Cleator Moor Revealed

Having spent the best part of last month rewriting my Dad’s old book, and adding new content, I’m pleased to be able to announce that it is now available to buy from Amazon. It is bigger, and better than before. You can GET IT HERE.

  • Cleator Moor Revealed is available worldwide from Amazon.

When my Dad’s book was released in 2003, it was the first to have been written about the former Cumbrian mining town in half a century. A limited print run of 1,000 copies quickly cleared the shelves.

During the first six months of its release, the book was constantly listed in the top 10 books of Cumbria. That accolade highlighted how popular local history and my Dad’s book in particular were. His old book is still proving just as popular today, with some book sellers charging in excess of £250 for second hand copies.

Cleator Moor Revealed will make an ideal addition to the collections of local history buffs; for those wanting to learn more about their roots; or simply as a gift for those that love the town, which is also known as Little Ireland.

Cleator Moor Revealed
Cleator Moor Revealed

Tom Duffy said:

Those that were living at Cleator Moor during the war years, will reminisce over the descriptions and old photographs of the town. The younger generation of today, will marvel at how Cleator Moor used to be one of the richest towns in the world due to incredibly pure iron ore deposits beneath the ground. This is a book for all to enjoy.

This is a fascinating book; combining a potted history with imagery of past times. It is sure to be a big seller once more.

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This revised and updated version of Cleator Moor Revealed brings to you more content, and images of past times. Tom Duffy discloses the ‘highs and lows’ of a town which was once at the heart of British Industry, feeding the Industrial Revolution of Great Britain.

Cleator Moor, or Little Ireland, as the local residents affectionately know it, came into being during the 12th Century, with Monks working the land. The town grew from a few farmhouses into an important industrialised centre due to very pure Iron Ore that was held in huge quantities beneath the ground.

From a settlement of 330 in 1688, Cleator Moor grew to house 10,420 souls by 1871 – thirty six percent of whom were Irish. The Irish in Cleator Moor were predominantly Roman Catholic but the general influx into the mines and industry of West Cumbria also brought others of a different persuasion from the same country and with them a particular sectarianism to add to the anti-Catholicism of Victorian England.

For a short period, between 1860 and 1880, West Cumberland haematite held a monopoly control of the market. At that time, Cleator Moor became one of the richest mining areas in the world.

Through the pages of this book, you’ll discover important past events that help to preserve an Irish heritage, which is so important to the people and town of Cleator Moor. From the origins of its name through its development as a prosperous mining town, Tom Duffy has searched out all the kind of details that make this a fascinating read.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1687094950
  • ISBN-13: 978-1687094957
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1 x 22.9 cm

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Tom Duffy was born in 1937, raised and educated in Cleator Moor. Like many from the town, he has the obligatory Irish lineage; with a mix of Manx thrown in for good measure.

Following his school years, he worked for a short period of time at Brannons Thermometers, before gaining employment at the Miller shoe factory in nearby Egremont.

In 1955, Tom carried out his National Service with the Border Regiment, and then returned to Millers in 1957. In 1975, during a great depression, he was made redundant.

Tom secured employment with British Nuclear Fuels Ltd in 1976. Then, when he retired in 1999, Tom began to research the history of his home town, and released his first book in June of 2003.

Tom is married to Margaret, has three children and five grandchildren.

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A Portrait Of My Dad

A Portrait Of My Dad

I don’t normally do portrait shots. Maybe it’s a nervousness that has kept me away from doing them. However, I’m more than happy around family and this one was necessary for a project that I’ve been working on, in conjunction with my Dad.

In 2003, I helped my Dad publish his first book ‘Cleator Moor Revealed’. It was all about the history of a small town that came to prominence during the Industrial Revolution due to incredibly pure deposits of Iron Ore beneath the ground. As a result, the town became one of the richest in the world. But, due to advances in the Bessemer steel making process, hard earned successes went into decline.

Portrait Of My Dad
Portrait Of My Dad

Having seen old copies of my Dad’s book for sale on the internet at a ridiculous price of £250, I decided it was time to revisit it, and set about rewriting. When his book was first released, it had a limited print run of 1,000 copies. During the first six months of its release, the book was constantly listed in the top 10 books of Cumbria. That accolade highlighted how popular local history and my Dad’s book in particular were.

  • So, here we are. Sixteen years after it was first published, Cleator Moor Revealed is to be republished.

Cleator Moor Revealed will be available worldwide from Amazon. The book will make an ideal addition to the collections of local history buffs; for those wanting to learn more about their roots; or simply as a gift for those that love the town, which is also known as Little Ireland.

Those that were living at Cleator Moor during the war years, will reminisce over the descriptions and old photographs of the town. The younger generation of today will marvel at how Cleator Moor used to be one of the richest towns in the world due to the Iron Ore – with labourers living in slums and land owners emulating Kings.

Cleator Moor Revealed - ISBN 9781687094957
Cleator Moor Revealed – ISBN 9781687094957

A side project to the book has been the creation of a website which is dedicated to the town of Cleator Moor. The website is still in its infancy, but has attracted over 3,500 page views in the first week.

  • Locally, Cleator Moor is known as Little Ireland. During the early years when Iron Ore was dug beneath the town, hundreds of labourers fleeing the Irish potato famine came looking for work. By 1871, over thirty-six percent of the town was Irish.

Little Ireland, the website, will bring local history, news, and other snippets of information to the folk of Cleator Moor. It will also act as an advertising platform for the book, helping people to find their way through the jungle, which is otherwise known as Amazon.

  • Cleator Moor Revealed will be published on 20th September 2019.

About My Dad

Tom Duffy was born in 1937, raised and educated in Cleator Moor. Like many from the town, he has the obligatory Irish lineage; with a mix of Manx thrown in for good measure.

Following his school years, he worked for a short period of time at Brannons Thermometers, before gaining employment at the Miller shoe factory in nearby Egremont.

In 1955, Tom carried out his National Service with the Border Regiment, and then returned to Millers in 1957. In 1975, during a great depression, he was made redundant.

Tom secured employment with British Nuclear Fuels Ltd in 1976. Then, when he retired in 1999, Tom began to research the history of his home town, and released his first book in June of 2003.

Tom is married to Margaret, has three children and five grandchildren.

300,000 Poppy Seeds Sown

Today, I did something that I’ve thought about doing for quite some time. I hope my undertaking comes to fruition next year and that I haven’t wasted a few hours trying to spread some cheer.

On almost every street corner, wherever you are located, there is a piece of barren land calling out for intervention. I’ve attempted to answer that calling with flower bombing of the wastelands.

Hopefully in 2020, there will be 300,000 bright red Poppies springing forth in the West Cumbria village of Moor Row with enough vigour to bring about a smile to the discerning.

Poppies are wildlife-friendly plants, having abundant, accessible pollen for bees, hoverflies, and other pollen dependant insects, so hopefully these flamboyant beauties will also attract wildlife to the area.

  • The variety of a poppy I’ve sown were Papaver Rhoeas – The Common Poppy. They grow up to 28″ high and produce large showy flowers. Hopefully.

300,000 Poppy Seeds

300,000 Poppy Seeds

Secret Book

Hidden Book Phenomenon

Thousands of books have been hidden across the Cumbrian countryside for children to discover. Clues are given on social media in relation to their locations.

The hidden books scheme was started by a woman from Parton, in West Cumbria, who wanted to give her grandchildren something to do during the summer months.

  • I think this is a fantastic idea. It combines a sense of adventure with the excitement of discovery and will encourage children to read!

Hundreds of people have been participating in the scheme since it began a few weeks ago. Cumbria Police have even been getting in on the act. Several copycat Facebook groups have sprung up, replicating this amazing hidden book phenomenon.

The book I found, hidden beneath a twisted tree at Longlands Lake was left there by Harley and Poppy – a note said, “You are the lucky finder of this book. Keep it as long as you please. When you have finished with it, rehide for someone else to find and enjoy”.

I left the book in situ for eager children to discover.

Well done to all those involved. It’s great to see so many people participating in this rewarding, and innovative scheme. Sometimes the simplest of ideas are the best!

A Hidden Book For Children To Discover
A Hidden Book For Children To Discover
Wave Petunias

Pretty Petunias

I’m amazed. A few weeks ago, I shared a photo with you of some Wave Petunias that I had planted. I’m not a flowery person, and haven’t got a clue about growing plants. Despite the odds of success being low, and the chances of me killing the Petunias being extremely high, I’ve somehow managed to grow something that actually looks OK! 😊

Now that I’ve got them flourishing, I guess I’ll have to sit with fingers crossed, and wait for them to begin to flow over the edge of the two fence troughs that they’re pullulating in. Knowing my luck, some little runt will come along and pull them all out. Lol.

I’ve probably planted the flowers too late in the year to have a fantastic display, but at least I have a little colour, and am more aware of what I’m doing for next time around. I’m already thinking of buying a propagator. I might be hooked. Hmm.. what should I do for winter? Lol.

Wave Petunias
Wave Petunias

Brown Thumbed

The opposite of green fingered, is brown thumbed. Where plants are concerned, I haven’t had much luck at all. Whatever I plant has a tendency to die. Maybe I should water them. Perhaps artificial would be better?

Seriously though, I have never been very interested in flowers. Hell – I live in a home without a garden. I didn’t want the hassle of weeding, digging, and whatever else goes into making green things grow.

But. In recent weeks, I’ve been thinking of what I can do to brighten up the front of my house. My first investment was a large pot. That has now got two lovely flowery things growing in it. My neighbour says that they will get too big – she’s probably right. How was I to know that Hydrangeas can grow to a substantial size? lol

The past week, I’ve been tending to some Trailing Wave Petunias that I’m planning on adding to a couple of troughs that I’ll attach to my fence. The flowers haven’t died yet, so I must be doing something right.

Petunias – Do I space them close together, or wide apart? They’re dainty little things at the moment – I’m worried I’m being lulled into a false sense of security. I don’t want to be caught out by what might be aggressive growers. Help! What do I do? 😂

Trailing Wave Petunias
Trailing Wave Petunias

Fridge Magnet

Due to having an enforced slow-down due to a medical condition, I decided to have a fiddle in PhotoShop to see what I could create. I took a photo of a souvenir from a ‘years ago’ holiday – a fridge magnet (why do we buy them?) and then set about manipulating the scene.

  • The water texture was created within Photoshop using a variety of tools: Noise filter; Blur; Chalk & Charcoal; Blur; Bas Relief; Motion Blur; Gradient Map, etc.
  • The sky was added from a stock collection.
  • The sunburst and light elements were added within Photoshop.

I hope my image of a ship sailing at sunset is fairly convincing 🙂

Try this challenge yourself!

Photo Of A Fridge Magnet
Fridge Magnet
Heart Palpitations

Thump Thump, Ba Boom

A few month ago, palpitations reared their head. And as quick as they came, they disappeared. Then, last month they reappeared, bringing about sleepless nights and a uncomfortable thumping in my neck. At times, my pulse would skip a beat, and then speed up. On four occasions, my heart rate shot up to around 150 bpm:

  • 03/06/2019 @ 03:50 – 147 bpm
  • 03/06/2019 @ 05:59 – 155 bpm
  • 04/06/2019 @ 06:00 – 147 bpm
  • 06/06/2019 @ 21:50 – 150 bpm

Generally, my heart rate is around 55 when relaxed. And, my blood pressure is 118/70 – which is normal. I’ve sought medical help this time around, and I’m currently in the examination phase – i.e., trying to work out what is occurring.

When I first contacted my GP, an initial ECG showed an irregular heartbeat. As a result of that test, and in consultation with a Cardiologist, I was prescribed the Bisoprolol beta-blocker. Blood tests were carried out, and they didn’t show any abnormalities.

Last week, I had a 24hr ECG trace carried out, which revealed similar results to the initial test. Now, I’ve been referred for an echocardiogram at my local hospital so that the structure of my heart can be looked at in detail. More blood tests are on the horizon.

Initial thoughts are that I’m suffering from Atrial Fibrillation – it’s a weird sensation when my heart gives a flutter – it’s almost like jelly quivering. Hopefully the echocardiogram will offer up a solution – I just hope it isn’t popping a pill for the rest of my life. I’m all for cardioversion, or catheter ablation.

Fingers crossed that I won’t have to wait too long for a way forward. Having to slow things down has been frustrating, especially so when I would be up a local mountain, enjoying the summer sun.

My learning from all of this is that the NHS comes into its own during a ‘personal crisis’ of this kind. I’m thankful for that. I’m not overly concerned with the situation, as I know I’m in good hands with the team assigned to me.

Whitehaven Heretofore

You might have noticed a little inactivity on here over the past few weeks. It’s because I’ve been collating my local history material and putting it back online as an educational resource for those that might be interested. I’d previously removed it all as a kind of protest against Facebook which swallows up much traffic nowadays. Small, local websites have suffered as a result of Facebook. People just don’t seem to move outside of the Zuckerberg behemoth. It’s kinda sad really.

Hopefully youngsters of today (and perhaps a few adults) will get as much enjoyment learning about the town of Whitehaven, in West Cumbria, as I did when I was a mischievous thirteen-year-old. It’s all there online for anyone curious enough to go looking.

For the new site, I opted to use Blogger instead of WordPress for simplicity reasons. Plus, it has allowed me to add vital scripts to integrate a pop-up shopping cart – something that is difficult to do on here due to WordPress constraints with my package.

The site showcases historical information alongside imagery of Whitehaven. It has been a real pleasure delving back into the history of my home town.

There is still a lot more to do, such as design tweaks and adding more content, but it’s now ready for a public release. Please do give the site a visit:

Whitehaven Heretofore

Whitehaven Heretofore