Heard of ‘The Road TO Wigan Pier’ by George Orwell, a social study of the north west town of Wigan? Now you can read ‘The Road FROM Wigan Pier’; a true story of one woman’s life in that same town.
It’s misleading to believe this town was alone in its hardship and squalor, the Great Depression of the 1930s affected most, if not all of them.
Elizabeth Alker was eighteen in 1936, the year of Orwell’s study. While he concentrated on the filth and deprivation he found in that working-class industrial town, Elizabeth’s story shows the closeness and love evident in her extended family circle. Read her true story and marvel at her courage and resilience during those tough times.
At the time of Orwell’s study, various illness had taken most of her close family. Only her mother was left and she had serious lung problems owing to her work in the cotton mill. Knowing she was dying, her mother’s greatest wish was that her only child, Elizabeth, would be married and settled before she died.
Fortunately, Elizabeth already had a young man from Liverpool who was keen to fulfil her mother’s wishes. They married that same year, a few months after Elizabeth turned eighteen. Just a couple of weeks after her twentieth birthday in 1938, her mother, the last of Elizabeth’s close family, died. She had a baby by then and felt the loss of her mother keenly.
Even worse, the following year, when WW2 was declared, her husband, as a territorial reserve, was among the first to be called up. Now, Elizabeth, alone with a toddler, had no close family to turn to, Yet, even in the uncertainty and fear of the following war years, she coped and found humour.
READ HER FASCINATING STORY NOW