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…

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…

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…

Memories of Wartime

Memories of Wartime When I was a kid during WW2 we didn’t have sell-by dates and elf and safety, we just had the war to contend with.  It became so much a part of our daily existence that after it was over a friend said ‘I didn’t know wars could end’. Our family had a…

Miss Hartley’s Peanuts

Miss Hartley’s Peanuts  Originally published under Margaret Drake in Lancashire Life – 1970s  Miss Hartley, who taught third-year infants at Barrowford Council School (now Barrowford Primary School), was everyone’s favourite teacher.  In her classroom were a piano, a grand wooden desk on which she kept a box of Ink Eradicator and the register.  Huge windows,…

Swanside Packhorse Bridge

Swanside Packhorse Bridge, Rimington, Lancashire GRID REFERENCE SD 78496 45380.  Grade 11-Listed Lancashire County Council takes care of this genuine packhorse bridge, which has been well serviced and repaired over the years.  I would date it 17th century, and believe it would have replaced an earlier model.  The major building period for packhorse bridges was…