A RETIRED Skelmorlie GP has told how she was inspired to pen her first book - after fearing the stories of brave female medical workers facing cruel discrimination in the 1960s could be lost forever.

Dr Anne Pettrigrew, 68, who offered homeopathic support to Largs residents for many years, has put pen to paper to chart the struggles of medial students and the fights they faced to carve out a career in the profession.

Having been a student at the time herself, Anne's book 'Not The Life We Imagined', deals with the issues and sexual harassment that some women had to deal with as they tried to climb the career ladder.

Anne says that while the book is not based on her own life, the fiction is inspired by real-life struggles.

She said: "If you are writing about a time and situation you lived through, there may be grains of truth in some of the narrative.

"I'm glad to say I have never met any colleagues as dastardly as my two villains, but I do know stories of female medical students who faced harassment and I thought it important to tell that story.

"When I started putting together the idea, I was doing some research and I could not find one book which spoke about women working in medicine in the UK.

"I just thought to myself that this has to be recorded, so that people know what it was really like.

"I was fortunate enough to work for friendly people in a general practice but I know from other people how bad it could be and how badly some of these woman were treated.

"The characters and hospitals are completely made up, but it is based on real people's experiences."

After retiring ten years ago, Anne used her free time to enrol in writing classes at Glasgow University and joined Greenock Writers' Club.

Her novel has been picked up by the non-profit making Ringwood publishers based in Glasgow, who invest in new Scottish writers.

Anne added: "The book is dedicated to the 130 million girls world wide currently denied education.

"I aim to donate royalties to Plan UK, who aim to correct this.

"I was fortunate in being provided with totally free medical training. Something I didn't appreciate at the time."

Anne will be launching her book in Greenock at The Beacon Arts Centre on Tuesday 26 February at 7pm.

The event is free entry and will include readings, a Q & A session and book signing, plus a raffle in aid of Plan UK.