Amberley Blog

  1. Secret Preston by Keith Johnson

    Listen! Do you want to know a secret? Secret Preston gives you the opportunity to look into the past of Preston and reflect on events from generations ago besides those in the not too distant past. There is a history of Preston that is hidden from view, or simply not recognised today amidst the hurly burly of modern life. The...
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  2. In & Around Rotherham From Old Photographs by Melvyn Jones and Michael Bentley

    Daniel Defoe writing about Rotherham in the 1720s rather dismissively wrote that there was ‘nothing of note except a fine stone bridge over the Don’. How wrong he was. Even then there was much to record in the town itself and in the surrounding settlements. In the intervening centuries it has only got more and more interesting. The Rotherham area...
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  3. Chorlton-cum-Hardy Through Time by Steven Dickens

    Writing Chorlton-cum-Hardy Through Time has made me recognise that my longest-standing memory of Chorlton relates to my time as a student nurse at Trafford General Hospital, in Davyhulme. During my time as a trainee, from 1989-93, what was Trafford School of Nursing became South-West Manchester College of Nursing. The idea behind this was to move away from the traditional focus...
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  4. Convicted: Landmark Cases in British Criminal History by Gary Powell

    Great Britain has one of the oldest judicial systems in the world. Our common law can be traced back to the Middle ages, the jury system as its cornerstone, with the basic tenet that a person is innocent until proven guilty. The law of course cannot stand still and has to move with the times to be fit for purpose...
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  5. Preston in the 1960s by Keith Johnson

    Imagine a decade, the 1960s, when tall towers and structures rose from the rubble of slum clearance with bulldozers, bricks and builders abounding, with one firm claiming to build a house in a day. A time when cobbled streets were making way for highways and a road was coming that would split Friargate in two. A period when churches and...
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  6. William Speirs Bruce: Forgotten Polar Hero by Isobel P. Williams and John Dudeney

    This biography published in March 2018, comes at an excellent time for a reappraisal of William Speirs Bruce his life and contribution. The work covers his childhood, his early medical training, his decision to abandon medicine for the more precarious life of a naturalist, his training in this field and his struggles to get financial support in his chosen career...
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  7. Dundee in 50 Buildings by Brian King

    St Salvador’s Church, Dundee One of the benefits of writing a book like Dundee in 50 Buildings book is that it literally makes you look again at buildings that you may have known all your life and notice details that you had not previously seen. Another is that it gives you a reason to visit places that you may have...
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  8. Ordinary Heroes: The Story of Civilian Volunteers in the First World War by Sally White

    One of the joys of being a museum curator is all the odd bits of information that come your way.  I worked in Worthing Museum for almost 20 years and relished the salmagundi of snippets that I picked up.  One day I was leafing through an album of old press cuttings when I spotted one from 1920 that reported Worthing’s...
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  9. Secret Aldeburgh to Southwold by Terry Philpot

    Suffolk, particularly Southwold to Aldeburgh, still retains a beguiling, largely unspoiled remoteness. The flat landscape is dotted with farms, the big sky illuminates the littleness of life, and the ruined abbey and castle bespeak a rich past. By 1910, what was left of All Saints Church, Dunwich, was in danger of toppling into the sea, as it did twelve years...
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  10. Spitfire Deserter? The American Pilot Who Went Missing by Bill Simpson

    Having written in the past about our local squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force here in Edinburgh, 603, I was both intrigued and uncomfortable about allegations made against the young American NCO Spitfire pilot, ‘Bud’ Walcott, who was posted to the squadron in early 1942. At that time, Malta had been under siege by German and Italian forces based in...
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