AN Ulverston resident has launched a biographical book in order to raise funds for St Mary's Hospice to help them continue their "amazing work".

Ron Pritchard, who is well known in the community for setting up the Men's Shed to help tackle loneliness, said he was inspired to pen the book - 'A Flying Start' - after being told by friends that his numerous anecdotes should be documented.

"I went around the country fitting milking equipment as we moved toward technology rather than by hand," the 81-year-old said.

"I picked up so many different stories as I had to stay at many different farms for weeks at a time.

"So, this is a book covering my experiences of that over the years.

"I am not hoping to make any money from this, but to generate the funds for St Mary's Hospice, and hopefully give the readers a laugh."

The mechanic by trade, who was born in Harrogate, said that one experience saw a farm couple have a completely bare kitchen upon his arrival.

Then, when he eventually asked why they told him they initially thought he was going to rob them rather than fit their milking machine.

He promises more stories of a weird and wonderful nature for any reader that is willing to head down to the market in Ulverston or the St Mary's Hospice shop to buy one.

Referencing the book's title, Rydal Road resident said: "It is called that because when I was born, I was premature, and I was extremely small, the male midwife held me by the ankle and threw me on the bed stating, 'that thing will not live long'.

"Hence, a flying start."

Mr Pritchard promises that all the stories inside are completely true, despite how unbelievable some of them may be.

"The hospice is such a wonderful place, and they do a marvellous job," he said.

"You never know who may end up there, whether it is yourself or a loved one.

"I have had friends go there and they were all well looked after.

"It is a brilliant service, and they receive no government support so are completely reliant on donations and fundraisers, which is why it is important that we all help them where we can."

Mr Pritchard dedicated the book to his wife Margaret and his daughter Elaine for her help and jokingly said some of the names in the stories have been changed to protect himself rather than their identity.