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Woman Writing

Meet the Historians 


Peter John Fyles

Peter was born in Burnley, Lancashire in January 1963. After A-Levels Peter went to Manchester Metropolitan University and studied 19th Century Working Class Movements. A few years later, after working in Israel and travelling around the world, Peter returned to education and completed A Master’s Degree at Sheffield University reading Labour Party history and completing a thesis on the 1926 Miners Lock Out.

From 2002-2005 Peter worked as a Headmaster at one of Sweden’s leading Free schools in Stockholm and published two books about his beloved home town of Burnley. From 2005-2014, he was the CEO for Scandinavia’s largest Free school group with 23 schools, 1,400 staff and 16,000 students.

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Professor Paul Salveson

Paul is a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Huddersfield and Bolton. His Bolton role is ‘Visiting Professor in Worktown Studies’ in the Faculty of Arts whilst his Huddersfield position is in Transport and Logistics. He runs his own publishing business Lancashire Loominary ( which specialises in Lancashire working class history and culture.

Paul was born and bred in Bolton and returned home after a 25 year stint in the Colne Valley of Yorkshire, in 2018. Most of his working life has been spent in transport.

He started on British Rail in 1974 at Horwich Loco Works, and did various jobs as guard, signalman and planner. He formed the Association of Community Rail Partnerships in 1997 and it is now a highly respected NGO supported by Government and the railway industry, promoting community engagement with Britain’s railways. Paul is ‘Founder Member’ of the association, which is now called The Community Rail Network. In a voluntary capacity Paul chairs the Bolton and South Lancashire Community Rail Partnership.

Paul’s PhD is entitled ‘Region, Class, Culture: Lancashire Dialect Literature 1746-1935’ (Salford 1993). It explores working class history and culture through the work of Lancashire’s dialect writers.

His publications include ‘British Rail – the radical alternative to privatisation’ (1990); ‘Lancashire’s Romantic Radical – the life and writings of Allen Clarke/Teddy Ashton’ (2009); ‘With Walt Whitman in Bolton – Lancashire’s links to Walt Whitman’ (3rd ed. 2019); ‘The Settle-Carlisle Railway’ (2019) and most recently his first novel, ‘The Works’, mainly set in Horwich Loco Works in the 1970s and 1980s.

He publishes an occasional newsletter called ‘The Northern Weekly Salvo’ and is on Fb:  Paul Salveson  twitter: @paulsalveson

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Dr Roger Smalley

After a Lancashire schooling, mainly in Blackburn, Roger Smalley studied at various universities in the UK, Argentina and the USA. A Fullbright scholarship led to books about American history, and a PhD to publications relating to socialism, feminism and pacifism in north west England in the period 1880-1930. Roger recently completed a biography of Dan Irving, a lesding figure in the Social Democratic Federation who became MP for Burnley between 1918 and 1924.

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John E Harrison

John was born and grew up in Belper, Derbyshire. He has lived in Lancashire for the past 50 years following his first degree in General Arts at what is now Manchester Met. He qualified as a teacher, working in Further Education for 11 years before moving into LEA work managing services and projects in Trafford and Salford. Whilst still teaching he was fortunate to be able to undertake a part-time MSc at UMIST. His thesis was entitled “The Development of Medical Care and Public Health in Nineteenth Century Chorley”. John is a member of Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society, the Lancashire Local History Federation and three non-local Family History Societies. In 2020 he published his first book, “Co-operation in Chorley 1830-1880 A False Dawn”. His next project looks like focussing on the history and role of the Dispensary in Chorley.

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