Amberley Blog

  1. Manchester Ship Canal Through Time by Steven Dickens

    Surviving near bankruptcy and opening in 1894, the Manchester Ship Canal was founded by Daniel Adamson, who first presented the idea to the Manchester business community in 1882.It was an amazing feat of Victorian engineering. A colossal structure, with huge lock gates and the unique Barton Aqueduct, it was the ‘international super-highway’ of its day. Shipping regularly crossed the Atlantic...
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  2. Lancaster The Postcard Collection by Billy F. K. Howorth

    Shortly after writing my first book A-Z of Lancaster I embarked upon writing Lancaster The Postcard Collection. The idea of presenting a town and its history using only postcards was an interesting and intriguing proposition allowing me to search for the most unusual and interesting illustrations available. Within Williamson Park stands the imposing structure of Ashton Memorial, which is one...
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  3. The Rag Trade: The People Who Made Our Clothes by Pam Inder

    For much of my working life I was a museum curator working with collections of ‘applied arts’ – ceramics, furniture, silver, costume and textiles, glass, objects d’art. My particular interest was in costume and I became aware that when we exhibited a piece of ceramics or furniture, the label gave details of the maker or decorator – ‘Royal Doulton, decorated...
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  4. Great British Eccentrics by S. D. Tucker

    In an extract from his book Great British Eccentrics, out now in paperback, SD Tucker remembers the life of the strangest-ever member of the House of Lords, John Conrad Russell. ONE LORD A-LOONING: John Conrad Russell and the Sad Destruction of the House of Lords With Press controversy currently raging over the prospect of the assorted time-servers, sycophants and hangers-on...
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  5. How Australia Became British: Empire and the China Trade by Howard T. Fry

    THE EAST INDIA TRADE COMPANY’S MOVE TO THE PACIFIC Whereas from its foundation at the beginning of the 17th century the East India Company had been trading in spices from the East Indies and luxury imports from China, in the latter part of the 18th century changes in the pattern of this trade began to become apparent.  Firstly, the Company...
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  6. Dostoyevsky and the Urban Nightmare by Judith Gunn

    Dostoyevsky’s capacity to map the streets of his beloved St Petersburg, turn by turn, with a visceral realism was what set him apart in the Russian literary landscape. It was his ability to chart his characters’ progress down darkened alleys, through seedy streets and in shabby apartments, which separated his work from the epic stories and rural landscapes described by...
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  7. Film and Television Star Cars - The Latest Additions by Paul Brent Adams

    No one I have ever met seems to have any idea what Star Cars are, but as soon as you mention the James Bond Aston Martin or the Batmobile, no further explanation is needed. It is any vehicle, not just a car, used in a film or television programme. The term has been around since at least the 1980s...
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  8. Steam railways and a new generation by Stuart Hylton

    Not long ago, I was on the platform at Oxford station when an express train, drawn by a steam locomotive, came through at speed. For a moment, all activity on the platform stopped – it was as if we had all been transported back in time. Another moment and it was gone, and all that was left were wisps of...
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  9. From Horses to Artics: The Tales Behind the Transport by Nick Corble

    A book on the history of fairground transport? It sounded like the sort of thing that might feature at the end of Have I Got News For You? – I was going to need some convincing. As it turned out, not that much convincing, as my co-author, Allan Ford, is a compelling story-teller, as well as being a fount of...
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  10. Whitehaven and Around From Old Photographs by Alan W. Routledge

    When asked by Amberley if I would put together, what would turn out to be my eleventh book based on old photographs of Whitehaven, it took a while to say yes because I felt there was not a lot more to add to the towns’ story. Fortunately, at much the same time I was asked by the Beacon Museum to...
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