Wednesday 1 June 2011

The Bobbin Girls

The Bobbin Girls is one of my favourite historical sagas, now available as an ebook on Amazon Kindle. It was a joy to revisit it for editing purposes, as I’d largely forgotten it. It’s the story of a powerful young love blighted by a dark secret from the past which might, or then again, might not, be true. I do remember that I loved doing the research as I found such marvellous people to interview. The late Bill Hogarth, who spent hours taking me through Grizedale Forest teaching me the tricks of his trade on coppicing, making hurdles and swill baskets. Stan Crabtree and Bill Grant also enlightened and entertained me on the skills of forestry. Even the charcoal maker patiently explained his craft to me.

If you haven't yet visited Stott Park Bobbin Mill in the Lake District, now a working museum, I strongly recommend you go.

Most of all I loved the evening I spent with the ‘Bobbin Girls’ themselves: Eileen Thompson, Joyce Wilson and Pat Hogarth regaled me with their yarns and the wonderful tricks they played on each other in the bobbin mill. How they would put a mouse in a friend’s bait box (lunch box) which meant there would be little left of the poor girl’s sandwiches. Mice were a common pest among the wood shavings. They also painstakingly described all that was involved in the making of bobbins, a skill I would not wish to try considering the hidden difficulties and dangers. Bobbin makers are well known for being a digit short. Fortunately, Eileen, Joyce and Pat still have all of theirs. But I take my hat off to them.

And is there a romance in this book? Of course, a very moving one of thwarted young love.

Here´s the blurb:
Alena Townsen, a fiery tomboy from a large, happy family, wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life with her childhood friend, Rob, the only son of James Hollinthwaite, a wealthy landowner. Hollinthwaite, however, has other ideas and when he forces the two to part Rob is sent away to school while Alena must start work in the local bobbin mill. Life is hard and her love for Rob severely tested. Torn between two men, her indecision is heightened by the knowledge of a tragic secret.

But trust me, you’ll like the ending. You can download it from here:


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Sounds fascinating, Freda. Good idea making it more easily available again.

Anonymous said...

Blogger won't let me sign in, so I'll appear as anonymous even tho I'm not - but Freda, I love the setting for your book. I know Stott's Bobbin Mill and Grizedale Forest well (used to have a caravan at Hawkshead!). My second novel, due out next year, is set in a thinly disguised Hawkshead LOL.
Paula Martin