Angel Meadow trailer

Book trailers are all the rage these days, so I’ve created one for the book. Check out the video trailer by clicking on the link  below. Angel Meadow is now available on Amazon Kindle. Click here to buy.

 

 

Advertisements

Angel Meadow scuttler wars mapped

Fearless gangs of street fighters known as scuttlers waged war on the streets of Angel Meadow in the last quarter of the 19th century and struck terror in the hearts of slum dwellers. Wearing pointed, brass-tipped clogs and using knives, iron pokers and heavy belt buckles as weapons, they prowled the slum looking for a fight. They included Henry Burgess, the most feared man in Angel Meadow, who attacked his enemies with paraffin lanterns, and James Gallagher, known to his foes as the Red King.

Discover more about some of their most violent outrages with this clickable map (best viewed from a desktop) and read about these incidents and more in my book, which is out now and available to buy direct from the publisher, Pen and Sword. It is also available from Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmiths, the Guardian bookshop. Click on the book cover below to visit my author page on Amazon.

Frontcover

Hot off the press

A big day today after the first copies of Angel Meadow finally arrived, hot off the printing press. That strangely comforting smell of ink and newly-pressed paper is now wafting through the house and five boxes of books are sitting in the hallway, waiting to be picked up and read. It’s hard to believe I can finally flick through the pages of the book and that nearly four years work has come to an end. The book is now available to order via Amazon, Waterstones and direct from the publisher, Pen and Sword Books, from 28 February.

image

image

image

image

image

Sharp Street Ragged School


Sharp Street Ragged School had an inauspicious start when it opened its doors in the 1850s. Youths threw stones through the school’s windows, left dead cats on the doorstep and attacked the teachers as they were walking down the street. It took the teachers five years to win over hearts and minds in the slum and soon they were providing classes to 400 children each week.

 

 

 

The Spy, 1893

The dreary wastes of Angel Meadow. Down Angel Street, with its pestiferous lodging houses, with its bawds and bullies, its thieves and beggars, one had need to visit such a place when the sun is high in the heavens. When night falls I had rather enter an enemy’s camp during the time of war than venture near such dens of infamy and wretchedness, but the poor live here and die here.

The Real Sherlock

Bob Horridge

I was lucky enough recently to be invited by BBC’s The One Show to appear in a short film about Jerome Caminada, Victorian Manchester’s most famous detective and a true-life inspiration for Sherlock Holmes. Caminada’s life is the subject of a gripping book by Manchester author Angela Buckley, entitled The Real Sherlock Holmes. Caminada’s arch-enemy, his real-life Moriarty, was the Angel Meadow “cracksman” Bob Horridge, who was known throughout the land as a fearless armed robber and an expert safe-breaker. But did Caminada, like the fictional Sherlock, finally get his man? Watch the film here to find out.

Charter Street Ragged School

Charter Street Ragged School still looks forbidding, even today. The school opened in a former dancing hall in the 1860s and provided thousands of children and adults with free meals, clothing and education. The aim was to keep the children off the streets and to divert their parents away from the slum’s pubs and beer houses. It still houses a school and continues to offer food and clothing to the homeless – a mission it has carried out for more than 150 years.

image

Charter Street Ragged School

image

Charter Street Ragged School

image

Charter Street Ragged School

image

Charter Street Ragged School

image

Charter Street Ragged School

image

Charter Street Ragged School