Life as a miner or in the mills as a cotton spinner is not for Austin. He has ambition; he’s going to work with steam engines. Marrying Emma, a non-Catholic, they leave Farnworth and Austin’s family so that he can pursue his career as an engineer. A dozen years later they have three children, Annie, Edward and Thomas. Annie, the eldest, and Thomas, the youngest, are quiet and well behaved. Edward is different. He’s a rascal, always ready for a bit of fun and frequently willing to break the rules. He likes to get his own way. There is shock but little surprise when Edward eventually rebels and leaves home to pursue his own interests and aspirations.

A Lancashire Story

a novel by Ged Melia

‘A Lancashire Story’ is the tale of a young man escaping from the ‘hand to mouth’ existence of his father’s family to something better. It follows Austin’s own family’s journey across an early twentieth century Lancashire, the war years, and how the children started to become the characters in ‘Family Business’.  

Austin’s success takes him away from his home town and family. It’s only a few miles but even that can be a problem in a busy life. The family drifts apart. But times were rapidly changing, and events in Europe were set to shape everything. At the onset of war in 1914, Austin and Emma’s two sons were junior workers in a cotton mill, and John, Edward’s brother, was a furnaceman in a chemical works in Farnworth. Five years later each had served to defend the country, and each had a story to tell.