I work with parish councils, parish meetings, community groups, community managed libraries and neighbourhood planning groups. 

I write books, mainly about history, undertake research and heritage projects, and use photography to illustrate my work.

Aways interested in new projects, supporting community organisations and parish councils.  If I can be of help, please contact me.

'Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!'

Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

The imagery of bells

My current writing project is a an exploration of the imagery of bells in culture, literature and religion over the centuries. 

I have been inspired by visits to the John Taylor Bell Foundry in Loughborough when I was researching for Professor Michael Wood's Great British Story BBC TV series

From the ancient excommunication ritual of the Roman Catholic church to the dark imaginings of Shakespeare's Macbeth and the use of bells in modern culture by rock bands such as AC/DC and Metallica, this is a subject with fascinating and sometimes very dark resonances.

'I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven or to hell.'

William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 1.

The Friends of Flowergate Unitarian Chapel in Whitby are launching a mammoth fundraising campaign to restore the building and open it up to the community. The chapel, which few residents have ever seen, let alone visitors, is now in need of restoration throughout to preserve it for future generations.

Community Managed Libraries

Aross the country, community managed libraries are sharing their experience and knowledge to provide a valuable and important service. 

In Leicestershire, for example, there are nearly thirty small libraries operating under community management.

As well as issuing books, these libraries organise author events, organise advice sessions on health, safety and personal finance, and work with schools to encourage reading during school holidays.

A book for Christmas?

Many of the high street names that meet our twenty-first century needs began with men and women who had ideas, imagination and sheer determination in a different age.  Shopping is a universal part of modern-day life, and in British Retail I look at the people behind the corporations that built the modern-day high street and changed the way we shopped.

Henry Curry began making bicycles to earn an income to support his family and went on to found Curry's PC World.  James Wilkinson sold household goods in a quiet neighbourhood street in Leicester, and always offered a fair deal.  He founded the Wilko chain of retail stores.  George Davies was a buyer of stockings and tights for Littlewoods Stores who launched Next before creating his own company, George.

This book is a celebration of the people who, through self-belief and determination created the multi-million-pound retail businesses we use every day.

Published in hardback by Pen & Sword.

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