A series of events is being organised by libraries in Cumbria this May to celebrate local history month. Local history is what Handstand is all about so I am delighted we have been invited to take part.
Kerry Darbishire is giving a talk about Kay’s Ark in Kirkby Lonsdale Library on 8th May, Barrow Library on 16th May and Ambleside Library on 25th May. Each event starts at 2pm so do go along, if you can, to hear Kerry talk about how she approached writing a memoir about her mother’s extraordinary life. If you are looking for inspiration to start writing your own memoir I think you will find Kerry’s account of the process of research and writing very helpful.
Two more Handstand authors will be joining Kerry in Barrow on 16th May: Sarah Holmes, who wrote The Paradise of Furness – The Story of Conishead Priory and Its People, and June Whitehead, author of Lost Children – The Ulverston Workhouse in the 19th Century. Both books have contributed enormously to local history knowledge in Furness. Sarah and June will be in Barrow to talk about their writing and with books to sell.
Lots of Helen Shacklady’s friends and supporters came to join in celebrating the launch of her book ULVERSTON – An English Market Town Through History at the Coronation Hall, last night. In true Ulverston style there was poetry, music, a quiz designed by quizmaster extraordinaire Tim Melville, and a fantastic cake made by Jo Stoney for us all to share.
But centre-stage was Helen. She gave us a wonderful talk about what she had discovered in researching and writing about Ulverston. The main message was that Ulverston has never been the isolated place we tend to think. From way back to Neolithic times the means of communication have existed to allow movement of people and trade in an out of the Furness peninsula. Ulverston has been, and continues to be, a centre of industry, commerce and culture with a lively attitude to the upheavals to which it has been subjected throughout history.
This time last year I wrote that a new history of Ulverston would be published by Handstand Press in 2015. We are a couple of months late! I’m pleased to announce, finally, that ULVERSTON, An English Market Town Through History, by Helen Shacklady, will be in the bookshops on March 4th price £14.99.
Tackling the history of any town is a challenge to any author. Where to begin? Where to end? What to put in or leave out? Helen has cleverly decided to approach the history of Ulverston in the context of English history so that we see the town not just in isolation but understand its connection with wider events. Her knowledge of history is evident throughout as well as her thorough research. But what makes the book particularly interesting are Helen’s own observations coupled with an unwillingness to be seduced by popular historical theories.
You can meet Helen Shacklady any time and purchase the book from her at the Bookshack bookstall in Ulverston Indoor Market, during shop opening hours in Ulverston (shops are closed on Wednesdays). It will also be available at Suttons Bookshop, 48 Market Street and can be ordered from any good bookshop.
206 Pages. 50 illustrations in full colour. 70 illustrations black and white.
You can order a book from us here
I hope you will find ULVERSTON, An English Market Town Through History, informative and a really good read.