A new book, published at the end of last month, tells the story of a childhood in north Northumberland, after the family was forced to leave Ireland.
Beestings and Boilie – Memories of a Northumberland Childhood, by Maggie Bardsley, is described as a tale of one family, among many thousands, who were forced, by circumstance, to leave their home country.
The Second World War is over and, in England, farmhands are in short supply. Landowners send agents to rural Ireland to recruit young men and their families to cross the Irish Sea.
Beestings and Boilie tells of the struggles of one such family who moved from Malin Head, the most northerly point in Ireland, to an equally remote farm in the heart of Northumberland.
The father is the first to leave; he has only enough money for his fare. The mother and children must wait a while before joining him.
Told through Maggie’s eyes, she describes that journey across the Irish Sea in a cattle boat and the heartbreaking choice her mother was forced into at that time.
She also recounts the adventures and perils of farm life, a tragic accident, a devastating fire and a long barefoot walk across the sands. The family’s small horizons changed little until, one day, they embarked on another long journey.
Beestings and Boilie is published by YouCaxton Publications, with an RRP of £7.99.
It is available on Amazon and via the author – contact firstname.lastname@example.org