Category Archives: travel

Retraces the footsteps of St Columbanus of Bangor, a modern pilgrimage.
Barry Sloan

Why would a Northern Irish Protestant, raised in a staunchly loyalist community, hitchhike through Catholic Europe on the trail of medieval celtic monks? Why is the seaside town of Bangor in Northern Ireland largely responsible for Europe becoming a Christian continent? What role did an Ulsterman play in the creation of the European Union, and what can be done today to break down walls and bring people together? Who was Columbanus of Bangor and why are present-day librarians from all over the world indebted to him? Why does God not like zebras, has Murphy's Law anything to do with chaos theory, and why are the Germans the reason Ireland had to wait 1,900 years to get decent, straight roads?
Published:20th Nov 2015
Paperback:206 pages

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Answers to all these questions can be found within these pages, the story of the European travels of sixth-century saint, Columbanus - and of a twenty-first century sinner, the book’s author. Weaving history, politics, theology, and personal narrative together in a humorous and readable way, Sloan tells the fascinating story of Columbanus and his legacy in uniting Europe. Profound moments of reflection and insight are punctuated by hilarious episodes: of breakfast with Vikings, of an attack by monster bees - and lunch with a talking horse! When the Saints go Marching is funny, thought-provoking, informative, inspiring and challenging - and all without being preachy.

Barry J. Sloan, born in Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland, is married and has two children. He is an ordained Methodist minister, currently serving as mission partner with the United Methodist Church in Germany.
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Travels of a Hard-Rock Mining Engineer
Martin Stoakes

TOAHRM_Cover Travels of a Hard-Rock Mining Engineer is a chronicle of the travels and experiences of a hard-rock mining engineer during the last half of the 20th century. It gives a vivid and an instructive insight into the generally little known subject of hard-rock mining, often in remote locations. Various mining projects are described in detail and provide a fascinating insight into the complexities of mine design and evaluation. Martin Stoakes worked on 125 mining projects in thirty-seven different countries over a forty-four year period. His graphic account of the sometimes nerve-racking conditions and locales that he experienced includes encounters with Shining Path guerrilla fighters in Peru, MNLF Islamic fundamentalists in the Philippines and the RPF guerrillas in Rwanda/Uganda. Hard rock mining was never for the faint-hearted.
Published:1st Feb 2015
Paperback:638 pages

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Murderous fighters notwithstanding, the author's passion for narrow-boating, walking, cycling and his love of dogs give a tranquil balance and, from the early 1980s, there is a touching account of the trials and tribulations of first fostering, then adopting and raising a son into his family.

Pounds and Pinfolds
Nigel Mills

cover Ask most people about pounds and pinfolds and they look blank. They may not have noticed the small, round or rectangular building that likely stands at the edge of their village. And yet these modest structures, now often reduced to piles of stones, were once an essential part of rural life in what is now Cumbria. They were where stray stock, and any animal found grazing on land for which its owner had no proper grazing rights, were once confined - until the owner paid a fine imposed by the local court. For hill-farmers and others, pounds or pinfolds were indispensable for ensuring community harmony. In this scholarly and well-researched account, Nigel Mills provides us with a comprehensive and unique insight into a little-considered aspect of our rural heritage and into the way of life of the men and women who farmed our hills in days gone by. It will be of great interest to local historians and to all who take an interest in the social history of Cumbria.
Published:28th Nov 2014
Paperback:94 pages

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