An author’s books about the rich history of Preston and Lancashire

Posted on - 4th September, 2021 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - History, Preston News
Steve Halliwell writes books about Preston

In June 2021, author Steve Halliwell self-published a book titled “‘The Lancashire Bare-knuckle Fighter and Livery Stable Keeper’ The Life and Turbulent Times of ‘Touch’ Duckworth 1800 – 1848.”


He was a Preston resident who lived in many of the areas which still exist at the rear and close to what is now the Minster.

He was well-known throughout Lancashire, which is something that wasn’t easy before social media.

The second book, which was released in July, was a follow-up to Steve’s ‘Preston Pubs’ book of 2014, and is titled ‘Pubs in Preston: From Plough to Plau.’

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Steve wrote his first book ‘Preston Pubs’ in 2014, after Amberley Publishing approached him about his blog.

The research for his blog began about ten years before he was approached. It also came around the same time he discovered Moses Holden (1777-1864) who he later wrote a book about.

Holden was a Preston astronomer, and he was a founder of the Institute for the Diffusion of Knowledge in 1828, the group from which UCLan claim their heritage.

UCLan didn’t know anything about Holden at the time, but since the publishing of Steve’s book in 2016, lots has happened.

The Jeremiah Horrocks Institute, the Astro-Physics department, through their director Professor Derek Ward-Thompson, has been responsible for the acquisition of a £250,000 digital telescope, and installation of it at their Alston Observatory near Longridge. It has been named ‘The Moses Holden Memorial Telescope.’

The three times great-grandson of Moses Holden, Patrick Holden, has been so touched by the memorial, that he has signed-over a rental property to the university.

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The rental proceeds of around £10,000PA are to fund a bursary for a Phd student.

The 2016 book is on the verge of a Second Edition, inspired by the University, and is due to be launched simultaneously with the opening of the new buildings by the Adelphi roundabout complex.

Steve said: “The new book, rather than softback and black and white, will be full colour and hardback, with an additional, introductory chapter detailing the above and much more that are of recent occurrence.

“The lockdown seemed a good opportunity to set about producing a couple of books I’d had in mind, and in June and July I published them.”

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Have you read any of Steve’s books? Let us know in the comments below.

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