Sunderland Point

by Maggie B Dickinson Based on a true story.  I had a similar version published in Northern Life When it comes to secrets, the tiny village of Sunderland Point leads the field. Growing out of a peat bog, lashed by westerly gales, cut off by the tide twice a day – and with its only…

Brief Encounter Revisited

by Maggie B Dickinson The daddy of all time pieces, in film-going terms, is probably the gem on Virgin’s West Coast Line at Carnforth in Lancashire, UK.  The clock (as The Clock) supported the main characters Celia Johnson (as Laura Jesson) and Trevor Howard (as Dr Alec Harvey), as they headed dangerously and deliciously towards…

For Valour

JAMES HEWITSON VC OF CONISTON 1892 – 1963  Originally published by Cumbria magazine November 2018 On November 11th 2018 Remembrance Sunday falls exactly one hundred years to the day since the Great War officially ended with the signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany, at Compiégne in France. For four years thousands of men had…

On the trail of Shawn Williamson

Reprinted with kind permission of Cumbria magazine, originally published September 2018  If anyone is leaving their mark for posterity on Cumbria, and other points of the compass, it is Shawn Williamson.  At the moment he is creating an amazing trail of rock sculptures around the Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa. Shawn was a seaman on the Great…

Three Fur Coats

Originally published in Lancashire magazine The first time we saw granny, auntie Margaret and mum together in the American cast-off fur coats, that granny had brought back from America in 1950, my father named them The Three Stooges. He ached so much from laughing that he made them promise never to appear simultaneously in the…

William Wordsworth’s little-known marriage venue

William Wordsworth’s little-known marriage venue Published as The perfect village? October 2017 Republished here by kind permission of Dalesman magazine ‘I could stand it no longer and threw myself on the bed, neither hearing nor seeing anything…’ On Monday October 4th, two hundred and fifteen years ago, this emotional drama was played out at a…

Alice Barnes – The Victorian murder of a young girl

Maggie B Dickinson  In 2009 I was in the Reference Library in Blackburn, Lancashire researching a branch of my family, along with a friend who was pursuing his.  I completed my task first, and to while away the time until he’d finished I randomly selected a book: any old book would do.  The binding was…