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…

Corfu 1988

Corfu 1988 We drive cautiously round the tight bend to a cluster of sleepy cottages growing out of a profusion of oranges and lemons.  Rusty olive oil tins monopolise every square inch of space, vomiting monstrous geraniums and pelargoniums.  Doors, window frames and shutters are painted in bright peeling blues and greens, with roses the…

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…

Not Working

Not Working A ficticious story inspired by the hidden St Peter’s, Dalby-cum-Skewsby, North Yorkshire by Maggie B Dickinson For Judy the best part of not working was her redundancy from setting the alarm clock five nights a week.  Bliss.  In future the irksome clock would only be programmed for important occasions and she would revel in…