Tony Aston

Location: Winkleigh, Devon, UK
About The Speaker...

I am a writer living in deepest, dark Devon. I am a Fellow of The Security Institute and a member of the Society of Authors and the Historical Writers Association. I retired from the Police service in 1997 having served for a little under 30 years in the Midlands as a detective including a secondment for several years at New Scotland Yard. I spent the following 20 years working in the UK Defence Industry countering the threats against sensitive UK information and assets from state-sponsored foreign intelligence organisations. Following retirement in 2017 I turned to my passion of writing, I was fortunate to have my childhood memoir, “Redditch – From the Chip Shop to the Batchley”, published in 2022. It tells the story of my growing up as a child in the Midlands during the 1950s and 60s. Ongoing projects include a wartime fictional story about a German spy embedded in a British munitions factory during World War II and a military history account that links the finding, in 2009, of an old weathervane fashioned in the shape of a wartime Lancaster bomber, and the downing, with all souls lost, of Lancaster JB453 on 3rd January 1944 during the bombing of Berlin campaign.

About Their Talks...

I currently deliver two talks. The first one relates to my book, “Redditch – From the Chip Shop to the Batchley”, and describes day to day life growing up as a child on a council estate in Redditch, Worcestershire during the 1950s and 60s. The second talk tells the story of the Lancaster bomber weathervane, mentioned above, and the links to the shooting down by an enemy night fighter of a Lancaster during World War II.


My fee for talks is £100.00. Additionally, for travelling distances in excess of 20 miles, I charge a car mileage rate of 40p per mile up to a maximum of £50, or rail costs at standard fare rates. I make no charge for travel up to 20 miles.

My Contact Details:

07946 490976

Redditch - From the Chip Shop to the Batchley

Public Speaker in Devon Tony Aston talks about Redditch - From the Chip Shop to the Batchley

I was born in 1953 in Redditch, Worcestershire and grew up there until I was sixteen years old. In this talk, which relates to the book of the same title published in 2022, I explore my memories of ordinary day-to-day life in the 1950s and 60s when the town, like hundreds of other towns and cities at that time, was striving to repair, rebuild and re-invent itself after World War II.
I recall the demolition of the old town and the building of the new as well as my personal memories of Christmas, food and drink, currency, the big freeze of 1962/63, incidents and accidents, special people in my life, radio and television, all intertwined with significant national and international events.
The talk is directed at people who lived during those times, descendants who would like to hear about how their ancestors lived, and to younger people keen to learn of the social history surrounding life in the UK half a century ago.

The Bomber and the Weathervane

Public Speaker in Devon Tony Aston talks about The Bomber and the Weathervane

This talk relates to a book I am currently writing. During 2021, the International Bomber Command Centre supported the dedication as a war memorial, of a weathervane, fashioned in the form of a Lancaster bomber, at the home of a close good friend in Herefordshire. The weathervane bore the serial number JB453 OL-F which was identified as a Pathfinder Lancaster III, based at RAF Wyton, lost as a result of enemy actions on the night of January 2/3 1944 during the Battle for Berlin bombing campaign. All crew members perished and are now buried at the 1939-1945 Commonwealth War Grave in Berlin. I am very proud to have been asked to write the story. The talk, which lasts for approximately one hour, tells the story of the weathervane, the extensive research carried out to identify of the crew, engagement with the crews’ descendants, Pathfinders squadron, The Battle for Berlin Campaign, the downing of JB453 together with details of the Luftwaffe pilot responsible, and the 2021 dedication event in Herefordshire. The talk, which lasts for about an hour, also includes extracts from a recorded interview I carried out in early 2023 with a surviving member, now 98 years old, of the Pathfinder Squadron at RAF Wyton between 1943 and 1945. The talk is directed at those of all age groups with a general or specific interest in World War II, military history societies and those keen on hearing about RAF World War II campaigns.

Tony Aston Contact Details:

07946 490976

Send a message to Tony Aston