A BOOK capturing the changing face of Bacup, from a historian with a long family history in the town, has gone on sale.

For more than 70 years at least, slide shows have been produced by leading lights of Bacup Natural History, giving members a tour of the town through the ages.

Now history enthusiast Wendy Watters, who is also behind the town’s popular Bacup Times website, has pulled together the show’s highlights for a new book.

Owd Bacup charts the town’s history from a rural hamlet to its transf-ormation and expansion during the Industrial Revolution, through the society’s eyes.

And for Wendy, 47, of Booth Road, Stacksteads, the experience has comp-leted a 120-year-old circle, dating back to ‘The Nat’s’ formative years.

Her great-great uncle John Cook compiled some of the earliest entries into the slideshow repetoire, back in the 1890s.

He was one of the fou-nder members of Bacup Camera Club and some of his original glass slides survived for many years.

It was only when Wendy, who writes under her maiden name as WA Lord, began to delve into Bacup’s archives that she realised the connection.

“The idea behind the book is to detail the development of the slide show. I’m quite nervous because every time I looked at the manuscript there was something I wanted to change or add,” she said.

“I had the book on the go for the last six months and I kept picking it up and putting it down, but my family encouraged me to finish it off.”

The slide show tradition dates back to at least October 1937, when the society celebrated moving into new premises at the former Zion Baptist Church by producing a lantern show of ‘Bacup Past and Present’ for posterity.

Some of the slides shown then included the old Bacup Centre, old Boston Bridge, Bridge Street, Maden Memorial, Union Street, Market Street, Old Bull’s Head, Bacup’s coat of arms, Broadclough, Broadclough Plantation, Meadows Farm, and Tong Lane.

Wendy, who has been doing the slide show for the past three years following the late Harry O’Neil, uses a computer for digital presentation.

The book is available by logging on to www.bacuptimes.co.uk.