Memoir Writing of my Ancestry – A little girls journey starts the book

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The slum dwellings of Water Street Darwen – the home of my family back in Victorian times

Finally, I have made a start on writing a memoir of my time growing up in the Lancashire Mill town of Darwen back in the 60s. It was a time that seems so long gone now, a town that is changed forever but some of that spirit is still there. I hope I can capture the way it was and entertain a little on the way.

This desire to write about this time was inspired by my Granddaughter Ronelle. She takes great pleasure in winding me up in saying that I was born in Victorian times. That is not quite accurate, but I suppose she is not far wrong. I have no intention of going over the Atherton’s life and times back then – I have covered that to a degree in my Ancestry book ‘Bullet for Life’.

I decided to celebrate the start of writing this book by showing her that it was not me born in Victorian times but someone else. She found the photos intriguing but apparently, she has no recollection of being there. Nevertheless, it gave her a grasp of what she missed by being born in this century. I think she is even more grateful for that now.

Sudell Road hill back in the day – again Ronelle denies being there

I have to admit it was quite a shock to see Ronelle in the context of my family history. The slums of Water St pictured were truly the worst of the worst and puts into context that many children of Ronelle’s age from my direct family did actually live there. Many also died there at a very early age. History brought alive.

So, off I go moving forward to the mid 20th Century and let’s see how much I can remember or maybe it was Victorian Times and I will never finish this book.

Published by Neal Atherton

My passion is writing about travel and particularly French travel. I have traveled extensively in France and wine and food has always featured on my travels and now in my books. My friends always await our return from France with the latest new finds from the vineyards and I was more than happy to keep sampling. I am from Lancashire in the north of England but have now relocated to Somerset (nearer to France) and able to enjoy devoting my time to writing and new discoveries. France came late to me as a destination, in fact so conservative was my travel upbringing that it was a long time before I even ventured to Cornwall. I have more than made up for the slow start and have enjoyed helping many others with their travel plans to France and especially to Paris and Provence. I have written a series of four books on France - Three are now on Amazon:THE FIRST TIME WE SAW PARIS about our first steps in French Travel, THYME FOR PROVENCE our discovery of that glorious region and the people and places we met and discovered, A DREAM OF PARIS a personal memoir of our times in Paris with friends. France has been fun, we have been burgled on our very first arrival, we discovered the best cafe that changed our travel lives on the very next day, we learnt about French wine, we escaped from the most horrendous gite, we found the best of gites, B & B's and people, we laughed and cried with dear friends in Paris, I was hosed down by a crazy owner to cool me down in Provence, our breakfast in a remote village was served by the French army, we stepped totally out of our comfort zone and discovered the best of French culture. The experiences are varied and many and please come with me as I retell the stories and my footsteps are there to follow. I am also writing about ancestry and genealogy and my first book about our incredible family story themed around war and the military is now on Amazon - A BULLET FOR LIFE. I love the English game of cricket, golf, soccer, photography, walking and cooking. Oh, and travel of course.

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