In her passport Victoria Wood listed her occupation as 'entertainer' - and in stand-up and sketches, songs and sitcom, musicals and dramas, she became the greatest entertainer of the age. Those things that might have held her back - her lonely childhood, her crippling shyness and above all the disadvantage of being a woman in a male-run industry - she turned to her advantage to make extraordinary comedy about ordinary people living ordinary lives in ordinary bodies. She wasn't fond of the term, but Victoria Wood truly was a national treasure - and her loss is still keenly felt.
Victoria had plenty of stories still to tell when she died in 2016, and one of those was her own autobiography.
Over the past twenty-five years Peter Shakeshaft, and his wife Maureen, have interviewed many past and present Freckleton Residents, and recorded their recollections of village life from the early nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. The interviews, combined with local newspaper reports and private correspondence, have enable a hitherto unseen picture of Freckleton to emerge from otherwise rapidly fading shadows.
This unusual history draws on original letters, newspaper cuttings and a remarkable complete set of meeting minutes to set out the story of the union, and in doing so lifts the lid of a host of colourful characters who defined the place of Fylde as well as the fast paced time in which they lived.