is a British writer, historian and performer, author of acclaimed
‘The Story Of StKatharine's,’ published in 2014. Christopher’s
early education was in Taunton, where he was enthralled by the
richness of English language and literature, particularly with
fine teachers inspiring him with Shakespeare and Dickens. He
became absorbed by the works of C.S. Forester and particularly the
character of Royal Navy hero, Horatio Hornblower.
When 14, Christopher learned that Forester had just died and was moved to write to a National newspaper; which published his letter as their official obituary. Hornblower always sought excellence and West adopted his values, which he still holds dear as central to his way of thinking and outlook about life.
Christopher went on to enjoy a successful management career, in hotels, retail management and consultancy, often involving lecturing, writing guidance manuals and reports. Now living close to St Katharine Docks, Christopher’s passion for London further grew with lecturing about Dickensian times and gaining further insight into the capital’s history and culture. Spurred on by Dickens’ reputation as the greatest writer, reformer and performer of his period, he became well known for his public talks -in period dress.
He has hosted events and appeared in documentaries for the BBC, American television and Londonist, becoming a respected expert. Christopher’s ‘Dickens Day For Great Ormond Street Hospital’ was a big fund raiser and personal gratitude to the famous hospital for saving the life of one of his granddaughters.
Daily inspired by the unique area in which he lives, he wrote ‘The Story Of St Katharine’s, which describes its history, from the ancient hospital and church founded by Queen Matilda c1148, the Precinct of more than four thousand people who lived there, onto the famous Telford Docks which replaced the Precinct, dereliction and then resurrection towards building the splendid Yacht Marina that we know and cherish today.
The book was immediately well received and acknowledged as an important piece of literature because the ‘story’ had not been told in full before. The book is well illustrated and establishes St Katharine’s as a unique part of London, steeped in its own history.
After the Story of St Katharine's success, Christopher West was inspired to write his new book ‘Poppies, Pomp and People', about 'a year at the Tower of London.’ By tracing its comings and goings over a period, this book gives a unique insight into the modern Tower, the ceremonies, the events, the experience of living in a historic landmark, and all the people who make it work.
The Foreword for the book was generously written by Lord Dannatt, then Constable and previously head of the British Army, who pointed out that 'this is a record of life today, proving that the Tower of London is living history and not just a relic of the past…. Christopher West has captured the story in a delightful way, and I commend this book to all who want to get a real feel for life inside the Tower of London today.’