A FORMER miner has released his second novel based on his experiences of living in Leigh.

Edmund Birchall, who grew up on Leigh Road, left school at 15 and worked at collieries at Parsonage, Bickershaw and Clock Face from the mid-50s to 1970.

He then took up the post of the coal board area officer.

Edmund released his first book Men of Coal in 2016, a fiction about the lives of a group of young miners.

The 78-year-old has now released Pies, Sighs and Tries, a comedy with an underlying crime story, which is set in a 12-month period from 1971.

Although the book is fiction, the story includes Leigh's Challenge Cup Final win against Leeds at Wembley with coach loads of miners and residents making the journey down south to cheer their team on to victory.

In Edmund's novel, the fictional Redmans colliery is closing at the same time, leaving uncertain futures for the miners.

Leigh's love of meat of pies and the presence of Waterfield's, which was founded in the town in 1926, also features in the story.

Grandad-of-four Edmund said: "I worked in mining for 15 years and it is embedded in my blood - it never leaves you.

"When I left the industry the coal mines were all closing.

"As my first book was more about mining my latest novel concentrates more on the lives of people in Leigh.

"I enjoy the warmth of people in the town and how friendly and lovely they are.

"I grew up with Waterfields and I wanted to include a manufacturer that everyone knew and the company gave me permission to use its name.

"I am getting good feedback about the book so far."

Leigh Journal:

Edmund with MP Jo Platt at a book-signing event at Leigh Library

After tracing his family, Edmund discovered he is a seventh generation miner, with his family involved in the industry since 1786.

Last week Edmund, who now lives in Anglesey with his wife Margaret, met Albert Waterfield while he visited for the launch of his book.

And last Friday a book-signing event took place at Leigh Library, which was attended by MP Jo Platt.

To order a copy of Pies, Sighs and Tries click here.

The book is also for sale at the Leigh Centurions store at Leigh Market.