Book of tragic true tales was a labour of love for grieving mum

Julie Kayley with her first book, Chiling Events from Burnley's Past
Julie Kayley with her first book, Chiling Events from Burnley's Past

A grieving mum’s way of coping with the loss of her son has led to the publication of a book that puts the spotlight on tragic true tales from Burnley’s past.

Julie Kayley started to research her family tree after her son, Phillip, died at the age of 25 five years ago.

And the deeper she delved her imagination was caught by some heart rending stories of tragic events in the last century in her hometown.

Julie (62) said: “I did my research online through the British Newspaper Society and I kept noticing all these sad reports. They caught my attention and I started to make notes with no idea about what I would do with them.
“I certainly never imagined I had a book in me.”

All the stories in the book, Chilling Event from Burnley’s Past, are true but many have become shrouded in mystery as they have passed down from one generation to the next.

One of the stories is about the Boxing Day death of five brave men who attempted to rescue two young boys after they fell underneath the ice at a disused quarry close to the Tim Bobbin pub in Padiham Road.

Another tells the tragic tale of the young mum who was suffering from post natal depression, a condition that very little was known about at the turn of the century, who drowned herself and her two children in the canal at Byerden Lane.

And how many people will know about the appalling tragedy that occurred during the funeral of Lady Caroline Harriet Towneley as hundreds of people lined the streets of Burnley to pay their respects?

Julie, who has just retired from her job as head of housekeeping at Boundary Mill in Colne lives with her husband Richard and has two grandchildren, Lucy (eight) and six-year-old Phillip.

Chilling Events from Burnley’s Past is published by Nu-Age Print and Copy in Padiham Road and is available from Amazon, Ebay and facebook priced at £9.95.