People of the Cut

Published: 10:05AM Mar 22nd, 2012

DON Thorpe left school at 14 and went to work for the Manchester Ship Canal Company as an apprentice engineer. Many years later he produced a book, The Railways of the Manchester Ship Canal.

People of the Cut

While researching this he came across many stories about the construction of the canal and promised himself that one day he would incorporate those events into a fictional account.

His novel People of the Cut is the result and concerns those who came from all over Britain to build the Manchester Ship Canal in the late 1880s, living on a contractor’s hutted settlement on the Frodsham Marshes close by the waters of the River Mersey.

Although the details of the canal construction run through the narrative, it is a story, or stories, about the people themselves, who lived in terrible conditions but through kindness and camaraderie were able to find some kind of happiness.

Aside from his long and varied career in engineering and his writing, Don has been involved in boating since the 1940s and has now settled for a berth with his latest boat Badger on the River Weaver and is based at Acton Bridge Cruising Club.

People of the Cut is published by Pegasus in softback, priced £12.99.
(ISBN: 978 1 84386 710 4)

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