Catherine Charley

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Catherine Charley

Catherine is an author, lecturer and teacher.

Books for Children

Conquering the World

Conwuering the World

("Extreme Expeditions" series) True stories of expeditions around the world, including walking, sailing and flying. Read also the story of the amazing rescue of lone-yachtsman Tony Bullimore from the Southern Ocean, 1000s of miles south of Australia, in 1997.

"Thrilling real-life round-the-world expeditions together with essential facts and information for the would-be adventurer."

Sir Ranulph Fiennes Bt OBE Explorer and travel writer

The Big Freeze

The Big Freeze

("Extreme Expeditions" series) True stories of expeditions to the North and South Poles. Historic and modern day characters loom large! There are tales of Scott, Franklin, Shackleton and Fiennes, among others. Also gruesome pictures of frost-bitten toes and dead bodies!

"This excellent, comprehensive book explores our fascination with the Poles, with stories of heroic explorers and a practical guide to coping in extreme cold."

Alexandra Shackleton - Granddaughter of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Everest Adventure

Everest Adventure

True stories of the successes and tragedies of various Everest expeditions.

The very highest point in the world and the ultimate challenge. Experience the thrill - and the fear - of a real Everest ascent with these accounts from the world's top mountaineers.

"This book captures the magic of Everest and recreates beautifully some of the mountain's triumphs, dramas and extraordinary tales."

Stephen Venables first Briton to climb Everest without bottled oxygen

South Pole

Struggle for the South Pole

Who will reach the South Pole first - Scott or Amundsen? This is the story of two men - deadly rivals - who have never met. Both are determined to be the first man to reach the South Pole, but can they survive the extreme conditions of the wind-blasted, ice-continent of Antarctica? Each faces the challenge in a different way, but the final glory will only go to one man.

One of the 'Double Take' series from Scholastic which looks at historical events from the point of view of two of the key people involved.

What they don't tell you about… Art

What they don't tell you about… Art

A fun look at the history of art from cave paintings to modern times. All the key points about art history with lots of interesting extra facts thrown in - ie did you know that Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa once hung in the King of France's bathroom?

Tombs & Treasure

Tombs and Treasure

An informative look at the history of various cultures of the world through the theme of treasure and tombs. Stories include Tutankhamen, the Taj Mahal and South American treasures. Text accompanied by full-colour drawings and photographs. Several pages "lift-up" to reveal the contents of a tomb or a lost ship.

"A very well researched book full of detail and interesting information"

Belfast Telegraph

Hunting for Treasure

Hunting for Treasure

An extremely informative account of some of the key treasure finds of the world, with full-colour illustrations and diagrams. Gives an exciting insight into old and new cultures. Includes several stories of the discoveries of shipwrecked treasures.

China: A Country Fact File

China: A Country Fact File

This is a full-colour and informative outline of China, which includes sections on the population, daily life, politics, farming, industry, the environment, climate and natural resources. It is illustrated with many photographs (some by the author) and charts the time when she spent 2 years living in this fascinating country.

Books for Adults

Lest We Forget The Story of the Northern Ireland War Memorial

Lest we Forget

‘Lest We Forget’ The Story of the Northern Ireland War Memorial has been published to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the original building in Waring Street, Belfast by the Queen Mother on 29 October 1963.

In her speech the Queen Mother said: ‘the debt owed to the men and women of all ranks who had sacrificed their lives in the service of their country, in the cause of freedom, must never be forgotten’.

Commenting on the publication, Lieutenant Colonel C T Hogg, Chairman of the board of trustees, said: ‘This evening’s launch of the history of the War Memorial can be viewed as honouring the commitment given by the Queen Mother half a century ago’. -

The war memorial moved to its present location in Talbot Street, Belfast in 2007. This year the museum achieved accredited status, a prestigious award for the museum.

The 110 page history covers the period of occupation in both buildings.

"Rudyard Kipling's words, 'Lest we forget', are especially appropriate for the Northern Ireland War Memorial - the protracted violence and destruction of 'The Troubles' did tend to push back the memory of the experience of the people here during the most terrible conflict in history. Recalled in this building, each name carefully recorded, are those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice, and also the names of more than a thousand citizens who died during the air raids of 1941. This authoritative and handsome book vividly brings back to view the war years in Northern Ireland for the benefit of fresh generations born long after VE Day and VJ Day. The distinguished writer Catherine Charley, with the sensitive collaboration of the designer of the gallery, John McMillan, open one fascinating window after another to demonstrate what life was like on the 'Home Front' - the privation, the terror, the willingness to meet the domestic challenges of total war, and the determination to live life to the full and have fun (particularly during the time that American GIs formed almost one tenth of Northern Ireland's population). Meticulously researched, Lest We Forget is also, thanks to the lucid writing, a thoroughly good read. This sumptuously illustrated book is surely at the cutting edge of twenty-first century design, subtly recalling the styles of war time in the most modern way. The volume is divided into neat and easily digestible short sections making quick reference particularly straightforward. There is no doubt that this book will be eagerly read and consulted for many decades to come.”

Jonathan Bardon Historian

‘Lest We Forget’ The Story of the Northern Ireland War Memorial is available, priced £10, from

NI War Memorial
21 Talbot Street
Belfast BT1 2LD

T: 028 9032 0392
E: info@niwarmemorial.org

Vision & Venture A History of Bryson Charitable Group 1906-2006

Vision and Venture

Vision & Venture, a fully-illustrated book on the 100 year history of Bryson Charitable Group, was launched in December 2006 in Belfast. It tells the remarkable story of the Bryson Charitable Group (formerly known as Bryson House) from its origins in Edwardian Belfast to the diverse range of its 21st century activities throughout Northern Ireland and beyond.

An anonymous ‘Mr X’, the Titanic launch, the Belfast Blitz and the Troubles are all woven into the story of the charity. Vision & Venture records a century of social history, the introduction of the welfare state and the development of the voluntary sector.

John Steele, Chairman of Bryson Charitable Group, says: ‘Traditionally the charity’s work has clustered round a common theme of sustaining the family in the community. This remit has now widened to sustain the community itself with drivers such as recycling projects, energy initiatives and other environmental schemes. This book brings out very clearly that the charity has always responded swiftly to identified need.’

‘Catherine Charley has written a very fine account of charity and endeavour in Belfast. She has uncovered an important range of sources on the subject. This book adds greatly to our knowledge of the history of Belfast.’

Professor Brian Walker Queen's University, Belfast

‘Bryson Charitable Group has served all aspects of society without bias and has been courageous in its practical approach to issues which lie at the heart of creating a fair, just and compassionate community. This book is a superb social history of Belfast as well as Bryson Charitable group. It is in an accessible style and format.’

Dr RSJH McKelvey Dean of Belfast