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County Durham

Back of the Shaft

Memories of a Life in Murton in the 1950s 
by P.J. McPartland

‘Back of the Shaft’ recalls life in the East Durham village of Murton in the 1950s. Remember the days when the Pit was at the heart of the community and people spent their time at one of the three local cinemas, or at a dance or at the club – and a holiday was a trip to Butlins. With 100 illustrations.

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Banners of Pride

Memories of the Durham Miners’ Gala
by Derek Gillum

This high quality book is a people’s history of the Durham Miner’s Gala as well as the many banners that are paraded at the ‘Big Meeting’

It has over 120 unique illustrations many never published before.

This book is A4 with 40 pages.

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Caseys, Cups & Canny Lads

Features Shrovetide Football at Chester-le-Street, the region’s professional clubs, West Auckland – winners of the first World Cup, giants of the game such as Bobby Robson and Bob Paisley, school and juniors teams, amateur kings Bishop Auckland, Crook and Willington and the huge number of players who found fame when they left this ‘Hotbed of Soccer’. A5 128 pages.

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Deaths, Disasters & Dastardly Deeds in the North East

by Lorna Windham

Lorna Windham writes about ordinary people in North East England and their struggle to overcome adversity. Flood, fire and financial meltdown are some of the extraordinary events which echo through the centuries and resonate in the modern world.

Links to the plague, convict transportation and a French raid, may come as a surprise, but research has shown they all took place.

Infamous people also had connections with the area: the murderers of Mary Queen of Scots’ secretary, Rizzio; ‘Butcher Cumberland’ and Burke and Hare. How and why? This book provides the answers.

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Easington Through the Years

by Eileen Hopper

Easington Through The Years is a ‘people’s history’ of Easington from its early days as a rural village, through the years when mining transformed the area and on to the present day when the beauty of the coast has returned.

Featured in the book are photographs and memories of schooldays, pastimes, family life, the Second World War and the many community groups who make a positive contribution to local people’s lives.

One section also remembers the terrible mining disaster of 1951 when 83 men lost their lives.

The book has over 200 old photographs – many never published before.

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Islands of England – North East and Yorkshire

By Geoffrey Berriman

This book, which is the first in a series of six about the islands of England, covers islands in the North East and Yorkshire. The author has travelled widely to visit or see and also research into the history of many different types of island; mention is therefore made of inland islands as well as coastal islands. Some former islands, which have now disappeared, are also included.

The book is well illustrated with photographs and both modern and historic maps.

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Price: £8.50

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Murder, Mystery & Mayhem in the North East

By Lorna Windham

This book is a must-read for those who love the North East and its dark past. It is full of gritty tales of villains such as Durham’s PC Paton; swashbucklers like Lancelot Errington and enigmatic characters such as John Paul Jones.

Be gripped by the story of Captain Johann Friedrich Berckholtz who was found floating in the River Wear; the unsolved murder of Herrington servant Isabella Young and the deadly duel between Lieutenant Melvil and Ensign Reynolds which took place in Newcastle.

Be intrigued by mysterious rock art; tales of the kidnapping of Stockton’s Jeremiah Moore and blood-curdling ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night in Chillingham Castle, Craster Tower or even a fort on Hadrian’s Wall.

Be fascinated by accounts of mayhem caused by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce; Shields men who escaped from the Press Gang and strikes which led to the transportation.

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Murton Remembered

by Eric Dowell

This high quality book is a history of the Durham community of Murton.

It has over 200 unique illustrations many never published before.

This A4 book has 80 pages.

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North East Life in the 1930s, 40s & 50s

Remember the days when Monday was always wash day, tin baths in front of the fire and knitted bathing suits on the beach in a new book by local author Andrew Clark.

‘North East Life in the 1930s, 40s & 50s’ recalls life at home when the washing was done in a poss tub; the wireless was the main form of entertainment; every community had a cinema and a holiday would be a trip to the seaside.

With over 120 old photographs there are also memories of Christmas, childhood games, schooldays, rationing, local dance halls, early television and going to the match.

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Penshaw and Shiney Row Then & Now

by Lena Cooper

The history of the County Durham villages of Penshaw and Shiney Row is celebrated in this new book by local author Lena Cooper.

The book has over 150 illustrations that show how the two villages have changed over the past 100 years.

The author, Lena Cooper, also shares her memories of Penshaw and Shiney Row alongside old photographs of people, places and events that show the history of these two communities.

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Pit Ponies

by Mike Kirkup

Pit ponies were a faithful companion to the men who worked in the coal mines of Northumberland and Durham. Former Ashington miner Mike Kirkup tells the story of these ponies with over 100 illustrations and many local mining memories. Also included is a brief history of the industry that once dominated the region.

Featured are stories of the training of pit ponies and the lads who worked with them; the ponies at shows and races; the dangers that men and the ponies faced; and finally the day when horse power came to an end when the last pit pony left Ellington Colliery in 1994.

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Seaton Holme – How it served Easington’s Community through the Ages

The history of Seaton Holme, a medieval manor house, the former Rectory of Easington Archdeaconry, orphanage, old men’s home and community building. This fascinating story of Easington’s heritage is told by local author, Eileen Hopper. Over 150 illustrations.

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Price: £7.00

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Thanks for the Memories

Recollections of Fence Houses, Lambton, Burnmoor, Chilton Moor and Bankhead.
by Lena Cooper

This high quality book is a history of the villages around Fence Houses in County Durham.

It has over 120 illustrations many never published before.

This A4 book has 80 pages.

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Tommy Armstrong The Pitman Poet

by Ray Tilly, Grandson of Tommy

Tommy Armstrong was famously called the ‘Pitman Poet’.

His songs and poems are well remembered within the mining communities of County Durham. His famous songs include such classics as ‘Dorham Jail’, ‘Nanny’s A Maisor’ and ‘Trimdon Grange Explosion’.

What makes this book unique is that it has been written by Tommy’s grandson – Ray Tilly.

Ray’s book is an attempt to ‘set the record straight’ about the life of his grandfather. Many things have been written and said about Tommy and Ray separates fact from fiction.

Included in the book are thirty previously published works by Tommy and a further sixteen unpublished works.

Also included are the poems and story of Tommy’s son – William Hunter Armstrong – Ray’s father.

The book has over 100 illustrations.

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Wartime Memories Stories of the Second World War in the North East

by Andrew Clark

Although the Second World War ended over seventy years ago, many of the storytellers in this book have vivid recollections of their experiences of evacuation, the Home Guard, air raids, rationing, the black-out or VE Day.

Alongside people’s memories, are also unique old photographs as well as wartime memorabilia that many will remember – Identity Cards, Ration Books, Propaganda Posters and Public Information Leaflets. These documents give first hand information available at the time of the war and are an insight into the lives of people in the 1930s and ’40s.

Over 100 illustrations.

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