First World War Project Finishes

A project to formally mark the graves of soldiers from Bacup who gave their lives concluded with a ceremony attended by 100 people at a hilltop cemetery.alt

Members of Veterands In Communities, one my contracts, have been carrying out the work since last year, locating graves, researching soldier's lives and then marking their resting place with a specially engraved stone.

The project was described as one of the most significant - by the former MP Sir David Trippier.

I attended to capture the scene with words and my friend photographer Liz Henson documented the event with images.

My story, and Liz's pictures, appeared in the Rossendale Free Press on Page 3, in the Lancashire Telegraph and were used for the newsletter I produce for the charity. Radio Lancashire are also featuring the work in a series of broadcasts.



It has been a very busy time with all my schools returning and since September I have written more than 25 stories for schools alone.

For Whitworth Community High School there was a lovely story about a student who has swapped A level study for a scholarship to play with a Norwegian brass band. Other news included a footballing student who has landed a place playing for her county team and students living up to their 'Climbing Higher' school motto by hiking up Pendle Hill..

At Haslingden High School pupils and teachers have been making the news. A student who spends her spare time helping on her family's farm and also is a keen photographer featured on Page 3 of the Lancashire Telegraph. Other students have been selected for parts in a panto, one shaved her hair for charity, students have had amazing sporting success in golf, football and swimming and also read books in unusual places.

Meanwhile at Fearns Community Sports College I have had news stories in print about budding authors who had their quirky 100-word novels published in a book, a student who shaved her hair and donated it to the Little Princess Trust - that story was shared 1,700 times on Facebook, and a karate student who was equal third in a UK competition.

All my school stories also feature on the schools' own websites.

At Veterans In Communities, as well as the First World War project mentioned above, a news story about a member launching an outward bound centre in Littleborough was used by the Rossendale Free Press and Rochdale Observer.

As part of my contract with business JJO a news story on the organisation donating a football strip and hi-vis vests to community groups made the Rossendale Free Press. In September I also produced the third JJO Journal for 2015 - the four-page newsletter has been so popular the print run has been increased.

Throughout the summer, as part of my commission with Valley at Work to promote Rossendale Business Awards, a series of articles have been printed with the latest ones in the paper in September - the result has been more businesses than ever nominated. I will also be covering the awards night in November. I am delighted to say that someone also nominated Catherine Smyth Media for an award.

I have completed seven more ad hoc jobs, four for repeat clients and one who asked me to write two articles in a month and both were widely published. Many of the news stories appeared in print three times - the Rossendale Free Press, Lancashire Telegraph and Local Journal. Clients included: Antony and Patricia, Moo's Men's, St Mary's RC School, Bacup, Friends of Valley of Stone, Citizens' Advice Bureau, Winter's Solicitors and Rick Pullar.

As this month saw the first national screening of Black Roses, the eulogy to Sophie Lancaster by acclaimed poet Simon Armitage, many copies of my documentary-style book on the murder of Sophie - Weirdo Mosher Freak - have been sold. At one stage the book was number 11 in the top 100 books on Amazon about true crime murders.

Have a fantastic rest of October!