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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:29 pm 
Spider Lady
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Location: Staffordshire
Bob Dobson also sent me a copy of 'Memories of Colne' Mrs Cryer. (Thanks Bob)
Landy Publishing have reprinted this book with additional images and a foreward by Christine Bradley from Colne library.

What a fascinating book! I have to be honest and say that it held little interest for me initially as my connections with Colne are only through the baptisms and marriages that were carried out at the Church there over the years.
How wrong was I! I had told myself that I would read this book at the weekend when I have more time. I decided to read the forewood while eating my lunch and have only just put it down...and that is only so that I can go and make a coffee!Although I am not very familiar with Colne, Mrs Cryer paints such a vivid image of the town that it is difficult not to imagine what she is describing. I vaguely recognise some of the names and places she mentions, one or two I have read about here on the forum in the news articles. It seems strange to read about someones' actual memories of an event that I have transcribed from a news article onto this forum.
The illustrations within the book hold an interest of their own, someprovide faces to names, others a better idea of what a building or road looked like. For example, there is an image of the home where Elizabeth Shackleton (nee Parker) wrote much of her 18th century diary. I could picture Mr Shackleton staggering home up the driveway, in a drunken state as she so often told us.
Not only does Mrs Cryer talk fondly of the people she remembers, she also tells of the fashions and goings on of the times. I almost feel as if I am sat by a roaring fire listening to her as she tells me of her memories.

For those who have not heard of this book, this is what the description on the back says.

What Mrs Cryer had to say of her memories of Colne was so popular in the Colne & Nelson Times that it was republished as a book. This present book is a reprint of that one, slightly enlarged with some extra pictures of Old Colne and an introduction by the Colne Local Studies librarian.
In 1910, Mrs Cryer (born Margaret Jane Ward) was 70 years old, with a sharp mind, crystal-clear memory, and the ability to interest. She walks around Colne with the reader, pointing out where shops stood and who kept them, long-forgotten pubs and the 'characters' who frequented them.
At an early stage she points out that, in the main, she is recalling Colne in the 1850s and '60s. Her memory for names of individuals and families is astounding. Many of the people she talks about, be they shopkeepers, publicans, or fellow churchgoers, bear names still common in Colne - Sagar, Hartley, Carr, Parker, Earnshaw. She talks of the week-long annual fair with rides which were hand-propelled, and of the Royal Mail being brought to town by galloping horse-drawn coaches. Of later years, she recalls the earliest motor cars and steam lurries, though "people had scarcely got used to trains".
Few towns have a record of life to match that given to colne by Mrs Cryer.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the life of the people of the 19th century.

You could have warned me that I would have to give up my afternoon once I started on it Bob :wink:


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