Barrow Steelworks – The Open Hearth Years 1860-1959

by Stan Henderson & Ken Royall

The 1880s were a decade of change for Barrow works with some of the main players departing the scene. The arrival of the basic method of steelmaking, developed by ‘amateur’ metallurgist Sidney Gilchrist Thomas, took away the lucrative position held by the directors and shareholders who had drained the coffers leaving virtually nothing for re-investment. After the Great War the once monster-iron-mining-smelting company was limping along. Following a reconstruction initiative during the 1920s it started an asset disposal programme in the early 1930s selling-off the collieries and by-products plant at Worsboro’ near Barnsley. As the decade faded closure loomed. And then a sudden and dramatic turning point! The evacuation of Dunkirk at the start of World War Two together with the blocking of special steels from Scandinavia produced a demand for the kind of steel the making of which Barrow was a past master. Coming under the management of the United Steels combine Barrow works entered a Renaissance period and a phase of secure employment ensued – and even an apprentice intake followed. Under United Steel’s banner Barrow would see security of employment for a new generation.

This book covers the open hearth years, the actual process as worked at Barrow and the main changes the works underwent together with some of the personnel involved in taking the works forward into the middle of the 20th century.

Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Pixel Tweaks Publications (17 Feb. 2017)
Language: English
Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 0.2 x 20.3 cm

Hartbarrow – A Golden Treasury in Verse

From an idea by Mr P. Stewart

A delightful compilation of verses, stories, sketches & watercolours offering a rare insight into life in the rural community of Hartbarrow & Cartmel Fell in the 1930s. Preserved in its original format and at actual size with transcriptions of the original text for future generations to delight in.

  • Paperback: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Pixel Tweaks Publications (Aug. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780993467981
  • Product Dimensions: 21.0 x 29.6 cm
 Look Inside – here is a sample of a few pages of this book.


The History of RAF Millom and the genesis of RAF Mountain Rescue

by John Nixon

Covering the airfields’ wartime service from 1941 and brief reoccupation of the station in 1953 to its eventual conversion into HMP Haverigg. Extensively illustrated with over 260 photographs and including over 50 first-hand accounts of life at RAF Millom, Cumbria, England. This extremely accessible history will engage a broad readership and provide a historical treasure for future generations. The units’ primary purpose was the training of aircrew for Bomber Command and those airmen who passed through the station went on to have many and varied experiences of aerial warfare. At the heart of them all lies a small and windblown airfield which served Sovereign and country through the dark days of WWII and beyond. Drawing on extensive historical, official and anecdotal material in this, his fourth and final book recording the history of the South Cumbrian airfields, the author has without doubt produced his finest and most comprehensive work to date.

  • Hardcover: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Pixel Tweaks Publications (22 July 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0993467997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0993467998
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 2.2 x 24.4 cm
 Available from local bookshops, to order from any bookshop and online from Amazon
 About the Author:

John Nixon at a book signing

John Nixon at a book signing

John Nixon was born in Ulverston, South Lakes, in 1953 and attended High Newton Primary School. Later, on leaving Cartmel Church of England School in 1968, he made his living in varied ways until he joined Her Majesty’s Prison Service in 1974. After 32 years service, he is now retired and a self-employed writer. John is also the author of ‘Wings over Sands’ the history of RAF Cark & RAF Grange-over-Sands, and ‘Warbirds of Walney’ the history of RAF Walney Airfield which was shortlisted for the 2014 Lakeland Book of the Year. You can view more details on his website here – JohnNixonAuthor

Look Inside – here is a sample of a few pages of this book.

The Druid of Skells

by Anthea Jackson

Miles Hardisty, riding homeward from his errand at the Big House, suddenly drew rein. What a strangely-twisted dead tree that was, outlined against the fading orange horizon. He turned the horse for a better look. Yes – it was no tree but a tall gaunt figure against the skyline, a loose robe flapping against it in the sharp wind. It stood quite still, fists raised as if in threat, while twilight thickened behind it. After a while, Miles could no longer make it out with any certainty. He rode on, quickly. He would take good care not to be caught by twilight at Skells again.

Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Pixel Tweaks Publications (Jun. 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0993467962
ISBN-13: 978-0993467967
Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm


Ulverston, An English Market Town through History

by Helen Shacklady

This new publication by Helen Shacklady charts the development of Ulverston not in isolation but through the prism of British History.  We see how the character and identity of the town has emerged from the effect of its geography and the influence of  political and social events far beyond its boundaries. The reader is taken on an incredible whistle-stop-tour of British history so that Ulverston’s place in that history can be fully comprehended.  The author is not afraid to question accepted theories or to poke a bit of fun at some of the more curious goings-on in our nation’s past.

Helen Shacklady.  Helen has been interested in history from an early age having read Medieval and Middle Eastern history as part of her degree.  She comes from a Lancashire family and has lived in Cumbria for over half her life.  She has worked in universities and the book trade and is the author of five published novels. Helen lives in Ulverston where she owns and run the Bookshack in Ulverston Market.  She  is active in several Ulverston voluntary bodies, enjoys getting involved in events such as the Lantern Festival and is a fair weather allotment gardener.

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Handstand Press (3 Mar. 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957660946
  • 206 Pages. 50 illustrations in full colour.  70 illustrations black and white.
You can meet Helen Shacklady any time and purchase the book from her at the Bookshack bookstall in Ulverston Indoor Market, during shop opening hours in Ulverston (shops are closed on Wednesdays). It will also be available at Suttons Bookshop, 48 Market Street and can be ordered from any good bookshop and from the publisher Handstand Press

Sir John Dunne

The biography of Sir John Dunne – Cumbria’s first and longest serving Chief Constable by Alan Bryant. An incredible journey by an extraordinary man from his native Ireland, joining the fledgling police force at age 14 and rising through the … Continue reading

Book Launch – The Kennedys

KSC-poster-for-SMHBook launch Saturday 6th Dec at 10am at The Orangery Cafe at St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston, Cumbria. The Kennedy’s of Stone Cross Mansion, written by Stuart Allison, looks at the history of the Kennedy family in the late 1800’s and follows the highs and lows of the 16 children of the family as they make their way in life through one of the most turbulent periods in modern times.

The Warbirds of Walney Reprint

Illustrated History of RAF Walney and No.10 AGS.

Much more than simply a local history book this lavishly illustrated work will delight aviation enthusiasts, genealogists, and amateur historians alike. Providing an accessible and engaging reading experience for those seeking to understand the construction and wartime usage of this South Lakeland airfield.
This book is sure to become a valuable and much sought-after resource for anyone with even a passing interest in Cumbria’s aviation history. John Nixon is also the author of ‘Oh Mother its a Lovely Place’ – a history of RAF Millom, and ‘Wings over Sands’, a history of RAF Cark & RAF Grange over Sands

This is the Second Edition of Warbirds of Walney.
We were fortunate with the first edition, to be allowed to include photos of the 60 Courses that passed through No.10 AGS thanks to kind permission from The National Archives, but we were restricted to a limited print run of just 199 copies, making the first edition a unique item. Due to public demand we have now produced this second edition which is identical in content to the first edition without the 60 course photos to allow unlimited distribution.