From the introduction;
"This book is for people wanting to discover, though not necessarily to write, local history. Every community has a history, and the history of every community without exception can be traced to some extent. If there are no written records at all, you have the evidence of the place-name; names of farms, streets, church; of coins and grave goods found locally; of the sticks and stones of village buildings.
The local historian seeks to understands and to explain the origin, growth, periods of stability, decline and fall of a community may well be older in origin than the English nation. Alternatively it might have been founded by the Saxons and for gain. It could be a Victorian creation.
The historian need not tell the whole story. He can choose his century and his specialisation: Elizabethan agriculture in Stratford. He can take a section of the populace: shoemakers of Newton. He may be unable to trace the community`s origin use every sources now available to ensure his history is interesting and worthwhile, to bring himself and listeners face to face with local people of past centuries, not as names and numbers but as early human beings. For local history is not a massive assembling of facts, but above all about men women and how they altered the face of their country.
I myself have written a local study. I took the small corner of an ancient township where, in 1775, navvies dug a canal basin. I showed the origin, the growth until 1845, of a canal community of remarkable people who mean a lot to me now that I have, as it were, met some of them through there letters, legal disputes, wills and journals. In due course I leaned to follow a set pattern in my research which I outline in this book. In short, begin by getting to know your locality as it is today. Seek visible remains from every century to re-create the place as it might have looked. Read widely. And learn how to consult archives as inestimably valuable sources of local history.
People are curious about old England, its markets, ports and villages, its bustling mill communities that turned our country into the workshop of the world, the centre of history`s greatest empire. They ask about the making of the English landscape, that wonderful variety of natural and man-made scenes that delights or interests the eye. This curiosity it is the local historian`s task to satisfy."
Excellent pages with slight edge-wear.