The Croydon Boy books

In this unique series, Peter Saunders blends sociological research with social history and some personal experiences to reflect on how social change in Britain has affected all our lives.

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CROYDON BOY: Growing up in post-war Britain

Who was the best-selling recording artist in Britain in 1967?  Not the Beatles, the Stones, the Who or the Beach Boys.  It was Engelbert Humperdink.

The reality of the sixties often fails to live up to the hype.  Very few young Brits were tripping on acid, demonstrating in Grosvenor Square, or battling among the Mods and Rockers on Brighton beach.  Peter Saunders wasn't - he was too busy fretting that he might never lose his virginity.

Croydon Boy examines how dramatic post-war changes in family life, sexual mores, education, law and order, standards of living and personal freedoms impacted on the lives of ordinary kids growing up in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s.

Paperback (revised edn) £12.49

Hardback (first edn) £17.95

Purchase from or Amazon

Reader reviews:

"It's a wonderful book and I loved the mix of sociology and autobiography"

"Beautifully written, highly readable and immensely evocative"

"An excellent read"

"Has brought back many memories and I have been chuckling out loud many times. I am amazed at the detail of your recollection"

"Wonderful, just like reliving the first 20 years of my life.  I laughed out loud and cried"

"A great piece of social history"

"Laughed and cried all the way through it, it is a great book"

Revised edition in preparation:


Settling Down in Unsettled Times

The second volume in the Croydon Boy trilogy begins in 1971.  The Beatles have disbanded.  Ali has lost his Heavyweight crown.  Stormclouds are forming.  They've even turned the clocks back.  Peter Saunders was married and looking after his new baby son in one room at his in-laws' house in 1971.  What could possibly go wrong?

First published 2020; revised edition available soon



Two new volumes in preparation:


Growing Old in a New Millennium

The planned final volume of the Croydon Boy trilogy will cover the period from 199o to the present day.  Now in his seventies, Peter Saunders asks what it is about getting older that makes us technologically incompetent, politically incorrect, sexually embarrassing, and biologically incapable of getting out of a chair without letting out an involuntary grunt.  

Expected publication: 2023



and other family stories

Applying the same blend of history, sociology and personal biography as in Croydon Boy, but this time applying it to life in Britain in the past, Peter Saunders reviews his embarrassingly shabby family tree in the hope of finding somebody - anybody - who might have made a bob or two. 

Each chapter tells someone's life story.  Meet Susannah, the coal miner's daughter who lost three sons to the Great War; Martha, who had four illegitimate kids at a time when having just one was considered scandalous; and Cornelius Stott, a rascal born in the slums of Manchester at the height of the industrial revolution who decided he'd rather be someone else.

Expected publication: late 2021

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