Saturday, 18 June 2016

Ready for publication .......... stories behind the book nu 28 sending down to the publisher

An occasional series on the stories behind the new book on Manchester and the Great War*

Now I say ready but it would be more accurate to say the text is complete the images have been assembled and all the fiddily bits like an index, acknowledgements and bibliography are done, and later today it will go the old fashioned way down to the publishers.

Of course there will be a degree of editing and just possibly they won’t like it which I suppose will mean a shed load of blog stories based on bits of the book.

Already new projects are crowding in but as you do before I clear the desk and carefully save everything to several external hard drives it is worth a bit of reflection on how it was all made possible.

Back in 2013 I had the commission and arrogantly thought what could be simpler.  But the images proved elusive on the scale I needed them and I realised my knowledge base on what actually was going on in Manchester during the Great War was not actually very much.

After all you can’t base a book on a few general histories, a couple of pictures of munitions workers and a Zeppelin, especially as to my knowledge no enemy airship flew over Chorlton.

But things have a habit of turning out right in the end.

The research was painful but at least the images proved easy because just over a year and a bit ago I met David Harrop whose collection of memorabilia from two world wars is huge.

Now the story of that collection has, does and will appear on the blog so I shall just say that David has supplied all but six of the 80 images I needed, allowed me to crawl over his collection and even went out looking for new material for the book.

And that really is pretty much it, although it would be churlish not to also mention Liz Sykes,Sally Dervan, Tricia Lesley, Lawrence Beedle, Ken Fisher, Andy Robertson, Bob Jones and Bill Sumner and plenty of others who have  made contributions, suggestions as well as giving encouragement.

Picture; cover of book, adapted from the original for the series Great War Britain, the History Press by Peter Topping

*A new book on Manchester and the Great War,

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