Book is latest chapter in remarkable life of Brierfield old boy

A former Brierfield man who set off from Lancashire in 1976 to drive across Africa with a bunch of chums in a second-hand Land-Rover and ended up spending the next 45 years adventuring around the world has just had a satirical novel published about Donald Trump’s spell in the White House.

Friday, 26th February 2021, 3:45 pm
Trevor Briggs
Trevor Briggs

It’s the latest twist in a boy’s own story which saw civil engineer Trevor Briggs build dams in Kenya, introduce rugby to the Philippines, marry on an island beach, break his neck playing rugby at the age of 62, prove doctors wrong by walking again … and then be named one of the 100 most influential families in the United Arab Emirates.

“All Lies in Trumperland (BoJo Through the Looking Glass)” is his second book with one reviewer describing it as “a mad satirical Alice-in-Wonderland fictional romp which gallops along almost as crazily as Donald Trump’s bizarre four-year presidency did and will have you chuckling away”. Another added wryly: “Sometimes one wonders if the author had a crystal ball.”

Trevor spoke to his old school chum and former Burnley Express and national newspaper reporter Malcolm Tattersall about his remarkable life.

Trevor (left) standing next to the bouncer watching The Beatles at Nelson's Imperial Ballroom

Father-of-four Trevor (72) who worked as a chartered engineer for Burnley Council after finishing university, said: “I’m totally apolitical myself and have never voted Labour, Tory, LibDem or anyone else in either Britain or the United States.

“But I have been an interested observer of all the crazy stuff that has been going on in the US and continues to do so. You really couldn’t make it up. Plus there have been some frighteningly bizarre parallels over the years between Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.”

At the age of 27, former Edge End school pupil Trevor, whose parents once ran a greengrocer’s in Railway Street, Brierfield, found himself in Kenya overseeing the construction of water pipelines and irrigation dams for the World Bank.

Six years later he transferred to the Philippines and joined the Asian Development Bank at their Manila headquarters. Then for the next 27 years, Trevor was instrumental in setting up projects to improve the lot of the country’s urban poor at a time when dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his shoe-collecting wife Imelda were ruthlessly milking the economy.

It was there he met and married his wife Agnes Aquino, played for the country’s only rugby club in games against visiting foreign sides, and then helped set up the Philippine Rugby Football Union, being appointed its first executive director.

In 2007 Trevor moved to the United Arab Emirates only to be left a paralysed quadriplegic after breaking his neck when a scrum collapsed while playing for the Arabian Potbellies rugby team in Dubai.

It was another five years before, with a titanium brace at the back of his neck, he finally managed to walk again and while recovering wrote his first book “Confessions of an ex-Hooker (aged 66 and a half)”.

Now he has published his second and is already working on a third –“Confessions of an ex-Lancashire Boy” about growing up in Brierfield when, barely out of short pants, he sneaked into Nelson’s Imperial Ballroom with former Walter Street School chums Peter Skirrow and Alan Storton and grabbed a front row spot to watch the Beatles.

But that, as they say, is another story.