Pat Skillicorn
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About me
Pat SkillicornI was born in Douglas, Isle of Man and brought up in the village of Ballasalla, the ‘village of the willows’ with my mother and father and younger sister.  Though we never had much money (our first home was a wartime Nissen hut), we had the freedom to explore the beautiful countryside and beaches that lay around us.

I went to a typical three-roomed country school – again, a happy time though the school and its teaching hadn’t changed in essence since Victorian times.  I belonged, though, to that fortunate generation that could take advantage of the opportunities offered by the newly-opened Castle Rushen High School. 

In the garden of a Nissen Hut
Our post-war Nissen hut home
Though diverted into the paths of civil servant and secretary, I eventually took myself off to Goldsmiths College, London on the principle that London was as different from and as far away from the Isle of Man as possible.  At Goldsmiths, I took a degree in history and a postgraduate teaching certificate.  I began my teaching career in the Wirral.  I was soon drawn back to the Isle of Man to teach at the (newly opened) Queen Elizabeth II High School.




Freda and friend, Ballasalla, Nissen Hut
Freda and friend outside our Nissen hut
Writing: Though I’ve written stories since I was a child, I only began to take writing seriously after I had to retire early from teaching.  My inspiration was my mother’s voice.  She was a storyteller and her stories were the basis of my first book, Wave to your Daddy.  I wanted give a voice to people like my family whose voices are rarely heard - and to find my own voice in the process.

In 2007, Wave to your Daddy gained me acceptance onto an MA in Creative Writing course at Lancaster University.  The portfolio of writing which I produced for the final assessment became the basis of Foxgloves, a collection of short stories.  For years, I’ve described myself as a teacher.  I’m just beginning to have the courage to call myself a writer.

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Manx tartan
Wave to Your Daddy