Bridget attended Mayfield from 1966 to 1971 and was known as Margaret Lyons. ‘I started to use my first name Bridget as a bolshie 16 year old when I went to Redbridge Tech (for a term and a half),’ she explained, ‘and have been Bridget ever since, although family still call me by my middle name Margret. (I have to double check the spelling when I send out Christmas cards).
Born into the Irish community in North London, my first job was to make the tea and write a youth column for The Universe, a weekly Catholic newspaper.
I joined the Daily Mirror at the age of twenty and stayed for an unbelievably long time giving welfare advice to readers and replying to the lonely and troubled for agony aunt Marje Proops. I was also a researcher for Paul Foot, the investigative journalist who helped to right so many miscarriages of justice.
After winning $4,000 in an international short story competition, I joined Goldsmiths’ Masters programme in Creative and Life Writing and it was there that ‘A Good Confession’ began to take shape.
I am delighted to be back at Goldsmiths as a lecturer in the PACE department and I teach on three courses at City Lit, the largest centre for adult education in Europe. I am also Writer in Residence at Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project. This is a charity in the heart of Brighton that offers practical support to the unwaged, low waged and the wider community.
I am very grateful for financial support from the Arts Council. Their grant bought me the time to write. More than that, it was a commitment to my career as a writer that spurred me on every time I faced a blank computer screen.’