Jeff Rozelaar has a new offering: Bagels & Bacon

By Candice Krieger, April 14, 2011

Semi-retired teacher Jeff Rozelaar is taking a trip down memory lane with the publication of his debut book, Bagels & Bacon: The Postwar East End (History Press).

An autobiographical account of growing up in the East End of London during the post-war period, it attempts to shed a mainly humorous, but sometimes serious light, on the relations between the Jewish and the wider community.

Described by television presenter Fern Britton as "hugely entertaining", it features a host of colourful characters and attempts to convey a liking of London and love of history to the reader. Mr Rozelaar, 66, tells People: "The book is predominantly meant to make the reader smile and even laugh. So if it doesn't, I've failed, but the reactions so far are that it seems to have been successful."

He started writing the book in 2003 following an "ill-fated novel" he attempted during university. But it wasn't until 2009 that it was completely finished. "It was during the period of heavy snow that year when I couldn't leave the house. I couldn't work and am a sports freak but couldn't get out the house so my wife suggested that I sit on my 'tuchus' and write. So I did, for four days."

He says the process of marketing the final product has, in many ways, been more difficult and interesting than the actual writing of it.

Mr Rozelaar moved from the East End to north London with his family in 1996.

Today, he lives in High Wycombe and is a part-time English teacher at a school in Marlow.

Last updated: 12:00pm, April 14 2011