Historic tales of Davenham go online

Northwich Guardian: Nellie Osborne Nellie Osborne

HISTORICAL tales of Davenham have now entered the modern age thanks to the internet.

Two books by Davenham authors, originally produced in mid Cheshire as paperbacks, are now available on Amazon as Kindle e-books.

They are ‘Nellie's Story – A Life of Service’ by the late Elizabeth Ellen Osborne, formerly of Charles Avenue, and ‘A Nun's Grave – A novel set in the Vale Royal of England’ by Alan K Leicester, of Green Avenue.

Nellie Osborne worked her way up the pecking order of servants from lowly between maid to lady's companion and help. Following her marriage she was a nurse, a dinner lady and a much-loved foster-parent with her husband Ralph.

Her recollections paint a vivid picture of times when infant mortality was high, school discipline was brutal and her mother often received second-hand clothes in lieu of wages.

She described the flashes and meadows, flowers and birds of her rural surroundings and could even list the names of all the other children at her school.

She died in 2005, aged 91.

The story of the nun’s grave was inspired by a frightening experience at Vale Royal Abbey for a young Alan K Leicester, which led him to undertake years of research into the subject.

He wove his findings into a thought-provoking novel on two time-scales.

The 14th century fates of novice nun Ida Godman and young monk John of Dutton become inextricably entwined with the present-day lives of newlyweds Ian and Jane who buy a house on the site of the abbey.

Alan has always stressed however that the novel is a work of fiction and not of scholarship.

Both are published by Léonie Press, of Hartford.

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