Lancashire TelegraphEast Lancs freelance journalist turns author with the publication of first book (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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East Lancs freelance journalist turns author with the publication of first book

Lancashire Telegraph: Tracy Johnson Tracy Johnson

THE stories of women who worked in East Lancashire’s mills are set to be told in a new book.

‘The Mill Girls’ is set to be published on Thursday, July 3, and is the first book from Clitheroe author Tracy Johnson.

Tracy, 39, a freelance journalist by trade, said that she was excited by the challenge of writing the book after her grandma Greta worked in Holmes Mill, near St James’ School, from 1919 for 20 years.

The book is being published by Ebury Press after Tracy interviewed four women about their experiences going to work in the cotton mills.

It features stories about life in Clitheroe, Chatburn, Burnley, Read, Oldham, Manchester and Blackburn.

The former Ribblesdale High School pupil trained as a journalist in Liverpool and moved to London for seven years before returning to Clitheroe.

The book features the personal experiences of Audrey Waddington from Read, Marjorie Wilkinson from Chatburn, Maureen Wilson from Blackburn and Doris Porter from Oldham.

Tracy said: “It was a challenging and stressful experience but I really enjoyed it.

“It was amazing being allowed to hear their stories, and their experiences at work and at home were alien to me.

“I was interested in the topic because of my family connection.

“The response that I got from people wanting to share their stories was fantastic but I had to cut it down to four people because of the wealth of information.

“Everybody has some connection to the mills so I think that this will appeal to a wide range of people.

“It was quite touching to hear their stories and for them to want to share them with me.

“I did a lot of research before I conducted the interviews and put the book together and it was a very enjoyable experience.”

Among the mills mentioned in the 314-page book are Queens Mill in Burnley and Friendship Mill in Read.

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