Excited to find my book on the Pre-order list from Pen and Sword Books

So happy with how my forthcoming book, The Great Thorpe Railway Disaster 1874, looks on the latest pre-order listings from my publisher Pen and Sword Books. To see my cover amongst all those others, each written by a hard working author is very exciting indeed. Can you find it? Marketing is ramping up locally too – it’s all to play for come September!

My Great-Great Grandfather dies in railway accident 1895

Having spent the past 24 months or so researching and writing up the lives of the 28 men, women and children who perished as a result of The Great Thorpe Railway Disaster 1874, I have recently begun looking into my own family tree and the lives of my ancestors. To my amazement, I discovered (firstly through a tip from a long lost cousin from Yorkshire) that my Great-Great Grandfather (on my mother’s side), one William Atkins, a farmer from Yeadon in the Yorkshire Dales, was killed when he was 49 years old, as a result of trying to run across the railway line as the goods express from Liverpool to Bradford was pulling into Apperley Station. I was shocked and saddened. During my research I had learnt many people regularly died during the age of Victorian railways, but never imagined there would be a casualty amongst my own direct kin. I found the newspaper report below via British Newspaper Archive online, and applied for his death certificate, just to be sure. Now to write it down as part of the narrative building up about my family.

The newspaper report reads:

A Yeadon Farmer run over and killed

On Thursday morning about twenty-five minutes past six o’clock, a shocking fatality occurred at Apperley Bridge Station. At the hour named, William Atkinson (sic), aged 49, farmer of Stone Top Farm, Yeadon, was crossing the metals by the level crossing, when he was caught by the engine of a goods express running from Liverpool to Bradford, and was killed. Atkins was found about 40 yards from the crossing by a porter, lying in a pool of blood on the down line with his skull terrible smashed. He had evidently been struck on the head by the buffer, and death must have been instantaneous. The body was removed to the gentleman’s first-class waiting room to await an inquest. At the time of the accident he was carrying a milk-can, which was not in the least damaged. He has been in the habit of driving to the station every morning for the purpose of sending his milk to Leeds. The Leeds train had just slowed up this morning when he attempted to run across the level crossing.

Bradford Daily Telegraph Friday 25 January 1875

Apperley Station Biography Book Reviews Books Broadland District Council Family History Family Tree Magazine Genealogy Great Thorpe Railway Disaster Great Thorpe Railway Disaster 1874 Henry Patteson Heritage Open Days Heritage Railways History Jarrold Jarrold Book Department Jarrold Department Store John Patteson Masonic Brotherhood Non-fiction books Norfolk Family History Society Norwich Pen and Sword Books Pen and Sword History Pen and Sword Transport Pete Goodrum Phyllida Scrivens Pre-order Railway Disasters Railways St Andrew's Church Thorpe St Andrew The Assembly House Norwich The Forum Norwich The Great Thorpe Railway Disaster 1874 The Rushcutters Inn Thorpe History Group Thorpe St Andrew Thorpe St Andrew Town Council U3A Norwich Victorian history Walpole Lodge Warners Group Publications Who Do You Think You Are Magazine Yeadon

The book world learns of my new title….

With final edits and the index still works in progress, I was amazed today to discover that the Marketing Department of Pen and Sword Books has been busy promoting my book to the world as a ‘forthcoming title’. Via the magic of the internet companies such as Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles, W.H. Smith, Wordery, Bookshop.com, Amazon (UK, US and Aus), Google Books, Lehmanns (Germany) include my book in their listings. I even found one originating in Taiwan. I feel excited but slightly intimidated! No pressure then! You can view some of these pages via the slideshow below.

Blue Plaque to Patteson Brothers appears in Thorpe St Andrew June 2021

At the time of the Great Thorpe Railway Disaster of 1874, these two brothers were influential neighbours, living in grand houses opposite River Green in the Norwich village of Thorpe St Andrew. There is evidence to show that wealthy Norwich brewer Henry Patteson joined the rescuers at the collision site, just a few hundred yards from his home. Reverend John Patteson was not at home that evening, but did take a major role in the days following, preparing the Parish Church for mourners, speaking to the assembled onlookers from his church wall, conducting local funerals and attending inquests. I am indebted to The Cobbold Family History Trust for this photograph of Rev John Patteson and for more details of his life.

Having been a curate in Dorset until 1844 when he was appointed to St Jude’s in Chelsea. He married Elizabeth Hoare, the daughter of Sir Samuel Hoare in Edmonton in June 1846, and over thirteen years had two sons and three daughters. In 1855 he moved to Spitalfields, before becoming rector of Thorpe-Next-Norwich in 1867. It would be his longest incumbency, leaving in 1896, becoming Rural Dean of Blomfield in 1870 and honorary canon of Norwich in 1882. On 6th September 1902, he died whilst addressing his guests at a garden party.

You can learn more about the Patteson brothers in the pages of a new book from my friends at the Thorpe History Group, called Thorpe People. See the link below for more details.


Welcome to Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, UK and my latest publication

At the end of November 2020, following months of covid restrictions and lock down, I finally finished and submitted my third biographical book to my publisher Pen and Sword Books. The Great Thorpe Railway Disaster 1874: Heroes, Victims, Survivors should be read for publication during September 2021 and I can’t wait! More work to do yet, indexing, final edits etc., but it is full steam ahead and I am already taking bookings for my new illustrated talk during 2022 – hopefully in the flesh and not on the dreaded Zoom! More information will follow right here as we approach launch day! Meantime do take a look at my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Thorpe-Great-Railway-Disaster-1874-Heroes-Victims-Survivors-103022088189518/ and give me a ‘like’.