Colin Miller was born on 05 August 1940 at Rollesby, a village on the Norfolk Broads eight miles from Great Yarmouth. Educated at Great Yarmouth Grammar School and the Universities of Leicester and Bath, he pursued a career in teaching which led, via the City College, Norwich; St Matthias College, Fishponds and Bristol Polytechnic, to the post of Senior Lecturer in Mathematics in the Faculty of Education at the University of the West of England, Bristol.
Celia Miller was born in the city of Leicester on 24 May 1943. After an education at Orme Girls School, Newcastle-under-Lyme; Wyggeston Grammar School in Leicester and Trinity College, Dublin, she obtained a Doctorate in History from the University of Bristol. An Academic editorship at Alan Sutton Publishing in Gloucester was followed by the post of Information Manager at Gloucestershire Health.
Following their retirements in 2002, they returned to Colin's native Norfolk and now reside in the fine city of Norwich where they spend their leisure hours in researching and writing about local history. Colin's speciality is everyday life in the 1950s and 60s while Celia researches and writes about Georgian and Victorian social history. Celia is currently a guide at Norwich Cathedral.
"Few will fail to find something of interest in 'Country Boy' and Colin Miller can rest easy that he has achieved what he set out to do with this memoir".
"Colin Miller's Country Boy is an appealing, revealing and informative account of growing up in a village just north of Great Yarmouth".
The Local Historian/November 2006.
The Amiable Mrs Peach by Celia Miller is a valuable and informative narrative history, packed with local interest and blending scandall and gentility in equal measures.
Eastern Daily Press/11 June 2016
A Personal History
Since their marriage in Leicester on 17 August 1963, Colin and Celia have lived a nomadic existence residing in turn at Leicester (1963-4), Norwich (1964-67), Patchway in Bristol (1968-71). Kingswood near Wotton-under-edge in Gloucestershire (1971-76), Shirenewton near Chepstow in Gwent (1976-88), Newent in the Forest of Dean (1988-2002), Reedham and Strumpshaw in Norfolk (2002-17), and finally to an apartment in the centre of Norwich.
Colin Miller was born into a working class rural family. His father was a bricklayer and his mother a part-time cleaner and housewife. Consequently his teenage culture was typically that of a working class country boy. Piano lessons were a failure but in his early teens he developed the ability to perform competently with harmonica and ukulele-banjo, playing mostly in the style of George Formby. His passionate interest in rock 'n' roll music arose after seeing the film Rock around the Clock at the Regal Cinema in Great Yarmouth in November 1956. In 1957 he joined a local skiffle group playing the banjo and washboard but the group was never considered competent enough to perform in public. In 1958 he bought his first guitar and at university in Leicester he came into contact with many able folk guitarists including Dave Cousins, later of the Strawbs. Through their tuition he developed an interest in and an ability to play American folk and blues music, mainly in the style of Woodie Guthrie. However his first love was rock 'n' roll and, in 1961, he joined with fellow students Rod Davies, Trevor Smith, Russ Dear and Eric Flitney to form the University of Leicester's first rock 'n' roll band, Aztec and the Incas. Under the guise of The Leicester University Operatic and Dramatic Society, they created a rock 'n' roll musical with nine original songs called A Million Miles to the Moon, which, produced and directed by Keith Miller and Eric Flitney, had its premier on stage in the Queen's Hall at the university in February 1962. In September 1962, while enjoying a gap year working as a cleaner at the Leicester Royal Infirmary before completing his degree, Colin joined a Leicester rock 'n' roll band called Johnny Angel and the Mystics playing at clubs, pubs and dance halls throughout the East Midlands. In September 1964, after completing a Post-graduate Certificate in Education, he took up an appointment as an Assistant Lecturer in Mathematics at the City College in Norwich and ended his brief career as a rock 'n' roll musician.
Celia Miller, nee Bushell, spent most of her early life in Cheshire and Staffordshire. Her father was an instructor in a training centre for handicapped adults while her mother was a mental health nurse. From an early age, Celia developed an interest in acting and, on the family's return to Leicester, became an active member of the Leicester Youth Theatre. After a brief interlude at the Central School of Speech & Drama in London, she continued her interest in acting while studying English at Trinity College, Dublin, where she joined the university's Player's Theatre Group performing with the likes of Ralph Bates, Michael Bogdanov, Roger Ordish, Joanna Van Gysegham and Max Stafford-Clarke. Together, Celia and Colin worked on various productions at the Bristol Arts Centre and were founder members of the Kingswood Abbey Players in Gloucestershire and the Shirenewton Operatic and Dramatic Society in Gwent. Celia was also one time Chair of the Reedham Village Drama Group in Norfolk. In 1973, after an absence of ten years due to illness, Celia resumed her academic studies as a mature student at Bristol University where she obtained a first class honours degree in History in 1976 followed by a Phd in 1980.
Both have an active interest in sport and are season ticket holders at Norwich City Football Club. In his younger days, Colin played football for Great Yarmouth Grammar School and his home village of Rollesby. During the 1960s, he was player-manager of a successful mid-week team at the Norwich City College. An interest in badminton developed at the City College and he played league badminton for Kingswood in Gloucestershire, Caldicott in Gwent and, finally, Newent Town in the Forest of Dean. His main interest, however, lay in cricket and he completed fifty seasons playing league cricket from 1953 until 2002, when he retired. His first club was a very successful Rollesby Village side, then on to Marshfield, Bristol Civil Service and Polytechnic Venturers in Bristol. In 1976, he was a founding member of the Shireneweton Cricket Club and captained the side when they were 1979 division 2 champions of the Gwent Cricket League. In 1988 he joined Newent Town Cricket Club playing initially for Newent Firsts, and then on to captaining the Seconds and Sunday teams. Celia played hockey until she retired after knocking out an opponents front teeth. Her first interest was in swimming at which she represented Cheshire at junior level. An interest in darts arose in Shirenewton where she represented the Tan House Inn in a victorious ladies side that included three international players. With her playing partner, Marge Jones, they became Chepstow Ladies Doubles Champions in 1983. Quiz has also been an interest and with the Tan House quiz team they became champions of their division in the South Gwent Quiz League and champions with the Black Dog Inn in the Forest of Dean Quiz League.
Currently, sport has taken a back seat. Celia is a guide at Norwich Cathedral while they both are keen members of the Brundall Local History Group.