Research and Guiding Services Offered By the Author

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Dear Reader,

Me

Stephen Roberts

I have been a history teacher for over 30 years, but beginning in late July this year, I will be entering a new phase in my career: I am creating a small business which offers a unique combination of historical services.

You might have seen my other website which is called The Imperishable Record. It publishes the biographies of people recorded on the Grange Hill War Memorial in West Kirby, Wirral. The first service I am offering is the researching and writing of similar biographies of your Great War ancestors, using the same resources and more. I offer a professional and friendly service at prices which are affordable and graduated according to the size of the biography which the available archives make it possible to write. Have a look at my business website for more details or ask me about it directly via email.

I am also a battlefield guide: I plan and lead bespoke tours, for groups of any size, to any of the historic places in Northern France and Belgium, but especially to those associated with the Great War. It might be that you would like to retrace the steps of an ancestor or military unit or that you would like to learn about particular battles or see certain memorials. Simply discuss your ideas with me and I will arrange a suitable package for you.

Trenches at Auchonvillers, Somme

Trenches at Auchonvillers, Somme

As you can tell from this website, I love the history and landscape of Britain and enjoy organising fascinating and personalised tours of British landscapes, battlefields and historic sites. I have a special interest in the Romans in the north of England and can arrange tours of Hadrian’s Wall as well as of Roman towns such as Chester. Other areas of expertise include the English Civil War, The Jacobite Rebellions of 1715 and 1745 and the impact of the Slave Trade on the North West of England. I will be pleased to discuss any needs you might have. I shall be particularly excited to hear from you if you are hoping to travel to the U.K. from overseas and would like me to create an itinerary for you or even act as a guide. Please feel free to get in touch.

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian’s Wall

Finally, I offer my services as a historical researcher capable of tackling any subject in which you might be interested. Simply email me with details of requirements at: northwesthistory58@gmail.com or follow the link to my business website.

Thank you for reading this page. I hope to hear from you soon.

All the Best,

Stephen Roberts

Spurn Head East Riding of Yorkshire 22nd August 2015

Following a short stay in Leeds, we travelled eastwards to the Yorkshire coast. For me, a North-Westerner, it felt like going abroad: it is remarkable how different the eastern side of England is to the western, especially due to the slightly lower rainfall which encourages arable rather than dairy farming and means that the fields are much bigger and are golden rather than green at this time of year.

Wheat Fields, Reedness, Yorkshire

Wheat Fields, Reedness, Yorkshire

Having pursued ancestral connections in Reedness, we strayed into Lincolnshire in search of stealth camping sites. The following morning, I admired the wind turbines. Many people hate them. They certainly dominate the landscape but I love the sonorous swooshing noise they make and their gigantic indifference which is almost god-like.

Wind Turbines North Lincolshire

Wind Turbines North Lincolshire

The day brightened and we drove northwards, over the Humber Suspension Bridge and around Hull. The landscape opened up. We arrived at Spurn Head at about 2 pm. It is  a bird watchers’ paradise and an awe-inspiring landscape – one of those places where nature’s numinous and man’s untidiness conspire to create unintended art installations whose appearance changes by the minute due to tides, waves, sun and wind.

I am afraid I know very little about the history of this place. I have no idea when and why the groynes were erected and do not know anything about the structure of which the granite blocks used to be a part. Uncharacteristically, we did not walk right to the end of the point, but hope that the following images convey some of the atmosphere of what we did see.

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Brooding Sea Defences on the Edge of the Retreating Tide.

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Views from the Past Year

I belong to the north west of England: I was born and grew up in Wirral, Cheshire; I have lived in Lancashire since 1999 and I work in Kendal. Over the past twelve months, I have travelled throughout the region, visiting family, commuting to and from work and walking the fields. I have noticed the seasonal variations and local characteristics. It has been an eventful year – my mother died in January and I moved house in March. My memories wind in and out of the images.

I begin with memories of September, the month of transition, a liminal zone between summer and winter. The sun is often bright, warming the middle of the day, before the still air cools in the early evening. Leaves begin to turn and fruits appear in the hedgerows. It is a perfect time for walking and thinking.

I walked during the afternoon of Sunday 21st September 2014 – a simple and familiar stroll from Crag Bank to Bolton Le Sands across the fields, onto the marshes of Morecambe Bay and back towards Carnforth on the towpath of the Lancaster Canal.

Sunday 21st September 2014: bridge passing over a drainage ditch on the fields between Crag Bank and Bolton Le Sands near Carnforth.

Sunday 21st September 2014: bridge passing over a drainage ditch on the fields between Crag Bank and Bolton Le Sands near Carnforth.

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Vintage Car Rally: Wennington, Lancashire, Saturday 15th August 2015

I know nothing about classic cars, but this was a jolly occasion which brought us out onto the street to wave at the drivers and to photograph their cars. I have no idea about what any of the cars are called or to when they can be dated.Feel free to advise me on both matters. The pictures appear roughly in the order in which the cars passed through the village.

Wennington Classic Cars

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Castle-an-Dinas: A Cornish Iron Age Hill Fort

We enjoyed a week’s stay in North Cornwall – eleven of us is a cottage. We were sandcastle builders, anglers, surfers, swimmers, walkers, readers, shoppers, eaters, drinkers, drawers and sleepers. The weather was Cornish – calm and azurite one day, opaque, blustery and drizzly the next. You never knew when the lifeguards were going to ban you from the sea. But a good time was had.

Newquay Harbour 24th August 2014

New Quay Harbour 24th August 2014

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The Vale of Lune on Easter Monday 2014

A dry and sunny spring day – a good one for a cycle ride with a camera in my pannier. I left Carnforth via the B6254, which heads westwards over the M6 and onto Kirkby Lonsdale. I had no intention of breaking any speed records and was not going to be intimidated by the slender wearers of lurid lycra who were bound to be overtaking me over the entire route. My aims were to soak up the views and the spring atmosphere and to explore evidence of local history in more depth. Ultimately, I had to be selective, as the Vale of Lune is endowed with an embarrassment of historical riches. I have not posted over half of my photographs and several places are worthy of complete pages all to themselves. But I hope you enjoy this brief survey of some of the highlights of this fascinating area.

My first stop was Over Kellett – a village with a lovely green and many dated buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries, the time of the “Great Rebuilding”, when farmers did well and could replace their wooden and thatched houses with grander stone ones.

Over Kellett Village Green

Over Kellett Village Green

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Another Place

Wednesday 1st January 2014 and it seemed like a good idea to go to Crosby and admire the beach. Despite it being cold, wet and windy, it certainly was. This is a magnificent place. I am not a photographer, just a lover of places, but I will try to let my pictures speak for themselves: Continue reading