Merseyside at War 1939-45

OUT NOW! Published November 2018. This is a study of the Home Front in the Merseyside area during war, including evacuation, the Blitz, the war effort and factory work, while also looking at controversial subjects such as conscientious objectors, racism, crime, and the issue of the Spirit of the Blitz - a myth or reality? Illustrated throughout.

Sailingships, Shipwrecks & Suffragettes
Thomas Royden & Sons, Shipbuilders of Liverpool

This larage volume is now completed and is a comprehensive study of the shipbuilding family, the shipbuilding yard (the last to close in Liverpool)and histories of all 262 vessels built at the yard.

The yard was operational through much of the nineteenth century and bears witness to the evolution of ship design from wooden construction to iron and steel, and from sail to steam. The immediate family history, is featured plus their family homes and estate, still well known and used by the public in Wirral. Publication will be some time in 2019.

A-Z of Chester: Places-People-History

The history of Chester goes back to its foundation as a Roman camp, Deva, on the River Dee, close to the Welsh border, and the city has remained an important centre for the last 2000 years. The Saxons founded the cathedral, the Normans built an imposing castle and the fortifications surrounding the city were developed over the centuries and Chester is now one of the best preserved walled cities in the country. The industrial revolution brought the canal system and railways to Chester and the town continued to flourish as the local industries grew.

The city is also famous for its historical black-and-white timbered buildings which in the city centre form the Rows, where shoppers can walk along a covered shopping arcade on the first floor. The Victorians continued to build shops in Chester following this local style as well as the prominent town hall in the city centre and the Grosvenor Museum and the preservation of the buildings and history of Cheshire remains important to the present day. The town is also known for its race course.

Much of the history is still evident in Chester today and local historian Mike Royden takes the reader on an A-Z tour to reveal the places, people and history that make Chester such a fascinating city.

OUT NOW! - Published May 2018

Tales from the 'Pool

OUT NOW! From the most detailed study of Liverpool Castle yet to appear in print, to the most up to date account of the Liverpool Hitlers, Mike Royden has produced a fascinating collection of stories about the Merseyside area, including grim accounts of the workhouse and two stories of gruesome murders. Two chapters look at aspects of Liverpool’s role in the First World War, while the story of Titanic survivor Ruth Bowker, unknown until now, appears for the first time. Fully illustrated with over 90 images, this fantastic collection will delight those interested in delving into detailed historical accounts of Merseyside heritage.

Blackie the War Horse

In December 2017, the grave of 'Blackie' the war horse at Halewood Horse's Rest was granted Grade II Listed Status to protect the site. This came after a local campaign and application to Historic England after fears it may have been removed by developers. This is the only site of its kind in the country with such status. Read about how Blackie came to be in Halewood and the story of his master Lieutenant Leonard Comer Wall.

Chester at War

The story of the home front in Chester through both the First and Second World War.

The historic city of Chester in Cheshire, in the northwest of England, experienced the tragedies and hardships of war at first hand during the two world wars. In the First World War many young men called up to fight in the conflict lost their lives, leaving communities bereft. On the Home Front, food shortages and the demands of wartime work in manufacturing and other vital wartime industries changed life for all. In the Second World War the city of Chester was a direct target in itself with aerial bombing raids destroying many homes and familiar buildings with a significant loss of life. Communities learned to deal with rationing, air raids and large numbers of evacuees. Both wars had a devastating effect on local communities through the loss of life, the destruction of familiar places, the movement of communities and the hardships experienced at home but both were also a time of courage and fortitude in an effort to continue with everyday life. In this book, historian Mike Royden has captured the tribulations of the times in words and pictures, telling the stories of many local men, women and children during these trying periods.

Chester at War pays tribute to the people of this city who served, died and lived through the two world wars, and how they managed to endure in the face of the horrors of war.

Published Friday 15 February 2019