Harold Wood man, 81, gains five-star reviews after self-publishing life story on Amazon
PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:01 17 July 2017
"I am not a celeb and am botox free," said an 81-year-old man who has written and self-published his autobiography.
“I’m just an ordinary fellow who has led a pretty interesting life.”
Johnny Ringwood, 81, of David Drive, Harold Wood, published his book Cargoes and Capers: The life and times of a London Docklands man on Amazon.
Much to his delight it has attracted 17 five-star reviews.
The book has 46 chapters, starting off with life in Docklands in 1936, and includes life during the Second World War, the merchant navy, crime and conversion to Christianity.
“The title of the book is fairly accurate in its description,” he continues.
“‘Cargoes’ is for my association with the docks and merchant navy, and ‘capers’ the many I got up to.”
As a young boy, Johnny began his criminal activities by stealing ballpoint pens from a shop.
He served in the army: “I was in the Corps of Drums for two years, the same regiment as Lee Rigby [of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers who was attacked and killed in Woolwich in 2013] doing the exact same thing as him in the same regiment,” he added.
But it was while serving in the merchant navy that Johnny was introduced to the concept of God.
“I was sitting on a dock in the middle of the Indian Ocean at night on a small cargo boat surrounded by millions of stars overhead and I thought then there was something greater than man around.”
But Johnny then entered the saddest part of his life.
“Old habits die hard and an opportunity came along for me to do something wrong, handling stolen goods, and I went to prison. My wife looked completely broken.
“I let a lot of people down doing something I didn’t need to do. This chapter is called an Almighty Slap. Because the Almighty slapped me with 12 months in prison.”
But Johnny gained an early release and turned his life around, became a committed Christian and helped teenagers avoid the mistakes he made.
He has now been happily married to Brenda, 77, for 57 years.