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Bill Canaway was born in 1925 in Altrincham, Cheshire. He was educated at Altrincham Grammar School and the University College of North Wales, Bangor. 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 decided to commit himself to full-time writing. He 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 an angler and wrote two highly regarded fishing books - A Creel of Willow (1957) and A Snowdon Stream (1958) - as well as many articles for The Fishing Gazette. In A Creel of Willow he describes his love of the little river Withy, the encounters with the various people who fish the water and of course the fish that lurk within the river. He believed that the most fanatical angler will admit that people are almost as interesting as fish. 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'.

Titles by Canaway include: A Creel of Willow 1957 (Medlar Press)
A Snowdon Stream 1958
The Ring-Givers 1958
The Seal 1959
Sammy Going South 1961
The Hunter and the Horns 1962
My Feet Upon a Rock 1964
Crows in a  Green Tree 1965
The Grey Seas of Jutland 1966
The Mules of Borgo San Marco 1967
A Declaration of Independence 1971
Harry Doing Good 1973
Glory of the Sea 1975
The Willow-Pattern War 1976
The Solid Gold Buddha 1979
The Helmet and the Cross 1987