How this Website came about....


The picture shown above was taken at the Shepherds Rest Inn at Lumbutts near Todmorden, West Yorkshire around 1989. The people in it all came from different places and walks of life. But the one thing they all had in common was their surname of FIELDEN. For me it was a very auspicious occasion, as all these people had assembled from out of the blue with a single purpose, to meet me.

The prime mover of this gathering was the tall distinguished grey haired man at the end right, back row. His name was Marvel L. Fielden of Glen Allen,Virginia and the young man beside him was, I recall, his son. Marvel had been in contact with me by letter, and was exploring his ancestral roots in the Todmorden area. 'The Fielden Trail' had been his passport to achieving this, and he was anxious to meet its author and have his copy of the book signed. When he produced it I was amazed, it was hard bound in leather and hand tooled, which, considering that the Fielden Trail was only ever produced as a paperback, must have made it quite unique. It was as much an honour for me as it must have been for him!
Afterwards, we all went our separate ways, and life moved on. The Fielden Trail remained in the bookshops a few more years, having had a rave review from the Yorkshire Post, but quickly vanished from view because it was only published in a fairly small edition and was never reprinted. Down the years various people have contacted me in search of the book, but having only two copies of my own, the best I could suggest was the local public library.

When I discovered the immense publishing potential of the internet at the end of the 1990's and began disseminating my work online, a web version of The Fielden Trail was high on my list. But it has been long in coming, main reason being that the original typescript wasn't digitised, and I lacked the time to retype it. But now at last the internet version of The Fielden Trail has arrived! Being unconstrained by print costs I am now able to use colour illustrations and to include material that was dropped from the original typescript. It is my hope that this site will open up a resource that has long been obscure and difficult of access to those wishing to explore their 'Fielden' heritage. I dedicate it to Marvel and his family.

Jim Jarratt.
Mytholmroyd. West Yorkshire April 2009.

Joshua Fielden of Edge End and Laneside.