where his father worked as a miner. Bill worked as a coalbagger, weaver,
and a truck driver, but he started writing occasionally for himself.
He said, "There was the odd occasion when I
might get a sentence to match up almost perfectly with what I felt, and this
simple act gave me a glow of satisfaction, even a touch of self-esteem. At times
I'd be so overcome by the reconciliation I might achieve between imagination and
writing, that I would feel a need to sneak out to the front door, sit on the
doorstep, breathe in the sweet, cool air, gaze up at the night sky, and try to
think of eternity, the soul, beauty, and images remote from lorries, spades and
coal. It was as though something was urging me on in what appeared even to me to
be a vain and hopeless quest."
It didn't turn out to be vain and hopeless after all. His plays include Alfie (1963)
and Spring and Port