Oct 24 2013 by Sophie McCoid, Skelmersdale Advertiser
A BOOK documenting the history of Skelmersdale and Lathom from Viking times to recent decades has been produced by an amateur historian.
George Orr produced Skelmersdale & Lathom Through The Ages over two years, after poring over articles and artefacts about the two towns.
The book contains many new and unseen items that have never appeared in any book about the area before, including a number of rare postcards from George’s personal collection.
George, 65, said: “Everyone thinks Skelmersdale just appeared but it’s not just a new town, it actually has a rich history.
“I have been passionate about the history of the area since I moved here from Bootle 40 years ago.
“I’ve been collecting postcards and photographs for a long time and have paid hundreds of pounds for rare ones.
“I thought it was about time I put everything I knew together in a book, so that the people of Skelmersdale and Lathom could find out all about the history of the area.
“People say it’s a fantastic read and I really have put my heart and soul into creating it.”
When George moved to Skem, it soon became clear that no one was documenting the history of the place, so the former factory worker stepped in to preserve it for future generations.
The Forest Hill resident retired earlier this year but his passion for Skelmersdale and Lathom’s history has become his full-time occupation and he sits from 8am to 5pm at the computer scouring the internet for history tit bits and photographs for sale.
The book charts the impact the Vikings and Romans had on the two towns and moves through the plague and the Civil War.
The mine and the railway are also heavily featured in the book, with lots of never seen before pictures gracing the pages.
George said: “The new town of Skelmersdale in the ’70s was not the first influx of people that came into the area.
“Thousands of people came from all over to work in the mines – not many people can trace their family history back to purely Skelmersdale.
“One day I’d love to see a museum open in Skelmersdale so people can learn about the past.
“I would love to be able to donate my vast collection to something like that, perhaps in The Concourse, so people could see these amazing things.”
George’s book costs £14.95 and is sold in Cardology, Church Walks, Ormskirk, where he will be doing a book signing on November 2.
You can also purchase the book from george.skem@ googlemail.com or on eBay.
There is no charge for delivery in Skelmersdale or Lathom and post is free to the UK.