Book Review: Past Times By Ivor Nicholas And Gerard Richardson MBE

Ivor Nicholas and Gerard Richardson MBE are back with their fourth book exploring images of Cumbria’s past.

Using photographs from Ivor Nicholas’s extensive archive of Cumbrian life, taken during his time as a press photographer, with Ravenglass, Frizington and many other places shown in a different light.

This new edition shows what life was like during the late 1950s through to the 1970s when the last of the coal mines were active and Whitehaven was a hive of activity with Marchon, Smith Bro and so many other companies trading from the town.

The mainly black and white images show a happier time for the area with Marchon Christmas Parties, Beckermet Steam gathering and Cleator Moor Sports Day with crowds of people enjoying the events that not longer take place.

A nostalgic look at the last shift of the Screen Girls at Haigh Pit and unofficial strikers at Lowca, hopefully none of the latter will take place at the new coal mine once it has opened.

No book on the area is complete without the historic Crab Fair making an appearance, cancelled for 2020 due to the COVID-19 the only time since the Second World War, show the cart on Egremont main street with children and a policeman or two gathered ready to catch the apples as they are passes off the cart.

One for all Liverpool FC fans out there is an image of Smiths printing the labels for Wonderloaf with Nice One Liverpool on one side after the team had won the FA Cup.

The book is the perfect adventure to go on during lockdown – from the comfort of your own home.

Past Times is available from Richardsons of Whitehaven shop or order through the shop’s website.