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A Portrait Of My Dad

I don’t normally do portrait shots. Maybe it’s a nervousness that has kept me away from doing them. However, I’m more than happy around family and this one was necessary for a project that I’ve been working on, in conjunction with my Dad.

In 2003, I helped my Dad publish his first book ‘Cleator Moor Revealed’. It was all about the history of a small town that came to prominence during the Industrial Revolution due to incredibly pure deposits of Iron Ore beneath the ground. As a result, the town became one of the richest in the world. But, due to advances in the Bessemer steel making process, hard earned successes went into decline.

Portrait Of My Dad
Portrait Of My Dad

Having seen old copies of my Dad’s book for sale on the internet at a ridiculous price of £250, I decided it was time to revisit it, and set about rewriting. When his book was first released, it had a limited print run of 1,000 copies. During the first six months of its release, the book was constantly listed in the top 10 books of Cumbria. That accolade highlighted how popular local history and my Dad’s book in particular were.

  • So, here we are. Sixteen years after it was first published, Cleator Moor Revealed is to be republished.

Cleator Moor Revealed will be available worldwide from Amazon. The book will make an ideal addition to the collections of local history buffs; for those wanting to learn more about their roots; or simply as a gift for those that love the town, which is also known as Little Ireland.

Those that were living at Cleator Moor during the war years, will reminisce over the descriptions and old photographs of the town. The younger generation of today will marvel at how Cleator Moor used to be one of the richest towns in the world due to the Iron Ore – with labourers living in slums and land owners emulating Kings.

Cleator Moor Revealed - ISBN 9781687094957
Cleator Moor Revealed – ISBN 9781687094957

A side project to the book has been the creation of a website which is dedicated to the town of Cleator Moor. The website is still in its infancy, but has attracted over 3,500 page views in the first week.

  • Locally, Cleator Moor is known as Little Ireland. During the early years when Iron Ore was dug beneath the town, hundreds of labourers fleeing the Irish potato famine came looking for work. By 1871, over thirty-six percent of the town was Irish.

Little Ireland, the website, will bring local history, news, and other snippets of information to the folk of Cleator Moor. It will also act as an advertising platform for the book, helping people to find their way through the jungle, which is otherwise known as Amazon.

  • Cleator Moor Revealed will be published on 20th September 2019.

About My Dad

Tom Duffy was born in 1937, raised and educated in Cleator Moor. Like many from the town, he has the obligatory Irish lineage; with a mix of Manx thrown in for good measure.

Following his school years, he worked for a short period of time at Brannons Thermometers, before gaining employment at the Miller shoe factory in nearby Egremont.

In 1955, Tom carried out his National Service with the Border Regiment, and then returned to Millers in 1957. In 1975, during a great depression, he was made redundant.

Tom secured employment with British Nuclear Fuels Ltd in 1976. Then, when he retired in 1999, Tom began to research the history of his home town, and released his first book in June of 2003.

Tom is married to Margaret, has three children and five grandchildren.


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