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Border City Blues – The Story of Carlisle Rugby League

By Alan Tucker
With a foreword by Dean Bell

Border City Blues is the previously untold story of rugby league football in the proud Cumbrian city of Carlisle. Author Alan Tucker – a former chairman of the club – shares his inside view of the highs and lows and ups and downs of life in English rugby league’s most northerly outpost. Includes a detailed statistical analysis of every season in the Border Raiders’ existence, including tables, match-by-match records and player contributions. Paperback, 256 pages.

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Border City Blues is the previously untold story of rugby league football in the proud Cumbrian city of Carlisle. Author Alan Tucker – a former chairman of the club – shares his inside view of the highs and lows and ups and downs of life in English rugby league’s most northerly outpost. Complete with an introduction by the New Zealand rugby league legend Dean Bell, the bulk of the book is a season-by-season account of the city’s longest-surviving professional outfit, Carlisle Border Raiders. From their birth in the early-1980s to ‘merger’ with Barrow in 1997, it is a dramatic story of struggle against the odds and a faithfully produced insight into just what it takes to get a new sport up and running in often quite unsympathetic territory. Added to this is a detailed statistical analysis of every season in the Border Raiders’ existence, including league tables, match-by-match records and individual player contributions. Border City Blues also takes care to acknowledge the history of amateur rugby league in Carlisle, courtesy of the city’s junior, ladies and open-age teams. And it brings the story right up to date with the post-1997 launch of the Carlisle Centurions summer conference set-up. The book also provides short histories of the city’s original thirteen-a-side club, Carlisle City, who flared briefly in 1928; and the amateur side of the same name in 1950-52. All in all, this is a valuable and timely addition to the rugby league bookshelves that no treasurer of sporting heritage should be without.

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The Woman Without A Number

By Iby Knill

An inspirational tale of Holocaust survival, The Woman Without A Number is the story of Iby Knill, who featured recently on the BBC1 television series My Story. An extraordinarily brave and open book, it tells of persecution, resistance and – ultimately – redemption. Appearing for the first time in print, it is a story that has waited sixty years to be told. Paperback, 288 pages.

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This is the story of Iby Knill, whose inspirational and moving account of holocaust survival was featured recently on the BBC television series My Story. In her book, Iby tells of her early childhood in Czechoslovakia and of how her parents – alarmed at the persecution of Jews in Germany – smuggled her over the border to Hungary. The Woman Without A Number also reveals how she was caught by the security police and then imprisoned and tortured, not only as a result of her Jewish connections but for having entered Hungary illegally and for aiding the resistance movement. Eventually, Iby was sent to the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. In June 1944, Iby Knill left Auschwitz-Birkenau by volunteering to travel as a nurse with a slave labour transport of 500 women. Once transported to Lippstadt, she was put in charge of a hospital unit and risked her life protecting the weak and helpless from the gas chambers. Appearing for the first time in print, The Woman Without A Number is a truly remarkable tale that has waited sixty years to be told.

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Yorkshire Football – A History

By Cameron Fleming

Yorkshire Football: A History is the story of club football, but told from a distinctly white rose viewpoint. It captures intriguing, surprising and tragic events, and is filled with inspiring characters from the origins of the code to the present day. The triumphs and tribulations of every professional team from the old three Ridings are featured – from Hull to Barnsley, Bradford City and Doncaster, via Leeds to Rotherham and all points beyond. Paperback, 320 pages.

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Yorkshire Football: A History is the story of club football, but from a distinctly white rose viewpoint. It captures intriguing, surprising and tragic events, and is filled with inspired characters from all the teams in the county, from the origins of the code through to its current metamorphosis. Club football was born in Sheffield in 1857 and sparred with rugby for supremacy elsewhere in Yorkshire before flourishing. As such, the white rose county has often been at the heart of the sport’s development; its clubs and administrators helping to mould and shape the most popular game. Far more than a mere chronicle of records set, trophies won, promotions gained or relegations endured, the book offers an enduring impression of how Yorkshire football has trailblazed its way through the last 150 or so years. The triumphs and tribulations of every professional team from the old three Ridings are featured – from Hull to Barnsley, Bradford City and Doncaster, via Leeds to Rotherham and all points beyond. Surveying the history of the game from the vantage points of Moors, Dales and Wolds of England’s largest – and proudest – county offers a unique perspective.

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An Audience of Curious People – The Story of the Proscenium Players

By John Fisher
With a foreword by Barry Cryer OBE

Founded in 1948, the Leeds-based Proscenium Players were the first Jewish Amateur Stage Group, regularly winning rave reviews for their varied artistic programme. Now, at long last, John Fisher, the organisation’s official chronicler, has charted their history in a book rich with photographs, bill postings, programmes and testimonials. Paperback, 160 pages.

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Founded in 1948, the Leeds-based Proscenium Players were the first Jewish Amateur Stage Group, regularly winning rave reviews for their varied artistic programme. Now, at long last, John Fisher, a leading light in the Pross’ productions and the organisation’s official chronicler, has charted their history in a book rich with photographs, bill postings, programmes and testimonials. It is a sparkling tale that will be of interest to locals and theatre historians alike. And one added bonus is that the book’s foreword is written by a very well known former Proscenium Player indeed – Leeds’ very own British comedy legend, Barry Cryer OBE. Bring up the curtain on An Audience of Curious People; a warmly-written book about theatre like no other.

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In The Prison of his Days – The Memoirs of a Captured World War II Gunner

By G. Norman Davison

When Gunner George Norman Davison returned to his hometown of Sheffield, England, upon the conclusion of the Second World War, he used the diary he had carried with him to write a vivid first-hand account of his experiences. Here, published for the very first time, that story is finally given the public attention it deserves. In The Prison of his Days is a singular tale of extraordinary times that is by turns moving, amusing, informative and thrilling. Paperback, 352 pages.

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When Gunner George Norman Davison returned to his hometown of Sheffield, England, upon the conclusion of the Second World War, he used the diary he had carried with him to write a vivid first-hand account of his experiences. These included the former insurance clerk’s initial training in the UK and posting to North Africa; his immediate separation from Irene, his newlywed wife; his subsequent capture and imprisonment in the desert camps of Libya; the seemingly endless, lonely and hungry minutes dreaming of food and home; his re-transportation to Italy; the cruelty and kindness of his captors there; and – finally – his escape with the aid of the Italian resistance across the border on Lake Como into Switzerland. Job done, Davison then put his remarkable story to one side before typing it up in manuscript form shortly before his death in 1986, whereupon it was rediscovered in a dusty attic by his only son, John. Alongside it was a battered old suitcase which contained yet more fascinating items, including each and every letter that Norman and Irene Davison had written to one another in those dark days from 1939 to 1946. Here, published for the very first time, Norman Davison’s story is finally given the public attention that it deserves. The result – In The Prison of his Days – is a singular tale of extraordinary times, that is by turns moving, amusing, informative and thrilling.

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