Troubador FIRE!

Released: 28/01/2018

ISBN: 9781788037990

Format: Paperback

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The Cotton Mill Disaster That Echoed Down the Generations


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The first book on the Vernon cotton mills fire of 1902

Local Stockport author’s personal story of how he was affected by the tragedy through the death of his great grandfather

The first book of its kind, FIRE!: The Cotton Mill Disaster That Echoed Down the Generations is both a forensic and personal account of the 1902 Vernon cotton mills fire. The book delves into the details of the tragedy, but also focuses on the author’s own dysfunctional early life, and how that likely resulted from the death of his great-grandfather in the blaze.

While the book does look at the facts - the mill workers’ deaths, why these occurred, those blamed, and how factory inspectors directly saved lives in Edwardian Britain - FIRE! is very much a personal story as the author explains in the postscript. His search for his American soldier father, the subsequent discovery of his great-grandfather’s death and the impact on his own life, and ultimately his discovery of half-siblings in the USA is as much a part of the narrative as the details. And while inspiration came from family, there is also a disturbing relevancy in the text on how lax fire safety continues to be, especially in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower inferno. 

Ultimately, the book tells not only of a dramatic story of loss and disaster, but shows how determination can triumph over tragedy to bring a happy ending.

National ambulance and fire magazines have carried pieces about the book.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) magazine carried a small review of my book in its February, 2018, issue.

Prospero, the BBC's magazine for staff pensioners, carried a three-quarter page article on my book in the April, 2018, issue. It was the lead item in two pages of reviews of books by ex-staffers.

Industrial Archaeology Review and the Summer Newsletter of the Manchester Region Industrial Archaeology Review are carrying pieces on my book, summer, 2018.

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David Edwards Hulme

David Edwards Hulme is a retired journalist and broadcaster, mainly writing factual articles and poetry. Some of his work has been published in anthologies and magazines. He is a practising archer and also his club's historian and publicist. He lives in Stockport, Greater Manchester, and is married and a father of two children, and a grandfather.

In 2017, he finally managed to identify his American soldier father after a search lasting more than 25 years - his book emerged out of extensive family research on both sides of the Atlantic. He was delighted to learn that his father wrote poetry and had an uncle who was his high school poet laureate. David's son is also a poet and runs a poetry website,

David Edwards Hulme
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