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Essays on Massage History 1750-1950
Leonard A Goldstone

Published: Feb 2024
Paperback: 288 pages
Price: £15.00
ISBN: 9781915972101
Available on Amazon

Essays on Massage History 1750-1950
by Leonard Goldstone

A history of significant masseuses, masseurs and Western massage from around 1,750 CE. up to the middle 1900s, in a series of essays in approximate historical order.

The essays stand, and can be read, independently in any order of interest. The essays on early massage form the background to more ‘modern’ developments, in particular in the late 19th century, which was a golden age of literature about massage and a time when eminent doctors figured large in massage writings in the USA, UK and Europe – their important texts often stand in quite startling contrast with 21st-century practice and their writing and the massage developments they describe have received scant attention in 21st-century texts. They offer a world of opportunity for researchers to re-assess.

The author describes how medical audit evolved in the late twentieth century but was anticipated by doctors and masseurs assessing the effectiveness of massage in the mid-19th century. The essays also cover developments in the early- and middle-twentieth century associated with The First World War and the rehabilitation of injured soldiers, along with the (mainly) masseuses who did this work.

In addition, they discuss some controversial areas such as who created so called ‘Swedish Massage’; who were the first writers on medical audit; who was possibly the foremost authority on massage of the late 19th and early 20th century but whose name has been almost erased from history.

The book concludes with a chapter profiling the work of a man who designated himself as a masseur into the 1960s, long after most, former ‘masseurs’, became ‘physiotherapists’, possibly the last ‘masseur’ in England at the time.

The author qualified in Massage in the early 1990s at the Northern Institute of Massage, then in Blackpool, England, following in his wife Jennifer’s footsteps and enthusiasm, she having been an orthopaedic and later paediatic registered nurse for many years, prior to becoming a full time remedial masseuse.

Another massage qualification followed from the West London School of Massage whilst the author was in full time employment as Professor and Dean at the London South Bank University in the Faculty of Health and Social Care. The author has held full time Faculty positions in the University of Manchester and the Open University, as well as Visiting Professor in the Medical School of Queen’s University Belfast.

The author’s academic interest in massage history grew from the mid 1990s, being in London with its great libraries and pioneer distinguished hospitals, some of which opened their records for searches of the how, why and when massage was initiated. Many guest lectures and seminars on massage history in other universities followed and continue into formal academic retirement, together with research papers in prestigious journals, culminating in this volume.

Reviews of Essays on Massage History 1750-1950

Melvyn Eyres has been involved in massage therapy for over 50 years, both as a practitioner, and in later years as a Board member, and now President, of the LCSP Register. He also sits on the Board of the GCMT (General Council for Massage Therapies) in an advisory capacity.
This well-researched book will enlighten our understanding of massage therapy, its history and how it got to where it is today. A must-read for educators and anyone involved in, or who has an interest in the massage industry. It includes many little known or forgotten facts about massage therapy, charting its rise and acceptance as a valuable medical modality, to its decline and fall into oblivion as a part of orthodox medical practice. Then it explores its partial revival as a therapy, which is now mostly recognised as an alternative therapy. Of particular interest is the documented change in application frequency and techniques from what was originally taught and used in its heyday, to what is widely accepted as massage therapy today.

Travels with a Dangerous Friend
Anthony Fitzgerald

Published: Feb 2024
Paperback: 158 pages
Price: £9.99
ISBN: 978-1-915972-17-0
Available on Amazon

Travels with a Dangerous Friend
Searching the world for a message in the bottle
by Anthony Fitzgerald

Circumstances lead Anthony to emigrate to America aged eighteen. Working in lowly jobs in New York he falls in love with an older woman, moves to Chicago and lives in the African-American quarter of South Chicago.

In London he enters the advertising industry and then joins an expedition driving to Australia. In Australia, the ‘lucky country’, life teaches him drinking ‘Australia style’. Then he joins an Aussie and two Americans to drive through Africa.

Back in London, now an advertising copywriter, he earns reasonable money and unreasonable drinking habits. He fathers a child and, once again, moves on.

In Kenya he starts a company, gets married and has two children. He gets his hunting licence and goes on safaris. He travels extensively in East Africa enjoying the hedonistic lifestyle of the European in Africa. His wife parts from him and back in England he joins Time Magazine.

Time Magazine sends him back to South Africa with his new wife, and then to Holland and Scandinavia with a lifestyle of conspicuous entertainment. Although successful he becomes more dependent on alcohol. The low points are frequent and disaster looms. This is the story of his journey and final redemption.

Sight from Sound
Abeni Chopra

Published: Jan 2024
Paperback: 359 pages
Price: £15.99
ISBN: 978-1-915972-21-7
Available on Amazon

Sight from Sound
by Abeni Chopra

Jumapili Mwangi was blessed with optimism and resilience. The two characteristics she needed to survive and then thrive, because she was born blind in the slums of Kibera. Orphaned at the age of seven, Jumapili was one of the chokora (street children) of Nairobi under the care of her twelve-year-old brother.

While begging on the streets, but with the gifts of a harmonica and a penny whistle, this remarkable child taught herself to play music by listening to the radios being played around her. However, it was the purity of her singing voice which most captivated any audience.

As she grew up, Jumapili developed another rare skill – echolocation. By clicking her tongue and listening to the returning echo, she was able to create an image in her brain of the world around her. This gave her a freedom rarely found by blind people.

Triumphing over personal loss, Jumapili discovered her purpose in life: to build a successful career in the music industry in the hope that it would lead her to the precious gift she had lost. This burning ambition, driven by discipline and focus, took her to some of the world’s top concert halls allowing her to establish a school in Kenya teaching echolocation to young blind children.

This wonderful, if harrowing, story is a joy to read. It is the epitome of hope and courage overcoming adversity. You will find it hard to put down.

220 Rides
Simon Fisher

Published: Jan 2024
Paperback: 130 pages
Price: £8.99
ISBN: 9781915972194
Available on Amazon

220 Rides
by Simon Fisher

It’s June 1970. With just a backpack, some dollars and plenty of optimism, a hitchhiker sets off to discover America. This is what happened along the way, told in his own words.

From New England to California, from Vancouver to the Everglades, 220 drivers stopped to pick up the lone Brit. Most were friendly, some were incredibly generous, a few were hostile.

The United States was at war in Vietnam, Richard Nixon was a year into his presidency, and Woodstock was influencing a generation. The National Guard stood in the way of antiwar protesters. The drama of Apollo 13 had unfolded two months earlier and £1 bought $2.40.

It was a classic time to explore the country, the culture and the people. Join our hitchhiker walking down the Grand Canyon, dodging bears and sheriffs out west, gate-crashing a Republican fundraiser, checking out ‘Beautiful Downtown Burbank’ and doing what hitchhikers always do – enjoying whatever is around the next corner.

Anyone who has hitchhiked anywhere will enjoy this book.

The Alternative Churchill
Mike Poulter

Published: Nov 2023
Paperback: 104 pages
Price: £9.99
ISBN: 9781915972026
Available on Amazon

The Alternative Churchill
by Mike Poulter

Churchill’s status as the titanic UK figure of the 20th Century is open to question. This book argues that, rather than being the saviour of civilisation, Churchill was the proximate cause of civilisation’s near destruction through his part in causing the two world wars.

Mike Poulter begins by tracing the influences behind Churchill’s rise to become a national politician. Names rarely mentioned in other Churchill biographies loom large: Rhodes, Cassel, Abe Bailey and Strakosch. Churchill’s personal and financial dependence on these very influential individuals, who controlled South African Gold and its supply to London, is vividly described.

The tentacles of South African gold spread world-wide. As the tale unfolds, we see that the Boer War was fought in its interest and the First World War was part of that same endeavour. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, in 1925, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Churchill returned Britain to ‘their’ Gold Standard, a decision that led directly to the Great Depression, the drastic unemployment of working people and the General Strike. A similar sorry tale unwinds through the 1930s when the interests of Strakosch, Bracken and Churchill were closely entwined and Churchill advocated for another, unnecessary World War, the arrival of which displayed Churchill’s strategic ineptitude.

Among this sad cast-list there are, fortunately, some heroes: Alanbrooke, Dowding, Cunningham, Keynes and Sutherland. Indeed many heroes - all the courageous military and civilians who fought and suffered throughout Churchill’s wars.

This persuasive book finishes on a more hopeful note. Post 1945, the heroes were Attlee and Bevan, two men who helped create our future from the debris of the war by founding the National Health Service and the Welfare State.

Educated at St. Ignatius College London, Mike Poulter studied Philosophy/ Theology at The Venerable English College and Gregorian University, Rome during Vatican Council 2 and the Cuban Missile crisis. He met two Popes, 3 Prime ministers and other leaders and pondered ‘What Is Politics For’?

His answer: ‘the creation of a very local, national and indeed an international Community, each safe for the development of properly functioning human beings’ turned him towards social work and politics. He had a professional life 30 years as a Probation officer. Politically: 3 times a parliamentary candidate, as a County Councillor he held seriously responsible posts as Chair : Social Services 1984-92, then Highways, Fire Authority and the Staffordshire Police Authority 2001-2009 for which he received the MBE from Queen Elizabeth.

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The Engineer, the Crook and Eight Men of the Sea
Aurélie Freeman

Published: Nov 2023
Paperback: 202 pages
Price: £10.00
ISBN: 9781915972255
Available on Amazon

The Engineer, the Crook and Eight Men of the Sea
by Aurélie Freeman

A remarkable story in three parts.

The first gives a fascinating insight into the life of Thomas Ker, a civil engineer in Rajasthan, India, in the later nineteenth century, as well as that of some of his relatives and sons in India. It traces his work in building railways, railway schools and colonies, the juggling of his family and social life between India and Britain, and his involvement in aid during the famine of 1901. A keen photographer, he left a unique record of his life there and in Shimla and the section is generously illustrated with his photos.

Next, we follow a story of skulduggery and cruelty in the Isle of Man, pieced together from the newspapers of 1834. The author shows how the revelations develop week by week and questions the changes that occur as the story is passed down the generations of an upright Edinburgh family.

In the final section we follow men from one family who worked in maritime jobs on the Hampshire, Sussex and Kent coasts between 1700 and 1900: eight stories of shipbuilders and house carpenters, harbour masters and sailmakers, pilots, privateers and mariners trading in coastal waters and on the high seas.

Well researched and empathically related, this is history from the bottom up.

Reviews of The Engineer, the Crook and Eight Men of the Sea
by Aurélie Freeman

Juliet Duff, ‘The Rubies of Rye’, Rye News, 15 March 2024.
A meticulously researched history…spanning several centuries and places across the world. Using family stories and records, photographs …and newspaper articles…, Freeman is able to bring these Ryers to life once again.
A fascinating book with a wealth of sources from both this country and abroad, that would be of interest to historians and those researching family history.’

Of Peats and Puts – the Back 9
Andrew Brown

Published: Oct 2023
Hardback: 148 pages
Price: £19.50
ISBN: 9781915972118
Available on The Great British Bookshop

Paperback: 148 pages
Price: £10.00
ISBN: 9781915972187
Available on Amazon

Of Peats and Putts - The Back 9
by Andrew Brown

The author returns to his native Scotland following excursions to the rest of the United Kingdom, Ireland and, more recently, nine continental European countries. In this charming second Scottish volume, he reviews how whisky and golf have fared in Scotland in the intervening five years and finds that there have been plenty of developments. Twenty new distilleries have opened and golf has also undergone something of a renaissance.

There is so much to review about Scotland’s two gifts to the world that a trilogy is barely sufficient to do them both justice. This second volume focuses on Scotland’s east coast and the final volume will explore the west coast and the islands. This second volume again features a mix of large and long-established distilleries as well as small recentlyopened ones, while the author’s golfing choices combine some old favourites with less well-known venues. He continues to marvel at the enormous variety of both whisky and golfing offerings and a developing preference for visiting the entrepreneurial start-up distilleries and ‘hidden-gem’ golf courses will be the focus of his fourth book.

Reviews of Peats and Putts...

Charles Maclean, Whisky Writer and Master of the Quaich
It is astonishing that until now nobody has sought to bring together Scotland’s two greatest gifts to the world – whisky and golf.
This little book is a personal journey of discovery. In ten chapters, each devoted to a region or county – from Sutherland in the north to East Lothian in the south and Islay in the West - Andrew Brown reviews a golf course and a locally made malt whisky.
As he travels from one place to the next he ponders how and why these two products developed in Scotland and what it is about the country, its landscape and people, which connects them. As he writes: “Both whisky and golf are more than just a drink and a sport; both can be seen as metaphors for the vagaries of life itself.” Indeed!

Golf Quarterly Review June 2018
This is a delightful, well-written little book – part travel guide, part history, part personal philosophy, and part unwitting nationalist tract (what better way, after all, to celebrate Scottish distinctiveness than through writing about its two most famous exports?). It takes the form of a tour of nine regions of the country, in search of the author’s favourite distilleries and favourite golf courses along the way.
I can imagine peripatetic golfers with a fondness for an evening dram, or whisky aficionados with a set of clubs in the boot of their car, packing this little volume and reading up on pleasures planned for the following day. It will be equally enjoyable, though, with a glass of single malt to hand in the privacy of your own home.
What gives the journey special significance is the author’s playful exploration of the similarities and connections between whisky and golf. Andrew Brown, a native Scot who spent most of his career in the food industry south of the border, suggests that location, history and architecture are crucial to the two experiences. History, for instance, is an important part of the narrative that accompanies both playing and drinking. Just as we like to know the origins, ownership and social impact of a particular whisky brand (notwithstanding the marketing hype), so hearing about how and when a golf club was founded, who played there and who designed and changed it invariably enriches a round of golf.
Perhaps design is the most striking common factor given the simple, limited and seemingly unpromising ingredients that course architects and whisky manufacturers both start with. All golf courses are hewn out of sand and soil, while the essential elements of any whisky are also the same: only malted barley, water and yeast are permitted in anything that calls itself Scotch. What produces so many different and unique variations of the spirit is everything from the distilling process to the local landscape, whether it be the taste of the water, the quality of the soil, or the extent of the annual rainfall. In the case of golf it’s the eye and skill to use nature to best effect.
Each chapter describes the idiosyncrasies of a favourite course and distillery. The golf choices are far from predictable – Brora rather than Dornoch in Sutherland, Kilspindie rather than Gullane, Luffness New or Muirfield in East Lothian, the Eden rather than the Old Course in Fife. These reflect not just a conscious decision to stay away from Championship venues but those the author considers best meet his three criteria for selection: a tough but enjoyable (and affordable) test for all levels of golfer, delightful surroundings and a welcoming clubhouse. There is an equally diverse spread of distilleries, old and new, large and small, ranging from multinational owned enterprises such as Glenmorangie to independent Edradour in Perthshire (20,000 cases of which went down off the island of Eriskay in 1941, inspiring Compton Mackenzie’s wonderful book Whisky Galore).
Wisely, the author does not take prior knowledge for granted though spelling out a three-shotter for golfers or mash tuns for devoted whisky drinkers may mildly irritate some. I liked his many diversions - musings on what makes a good golf hole and a good malt, for example, thumbnail sketches of important golf designers like James Braid and Harry Colt, and reflections on the history and practise of naming golf holes. There are plenty of surprises (at least to this non-expert whisky drinker). Did you know that eight of the world’s top ten whisky brands are Indian, while the country that consumes the most whisky on a per capital basis is France (the United States being second and the UK third)?
Tim Dickson
Golf Quarterly

Simon Marquis, Cornwall
Of Peats and Putts will appeal to anyone who enjoys golf and/or malt whisky. Andrew Brown is an enthusiastic amateur of both and his enjoyment shines through this delightful scamper across nine of Scotland’s finest golf holes, and a rather more leisurely trundle around nine of its distilleries. The real pleasure of this short volume though is the author’s drawing of nice parallels between these twin pleasures and life itself. Golf has its ups and downs as do our lives, some of them at least, perhaps smoothed away by a late evening dram or two!
The book is a pleasure in itself. I eagerly await volume two.

James Holder - Author of The Great War's Sporting Casualties
Andrew Brown's second book, Mashies and Mash Tuns, has all the same charm as his first book. He describes the golf courses highlighted in his book leaving you wanting to play them and writes about whiskey in a way which, because of my own aversion to whisky (and whiskey), leaves me regretting I cannot taste them.
And not content with just writing about golf courses and distilleries, he expresses in no uncertain terms how he thinks golf should be played, views I share but views which I fear too many golfers choose to ignore.

The Railway Town of Ramsbottom
Nigel Jepson

Published: Oct 2023
Paperback: 160 pages
Price: £10.00
ISBN: 9781915972262
Available from Amazon

The Railway Town of Ramsbottom
Past and Present
by Nigel Jepson

This book tells the fascinating story of how Ramsbottom became a railway town in the 1840s after a group of local businessmen met in a pub in Bury to set up a company which became known as the East Lancashire Railway. The various ups and downs in the process of building the line connecting Ramsbottom with Bury and Rawtenstall are described here using a variety of sources, including newspaper reports of an ‘alarming riot’ of railway workers at the Grant Arms.

The arrival of the railway brought immense benefits as far as local industry and the town’s growing population were concerned. However, the ‘Beeching Cuts’ of the 1960s had telling consequences for the existing East Lancashire rail network. The impact on Ramsbottom is gauged by exploring the views and reactions of local people as well as those in Summerseat where police had to be brought in to suppress protest action.

Although the demolition of Ramsbottom Station in the early 70s seemed a nail in the coffin for its railway town status, a brave campaign, spearheaded by the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society (ELRPS) was already underway aimed at re-opening the Bury-Ramsbottom line.

Against the odds, victory for this brave band of rail enthusiasts came about in 1987 and marked by the re-opening of a heritage line between Bury and Ramsbottom. The development was seen as ‘a heaven-sent opportunity’, galvanising the life of the town as a whole.

First-hand accounts are used to highlight the significant impact railways have had on people’s lives up to the present day.

Nigel Jepson lives in Ramsbottom and is a keen supporter and member of Ramsbottom Cricket Club.

He first came to the local area in the mid-1990s when taking up post as Headteacher at nearby Haslingden High School. As far as the broader community was concerned, it didn’t take long to pick up the vibes regarding the longstanding rivalry between Haslingden and Ramsbottom, much of it existing on a cricketing front as traditional close rivals in the Lancashire League.

Nigel’s last UK Head’s post was at Kearsley Academy in Bolton from 2010 to 2014. ‘Retired’, he has though carried out interim Headteacher work in Dubai during 2016 and has also conducted teacher training programmes in New Delhi in 2018.

Although having always been keen on team sports, he developed a passion for long distance running which started with the London Marathon in 1982, moving through other events to New York in 2001. More recently, over 2017 to 2019, prior to the Covid pandemic kicking in, he ran four more marathons in Dubai, Belfast, Manchester and Liverpool.