Home Local history books about Seaham by Fred Cooper BSc ACMA CGMA

Books by Fred Cooper BSc ACMA CGMA

(Local history books about Seaham)


 Are you interested in the history and the town of Seaham? 

   These unique local history books are published in paperback and as eBooks from Amazon. The books are an ideal gift for anyone interested in the history of Seaham Harbour. The paperback editions are sold locally and exclusively by: -

   East Durham Heritage and Lifeboat Centre at the Seaham Marina


   Seaham Family History Group (Wednesday mornings in Seaham Library)

Why not Check out the Paperback or eBook editions written for the Kindle, tablet and smartphone?



Released in January 2019


 ONE YEAR OF HELL: The heart-breaking true story of the 1880 Seaham Colliery Disaster


 The author spent much of his childhood living in the pit village and community of Seaham Colliery. The pit yard at the bottom of the street was his playground during the day and at night he fell asleep with the sounds of the busy colliery ringing in his ears. He knew about the tragic 1880 Seaham Colliery Disaster that killed 164 men and boys – everyone did – but during the research for this book he was totally unprepared to learn about the unbearable pain and heartache suffered by the pit community.

This book chronicles the grief and hardship of the widows and children of the victims that perished in the horrific explosion. It tells of the miners who refused to work whilst the bodies of their comrades were entombed in the Maudlin seam and who went on strike to uphold that long established principle followed by Durham coalminers. Some miners were sent to Durham jail for intimidation of strike-breakers in the colliery village and some, the “sacrificed men,” were denied re-employment by the coal owner and had no option but to emigrate and make a new life in America. It was exactly one year to the day after the explosion that the last body was recovered from the mine. Descendants of the miners killed in the explosion will learn for the first time of the terror and horrific injuries caused by the fiery blast that ripped through the Hutton and Maudlin seams. This is the story of “One Year of Hell” in the history of Seaham.

Follow these links to see a preview:

         Amazon for the Kindle               https://goo.gl/x5drdY  (eBook and Paperback)

           eBay                                          https://goo.gl/rTXnFY   (Paperback)





Released in February 2018





The 2nd Durham (Seaham) Artillery Volunteers were raised in 1860 at Seaham Harbour. The Corps exemplified the bonding of old feudal ideals with spirit, pride and patriotism. Its formation was chiefly due to the initiative, influence, energy and enthusiasm of Lady Frances Anne Vane, Marchioness of Londonderry and her son Earl Vane. The Volunteer movement in Britain was a response to a real threat from France and a government appeal for Counties to establish a civil home defence Corps. More than 7,000 men from the colliery districts of Seaham, Silksworth, West Rainton and Old Durham enrolled as members of the Corps between 1860 and 1908. For three generations these men drilled to military precision at the six drill halls; they became proficient in the use of big guns and carbines; they competed against other Artillery Volunteer Corps and they had an undisputable and distinguished record amongst the Volunteer Artillery Brigades of Britain. This book reveals everything about the drill halls, the brigade bands, the Adjutants, uniforms and equipment, big guns and carbines, and brigade inspections and annual reviews. An artillery volunteer uniform would be found in every other household in the colliery districts between 1860 and 1908. The 1888 Muster Roll and the appointment, promotion, achievements and awards of many of the officers, NCO’s and gunners are listed in the book.

This book is a record of the past service of many men from Seaham, Silksworth, Rainton and Old Durham who voluntarily gave their time, during peacetime, to prepare for war. Members of the Old 2nd Durham’s and their descendants have a right to be proud of their record and achievements.

Follow these links to see a preview:

               Amazon for the Kindle         https://goo.gl/tFx1aT   (eBook and Paperback)

               eBay                                       https://goo.gl/x5Asps  (Paperback)



Released in April 2017



Churches are, for some, central to their spiritual existence and an important part of their day-to-day life. To some people visiting churches is a hobby. To others, churches are places they wander into whilst on holiday to look around, to sit and meditate in the quiet and to absorb the tranquillity of the occasion.  Often the visitor’s book is signed with comments such as beautiful, lovely or fascinating but do people really know anything about the building they have looked around? Do they know who built the church; why it was built; why it was erected in that location and at that time; what difficulties were encountered; where did the funding come from and what events or unique features set it apart from other churches? This book provides the answers to all of these questions about the twenty four churches, past and present, that were built in Seaham.

Follow these links to see a preview:

         Amazon for the Kindle    https://goo.gl/TvUQu4  (eBook and Paperback)

         eBay                                https://goo.gl/DH412F       (Paperback)


Released in March 2016






The development of sport as a social pastime began to grow from the mid-19th century when working people began to enjoy the concept of the "weekend" when they did not work. This exploration of sporting pastimes at Seaham Harbour covers the period from 1835 through to the mid-20th century when sport and recreational activities were woven into the very social fabric of every-day life in the town.

Follow these links to see a preview:

            Amazon for the Kindle      http://goo.gl/bzrQbU  (eBook and Paperback)


          eBay                                  https://goo.gl/Yv9qQo   (Paperback)


Released in August 2015






This book documents the definitive history of the Londonderry Institute at Seaham from it's opening in 1855. Built to serve the town as a Literary Institute it evolved into a focal point for public and social groups that bound the fabric of the community together. As it approached its centenary year it appeared to have reached the end of its useful life but the town would not let it be demolished.

 Follow these links to see a preview:

            Amazon for the Kindle      http://goo.gl/6Ay0EX   (eBook and Paperback)


            eBay                                  https://goo.gl/cqTw9P    (Paperback)


Released in July 2015:




The 18th and 19th century was a torrid time for the sick, elderly and maimed in the United Kingdom. Care for the sick, injured, mentally ill and aged was provided from a variety of sources none of which was centrally planned or co-ordinated. The population of Seaham Harbour was rapidly expanding in the 1830’s and 1840’s with many new industrial and commercial ventures starting up and a rapidly expanding township. The time was right for some form of medical, surgical and nursing provision at Seaham Harbour. This is the definitive history of the Seaham Infirmary from 1844 to 1969.

 Follow these links to see a preview:

          Amazon for the Kindle      http://goo.gl/eXsUij       (eBook and Paperback)

             eBay                                  https://goo.gl/b7Wy99    (Paperback)


Released in May 2015:







The town of Seaham stands proud on the Durham coast in the north-east of England. Seaham once built ships. Not large ships. Not iron ships - with one exception - but fine and sturdy wooden sailing ships.

The shipyards are now gone; the patent slipways, pontoons, dry docks, workshops are all gone and no trace remains to remind Seaham of this once flourishing industry. The ships built at Seaham Harbour are here no longer. They either sank or were sent to the breakers yard many years ago. This book documents the fine history of shipbuilding at Seaham Harbour between 1832 and 1899.

Follow these links to see a preview:

            Amazon for the Kindle      http://goo.gl/SrLy5C       (eBook and Paperback)

            eBay                                   https://goo.gl/55wisa       (Paperback)




"A MASTER MARINER’S TALE: A Victorian Action, Adventure, Espionage and Spy Thriller Novel" by Fred Cooper


 “A Master Mariners Tale” by Fred Cooper, is a spy thriller novel set in the latter part of the Victorian era. The town of Seaham Harbour provides the stage for this story. It was here that the aristocrat, the Marquess of Londonderry invested £165,000, a small fortune in 1828, to develop a new harbour that was to be the stimulus for the building of a new town.

 His grandson the 6th Marquess portrayed the typically flamboyant, fantastically wealthy and over-indulged aristocrat born into a privileged world but what secrets were lurking behind this façade? How could the covert activities of this party loving nobleman have any bearing on the security of his country?

 Richard Raine is the master of the collier brigantine “The William Thrift” that enters Seaham Harbour on census day 1881. Richard could never have imagined the adventure that was to unfold when he sailed out of the harbour and the part he would play in maintaining the fragile peace that existed in Queen Victoria’s empire. More than a century after these events took place the real story “A Master Mariners’s Tale” is finally told.

 Follow these links to see a preview:

         Amazon for the Kindle  http://goo.gl/ajDDgr      (eBook and Paperback)


         eBay                               https://goo.gl/xcsPQo        (Paperback)






"The Hole-in-the-Wall: A Study of Seafarers and Ships Visiting Seaham Harbour during the Victorian Era" by Fred Cooper


This informative book introduces the reader to the port of Seaham Harbour in County Durham. The early development and growth of the harbour and the town is briefly described and previously unknown maritime information and facts are revealed. Descendants of mariners may find their forefathers in this book listed on board sailing collier ships in Seaham Harbour.  Details of each ship are given. The analysis and detail extracted from each census contributes to the knowledge and understanding of the life of a mariner in the days of sail and in the transition from sail to steam ships.

Follow this link to see a preview:

           Amazon for the Kindle       http://goo.gl/VNQA7N  (eBook and Paperback)


            eBay                                   https://goo.gl/szmeZ5          (Paperback) 




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Thank you.