Author Topic: Lancashire Cotton Famine Book  (Read 393 times)

Offline Viktoria

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Lancashire Cotton Famine Book
« on: Wednesday 26 December 18 11:02 GMT (UK) »
I was bought a reprint of a book of Lancashire dialect poetry for Christmas.
The poems in very heavy dialect are about the hard times in the cotton famine ,when Lancashire operatives did not want to work with cotton produced on slave plantations.
There were also blockades at ports ,but there was a  high degree of sacrifice
too.
I was speaking to the giver,when thanking them and mentioned a book about the subject,for the life of me I can’t remember the title.
A novel,but based on fact and at the front a copy of Abraham Lincoln’s letter to the people of Lancashire,thanking them for the great sacrifices they made.
One incident in the book stands out,a bigoted bible thumping preacher takes advantage of a young girl.
He starts buying up the little mills which were closing down and selling for very little money.
He takes advantage of this too,
However the young man who was in love with the girl,knows what has happened,and “fixes “the pressure gauge on a Lancashire boiler,very dangerous!
I won’t say more if anyone wants to read it.


Do any of you clever people recognise the book,and author as the person who gave me the poetry book is now very interested?
I would like to own a copy ,read it first in about 1976 but The Hungry Mills ,which may be the one,was not published until 1978 .
I bought a copy second hand at the Church book fair,but stupidly sent it back with some others I donated  time later.
However I copied the letter from Lincoln.
Any help much appreciated with many thanks in advance.
Hope everyone had a really nice day,just my son and lovely daughter in law
and myself,lots of family phone calls and I was only five minutes late with the food!
Cheerio.
Viktoria.

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Offline ainslie

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Re: Lancashire Cotton Famine
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 26 December 18 11:08 GMT (UK) »
Was it King Cotton by Thomas Armstrong?  A big fat book.
Not sure about Thomas.
A

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Offline Viktoria

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Re: Lancashire Cotton Famine
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 26 December 18 11:29 GMT (UK) »
Now that sound familiar,many thanks.
The young hero works in Liverpool exchange !makes a trip to America I remember.He and the young man who”adjusts” the pressure gauge are good friends.
Why on Earth I gave it away after looking again
for it for so many years is beyond me!
I will google it.
When I put famine in it keeps sending up the blasted Hunger Games!!!
Thank you very much.
My son who always buys very unusual presents,although born in Lancashire
and is interested in everything ,when he is interested goes at it as if he is doing a dissertation for another degree!
We were talking about the cotton famine (Christmas Day!)and now he wants to know more about that.
Last year’s present was a sort of bangle,made of rusty iron.
It was Slave Money from The Congo.
Rather like a neck torque,but wrist size. Not to wear but melt down for weapons by the tribal chiefs,who sold their tribesmen to Arab slave traders.
A dreadful thing but interesting.
To think a human being could be bought and sold at all let alone
for a bit of iron that would fit a child’s wrist.
What I will do with it I don’ know except it is another item to add to some I have used in a talk on Lancashire,the refusal by our ancestors up here to work using cotton produced by people bought and sold for such an object.etc.
They are called. Manillas.
Thanks again
Viktoria.
P.S.I have just seen Thomas Armstrong wrote The  Crowthers of Bankdam.
Another “textile “ book and a really good read.
James Mason stared in the film,another story with a twist!
Worth a read. V.

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Lancashire Cotton Famine Book
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 27 December 18 17:02 GMT (UK) »
Your son may be interested in listening to the podcast "Lancashire Cotton Famine" from Melvin Bragg's BBC Radio 4 series "In Our Time".
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05tly3f
The website page has links and a reading list including "Home Life of the Lancashire Factory folk During the Cotton Famine" by Edwin Waugh, text of which is available to read online. Waugh related accounts of visits to homes of destitute cotton operatives in Preston, Blackburn and other towns.

Offline Viktoria

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Re: Lancashire Cotton Famine Book
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 27 December 18 17:55 GMT (UK) »
Thankyou so much,He now lives “Dahl sarf”, and had no great knowledge of those events.
We were surrounded by mills in Manchester ,now I live in a small moorland town where spinning and weaving were the main industries.
Such names as ,Ashton,Stockton,Turnbull etc all connected by marriage etc and famous for sheeting,towels and calico printing.
It is a fascinating period of history ,and shaped we gritty Northen characters.
You know, “We were so poor we had no shoes but on Sundays we Cherry Blossomed our feet”.
As Les Dawson said ‘We were so poor we thought knives and forks were jewellery”.
But in reality not funny at all,and the poorer I find my ancestors  were the prouder I am of them.
Thank you again.
The book of poetry he bought me is by Joseph Ramsbottom,perhaps not as well known as Samuel Laycock( Thar’t welcomes bonny brid” or the works of zEdwin Waugh,whose memorial is at Foe Edge on Scout Moore,the hills surrounding us.
Cheerio and my gratitude.
Viktoria.
I have a lot to read and my son will now do it all to degree level ::) ::)

Offline andrewalston

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Re: Lancashire Cotton Famine Book
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 03 January 19 07:59 GMT (UK) »
Somewhere in your book of verse I bet you'll find one of my mum's favourites - "Welcome Bonny Brid" by Samuel Laycock.

It makes most sense when you know that it was written during the Cotton Famine. Laycock was unemployed and turned to writing to make a little money.

http://www.pixnet.co.uk/Oldham-hrg/miscellany/dialect/sam-laycock/bonny-brid.html
Looking at ALSTON in south Ribble area, ALSTEAD and DONBAVAND/DUNBABIN etc. everywhere, HOWCROFT and MARSH in Bolton and Westhoughton, PICKERING in the Whitehaven area.

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Offline Viktoria

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Re: Lancashire Cotton Famine Book
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 03 January 19 10:50 GMT (UK) »
Oh yes,”Thart welcome Bonny brid,
              But tha shunta cum just when tha did
              Toimes is ard.”
Bonny brid is Bonny bird,you get that juxtaposition of consonants often in Lancashire dialect.
The father who is talking is going to make the new baby a wooden spoon which would be what everyone of that class of society would use,and wooden bowls.
Imagine a new baby when the family and all families around them were starving.
And imagine leaving pretty moorland villages to live in Manchester and other towns,where housing was as bad as could be and tied by ownership of the mills where the people worked.
Built as cheaply as possible,as close together as possible,as near to the mill as possible,as basic as possible.
Never bother about sanitation,one Earth closet for ten houses would do and as for water ,well there was a river nearby,you know the one the tanneries discharged their foul water into.
Again if you get the chance read Fredrick Engels’ book.”The Conditions  of The Working Poor”. Excuse me if you are familiar with all this but if not it will shock you.
It ought to be compulsory reading for schools.
Is your Mum still alive ,if so give her my regards and I hope she enjoys her Lancashire poetry for many years to come.
She would also enjoy a book of simple verses by an old lady from Bolton”Bowton”,Louisa Bearman,Poems in the Lancashire Dialect.
ISBN O 85206 423 3.
Printed byGeo Todd &Son Marlborough St. Whitehaven.
Possibly not in existence anymore but worth tracking down.
More modern and the dialect not so rich but very poignant and sometimes very funny.
Thank you for your reminder of “Bonny Brid”.
Viktoria.
In Manchester ,on the street where Chetham’s is there was a black and white half timbered building,The Sun Inn,frequented by poets like Samuel Laycock
Ben Brierley and Edwin Waugh.It was nicknamed “Poet’s Corner”.
All wrote in dialect,very broad.
If you get a chance do read King Cotton by Thomas Armstrong.
I tells vividly of the hardships suffered by Lancashire weavers and spinners when the ports of the Southern States were blockaded in The Civil War.
But it must not be forgotten that Lancashire also voluntarily decided not to use cotton produced on plantations using Slave  labour.


Offline jds1949

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Re: Lancashire Cotton Famine Book
« Reply #7 on: Friday 04 January 19 08:55 GMT (UK) »
An excellent history of the cotton famine is: "The Hungry Mills" by Norman Longmate [ISBN 0 8511 1427] 


Well worth a read if you can get hold of a copy - your local library should be able to get hold of one.


jds1949
Swarbrick - all and any - specially interested in all who served in WW1

Offline Viktoria

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Re: Lancashire Cotton Famine Book
« Reply #8 on: Friday 04 January 19 10:33 GMT (UK) »
Thankyou,I will try to trace it.
My son who is now interested will track it down most likely,he finds very unusual presents,but is glad of some idea what I would like.
Thanks again.
Viktoria.