Secret Stockport

Secret Stockport

Explore Stockport’s secret history through a fascinating selection of stories, facts and photographs.

Urban Workers in the Early Industrial Revolution

Urban Workers in the Early Industrial Revolution

This title, first published in 1984, focuses primarily on the early Industrial Revolution (c. 1780-1820) in the Stockport district. As the Industrial Revolution in England was the first instance of successful industrialisation, it can still provide many social and economic lessons and also furnish essential evidence for continuing debate over ideology and theory. Therefore, this title will be of interest to students of both history and economics.

Regency Spies

Secret Histories of Britain's Rebels & Revolutionaries

Regency Spies

Sue Wilkes reveals the shadowy world of Britain's spies, rebels and secret societies from the late 1780s until 1820. Drawing on contemporary literature and official records, Wilkes unmasks the real conspirators and tells the tragic stories of the unwitting victims sent to the gallows. In this 'age of Revolutions', when the French fought for liberty, Britain's upper classes feared revolution was imminent. Thomas Paine's incendiary Rights of Man called men to overthrow governments which did not safeguard their rights. Were Jacobins and Radical reformers in England and Scotland secretly plotting rebellion? Ireland, too, was a seething cauldron of unrest, its impoverished people oppressed by their Protestant masters. Britain's governing elite could not rely on the armed services even Royal Navy crews mutinied over brutal conditions. To keep the nation safe, a 'war chest' of secret service money funded a network of spies to uncover potential rebels amongst the underprivileged masses. It had some famous successes: dashing Colonel Despard, friend of Lord Nelson, was executed for treason. Sometimes in the deadly game of cat-and-mouse between spies and their prey, suspicion fell on the wrong men, like poets Wordsworth and Coleridge. Even peaceful reformers risked arrest for sedition. Political meetings like Manchester's 'Peterloo' were ruthlessly suppressed, and innocent blood spilt. Repression bred resentment and a diabolical plot was born. The stakes were incredibly high: rebels suffered the horrors of a traitor's death when found guilty. Some conspirators' secrets died with them on the scaffold... The spy network had some famous successes, like the discoveries of the Despard plot, the Pentrich Rising and the Cato St conspiracy. It had some notable failures, too. However, sometimes the 'war on terror' descended into high farce, like the 'Spy Nozy' affair, in which poets Wordsworth and Coleridge were shadowed by a special agent.

Voting Together

Intergenerational Politics and Civic Engagement among Hmong Americans

Voting Together

Hmong American immigrants first came to the United States as refugees of the Vietnam War. Forty years on, they have made a notable impact in American political life. They have voter participation rates higher than most other Asian American ethnic groups, and they have won seats in local and state legislative bodies. Yet the average level of education among Hmong Americans still lags behind that of the general U.S. population and high rates of poverty persist in their community, highlighting a curious disparity across the typical benchmarks of immigrant incorporation. Carolyn Wong analyzes how the Hmong came to pursue politics as a key path to advancement and inclusion in the United States. Drawing on interviews with community leaders, refugees, and the second-generation children of immigrants, Wong shows that intergenerational mechanisms of social voting underlie the political participation of Hmong Americans. Younger Hmong Americans engage older community residents in grassroots elections and conversation about public affairs. And in turn, within families and communities, elders often transmit stories that draw connections between ancient Hmong aspirations for freedom and contemporary American egalitarian projects.

Mona Lisa's Pajamas

Diverting Dispatches from a Roving Reporter

Mona Lisa's Pajamas

High-class armchair travel at its very best! Mona Lisa’s Pajamas gives readers a round-trip ticket for a journey around the world, carrying them to distant destinations most of us will never visit. Originally written for The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News, A. Craig Copetas’s delightfully surprising columns are now collected in book form for the first time. Covering exotic locales, improbable business ventures, artisan winemakers, and memorably oddball characters, Copetas’s vivid writing brings his subjects alive with richly-textured descriptions only a truly gifted observer can capture. From Sparta’s souvenir sword-makers swamped with demand thanks to the hit movie 300, to a Russian golf pro whose favorite clubs were built from the scrapped metal of a Soviet nuclear missile, Copetas writes of unorthodox business pursuits and faraway locations with an infectious joie de vivre and an unerring eye for what makes enjoyable reading. Unforgettable visits for the armchair traveler: -Israel's Sacred Golf Course: where bomb craters have become bunkers -How to Succeed in Business and Avoid Serious Head Trauma: near Stockholm, a former British Special Air Services commando teaches executives how to survive a kidnapping -An Honorable and Ancient Solution to Boardroom Disputes: the 21st-century duel -Propulsion Is a Real Plus with Clubs Made in a Missile Factory: A Russian treasures his set of golf clubs--made from an old Soviet missile once aimed at the US -Da Vinci Code Fans Dig Up the Dead: Dan Brown’s devotees swarm a town central to the blockbuster’s story

Subterranean Stockport

Subterranean Stockport

A photographic journey through Stockport's history, from ancient to modern times, through its underground places.

The Skilled Labourer

1760-1832

The Skilled Labourer


A Stockport Trilogy

A Stockport Trilogy

A STOCKPORT TRILOGY In part one A week or so following their wedding, the 'NEW PALADIUM' was showing a Laurel and Hardy comedy film, followed by the main feature "Hold your Man" with Jean Harlow and Clark Gable. It was described as 'A really gripping production, both intensely dramatic and romantic. A film for adults only. Little did they know that they were soon to be embroiled in a worldwide drama not just for adults, but children too? The 'gripping drama' that week was for six nights only. However, the drama of war, soon to be upon us was for 2,194 nights and days. In part two Babies had been born there. A mother, driven mad with hunger, screamed at me to give her 'milch fr meine kinder', and thrust the tiny mite into my arms, then wandered off unable to shed just one tear as she was so dehydrated. He said, as I opened the bundle, I found that the baby had been dead for days and stunk to high heaven. As he told us what he had seen, he really was in a bad way, with tears in his eyes, his whole being was trembling uncontrollably. As he wandered off he said, "That day was the worst day of my life". Rumour has it that he was repatriated soon after. Poor kid" The camp was "Bergen Belsen" concentration camp. In part three As I waited in line, I could see little of what was going on and as it turned out, was glad I could not see. When my turn came the nurse said are you Kenneth Gibbons, yes miss. My height and weight were recorded; I was quite weedy for my age. I remember being called Belsen once as I was so thin. I am sure it stopped as soon as people knew what it really meant. A listen to my chest and then the nurse said take your trousers down so the doctor can examine you. As I did not have any underpants on, and the fact that I was standing in front of a lady nurse, I was embarrassed beyond belief; The Doctor put his fingers at the side of my "robin" as mam called it and asked me to cough. Apparently, it was to assess the development of my genitals but I felt as if I had been naked in the middle of Mersey square.

Secret Commissions

An Anthology of Victorian Investigative Journalism

Secret Commissions

Lurid, controversial, and vulnerable to accusations of titillation or rabble-rousing, the works of Victorian investigative journalism collected here nonetheless brought unseen suffering into the light of day. Even today their exposure has the power to shock. As one investigator promised, “The Report of our Secret Commission will be read to-day with a shuddering horror that will thrill throughout the world.” Secret Commissions brings together nineteen key documents of Victorian investigative journalism. Their authors range from well-known writers such as Charles Dickens, Henry Mayhew, and W.T. Stead to now-forgotten names such as Hugh Shimmin, Elizabeth Banks, and Olive Malvery. Collectively, they show how unsparing descriptions of social injustice became regular features of English journalism long before the advent of American-style “muckraking.” The reports address topics as varied as child abuse, animal cruelty, juvenile prostitution, sweat-shops, slums, gypsies, abortion, infanticide, and other controversial social issues. The collection features detailed chapter introductions, original illustrations, a historical overview of investigative reporting in the nineteenth-century press, and suggestions for further reading.