He’s been a bank worker, furniture salesman and a commercial fisherman – and now Thanet’s Steve Barratt is sharing tales of his adventures in a new book that has been 15 years in the making!
Dad-of-three and foster parent Steve, who lives in Ramsgate with wife Haley, is best known as the skipper of fishing boat Razorbill and one of the leading voices against EU imposed fishing quotas.
The 61-year-old has enjoyed a varied life – from clambering up guesthouse drainpipes to emigrating to Jersey and further afield – and decided to get some of his memories down on paper to share with his family.
But it hasn’t been plain sailing with Steve losing his entire works not once but three times when two successive computers ‘died’ and the printed chapters going on the missing list after a friend mislaid them.
A final attempt, from April 2017, was successful with The Ramsgate Ram eventually being published 15 years after Steve first began the task!
Steve said: “I had to get it finished, I wanted my dad to see it. It is a book full of stories and things that have happened over the years.
“It started because I have always been a pub person and I would tell stories and people would say I should write a book. One day I thought ‘perhaps I will’ and decided I’d write it for the family.
“I spent three months just making a note every time I thought of a story and then I had 80 of them. I put them in a chronological order but just thought it was crap so I ended up starting from the middle and then wrote parts travelling back and forward.”
The 180 page, 55,000 word tale, starts from Steve leaving Chatham House school at 16 and follows adventures during his time working at a bank – and more interestingly what happened outside of working hours -up until his 40s.
It includes tales of his time in Jersey – and the real reason he earned the nickname of the Ramsgate Ram which, Steve says, “was nothing to do with horizontal activities.”
It was in fact earned due to his boat having a bilge keel that allowed it to be rammed up right onto the beach for fishermen family get togethers without rolling over.
The full tale is in the book – finally revealing the truth behind that 20-year-old nickname! The book has received good reviews with many readers praising the humour. Steve’s dad Brian, ex-manager of the former Woodhouse furniture shop in Margate, has read his copy and now book number two is on the way – with a target date of considerably less than 15 years to complete.
Steve said: “I thought I would never finish the first book. Now I am about 20,000 words into the second one.”