40 YEARS since she first put pen to paper, a woman in Chepstow has published her childhood diary from 1979, giving readers a unique window into life growing up in Gwent in the ’70s.

Pamela Brookshaw, who has published her 1979 diary under the name Pamela Jayne, said she decided to turn the wit and wisdom of her 11-year-old self into a book after she posted some of the extracts online and was impressed by how well it was received.

"I came across the diary when I was sorting some stuff out," Mrs Brookshaw said.

"I put one particular extract on Facebook, and there was a really positive reaction.

"In it, I wrote about how somebody had pushed me off my chair in school, that my sister was an ugly and horrible thing, and then I ended it by saying that my granddad had died that morning.

"I thought about how bizarre it was that an 11-year-old thought about things and looks at the world. Life is quite uncomplicated, and friends are everything."

Following the reaction to the first diary entry, Mrs Brookshaw decided to post more and more extracts, building up a dedicated following among both the people with whom she grew up and complete strangers who enjoyed finding out more about Mrs Brookshaw's childhood on a farm in Abertillery.

As her daily posts came to an end, many members of Mrs Brookshaw's audience asked her to immortalise her diary in a published book.

Coincidentally, one of Mrs Brookshaw's old schoolmates, Elizabeth Baker-Bartlett, is now an illustrator, and was commissioned to draw an illustration for each monthly chapter of the book.

After finding a publisher, Mrs Brookshaw had to begin the arduous task of contacting everyone mentioned in the diary to seek their permission to be named – almost 200 people in total.

Fortunately, social media made this task easier.

The book, My Diary 1979, is available now online and in bookshops, and Mrs Brookshaw said she thought the book would make a lovely Christmas present.

Profits from sales of Mrs Brookshaw's book will go to The Wallich homeless charity.