This is a list of the Léonie Press books which relate to the UK which we have published. Click on a title to obtain more details about a particular book.

Author Title Description
Lenna Bickerton Memories of a Cheshire Childhood Lenna describes life in Northwich, Cheshire, England around the First World War through the sharp senses of a child. Her memories are vivid: duck eggs for breakfast, dancing to Grandad’s gramophone, a near tragedy at a watermill, her schooldays, the sights and sounds of the old town, the smells of wild flowers, busy boat traffic on the canal and the menacing Ginny Greenteeth.
Jackie Hamlett and Christine Hamlett A House with Spirit: A dedication to Marbury Hall The authors spent three years researching the history of Marbury Hall near Northwich, Cheshire, England and tracing the lives of its aristocratic and often high-spirited owners, through archives, reference libraries and personal interviews. But they also have another perspective. As clairvoyants they have their own theories about its famous ghosts, the Marbury Lady and the Marbury Dunne. They have tapped into the memories which they say still hang around the site of the demolished hall and they believe these have enabled them to communicate with its essence.
K M Thomas Kathleen: Memories of a girl who grew up in wartime The author writes of her childhood and early teenage years in Scotland and England. Against a background of austerity and rationing she describes an RAF plane crashing into the sea and nights spent sheltering from the bombing of Hull. At a Hornsea riding school she encounters the Free French leader General Leclerc and accompanies a French Major on regular rides through the countryside in the run-up to D-Day.
Sqn Ldr R L Stanley MBE and Joy Bratherton Of Those Who Lie in Foreign Fields: In remembrance of the men of Colton who served but did not return The authors trace what happened to each person who is commemorated on the village war memorial in Colton, Staffordshire, England so that future generations will understand why these brave men - mostly of the First World War - should be remembered.
G C Kanjilal Who says you are there no more? When his beloved wife Nana died after 34 years of happy marriage, retired consultant psychiatrist G C Kanjilal found solace in writing poetry. His work is moving, amusing and self-deprecating and his deep love for his wife shines through everything.
Peter Thomas and Kathleen Thomas Ulu Tiram: A cameo of life in Malaya at the time of 'The Emergency' In 1952, as a young British officer on active service in Malaya, Geoff Farrer is forced to shoot a wounded pregnant terrorist to end her agony. He does not know that he is being watched by the woman’s lover who vows "to kill the bastard Englishman", but when he starts work as a rubber planter his life is threatened several times. The book is based on the experiences of the Thomases - Peter was Mentioned in Dispatches for his services to Malaya as a young soldier - and is published to mark the 50th anniversary of The Emergency.
Les Cooper The Way We Were:
Omnibus Edition incorporating "Over my Shoulder" and "Another's War"
This book is an omnibus edition of Les Cooper's Crewe memories, "Over My Shoulder" and "Another's War", originally published separately in 1996 by Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council when the author was Mayor and now reprinted by popular demand. The first work describes his childhood in the railway town during the Depression and the second his war experiences as an apprentice in a reserved occupation at the LMS railway works.
Alan K Leicester A Nun's Grave: A novel set in the Vale Royal of England The Nun's Grave at Vale Royal Abbey has been a source of mystery and ghostly stories for generations of Mid-Cheshire folk. Alan K Leicester's frightening experience there as a young man led him to undertake years of research into the subject and he has woven his findings into a thought-provoking novel on two time-scales. The 14th century fates of novice nun Ida Godman and young monk John of Dutton become inextricably entwined with the present-day lives of newlyweds Ian and Jane who buy a house on the site of the abbey. The author stresses that his enthralling book is fiction and not a work of scholarship.
Peter Marsh Round and Round in Circles Adman Peter Marsh's lifelong love of yottin' finally found its zenith in the purchase of his own yacht, a 22' trailer/sailer which, after a season sailing around Anglesey and the coast of North Wales, he trailed to a lake in France and there spent the summer of a lifetime. Quite an adventure and one which Peter now wishes to share with others. This is the story of that adventure, a mildly scurrilous tale in which Peter makes observations of the people he encounters and places he visits, as well as some reminiscences, yarns of yottin' and life itself.
Austin Hughes Diesel Taff Austin Hughes was born in rural North Wales in 1922. He loved heavy machinery and eventually learned to operate a bulldozer. Then in October 1940 he was called up to join the Royal Engineers - an experience which changed his life and earned him his nick-name 'Diesel Taff'. As a young sapper he was posted to bomb disposal in London and then was shipped to the Middle East where he travelled thousands of miles across deserts and mountains, transporting heavy plant, building roads and air strips, clearing avalanches and ferrying refugees.
Elizabeth Ellen Osborne Nellie's Story Elizabeth Ellen Osborne was born near Northwich in Cheshire, in 1914. Her father was an agricultural worker. She worked her way up the pecking order of servants from lowly 'between maid' to lady's companion/help. Following her marriage she was a nurse, a 'dinner lady' and a much-loved foster-mother. Her recollections paint a vivid picture of times when infant mortality was high, school discipline was brutal and her mother often received second-hand clothes in lieu of wages. She describes the flashes and meadows, flowers and birds of her rural surroundings and can even list the names of all the other children at her school.
G C Kanjilal The Picture of Innocence G C Kanjilal's second volume of poems is a further tribute to his late wife Nana and to his much-loved four-legged companions, their poodle Tiggy and his Airedales - Benji, Hector and Barnie. He also writes about the wildlife in his garden, visits to Nana's native Germany and his philosophy of life. But it's not all serious and sad - he also throws in some humorous verses about traffic cones, dreams of a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce and 'flu jabs that don't work...
Geoffrey Morris Two Birds and No Stones: It's a short life - Fill it Geoffrey Morris has followed up his successful first book "Only Fools Drink Water", which chronicled his experiences in France, with an autobiography which takes him from conception to retirement, via his wartime service in tanks as a soldier in the 8th Army and his years as a school teacher. In 45 hilarious chapters (each illustrated by Patricia Kelsall) he describes a lifetime as "one of Nature's fall-guys". As his hard-pressed mother said wearily: "He's like a bad penny - you'll never get rid of him."
Alan Fleet Woollyback This book was withdrawn by the author in May 2011 and is no longer available for sale.
Margaret Dignum A Whiff of Fresh Air: A collection of humorous Cheshire monologues Margaret Dignum is well known in Cheshire and Staffordshire for her appearances on BBC Radio Stoke and her frequent public speaking engagements where she performes Cheshire dialect monologues about those everyday events which affect us all. This collection of 60 is accompanied by a CD containing her personal selection of 14.
Lenna Bickerton 'We'll gather lilacs...' In this sequel to "Memories of a Cheshire Childhood" Lenna wrote about her later life as a young woman, wife and mother in Cheshire, covering the 1930s and early 1940s. She died when she was doing the last chapter, and the book has been finished with a special "Part Two" by her daughter, June Hall. The book celebrates the simple things in life - cycling in the countryside, picking wild flowers and lilacs, working in her parents' greengrocers and setting up home at Rudheath.
Mary Curry and Patricia Keeves A Ninety Year History - Winsford Church of England Primary School (St Chad's Primary School) 1909 - 1999 The book tells how, in 1906, one of the schools in Winsford, Cheshire faced closure as a direct result of the salt extraction industry. The local people battled to maintain a Church school in the area. The authors relate the story of that battle, and the problems and successes once the school finally opened. It is not just a school history but encompasses the lives of many local people, relives some of the problems caused by a country at war and mirrors the social changes of an expanding town in the 1960s. The book also chronicles the changing expectations of education made by Acts of Parliament and by society at large.
Phil Pearn Upton Park, Chester - A community for 150 years Planned in the 1850s to provide a clean and tranquil rural setting just outside the overcrowded city of Chester, the private residential estate of Upton Park was largely completed by the early 1900s and has retained a unique charm and sense of community. Now a Conservation Area, it is rich in history with a Proprietors’ Association Minute Book dating from 1899. The book is about the evolving place that is Upton Park, the people who have lived there and the factors that have combined to create such a special community. It makes fascinating reading for those who know the Park but also provides rich insights for anyone interested in social history.
David Woodley Knutsford Prison: The Inside Story In 1811 there were so many prisoners in Cheshire that the authorities decided to build a new Sessions House, Grand Jury Room and House of Correction in a convenient situation near the town of Nether Knutsford. Retired prison chaplain David Woodley has researched the history of the prison and describes the work of its governors, chaplains, surgeons and visiting magistrates. He looks at the role of the warders and at the lives of the male, female and juvenile prisoners who made up the gaol community.
Elizabeth Ellen Osborne, Geoffrey Mellor, Peter Buckley and Bruce Fisher Mid-Cheshire Memories - Volume 1 The last century has seen more change than any other in history and we believe that the memories of those who lived during this period should be collected for posterity before it is too late. This book is the first of what we hope will be a series covering ways of life and occupations that have now changed out of all recognition or vanished for ever - The Horseman and his family; The Apprentice Mechanic’s Tale; The Apprentice Fitter’s Tale; The Fireman’s Tale of the End of Steam
Percy Youd Tales from a Sporting Life. Memories of a Mersey man who made his mark. Percy Youd was a man's man: born in 1879, he excelled at shooting, bowls, athletics and fist-fighting. He was born in Frodsham, where he 'wagged off' school; worked in Helsby at the cable factory; was sent as a foreman to its sister works in Prescot where he also ran a popular sporting pub; was an NCO in WWI; set up business as an auctioneer in Ellesmere Port; and had a landlady in Birkenhead with a crystal ball. He was a friend of Selwyn Lloyd MP and organised a 100,000-name petition to save a murderer from the gallows.
Victor William Dilworth Happy Days and Heartbreak Days: A farmer's son relives his 1920s childhood. Victor Dilworth has written a sensitive evocation of his childhood on a Shropshire farm in the 1920s that is so full of detail that it immediately comes to life. The youngest of a large family - "the scratching of the pot" as he calls himself - his busy parents have little time for him until he can play a useful part in the household, so he watches everyone at work and asks endless questions about what's going on. In this gem of a book he describes his feelings and experiences from the time of his very first memories until he is a schoolboy.
Andrew Moilliet (Editor) Elizabeth Anne Galton (1808 - 1906): A Well-connected Gentlewoman Elizabeth Anne Galton dictated her memories to her daughter at the end of a long life which had started in the days of dancing bears and ended when motor cars were the latest status symbol. She attended Queen Victoria's Coronation and Wellington's public funeral. A list of her connections would be a "Who's Who" of the 19th century. The great Charles Darwin was her cousin and she was related to many of the famous Quaker business families. This book is a treasure trove for social and family historians alike - readers will find fascinating new facts on every page.
Tony Bostock Owners, Occupiers and Others: 17th Century Northwich
Leading local historian Tony Bostock has produced a detailed book about life in Northwich, Cheshire during the 17th century - a time of great religious, social, political and economic change. Drawing on many years' research into contemporary documents he describes the traditional and highly-regulated way that salt was made in Northwich - an industrial town in a pre-industrial age - and looks at the daily lives of its inhabitants.
William K Blinkhorn A History of Whiston: From the Stone Age to the Plastic Age
William K Blinkhorn's wide-ranging book is a fascinating and readable dip into the past of the Merseyside coal-mining town of Whiston. He traces the story of Whiston from its Stone Age beginnings to the closure of one of its most modern industries, a plastics factory. He looks at numerous facets of the town's history including the lords of the manor, place-name derivations, religion, schools, agriculture and industry.
Kathleen Lord Pinafore Street: A Fenland childhood
In vivid and witty detail, Kathleen Lord (née Hall) describes her childhood in Boston, Lincolnshire in the years after the First World War, bringing a long-gone era sharply into focus. In 2004, now nearly 90, her memoirs were written after she retired about 30 years ago and will be read with nostalgic pleasure by her contemporaries and with great interest by those who love social history.
G C Kanjilal Twelve Red Roses
The third book of collected poems by retired consultant psychiatrist Gopal Kanjilal, in which he writes of his late wife Nana, comments on September 11 2001 and the foot and mouth epidemic, and pens his highly individual thoughts on everyday matters. Part of the proceeds go to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
Jack Orrell It's muck you want: The humorous story of a double life
Retired optician Jack Orrell writes of the hectic years after WW2 when he and his wife turned a rundown Shropshire farm (previously condemned by the war Agricultural Committee for bad husbandry) into a model example of modern farming techniques. He commuted a daily 70-mile round trip to continue working as an optician at Ellesmere Port and spent all the rest of the day as a farmer. The author's royalties will go to the Cancer Research Campaign.
Mavis Abraham and W K Blinkhorn Inns of Prescot and Whiston
A study of the inns, hotels, public houses and taverns in Prescot and Whiston from the 16th century to the 1990s.
William K Blinkhorn From Spytell Hous to Hospital
The story of the care of the poor, infirm and mentally ill in the Whiston area since the days of lazar houses in the 12th and 13th century.
Ken Wilbraham Beyond the Stile - A Cheshire lad remembers
Ken Wilbraham remembers his post-war childhood growing up in the village of Guilden Suton near Chester, where a child's paradise lay beyond the stile and his caring parents' chaotic home was full of his eccentric father's unfinished projects.
Roy Clinging Cheshire Folk Songs & associated traditions
Folk musician Roy Clinging has compiled and edited a collection of 60 songs from his native Cheshire, which are published here together with explanatory notes. Fifty of the songs are printed with their music and a practise/audition CD is available to accompany the book which will help those who prefer to learn their melodies by ear.
Tony Horner Kingsthorpe - a royal manor explored
This must surely be the definitive history of Kingsthorpe, now a suburb of Northampton but once a proud royal manor. The author, who was born in the village, has done exhaustive research and his 380-page book covers all aspects of Kingsthorpe's past. Historians and genealogists can consult the large index on-line.
Carl Leckey Tales of the Cut
Carl Leckey MBE has spent his life on the waterways of the North West, working as a tugman, lock-keeper and union convenor. His hilarious book contains a wealth of stories about the characters and situations he encountered every day. When ill-health forced him to take early retirement he decided to write them down - changing the names to avoid embarrassing his old colleagues. He says: "Not many people are lucky enough to have a job where they can't wait to get out of bed in the morning..."
Jack Orrell I Bought a boat
Jack Orrell never does things by halves. At the age of 90, he has written a sequel to "It's muck you want!", which tells how he and Sheila moved to the Wirral and he took up sailing even more seriously, going in for various national competitions in fast racing dinghies before deciding to broaden their horizons by buying a succession of sailing cruisers. Eventually he found he'd owned 24... Sheila was an indispensable member of the cruiser crew because she could cook and was never seasick, and she contributes a chapter about one of their cruises and another on a walk they undertook together around the coast of Anglesey.
Ursula Sherratt Ursula - Pain and prejudice
Under the brutal anti-Semitic regime in Hitler's Nazi Germany, young Ursula suffered for the fact that she was half-Jewish - "an undesirable, worthless human being". Her Jewish mother was sent to a concentration camp and Ursula witnessed the horrific fire-bombing of her beloved Hamburg when "there was no sky, no stars and no world, just a form of hell". Then when the city was occupied by the victorious Allies, Ursula fell in love with her future husband, Yorkshire soldier Frank Sherratt. She had no idea of the cruel problems that would confront her in the future...
Harry Andrews The Follies of a Victorian athlete
Some athletes have always sought to outdo their competitors by fair means or foul, and while nowadays they might take performance-enhancing substances, in the 19th century they resorted to fiddling the handicap system. With betting on races being the norm, there were temptations, too, to deliberately 'throw' a winning position. In those days, there was also the inflexible distinction between amateurs and professionals which was rigorously imposed by the sport's governing body. Shropshire-born runner William Snook (1861-1916) was an outstanding athlete whose sporting career was cut short by rule-breaking controversy, and whose personal life was tarnished by scandal.
Edward Dutton The Ruler of Cheshire
Beyond the control of the crown, Early Tudor Cheshire was a lawless gangland in which warring magnates battled for power. None were more ruthless than Sir Piers Dutton. Friend of Henry VIII's chief minister Thomas Cromwell, trusted servant of the king, and son of one of Cheshire's most influential families, Dutton drew upon a combination of cut-throat guile, carefully cultivated connections, and pure good luck to destroy his enemies and dominate the county palatine.

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