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Ghostly thriller set in Preston’s tunnels has launched

Posted on - 25th April, 2018 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - News, UCLan, University
The Cold Bath Street launch - Wayne Noble, lecturer in digital publishing, UCLan Associate Professor of Publishing and Head of the Publishing House Debbie Williams, A.J. Hartley, Publishing graduates Brionee Fenlon and Sam Johnson and MA Fine Art student Janet Pickering
The Cold Bath Street launch – Wayne Noble, lecturer in digital publishing, UCLan Associate Professor of Publishing and Head of the Publishing House Debbie Williams, A.J. Hartley, Publishing graduates Brionee Fenlon and Sam Johnson and MA Fine Art student Janet Pickering

A ghostly thriller set in the haunted tunnels of Preston is now on sale after a launch at the University of Central Lancashire.

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Cold Bath Street is a story centred around the Miley Tunnels, which according to local Lancashire legend are haunted by the ghost of a young woman who fell under the wheels of a train.

The title of the book comes from the real Cold Bath Street in Preston. It once housed a public baths used by poor Prestonians who didn’t have a bath at home, and it sits under what is now the Media Factory.

The book is an all-round Preston affair. The author, New York Times best-seller A.J. Hartley, is from Ribbleton, and the book is published by UCLan Publishing, the only student-led, student-run publishing house in the world.

Read more: Haunted Preston tunnels setting of book by bestselling author

The tunnel runs under a good swathe of Preston before heading off towards Longridge
The tunnel runs under a good swathe of Preston before heading off towards Longridge

A.J., who moved to the US in the 1990s, said, “The inspiration for the book was a combination of the ghost stories I grew up on such as The Bannister Doll and places like the Miley Tunnel, with my own experience of going back to the town and feeling like a ghost myself, out of time and place in a world that has moved on in my absence.”

Five students from the MA Publishing course – Laura Collie, Brionee Fenlon, Sam Johnson, Josh Moorby and Janet Pickering – edited, project-managed, designed and produced the book.

Sam has been nominated for a London Book Fair prize as a result. He said, “Getting regular feedback from a professional author was amazing. His, and my lecturer’s comments, helped pinpoint my areas for improvement as a designer, and I learned a lot about using industry standard software.”

Brionee Fenlon and Sam Johnson at the Cold Bath street launch
Brionee Fenlon and Sam Johnson at the Cold Bath street launch

On working with UCLan Publishing, A.J. said, “It has been a great experience, especially since so much of the editorial work and layout has been done by students, which is really exciting. It received a level of attention few books get with major publishers so I feel very fortunate.”

MA Fine Art student Janet Pickering illustrated Cold Bath Street and has since won the Undiscovered Voices Award for illustrators and writers.

A.J. said, “I immediately took to Janet’s work because it had a real atmosphere to it. The book is quiet and eerie, so I wanted illustrations which would capture that, but would also be both dramatic and evocative. They do that really well. It’s a beautifully made book.”

Hartley returned to Preston for Cold Bath Street’s official launch event at UCLan, which was also attended by the students involved in the book.

UCLan Associate Professor of Publishing and Head of the Publishing House Debbie Williams said, “This has been a really exciting collaborative venture. I’m really proud of the students for working so professionally with A.J. to produce such a beautiful book which has its heart firmly set in Preston.”

Have you been in the tunnels? Will you be buying the book? Let us know in the comments below.

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