A NEW book charts Runcorn's pre-industrial beginnings through to the present day.

Runcorn At Work People And Industries Through The Years, by Jean and John Bradburn, is out on September 15.

It tells the tale of when prosperity first came to Runcorn with the building of the Bridgewater Canal, which was completed in 1776; the start of Runcorn as an industrial town.

Heavy industry, such as soap and alkali works, soon moved in, as did major transportation links, including the Bridgewater Canal. As people flocked to the town for work in its chemical works, the character of the place changed as it grew to accommodate the overspill from neighbouring Liverpool and Manchester.

Sprawling housing estates were built, including the infamous Southgate, and Runcorn New Town was officially designated in 1964.

A spokesperson for the publishers, Amberley Publishing, said: "Runcorn At Work explores the life of this industrial Cheshire town and its people, from pre-industrial beginnings through to the present day, in a fascinating series of contemporary photographs and illustrations.

"The story and voices of the talented and hard working men and women that have made the town what it is today.

"Including the men of vision who started industry in the town, John Johnson, Thomas Hazlehurst, Dennis Brundrit, Harry Baker and others."

Jean Bradburn was born in North Manchester and managed the local history collection in Widnes library for many years.

She has also created the image website for Halton http://www.picturehalton.org.uk and published a number of heritage walk leaflets for Halton Library Service. She is now an adult tutor, offering courses in family history.

John Bradburn has numerous production credits in theatre, TV & film (BBC & Granada).

He has worked mainly for the last decade in portrait, film and artscape photography.