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Welcome to our reviews page. Here you will be able to read reviews, written by members, of books and theatre performances.

To begin this process, we have three reviews written by two members of our committee. Please let us know if you have a book you have written and would like us to review, or if you would like to submit a revew yourself.

Review : Book Title  A Distillation of Hills
Author  David Lythgoe

I loved this book, it took me on a journey.
To use the author’s own words, ‘It is neither an autobiography nor a travelogue’.

Moving through the pages, reveals much of the author’s character and the many challenges he has set himself over a period of seventy years.

As in my mind, I journeyed with him up mountains in Scotland, the Lake District, Snowdonia and across the Lakeland fells, I was in awe of his achievements.

This book, however, is about much more than adventures, it is about family life, times together and apart. Beautifully written prose and poetry cover the author’s wide ranging interests, love of being outdoors and the courage needed to fulfil his dreams.

I highly recommend it as an inspiring read!

Olive J Riley

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Book Review: Title  PC Mebs – Finding Myself
Author  Mahmood Ahmed

A fascinating story moving between two continents and very different cultures.

Born in Pakistan to Muslim parents, the author, a very shy boy, at a young age was brought to England.

The difficulties and struggles which pepper his life are told honestly, without malice and with some humour.

Later he finds love and with his soul-mate by his side, he discovers himself, grows in confidence and goes on to achieve things he never thought possible, reaching a position in which he can fulfil his life’s dream of helping others.

An enjoyable yet emotional read. I couldn’t put it down!

Thank you for writing this book and giving me the pleasure of reading it.


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Lancastrians: Mills, Mines and Minarets by Paul Salveson

This is a book filled full of facts. You learn something new on practically every line. It is fortunately very well indexed so if you forget what you’ve read you can easily look it up again.

I was fortunate enough to attend one of Paul’s talks about this book at the Working Class Movement Library in Salford back in September 2023. That too was extremely interesting and a good introduction to the book.

This is a very readable text though it has academic rigour and contains many footnotes with Paul being absolutely open about where all of his research has been done. There are thirty-three pages of notes, many of the chapters with over twenty.

It is gratifying for LAA members that he has referred both to the Association frequently and to The Record. The LAA is then actually an important part of Lancashire.

The text is divided into logical sections with chapters on, amongst other topics, the geography, food and drink, housing, health, education, work, leisure, sport, war, the co-operative movement, literature, art, leisure, religion, music, immigrants, emigrants and politics. In the final chapter Paul suggests what a new Lancashire might look like.

It isn’t all about flat caps and clog dancing and we shouldn’t look back on its history through red-rose tinted spectacles. There is a place for those items, but Lancashire is about more than that

Paul comes right up to the minute and mentions events that have taken place as late as 2023.

This is a large book and it is also 472 pages long. Paul Salveson has nevertheless packed more than you might think possible even in that space in this account of Lancastrians: Mills, Mines and Minarets.          

Gill James




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