Bringing the local area to book!

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Looking to find some books on which to spend your book tokens? ANTHONY COPPIN suggests some possible purchases from recently issued regional and titles

Hike and Bike Bowland

By Jon Sparks

Pub: Grey Stone Books

Price: £10.95

The Forest of Bowland, right on the doorstep of Garstang and Longridge, is, according to the author/photographer of this book “connoisseurs’ country, with long heathery ridges wrapped around green valleys and tight-knit, delightfully rural villages.”

He’s right, and we are in many ways spoiled to have such wonderful walking and cycling country just next door to us.

In Hike and Bike Bowland, Garstang-based Jon Sparks shows his readers round Bowland and Pendle in 24 walks, seven road bike rides and four mountain bike rides.

He takes his readers to places high and low, wild and pastoral, by water, woods and the tops.

Sparks provides fascinating background information on the natural history, history, legends and literature of the area.

The book is full of excellent photographs as well as helpful maps.

25 years of railway highlights around Preston and Fylde (1985 to 2010)

By Mr K.E.Stringer

Price: £9.95

In 1985 Britain’s railways were a fully integrated network in public ownership under British Rail.

The railways in the years that followed after privatisation would be a fragmented mix of passenger rail freight, leasing, companies, with network rail managing the track and infrastructure.

By 2010 Preston station was still the key junction, the lines converging on the city were still busy with passenger and freight.

On the Fylde lines there was no freight traffic. These topics, along with fascinating insights into local rail history, are taken up in this two disc DVD set, which is well produced and is definitely a must for the Lancashire rail enthusiast.

The DVD also covers visits of diesel and steam special charters, helping to brighten up the generally fascinating, and detailed, narrative.

l For more information about the DVD, contact Mr Stringer on 01253 859728

Paranormal Lancashire

By Daniel Codd

Pub: Amberley Publishing

Price: £12.99

Why are so many of Lancashire’s theatres and stately homes plagued by multiple apparitions and phantoms?

And what should we make of the frequent reports of phantom black dogs, prowling feline animals, yeti-like creatures and even vampires in our county?

From folkloric headless boggarts to modern ghostly encounters and UFO hotspots, Daniel Codd has unearthed hundreds of strange tales to capture the imagination and, sometimes, chill the blood.

Researched and compiled from archive sources, Paranormal Lancashire is a look at all things inexplicable in this part of the north West.

Its publication is designed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the odd and unnerving Pendle Witches saga, and reminds readers that even after four centuries, old beliefs in the supernatural and paranormal die hard.

Several haunting tales from this part of the county, including Woodplumpton, Hothersall, Mowbreck, Lancaster, Samlesbury, Hurst Green, Chipping add to the attraction of this well produced, well researched paperback.

Municipal Buses in Lancashire

By Andrew Wiltshire

Publisher: Bernard McCall

Price: £16.

REMEMBER the marvellous municipal transport buses of the not too distant past? If you do you will recall the not too attractive but hugely purposeful war horses which made their way throughout the towns, cities and countryside of this region.

And if you don’t remember them, here’s an opportunity to learn about them and their contribution to the Lancashire economy.

There can be few counties in the country that were as colourful and interesting as Lancashire when it came to bus operations. The municipal contribution in the 1960s was no exception, with no less than 27 fleet offering a wealth of interesting vehicles, with many individual and familiar livery types (something which would change significantly from the late 1960s onwards).

Without doubt the most common make of vehicle in the county’s municipal sector was the Leyland. There were also buses from Guy, Crossley, AEC, and Daimler.

The book is beautifully illustrated, and will be of huge interest to transport enthusiasts and general historians alike.

For more information contact the author on 01275 846178.

Curious Cumbrian Walks

By Graham Dugdale

Pub: Palatine

Price: £8.95

I’ve been rambling in the Lake District for 40-plus years...nothing too strenuous you understand.

And I’ve often used books like this one to help me along uncertain routes.

Subtitled “40 intriguing Lakeland rambles”, this is a Lake District book with a difference.

Designed for all ages and abilities, walkers will delight in this unique collection of easy forays into the beautiful, lesser known parts of Cumbria, that huge county a short drive from this part of Lancashire.

And, to add another dimension, author Graham Dugdale reveals fascinating nuggets of history, whimsical tales and sometimes details of horrible crimes associated with each route.

Dugdale’s careful choice of routes, lively style, well-drawn attractive maps and his background research have created an excellent book..