Candle Dark - Bk 1 Ironbridge Gorge Series

Children's Books, Middle Grade, History

By Carole Anne Carr

Publisher : Carole Anne Carr

ABOUT Carole Anne Carr

Carole Anne Carr
Worked as a teenager in a bank in Zimbabwe, then returning to England to become deputy head of a primary school. After early retirement, worked as an actress, then set up my own art and craft business, trained for three years to hold the Office of Reader in the Church of England, and then  More...


Joshua was nearly eleven and he worked down the Blists Hill coal pit in the Ironbridge Gorge and he hated it down there. He hated working in the dark, he hated the rats and the stink of the tunnels, and he especially hated it when the mine flooded and his boots got soaked and rubbed his feet raw. Then the day that Mr. Bradley the horsekeeper gave him another beating so bad he ached and ached all over, he made up his mind to run away and find work on the Severn trows. But what would happen to poor Drummer, left behind in the dark? What would happen to his mother, left to the mercy of the evil Isaac Whitlock? And how could he sail to Bristol when his father had been sent to work in the most dangerous part of the mine?

Afraid of the river gangs, and sick with worry about his dad, Joshua must decide whether to run for his life, or to stay in Coalport and protect his family despite the terrible danger.


Yes of environmental study visits to the World Heritage Site - Blists Hill Victorian Village, Ironbridge - the birthplace of industry, with school children.

A Book Review by Sophie Corness - Book Reviewer for Shropshire Newspaper

Want to find a brilliant children’s book which will encourage them to read while offering historical accuracy? Check out this latest novel. In ‘Candle Dark’, published and written by Shropshire-based author Carole Anne Carr, she has once again used her wealth of experience as a primary school teacher to create a world set against a backdrop of what life was really like for children working in coal mines in the Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire during the 18th century. This book highlights the hardships of life down the mines for youngsters as it follows the book’s hero, Joshua, on an exciting adventure. Carole has written a novel that will not only engage children but also encourage them to read for pleasure. This publication can be enjoyed by youngsters and adults alike, and offers a valuable teaching tool for those keen to learn more about life in Ironbridge at that time.  I really enjoyed this, it is superbly written and it proved to be very difficult to put it down! Although the characters and events are imaginary, Carole has portrayed the  working conditions and the life of the family living in the Gorge at a time of rapid industrial growth, and as well as being an exciting read, is a wonderful teaching tool for Key Stage 2. The author is at present writing a sequel to Candle Dark, entitled River Dark, which has the River Severn and the trows as an integral part of the story.