W.H. Canaway was born in 1925 in Altrincham, Cheshire. He was educated at Altrincham Grammar School and the University College of North Wales, Bangor, where he was awarded with B.A. and M.A. degrees.
He served in the 8th Army intelligence in North Africa and Italy during the latter part of the Second World War, before coming home to lecture at Stafford Technical College. After ten years of this, he committed himself to full-time writing.
Canaway wrote fifteen novels, including Sammy Going South, a book that was translated into a dozen languages and was made the Royal Command Film Performance of 1963. He was also a keen angler and wrote two highly regarded fishing books, as well as many articles for The Fishing Gazette. However, it is probably as a screenwriter that he is best remembered - The Ipcress File (starring a young Michael Caine in 1965) being amongst his credits, as well as TV series such as Brendon Chase and Dan, Badger and all the Coal. He died on 22nd May 1988, whilst still working on a film version of an earlier work, A Declaration of Independence.
In a cleft of rock near Qumran in the Holy Land, Professor John Potts discovers a gold box among some bones.
The box belonged to a Roman centurion Marcus Drusus Scipio. Who was he, and how did he meet his death?
Its inscrutable smile promised many things to many men - but for 700 years none had dared to take the A plane crash, a near fatal disease - and everything that Bernard Miller cares for in his life is suddenly destroyed. £5 million in gold would solve a lot of problems. Except when it had to be lifted from underneath the noses of the Thai police, a powerful criminal mastermind, and a nation that reveres the Buddha as the symbol of its spiritual salvation. And when even his closest friends become his enemies...
Gwenno, precocious, articulate, tenacious of spirit and fierce of outlook - though never lacking humour - wages her campaign against the establishment. Branded as the Anglesey men’s whore, tormented by the local population, she retains enough fighting spirit to score an appropriate revenge in circumstances of breath catching suspense.
We first meet Geraint Edwards in his native Snowdonia, when he is playing truant, and we observe him for six to seven years while he goes to grammar school, learns to play the violin, fishes for trout, climbs mountains, falls in love, and is initiated, casually on a mountain side, into the mystery of sex.
The unique quality of this book is the sense of wonder instilled from the first page: for Geraint is at the age (soon forgotten by adults) when he discovers that life and people are seldom what they seem. The black bearded schoolmaster he plans to shoot - when he can afford a gun - has a very human side to his character. Betty Mai Shafto is certainly not the ‘fat, toadying custard pie’ that she seems. And the terrifying English-man, Mr Maitland, is a never-ending source of shocks.
Gradually, as mature judgements take the place of the accepted notions of childhood the boy grows up against background of the giant, craggy slate quarries and mountains which brood over the village and take their regular toll of human life.
The prodigious length of the African continent unrolls before the reader in this novel of Sammy Hartland’s journal south from Port Said in Egypt. He meant to find his last remaining relative in Durban, some five thousand miles away, but realised neither the obstacle of distance nor the perils of passage. He merely sighted the rising sun on his left and headed south. Sammy was a ten year old English boy, orphaned by a bomb dropped on the Egyptian port city during the Suez affair.
This is a novel telling of the story of Tegla, an old Welsh longshoreman, who determines to kill a grey seal which is spoiling his fishing and ruining his nets. He makes this decision at the same time as Edward Drey, foolish, bumbling, slyly lustful, decides to seduce Tegla's pretty young daughter Bronwen whom he sees bathing one day as he - ostensibly bird-watching - scans the coast through his binoculars.
After some comic scenes, Tegla's conflict is resolved in a moving and unexpected climax which combines humour with pathos. This novel shows a deep knowledge of wild life and a sharpe eye for situation and character.
This novel tells simply and excitingly the story of one of the most splendid and terrible periods of history, when the remote forbears of the English were still largely in Scandinavia or North West Europe
W. H. Caraway was a game fisherman. He doesn’t despise the immaculate calm of the chalk water but he revels in the smash and grab of the mountain or moorland stream.
Such a river is Gwyrfai as it comes rolling off the granite shoulder of Snowdon. You may never have heard of the Gwyrfai, but that is scarcely the point. The Gwyrfai (pronounce it more or less to rhyme with ‘swervy’) is typical of fifty other rivers in north Wales and Scotland. Its problems are the ones that many a holiday trout fisherman faces when he visits a hill district.
The river holds fighting brown trout, but also has a good run of sea trout and salmon. It can be fished wet and it can be fished dry: it can even be spun if you are so inclined. At its mouth you will find everything including giant bass scouring the sands for food.
Mr Caraway, whose first fishing book A creel of Willow was a rare gem, deals with all species and all techniques in a narrative style as lively and well-paced as the stickle at the tail of a sea trout pool. In his appendices he gives every practical detail the visitor may wish to know from choice of flies to licence fees.
A Creel of Willow
A Creel of Willow is set on the little river Withy and encounters the various characters who fish the water: Rogers, the time and motion man who fishes like a machine, the wise and kindly Dee who fishes the dry fly because he likes it, and old Percival, who does so because his father told him to.
This is a book for fishermen; it's also a book for people who can't understand fisherman at all.