Oakham writer, Rex Merchant, has just published his latest book A Country Chemist: Memoirs of a Rural Phamacist.
Rex was the pharmacist in charge of Boots stores in Uppingham and later in Oakham before he retired. He came to Rutland to run the Uppingham store in the early 1960s and moved to Oakham in the 1970s.
His experiences are many and varied, some examples being selling Cyanide by the hundredweight, a possible haunting, hard winters with Rutland villages cut off by snow, and working with no electricity.
Rex said the practice of rural pharmacy is rapidly changing in the modern NHS and so many things will be forgotten if no record is made of them. He has written his memoirs with this in mind.
Since he retired in 1995 he has written several novels, many short stories and some song lyrics.
This latest book is a factual account of his career as a country chemist starting with his apprenticeship in South Lincolnshire before National Service in the RAMC, then undertaking locum duties all over the East Midlands.
He finally settled in Rutland and was happy to stay in the county and raise his family.
These memoirs are a complete change from the fiction he normally writes and are illustrated with 12 photographs.
A Country Chemist is available priced at £9 from the author at 89 West Road, Oakham, LE15 6LT, through bookshops and from his website at www.rexmerchant.co.uk