Well kwn as the birthplace of the Eccles Cake, the town of Eccles in the City of Salford in Greater Manchester has an interesting and varied history. The cakes, made from flaky pastry, butter, nutmeg, candied peel, sugar and currants, were made by James Birch in his shop opposite Eccles parish church in 1796. Other prominent factors in the history of the town is the railway and canal. George Stephenson succeeded in constructing the world's first inter city passenger railway, the Liverpool-Manchester railway. Sadly, the opening day was marred by the fatal accident to William Huskisson MP, who was run over by a locomotive and died later that day, becoming the world's first passenger railway fatality. Swinton is ather town in the City of Salford and, like Eccles, was historically a part of Lancashire. For centuries Swinton was a small farming hamlet, but this all changed with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Coal measures underlie the area of Swinton and a number of collieries were developed. The town flourished during this period and key transport links were developed here, too, including the Bridgewater Canal. Join author Steve Dickens as he explores the area's past and present through archive and contemporary images, revealing how Eccles and Swinton have evolved over time.
Steven John Dickens has a BA. Hons in History (Sheffield University) and an MA in Twentieth Century History (Liverpool University) and is a retired charge nurse and college lecturer. He has always had an interest in local history and social history and has also lectured on the history of the NHS. He has previously written for several local history publications, genealogy journals and magazines; including The Manchester Genealogist and The Journal of the Altrincham History Society.