Me and my blog

Richard CoomberHi, my name is Richard Coomber and this is my new blog.

Why Writer in Residence? Well, I’ve been a journalist for almost 30 years – mainly sport at first but gradually widening the brief to whatever happens to interest me. I am now happy to take on commissions on many subjects. And I work from home.

Here are some of the topics I’ll be touching on

Stephnets Cottages





This is the house where I lived until I was ten in Blackham, a small village on the Kent/Sussex border in the north of Withyham Parish. It’s nearly 60 years since I left but I still think of it as home and I run a website where I post some of the stories of the people and events, past and present.

shipley manor house 1888 section oxfo


This is Shipley Manor House, torn down in 1915 to be replaced by the Town Hall. It represent my interest in local history, which takes up a lot of my time. I currently have long-term projects on Shipley (where I now live), Blackham and Golcar. It’s mainly the lives of ordinary people that interest me.


Oregon train window engine

I love to travel. With my elder daughter living in the USA, most of my holidays have been there and I have discovered the joy of Amtrak. This picture was taken last year when I rode the train from Los Angeles to New York, stopping off in San Francisco, Portland and Chicago along the way. It was my third major Amtrak journey and it is a brilliant way to see the USA.

Book covers


Then comes writing and editing, represented by the covers of some of the books I’ve had published. Being trusted to help someone with his or her life story is a great privilege and I’ve been very lucky with all my subjects. Hopefully there will be more along the way.

Smokey barge with border


The photo of the barge on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal was taken just down the road from where I live and represents exploring Yorkshire. One of the main reasons for starting this blog is that I realised that I have seen more of America than I have of Yorkshire, even though I’ve lived here for nearly 30 years. So I intend to put that right, starting this summer.

Grandad Pearson in uniform no cap

Finally, my grandfather, Roland Pearson in his uniform at the start of WWI. I am researching my family history but will not plague you too much with that. But I’m also researching WWI in Shipley and district which will appear on this website and hopefully in a book, and I am also trying to put a story to each of the names on Blackham Roll of Honour and lychgate war memorial.

There won’t be much politics or current affairs, even though I feel strongly on a lot of issues. I’m trying to wean myself off them because I just end up with high blood pressure and yelling at the radio in frustration but all to no avail, those in power continue to do just as they please.

I welcome any comments/criticisms/suggestions you have. Thank you for visiting the site

3 comments on “Me and my blog
  1. poll says:

    You really are an interesting and clever person, not just a old weirdo with a white beard!
    I will speak to you with respect in future ( or try for a while)

  2. sandra says:

    Well, that was interesting and answers the question I was going to ask about where you originated from given your non-Yorkshire accent! Sandra

  3. Sheila Wellstead says:

    Richard has provided the village of Blackham (where I have been a resident since 1985) with a treasured collection of stories and memorabilia. The contributions of photos and memories he is sent or tirelessly collects through research networking and interviews is skillfully crafted for the online reader and his establishing and looking after is much appreciated by Blackham residents past and present. (Sheila Wellstead)

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