Author battles illness to release book inspired by Balcombe fracking protests

JPCT 060315 S15081492x   Martin Dale, Balcombe and Beyond - cobb SUS-150603-114509001
JPCT 060315 S15081492x Martin Dale, Balcombe and Beyond - cobb SUS-150603-114509001
  • Martin Dale has written a book about fracking
  • He suffers from a chronic neuro-immune illnes
  • Writing is Martin’s way of ‘slowly trying to re-build my life again’

An author who has an illness that causes chronic fatigue has overcome a battle with his condition to write a book about fracking.

Martin Dale, 25, has written Balcombe and Beyond: The Frack Free Story, after campaigning in the village.

I have been slowly trying to re-build my life again

“It covers everything from political involvement, financial implications, environmental and health risks, opinions by the pro- and anti- lobbies through to UK action groups and, of course, the campaign to prevent unconventional oil and gas from coming to the UK,” Martin said.

Martin had plans to go to university, but was struck down by illness in 2009.

“I had quite an unpleasant experience early on in my illness when a health professional dismissed me as ‘too young to be ill’ and that I was simply being ‘lazy and workshy’,” Martin said.

But he was ‘finally’ diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a chronic neuro-immune illness which causes fatigue and pain all over the body, in 2013.

“I have been slowly trying to re-build my life again,” he said.

Martin began writing in 2012 ‘as a way of helping to pass the time’.

He continued: “Writing is an enjoyable hobby, but it can be very exhausting too. It is surprising just how draining writing can be.”

Martin, the Green Party candidate for Pulborough and Coldwaltham’s District Council elections in May, has 19 titles in print, including Pulborough’s Fallen: The Casualties of Two World Wars.

Despite being largely housebound he volunteers as a fundraiser for numerous charities, including Cancer Research UK.

“To prove that I’m certainly not workshy,” Martin added.

Balcombe and Beyond aims to give balanced arguments for and against fracking, although Martin has formed strong opinions.

“I myself am opposed to unconventional oil and gas extraction after having spent a considerable amount of time investigating the issue for myself, including having spoken with several people who have worked in the industry,” he said.

“I was among those who took part in the community blockade at Balcombe in 2013, where I got to see and hear first hand the implications of fracking - the traffic, noise of the drilling, industrialisation.”

He also argues fracking is unsafe, and not sustainable economically.

Martin wrote part of the First World War Roll of Honour, a 17-volume series listing names of all military and civilian casualties of the First World War.

He also contributed to Great War Britain: West Sussex Remembering 1914-18.

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