Monday, 7 December 2015

Memories of Darwen

Darwen Days' glossy new publication Memories of Darwen sold out within an hour of its launch at the library at the end of November. And now another 100 are being run off as soon as the printers can find a slot.
 There was a queue for the book, which has more than 250 photos of Darwen, contrasting the old with the new, before the library opened for the Friends of Darwen Library coffee morning launch. Many folk were disappointed and a want-list in the library immediately began to fill up.
 Dave Owen, who founded Darwen Days nearly five years ago, said: "It's amazing. But of course it's an ideal present for folk to send to friends and relatives all over the world."
 A lot of the old photos have never been seen before while others figured in Darwen Days' six-week exhibition in the library's exhibition room which attracted record viewing figures.
 Memories of Darwen is the third successive book to sell out at a library launch.
 The FoDL launched their first book, the short, colourful life of artist James Hargreaves Morton, early in 2013 and late last year they published Darwen and its Characters.  Both went to reprints.
 Journalist Harold Heys edited and largely wrote the Morton book, backed by a team which included Alan Duckworth, Mary Painter, Roger Davison, Steve Irwin, Tony Foster and Paul Taylor and he wrote the Characters book.
 Dave Owen said: "The Memories book had come to a full stop. We had admitted defeat. There were just too many problems. It was dead in the water.
 "We realised how difficult it is to throw a glossy A4 book together. In fact it's a nightmare. Luckily, out of the blue, Harold took up the challenge. He threw out more than 70 of the photos we had planned. He said a lot weren't up to it – and he went out and took his own. He then spent several weeks editing it and pulling it all together. And, of course, he wouldn't accept a penny. He did a fantastic job."
 Darwen engineering company WEC sponsored the printing of the book by local firm Ronset and Darwen Days asked anyone who wanted a copy to make a modest donation to their funds.