This photographic portrait of a period at once familiar and remote spans more than 120 years and contains the largest number of pictures, most of them previously unpublished, ever to appear in a book on the town. It recalls the smaller, essentially industrial community whose streets were still pervaded by the whiff of the farmyard and where close on 100 passenger trains called at the station, where water was drawn from a well and, if few children went to school, church attendances were higher. But change has dominated the years since earliest photographs were taken. Textile and hosiery production has almost ceased and mills that once reverberated to the throb of the loom are now silent; the last working malt kiln now houses a nightclub; the horse and the tram have given way to the internal combustion engine, and changes the mining industry continue to effect the district. Comprising the work of both professional and gifted amateurs, this fascinating selection draws on treasure unearthed in family albums and hidden away in lofts and cupboards as well as in local archive collections.
For those who can still remember, it offers a trip down memory lane; for others, it will be a voyage of discovery and surprise.