of marriage to wife Brenda, retired from plastering in 2012.

And he’s used his retirement to good effect, swapping his mixing paddle for a word processor and pen to finally bring Confessions Of A Tradesman to manuscript.

In fact, it’s actually his second book.

Because the passionate Bolton Wanders fan - he was once flown to London by satellite television to take part in a fans forum representing the Trotters - has already written Football Rhymes Of Passion.

Dennis also knows his pints and treasures his real ales.

And can always be found supporting the town’s Bent And Bongs beer festival. Confessions has already gathered in some impressive testimonials.

The Bolton comedian and actor Bernard Wrigley said: “I can confirm that such goings on - actually went on!” While the jolly chaps from Wigan Uke trio Chonkinfeckle have also endorsed to the tome.

Caught on Site, Confessions of a Tradesman, is priced at £7.99. It is available from Waterstones or from admin@i2ipublishing.co.uk