Home | Bradford Lad

January 30, 2012

Last Wish

"After four bouts of pneumonia and two strokes plus other bouts of illness, my writing career is finally over and I’ve laid down my pen for the last time. I have no longer got the ability to concentrate and my short term memory is almost non existent,'' writes the inimitable Mike Coatesworth.

"Attached is my all time favourite tale of all the writing that I have ever done and it is based on a true story. As a last wish to not only commemorate the end of my writing career, but also as a memorial to my late dear sister, Jean. I know that she would have been delighted to read this piece. I am requesting that you would consider placing the story onto your website.''

Continue reading "Last Wish" »

October 04, 2008

Keeping My Wheels Turning

Mike Coatesworth is willing to provide helpful information to the wheelchair-bound who intend to travel by train.

Continue reading "Keeping My Wheels Turning" »

July 12, 2008

Wheels In Motion

Which is more important, the boy or the bike?

Mike Coatesworth tells a boyhood tale.

Continue reading "Wheels In Motion" »

July 05, 2008

Circles of Corn

Mike Coatesworth tells the tale of a night-time adventure and a strange "rescue''.

Continue reading "Circles of Corn" »

June 28, 2008

Happy Days

Mike Coatesworth tells an intriguing tale involving daring and fear, pain and reassurance.

Continue reading "Happy Days" »

September 27, 2007

Hot Pies And Warm Friendship

Mike Coatesworth pays tribute to his caring family.

Continue reading "Hot Pies And Warm Friendship" »

September 20, 2007

"I'll Never Let You Go''

Mike Coatesworth tells of a runaway wheelchair, an incident which ended in laughter rather than disaster.

Continue reading ""I'll Never Let You Go''" »

September 13, 2007


Mike Coatesworth recalls the day when he was unable to snap to it after drinking schnapps.

Continue reading "Schnapps" »

September 06, 2007

Thief Sitting Pretty?

Mike Coatesworth is ill-at-ease after the theft of his garden bench.

Continue reading "Thief Sitting Pretty?" »

August 30, 2007

Finding The Right Angle

Mike Coatesworth goes fishing in Cyprus.

Continue reading "Finding The Right Angle" »

August 23, 2007

A Prickly Problem

Mike Coatesworth encountered a prickly problem when he went on Army exercises to the Virgin Islands.

Continue reading "A Prickly Problem" »

August 16, 2007

The Little Things That Mean Lot

Throwing away one's "rubbish'' is like throwing away one's memories, says Mike Coatesworth.

Continue reading "The Little Things That Mean Lot" »

August 09, 2007

The Day My Aunt Went Away

Mike Coatesworth tells of the saddest of sad partings.

Continue reading "The Day My Aunt Went Away" »

August 02, 2007

The Day I Kept My Brother Hanging On

Mike Coatesworth tells of the day when he tested his even-tempered brother to the limit.

Continue reading "The Day I Kept My Brother Hanging On" »

July 26, 2007

Happy With My Memories

Mike Coatesworth has no desire to alter his past life.

Continue reading "Happy With My Memories" »

June 21, 2007

Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair-bound Mike Coatesworth pays tribute to his home city, Bradford, for providing access to buildings for those in wheelchairs.

Continue reading "Wheelchair Access" »

June 14, 2007

Meet Your Fears Head-On

Face up to your fears, Mike Coatesworth advises. But what if the "fear'' comes towards you on eight legs?

Continue reading "Meet Your Fears Head-On" »

June 07, 2007

It Doesn't Hurt To Smile

Mike Coatesworth deplores the fact that the smile is going out of style.

Continue reading "It Doesn't Hurt To Smile" »

May 31, 2007

The Farming Life

Mike Coateworth tells of his days down on the farm.

Continue reading "The Farming Life" »

May 24, 2007

Harsh Lessons

Mike Coatesworth recalls the harsh lessons he received when he went out as a Boy Scout, seeking work during bob-a-job week.

Continue reading "Harsh Lessons" »

May 17, 2007

Ale And Hearty At The Royal

There's just one additional thing that would make Mike Coatesworth's favourite pub the perfect place...

Continue reading "Ale And Hearty At The Royal" »

May 03, 2007

Trouble Brewing On Patrol

When you are serving with the British Army in Germany you don't expect the enmy to be trees! Mike Coatesworth explains all.

Continue reading "Trouble Brewing On Patrol" »

April 26, 2007

A Loyal Escort

Mike Coatesworth pays tribute to his mother who, even though she is in her eighties, is having to care for one of her sons.

Continue reading "A Loyal Escort" »

April 19, 2007

When Old News Was Good News

Mike Coatesworth recalls the days when newspapers really were useful.

Continue reading "When Old News Was Good News" »

April 12, 2007

A Lesson In Low Life

Mike Coatesworth's daughter received a stern lesson in the need to be alert when she went shopping in a city centre.

Continue reading "A Lesson In Low Life" »

April 05, 2007

Lasting Shoes

Mike Coatesworth recalls the days when shoes had to last a long time, even if the wearer ended up with curling toes.

Continue reading "Lasting Shoes" »

February 15, 2007

Skating On Thin Ice

Mike Coatesworth recalls a nervous day on an ice-bound park lake.

Continue reading "Skating On Thin Ice" »

February 08, 2007

Happy To Be An Indian

Mike Coatesworth tells of a childhood birthday when he received a present to remember for ever.

Continue reading "Happy To Be An Indian" »

February 01, 2007


Mike Coatesworth understands from personal experience why the word "trust'' is not used very often these days.

Continue reading "Trust" »

January 25, 2007

Look After Yourself

Mike Coatesworth comments wryly on today's uncaring society.

Continue reading "Look After Yourself" »

January 18, 2007

Come On Muscles - It's Too Early To Retire

Open Writing columnist Mike Coatesworth, who has been confined to a wheelchair for 21 years following a road accident, is making a determined - and often painful - effort to walk again.

We wish super Mike all possible success.

Continue reading "Come On Muscles - It's Too Early To Retire" »

January 11, 2007

Dirty Knees And A Red Face

Mike Coatesworth recalls embarrassments of the footwear kind.

Continue reading "Dirty Knees And A Red Face" »

January 04, 2007

In The Firing Line

Mike Coatesworth receives a shocking lesson in gun control.

Continue reading "In The Firing Line" »

December 28, 2006

Breezy Bath Time

While having a bath in a metal tub in the living room of his home young Mike Coatsworth feels an icy blast then hears giggles.

Continue reading "Breezy Bath Time" »

December 21, 2006

Our Simple Christmas

Christmas gifts don't have to be costly to bring a happy tear to the eye, as Mike Coatesworth reveals.

Continue reading "Our Simple Christmas" »

December 14, 2006

Snowball Revenge

When Mike Coatesworth woke up early one winter's morn it was a case of snowballs before dawn.

Continue reading "Snowball Revenge" »

December 07, 2006

Watch Out...My Wheels Are About!

Mike Coatesworth makes light of life in a wheelchair. But be warned. Watch your toes when Mike's about!

Continue reading "Watch Out...My Wheels Are About!" »

November 23, 2006

Miracle At Sol Trinidad

Mike Coatesworth tells of a wonderful holiday encounter which has dramatically changed his life.

Continue reading "Miracle At Sol Trinidad" »

November 16, 2006

Where All The Good Souls Go

Mike Coatesworth learns another valuable lesson from his Aunt Chrissie.

Continue reading "Where All The Good Souls Go" »

November 09, 2006

Wizard Time

As children put away their Halloween costumes and fireworks still bang and crackle in merry old England in the aftermath of the annual Bonfire Night celebrations, Mike Coatesworth recalls days when kids could not afford such treats.

Continue reading "Wizard Time" »

November 02, 2006

A Lesson For Life

Mike Coatesworth pays tribute to his Aunt Chrissie, a lady who, though both deaf and blind, showed him the way to a good life.

Continue reading "A Lesson For Life" »

October 26, 2006

Quality Care

Mike Coatesworth is filled with gratitude for the care given to him by the staff in Bradford hospitals.

Continue reading "Quality Care" »

October 19, 2006

Left, Right, Left - We're Lost!

Mike Coatesworth goes on an hours-long trip to nowhere.

Continue reading "Left, Right, Left - We're Lost!" »

October 12, 2006

Cheese Again!

Mike Coatesworth tells how his enterprising Aunt Chrissie dealt with the problem of the white cheese sandwiches.

Continue reading "Cheese Again!" »

October 05, 2006

When Cabbage Was King

Mike Coatesworth recalls the delights of his Aunt's cooking - cabbage water and all.

Continue reading "When Cabbage Was King" »

September 28, 2006

Silly Beggar

Mike Coatesworth tells of the day when his generosity led him into an embarrassing error.

Continue reading "Silly Beggar" »

September 21, 2006

Happy Landings

Mike Coatesworth recalls the day when he went fishing and "caught'' a barge.

Continue reading "Happy Landings" »

September 14, 2006

The Pain Of Gardening

Mike Coatesworth tries to take the pain out of gardening, only to encounter more pain.

Continue reading "The Pain Of Gardening" »

September 07, 2006

A Wink Is As Good As A Word

Mike Coatesworth recalls a boat trip - and a happy wink.

Continue reading "A Wink Is As Good As A Word" »

August 31, 2006

Take Pride In Your Work

A board on which the Lord's Prayer had been carved brought to Mike Coatesworth a lesson for life.

Continue reading "Take Pride In Your Work" »

August 24, 2006

Trends And Relations

Mike Coatesworth learns a lesson in friendship from his Aunt Chrissie.

Continue reading "Trends And Relations" »

August 17, 2006

Walking Into A World Of Learning

Mike Coatesworth tells how he was firstly a tutor, then the one who was being tutored.

Continue reading "Walking Into A World Of Learning" »

August 10, 2006

Short Cut To High Drama

Mike Coatesworth learns that it is never a good idea to take a short cut, particulrarly when you are in a wheelchair.

Continue reading "Short Cut To High Drama" »

August 03, 2006

Dad Blew My Cover

Mike Coatesworth tells of a situation which every red-blooded lad dreads being discovered in.

Continue reading "Dad Blew My Cover" »

July 27, 2006

Seasick? Send For The Marines

Mike Coatesworth learns from the Marines how to fend off seasickness. The answer is...a bowl of porridge.

Continue reading "Seasick? Send For The Marines" »

July 20, 2006

A Treat For A Sheep

Mike Coatesworth tells a story of a disappointed little girl and a thieving sheep.

Continue reading "A Treat For A Sheep" »

July 13, 2006

Unzip, Then Eat

Mike Coatesworth recalls the day when he failed to unzip a banana.

Continue reading "Unzip, Then Eat" »

July 06, 2006

From Here To Maternity

Mike Coatesworth tells of happy news concerning a dog called Sandy.

Continue reading "From Here To Maternity" »

June 29, 2006

A Blooming Mistake

Mike Coatesworth tells of the day when a blooming mistake resulted in happy smiles.

Continue reading "A Blooming Mistake" »

June 22, 2006

A Writer's World

Mike Coatesworth suggests that the setting of a writer's home helps to shape the words he or she produces.

Continue reading "A Writer's World" »

May 25, 2006

A New Home

Mike Coatesworth and his wife Betty move to Ireland and find the home of their dreams.

Continue reading "A New Home" »

April 27, 2006

The Fog

Mike Coatesworth has an early-morning encounter with a handsome four-legged visitor.

Continue reading "The Fog" »

April 20, 2006

A Painful Lesson Learned

The arrival of Spring reminds Mike Coatesworth of some of the scrapes he got into when he was a boy.

Continue reading "A Painful Lesson Learned" »

April 13, 2006

Time To Spring Into Action

Plants are budding. Birds are singing. It's spring again. A time, says Mike Coatesworth, for humans to come out of winter "hibernation'' and start chatting to one another again over the garden fence.

Continue reading "Time To Spring Into Action" »

April 06, 2006

Clean-Living Days

Mike Coatesworth recalls spring cleaning days, and the ritual of wearing new clothes.

Continue reading "Clean-Living Days" »

March 30, 2006

Snow In Eden

Mike Coatesworth and his family feed the wildlife on a snowy morning in their own special Eden.

Continue reading "Snow In Eden" »

March 23, 2006

The Beggar

Beggars may sometimes be the givers of gifts, as Mike Coatesworth's tale reveals.

Continue reading "The Beggar" »

March 16, 2006

Early Riser

Mike Coatesworth goes for a buggy ride across the windswept Yorkshire moors.

Continue reading "Early Riser" »

March 09, 2006

All Is Quiet

Waking early on a cold dark morning Mike Coatesworth finds his aunt sitting on the doorstep of their home

Continue reading "All Is Quiet" »

March 02, 2006

High Jinks Down On The Farm

Mike Coatesworth remembers the idyllic days when he worked on a farm.

Continue reading "High Jinks Down On The Farm" »

February 23, 2006

Day The Lads Got A Lock-In

Mike Coatesworth recalls the day when his troops almost missed the "battle''.

Continue reading "Day The Lads Got A Lock-In" »

February 16, 2006

Home Of The Brontes

Mike Coatesworth's daughter and son-in-law are forced to fight an uphill battle against cobblestones and the weather when they visit the home of the famous Brontes.

Continue reading "Home Of The Brontes" »

February 09, 2006

The Blacksmith

Mike Coatesworth remembers the days he worked the bellows and experienced the smell of burning hooves in a blacksmith's shop.

Continue reading "The Blacksmith" »

February 02, 2006

The Day My Luck Looked Up

Mike Coatesworth tells of a lucky encounter in a public library.

Continue reading "The Day My Luck Looked Up" »

January 26, 2006

Fashion Victims Of The Cold

Mike Coatesworth wonders whether Nature will react by creating more body hair for the fashion-conscious girls who walk around with bare midriffs in winter.

Continue reading "Fashion Victims Of The Cold" »

January 19, 2006

A Swinging Time For Aunt Chrissie

"She was smiling. She seemed to be remembering something from many years ago. I found that I was enjoying myself, watching my Aunt's enjoyment. The swing creaked as it took her higher and higher...'' Mike Coatesworth learns that there is happiness in witnessing another person's happiness.

Continue reading "A Swinging Time For Aunt Chrissie" »

January 12, 2006

The Biscuit

Mike Coatesworth tells of a ten-year-old boy who was befriended and given food, clothing and companionship on a snowy winter's eve. Ghostly goings on? A true story?

As Mike says "If you think my stories are true, then they probably are. If you think my stories are fiction, just relax and enjoy the tale.''

Continue reading "The Biscuit" »

January 05, 2006

The Day I Waved To My Past

Mike Coatesworth pays a nostalgic visit to Memory Street.

Continue reading "The Day I Waved To My Past" »

December 29, 2005

The Loneliest Christmas

Mike Coatesworth writes of a lonely sixteen-year-old lad who is befriended on the cold streets of London. Whether true or fictitious, Mike's tale encapsulates the essence of Christmas generosity.

Continue reading "The Loneliest Christmas" »

December 22, 2005

Our Simple Christmas

Mike Coatesworth remembers with affectionate delight the family Christmases of his boyhood, a time when money was in short supply.

Continue reading "Our Simple Christmas" »

December 15, 2005

Voice Of Tranquility

Intrepid Mike Coatesworth flies from snowy Yorkshire for a holiday in sunny Cyprus, there to be haunted by a mysterious and marvelous woman, and her song.

Continue reading "Voice Of Tranquility" »

December 08, 2005

What Have They Done To Santa?

Mike Coatesworth deplores the politically correct rules directing encounters between children and Santa.

Continue reading "What Have They Done To Santa?" »

December 01, 2005


Warm-hearted Mike Coatesworth was taught to really observe the world around him by his Aunt Chrissie, who had a secret motive for getting him to properly use his eyes.

Continue reading "Observation" »

November 24, 2005

The Blackie

When Mike Coatesworth was a boy it was great fun to play on the Blackie, a grass-grown coal slag heap - but trouble lay in wait at the school gates.

Continue reading "The Blackie" »

November 17, 2005

The Night I Ran Away From Home

Mike Coatesworth found himself on the cold floor of a garden shed, thinking of his warm bed, on the night that he ran away from home.

Continue reading "The Night I Ran Away From Home" »

November 10, 2005


Mike Coatesworth is given good advice to guide him through life by his Aunt Chrissie.

Continue reading "Carpenter" »

November 03, 2005

The Cloud That Had A Gold Lining

As a child Mike Coatesworth thought the streets of London were paved with gold. But who needs gold when you have a loving aunt?

Continue reading "The Cloud That Had A Gold Lining" »

October 27, 2005

Trouble Around The Corner

Mike Coatesworth's neighbours come around, rattling his door knocker, waking him up - and he doesn't mind one bit!

Continue reading "Trouble Around The Corner" »

October 20, 2005


Mike Coatesworth was thankful for sound British workmanship when he went climbing on a school roof.

Continue reading "Scallywags" »

October 13, 2005

Sharing My Sister's Last Moments

With deep emotion, Mike Coatesworth recalls the day when his beloved sister Jean died.

Continue reading "Sharing My Sister's Last Moments" »

October 06, 2005

Sweet Way To Learn A Lesson

"If I got the blackjacks, I’d have them eaten fairly quickly, but they would be gone even quicker if my brother saw me with them and demanded a share. Or I could get the gobstopper and suck it slowly and not only would it last longer, but I wouldn’t have to share it with my brother. I opted for the gobstopper...''

In this sweet and tasty column Mike Coatesworth tells how he received an early lesson in unselfishness.

Continue reading "Sweet Way To Learn A Lesson" »

September 29, 2005

Top Of The Class For Having Fun

Mike Coatesworth, after considering the English class system, declares "A chip butty is better than a plate of caviar.''

Continue reading "Top Of The Class For Having Fun" »

September 22, 2005

Taking A Ride On The Wild Side

When Mike Coatesworth went to Canada on Army manouvres he never thought he would end up on the back of a bucking bronco.

Continue reading "Taking A Ride On The Wild Side" »

September 15, 2005

A Simple Philosophy For Our Lives

Former soldier Mike Coatesworth tells of the day when the villagers on a remote island in Hong Kong showed him how mankind can live in harmony.

Continue reading "A Simple Philosophy For Our Lives" »

September 08, 2005

Truly Painful Lesson From The Beak

You arrive at school looking grimy enough to have just done a day's work in a pit. Naturally you can expect an encounter with the worst instrument of torture - the cane. Does it pay to argue about the punishment? Read Mike Coatesworth's vivid recollections, and wince in sympathy.

Continue reading "Truly Painful Lesson From The Beak" »

September 01, 2005

Taken For Granted?

Mike Coatesworth's mother deserted the family when he was two years old. Care and support was provided by his Aunt Chrissie. Then Mike found out that his Aunt was going blind...

Mike's articles will bring a tear to your eye and put a smile on your face.

A man whose life could have been utterly ruined by a terrible accident is now bringing delight to readers worldwide. A new Bradford Lad column will appear in Open Writing every Thursday - so make that a date!

Continue reading "Taken For Granted?" »

August 25, 2005

Introducing Mike Coatesworth

Here's a hearty welcome to a new Open Writing columnist, Mike Coatesworth.

What a man! And what a writer!

Mike's life story is more dramatic than fiction. He has turned disaster into success. And he is delighting readers around the world with his heart-warming words.

Mike is a Yorkshireman through and through. He was born in Bradford, and after many travels, he is back in that city. He will be writing for us under the title, Bradford Lad.

A new column by Mike will appear every Thursday. So make that a date for a reading treat.

Continue reading "Introducing Mike Coatesworth" »


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