Novel about Durham coal­field


Sunderland Echo - - News - By So­phie Brown­son so­phie.brown­ Twit­ter:@sbrown­sonjp

A cre­ative mum has penned a de­but novel about life in the Durham coal­field.

Ethel Stir­man has writ­ten her first book called ‘Not a Minute on the Day’, which used her ex­pe­ri­ence of life in a col­liery vil­lage to tell the story of a young cou­ple in the 1920s min­ing com­mu­nity.

Ethel, who was born and bred in Eas­ing­ton and now lives in Hor­den, has had many oc­cu­pa­tions – which in­clude a role as a former ice cream lady and an ed­u­ca­tional con­sul­tant.

Since re­tir­ing, she has been able to pur­sue her love of writ­ing as a mem­ber of lo­cal writ­ing groups and has suc­cess­fully writ­ten short sto­ries and poetry.

The book, which has been re­leased on Ama­zon, show­cases her love of lo­cal his­tory and cul­tural her­itage.

She said: “As part of a close col­liery com­mu­nity, I was al­ways in­ter­ested in how my fam­ily came to be min­ers.

“Although the cen­tral char­ac­ters are loosely based on my own grand­par­ents, this is a story about or­di­nary peo­ple that will ap­peal to any­one whose roots trace back to in­dus­trial Bri­tain.”

The novel fol­lows charac- ters Joe and Eva, who were born in the same col­liery vil­lage but grew up in dif­fer­ent worlds.

Al­ready strug­gling to cope with changes in their ev­ery­day lives, they also had to deal with con­flict and hard­ship dur­ing one of the bit­ter­est po­lit­i­cal bat­tles of the 1920s.

Ethel will be hav­ing a book sign­ing at Hor­den Her­itage Cen­tre, the place where she re­searched part of the book, on Fri­day, March 1, from 2pm to 5pm.

To read an ex­tract of the novel be­fore buy­ing, visit: https://www.ama­­uteDay-Coal­fields-Durham/ dp/1985375532.

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