Carole Berry’s life has been interwoven with Devizes since she moved to the market town more than two decades ago.

She became engrossed in community activities, joined the town council, and enjoyed a period as musical director at Wiltshire-based SuperChoir.

After retiring, Carole tentatively began to write and submitted a manuscript to major publishers Austin Macauley. She was astonished when they sent her a glowing and encouraging review and the offer of a publishing contract!

Times of My Life – A Forest Gate Girl, out next week, focuses on her life leading up to living in Wiltshire. A second book, The Best of Times details her adventures since.

Born in London in 1950 to a large family who had left their colonial home of centuries in turbulent and dangerous times in India, classically educated at an Ursuline Convent and later City University, Carole grew up in a most exciting era.

She had many ambitions as the second of six children – to be an actress, to sing and dance, to play the piano, to travel the world, to write, to teach. She would achieve all of these in time, with varying degrees of success.

Music, fashion and art led the youth movement of the sixties, constantly and bravely challenging the status quo, and London was the place to be. She met her future husband Chris on a traditional blind date in 1967 and they embarked on a wonderful life together, building a family and settling in Devizes over 20 years ago.

“I really want people to get the chance to get to know me, I really do hope they enjoy the book,” said Carole. “I had been talking about writing a book for a long time, and lockdown gave me the chance to seriously get started.”

The book was originally written for her first grandchild, featuring stories and traditions her own mother and grandmother had told her about, as well as her own schooldays, so that they could be passed down the family.

Carole is arranging a book signing event locally at her favourite bookshop, Devizes Books, on Saturday July 31. All are welcome to attend.