WRITER Sue Gerrard is to mark the town’s upcoming 150th anniversary with a new book – and has dedicated the finished work to Len Saunders.

With next year seeing the town reach the milestone, Sue is releasing St Helens Now and Then.

Included is the Windleshaw Chantry, the discovery of coal and the town’s unique place in the development of canals and railways.

“I had the idea to do the book a while ago and things came to the fore with it being the 150th anniversary,” said Sue.

“The more research I did, the more I found of interest. It is amazing how much we have to be proud of as a town.”

Among the facts Sue came across in her research was that the two phone boxes outside the town hall are listed buildings and that the first nuns that came to work at the former Providence Hospital had served in the Crimea.

Former New Zealand Prime Minister, Richard Seddon, born in Eccleston also features and Sue saw his statue and burial place during a visit to the country last year.

Dedicating it to Len, Sue said: “The town was in his heart so what better tribute can I give.”

The launch is on Saturday from 11am to noon at Wardleworths."