Clog Shop Chronicles

John Ackworth (1854 - 1917)

John Ackworth was the pen name of the Rev. Frederick R. Smith, a Methodist minister who was born in Snaith, Yorkshire, but spent much of his career as a circuit preacher in Lancashire. Clog Shop Chronicles was the first and most successful of his works. Set in the fictional 19th-century village of Beckside (said to be somewhere between Manchester and Bolton), the book consists of 12 tales of everyday life in a close-knit Methodist community, which continue into Beckside Lights (1897) and Doxy Dent (1899). Based on an entertaining group of characters who gather round the clog shop fire, the stories are sentimental at times, but Ackworth has a nice sense of irony and refrains from Methodist proselytizing. Ackworth was also a student of the Lancashire dialect and the spoken passages in his books are mostly written in a phonetic version of late 19th-century Bolton speech, which I have done my best to reproduce. (Summary by Phil Benson)

Genre(s): Culture & Heritage Fiction, Short Stories

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 01 - An atonement Phil Benson
Play 02 02 - Billy Botch Phil Benson
Play 03 03 - Hanging his hat up Phil Benson
Play 04 04 - Giving a man away Phil Benson
Play 05 05 - Tatty Entwistle's return Phil Benson
Play 06 06 - Coals of fire Phil Benson
Play 07 07 - The knocker up Phil Benson
Play 08 08 - For better or worse: The dilemma Phil Benson
Play 09 09 - For better or worse: The denouement Phil Benson
Play 10 10 - "Bullet" pie Phil Benson
Play 11 11 - A diplomatic reverse Phil Benson
Play 12 12 - Vaulting ambition: The o'erleaping Phil Benson
Play 13 13 - Vaulting ambition: Alighting Phil Benson
Play 14 14 - The zeal of thine house: "When Greek meets Greek" Phil Benson
Play 15 15 - The zeal of thine house: "To be, or not to be" Phil Benson
Play 16 16 - The zeal of thine house: "Of his necessity" Phil Benson
Play 17 17 - The zeal of thine house: Raising the wind Phil Benson
Play 18 18- The zeal of thine house: At last! Phil Benson