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When we moved to Cockermouth in 1988, we decided to join one of local historian Bernard Bradbury’s evening classes. This was a way of learning about what was to become our new home town and its history; we also hoped to get to know some of the local people.
Ever since, I have been involved with researching into the history of Cockermouth and Fletchertown the surrounding areas. For many years, I was an active member of the Cockermouth Civic Trust who were heavily involved in saving the old All Saints school building and converting it to what is today, the Kirkgate Centre. From there I was invited to help with the Cockermouth Museum Group.
After I retired from my job as a groundsman at Higham Hall, I was approached by the Cockermouth Civic Trust to look into the history of the Stanger Spa and to help raise money to save it from falling down. It was during this time that I came across an old drinking trough in the middle of a nearby field. It was built by William Lancaster Alexander, a local philanthropist. A plaque on its wall stated:
THIS WATERING PLACE WAS ERECTED BY
IN REMEMBERANCE OF
HIS LATE DEAR WIFE
AND IN COMMEMORATION OF
THE DIAMOND JUBILEE YEAR OF
HER MAJESTY QUEEEN VICTORIA
This got me thinking - who was this William Lancaster Alexander? This is what got me hooked onto local history and proceeded to write everything down on - what was then very new to me - a computer!
The outcome was that, money was raised to help safeguard the Stanger Spa Well. A small book was written about William Alexander*, and his remarkable life as a generous contributor to the people of Lorton and Cockermouth. 500 copies were printed and most of them sold to help with the raising of the funds for the ‘Well’.
* I have since put another book together with a lot of new information and pictures that came to light after the first book.
And rest as they say - is history - no pun intended! Since then I have written several books on the Cockermouth area, and another collection from the Fletchertown/Mealsgate area, where I now live. I have also got several other books on various subjects, they are all on this website.
When we moved to Fletchertown in 2004, I was asked if I would create an archive for the Allhallows area. This is still an ongoing project that I have now, in 2015, handed over to the Allhallows Community Centre who will continue with the research.
Nearly all of my books contain peoples names, so ideal if you are looking into your Family History. See if you can find your relative, what they were doing, and when. (Contact Mick and I may be able to help find the right book) All the books that have been written and published can be explored and purchased via the links above.
If you live local to Fletchertown you can always call round to pick up your books as long as you don't mind paying cash. This will save on postage etc,
If you go to the 'Wartime' heading you will see that I have eight new books on WW1.
1 - The moving Ewbank "Wartime Letters" sent home from the Front Line WW1
2 - We will "Remember Them" 1914-18 100 years on. (Men from the Cockermouth area)
3 - Let us "Remember" the many men from the Fletchertown & Mealsgate area in WW1
4 - 'Keswick' and the men who lost their lives in WW1. "Let us never forget them"
5- "Wigton" Let us not forget those who gave their lives in WWI. Men from around this area.
6- The Binsey Area. Many men from the villages around this area- Allhallows, Bassenthwaite, The Boltons, Ireby, Torpenhow, Uldale etc. etc.
7- "West Ward" Nr. Wigton. The men and women who took part in both World Wars.
8- "Wigton" Cumbria. What life was like for those who stayed behind, Nurses, VADs etc.
I have found so many men, but not all of those who took part in this dreadful war.
Dont forget it is now over 75 years since the outbreak of WW2
I have an interesting book about the 'Evacuees' that came to the Cockermouth area at the outbreak of WW2.
Also under the 'Wartime' heading.
Two books about the adopted ships, one by Cockermouth and one by Wigton in WW2.
Please note: all my prices quoted include Post and Packaging.
(If you require several books then by contacting me by email you can make a saving on postage as long as you don't use paypal)
To purchase this offer please go to my Contact page to order by email.
(If you live near to the Fletchertown area the books can be picked up from Mick and save on postage)
* To purchase any of my books and they are to be sent overseas please contact me first as
they will incur extra postage.