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My initials ‘GG' stand for Grumpy Grandad which is the name I was called by my grandchildren when they were of the best age to hear my stories and beg for pocket money, which they did. But I was telling my first Josser story long before they came along, when I was very young teacher trying to control a class in the East End without the aid of a big stick.

Storytelling was used as a kind of bribe. If they were good to me during their lessons, I would end the day with a story, making sure to be at the most exciting point when the bell rang. The class would go home wondering what might happen next, and saying I did that on purpose.

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