In 1939 it was thought that, as a diversionary tactic, Germany might launch an attack on the coast-line of Cheshire from southern Ireland. To back this up, it was expected that there might be multiple parachute landings across the county. As plans to repel any assault were developed, invasion committees were set up and a covert army was formed made up of local shipyard workers, school teachers and postmen. Underground hides were built and training was given in the servicing and firing of weapons including hand grenades. Author Ron Freethy has talked to a great many of those who took part in covert operations and uses their first-hand accounts to tell the story.
'The secret of enjoying the history of the Yorkshire fishing industry involved two aspects' says Ron Freethy in this new book. 'Visit the museums and talk to the volunteers and visit the harbour and talk to the boatmen'. For those who for one reason or another cannot do either of these things, this book with its first-hand accounts, local anecdotes, well-researched stories and contemporary photographs provides the perfect alternative. The major local ports include Whitby, Staithes, Flamborough, Robin Hood's Bay, Scarborough, Filey, Bridlington and Hull. By far the largest was Hull. This book captures the heyday of the local fishing industry and records for all time a way of life that has now gone for ever.
By the middle of the 18th century, with the relaxation in the laws governing its import, Lancashire's woolen mills began slowly to switch production to cotton. This was fraught with problems, not least because of the resistance put up by wool merchants and their workers. It was not long, however, before Lancashire folk began to reap the rewards of producing cotton goods and the county became known as the 'Cotton Capital of the World'.With an informative text and a wealth of photographs, well-known writer and broadcaster, Ron Freethy, charts the rise of the cotton industry in his home county: the mills, the men, the machines and the impact that cotton had on the lives of the people of Lancashire.
The Blackpool Aviation week in 1909 marked the beginning. Early pioneers performed a number of flying feats which were rewarded with prizes given by the Daily Mail and the then Manchester Guardian. After this Henry Greg Melly set up a flying school on Freshfield beach at Formby and A V Roe founded his AVRO company. Meanwhile, English Electric decided to open up an aircraft building firm based at Samlesbury near Preston. They produced the Hampden and Halifax bombers used during the Second World War. Ron Freethy's well researched book also includes many firsthand accounts provided by local people from their own memories and those of their parents. These bring the story alive and, combined with many photographs, create a lasting record of the county's place in British aviation history.
Lancashire was once the Cotton Capital of the world. Raw cotton came in to Liverpool docks and was sold on the Exchange. In the beginning, it was then transported to cottages all over the county where whole families, including the children, would clean, card, spin and weave it. The finished cloth was then sold on the Manchester Exchange. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution new machines saw the work transferred from home to factory. It was said that Lancashire could produce enough cotton before breakfast to supply the UK market, with the remainder of the day's supply going overseas. Read the first hand accounts from local people, and look at the remarkable collection of contemporary photographs.