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Celebrating Lancashire’s Moorlands

Celebrating Lancashire’s Moorland Heritage

A hundred years ago Lancashire writer Allen Clarke published a forgotten masterpiece – Moorlands and Memories, sub-titled ‘rambles and rides in the fair places of Steam-Engine Land’. Clarke’s biographer, Professor Paul Salveson, has published a new book celebrating Clarke’s original and bringing the story of Lancashire’s moorland heritage up to date.

Maxine Peake, in her foreword to Paul’s book, says “Hill walking, cycling, literature, philosophy, protest and The North…. these are a few of my favourite things.” She adds “Paul Salveson’s new book on Allen Clarke is irresistible.”

Clarke’s book was conversational, philosophical, radical and lyrical. Paul’s celebration covers some of the ground that Allen Clarke wrote about – handloom weavers, dialect writers, the Winter Hill ‘mass trespass’, links to Walt Whitman and that fearsome Lancashire creature, the boggart. He discusses Clarke’s links with Tolstoy and his attempts to ‘get back to the land’ at a commune near Blackpool  and the great Barrow Bridge picnic in support of the locked-out Bethesda quarrymen in 1901. The book recalls one of Bolton’s first ‘refugees’ who lived on Halliwell Road.

Clarke was both a keen cyclist and walker. His original book includes rides and rambles through Rossendale and Pendle as well as around Rivington, Belmont and Edgworth, with associated tales. The Clarion Cycling Club and the Clarion ILP Tea Rooms at Roughlee features, as does ‘The Barlow’ in Edgworth and Darwen Tower. Paul adds in some stories from the last hundred years including ‘summer evenings with old railwaymen’ at the moorland station of Entwistle and Gandhi’s visit to Lancashire. The renaissance of the East Lancashire Railway is included in the story.

“I wanted to write more than a ‘then and now’ book, though I do explore many of the places that Clarke originally described and how they have changed,” said Paul. “Our moors remain a precious asset which we neglect at our peril. They are amongst the few places that haven’t been ‘locked down’ during Covid-19 and are there for everyone to enjoy. I hope that my book will add to their appreciation.”

See below for details of how to order. The book is currently at the printers (a local Bolton firm, Minerva) and will be ready early next week.

Pre-publication offer and how to buy it

The book will be priced at £21 (plus £3 postage) and will be on sale from November 15th. There is a special pre-publication offer of £20 with free delivery if you order before November 15th. If you want to order three (Christmas is coming!) I can do a ‘3 for the price of 2’ deal, i.e. £40 for three.

It will be available at selected shops including Wright Reads of Horwich. If you know of a shop that would like to take copies let me know. I generally avoid chain booksellers but happy to do sale or return from any local shop that’s interested.

Please send a cheque made to ‘Paul Salveson’ – or pay by bank transfer to P. Salveson, a/c 23448954 sort code 53-61-07 and email me to say you have paid, with your address details (info@lancashireloominary.co.uk). See also www.lancashireloominary.co.uk for other ways to buy!

I just need your name and address, with post code and email to confirm receipt and tell you it has been despatched.

Send with enclosed cheque made to Paul Salveson 109 Harpers Lane, Bolton BL1 6HU

Note: I’m happy to sign and dedicate the book – please let me know, and to whom you’d like it dedicated to.

By Paul Salveson

Paul was born in Bolton in 1952, one day before the Harrow and Wealdstone rail disaster. He has had a varied career, mostly to do with railways, mixed in with adult education, journalism, politics and community development. After a 25 year exile he is back home in Bolton. He is a visiting professor at the Universities of Bolton and Huddersfield and chairs Bolton and South Lancs Community Rail Partnership

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