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Praise for The Luckiest Thirteen

Brian W Lavery brings a journalist's eye for detail to a superbly realised tale of courage, loss and exceptional bravery. The Luckiest Thirteen is an important book, powerful, heartbreaking and triumphant.

David Mark, internationally acclaimed crime writer, Cruel Mercy, Dark Winter, The Zealot's Bones

With the novelist's eye for drama and the historian's eye for detail, no one writes Hull's recent history like Brian Lavery.

Nick Quantrill, Hull-based crime writer, arts commentator, critic and sports journalist

Another epic story from Brian W Lavery very well told, with some beautifully crafted detail. You really feel like you're there on that sinking ship - and you can't get off!

Steve Humphries, documentary filmmaker and historian, Testimony Films, Bristol, UK




Praise for The Headscarf Revolutionaries


In addition to writing an inspiring history of the Headscarf Revolutionaries, Lavery has also written a social history of a world that has largely ceased to exist. With a novelist's eye for colour and detail, he brings alive the fishing industry of the 1960s... The scenes at sea are as vivid as anything in Hemingway or Melville, and winter conditions in Icelandic fishing waters make life at Alistair Maclean's Ice Station Zebra seem tame. ... The Headscarf Revolutionaries is an enthralling read, a fitting tribute to an extraordinary woman, and an important addition to working-class history.

DD Johnston, Libcom

In 1968 three trawlers from Hull, the Kingston Peridot, St Romanus and Ross Cleveland, sank within days of each other in storms off Iceland, killing 58 men. When news of the second sinking reached Hull, Lillian Bilocca, whose husband and son worked on trawlers, began a campaign that became international news and completely overhauled safety standards on British trawlers. A compelling and detailed account by local author and historian Brian W Lavery of ordinary women changing history. This is a powerful book that gives full voice to the grief and determination of the women who fought trawler owners and forced them to put men's lives before profit.

Sarah Ensor, Socialist Review

Now that a film and TV production company has bought the rights to the book by Dr Brian W Lavery, the determination of those ordinary women from Hull is set to make it to the big screen. The story of the Hessle Roaders who took their fight all the way to the corridors of power in Parliament deserves to be known throughout the UK. For too long, the achievement of the women, like the city in which they lived, has been overlooked. Dr Lavery should be congratulated for telling their story in such a gripping way and his achievement in securing the interests of the production company is to be celebrated.

Hull Daily Mail


Best book written from Hull. Ever.

Russ Litten, author, Swear Down, Scream If You Want to Go Faster and Kingdom


I love, love, love this book! The story of Big Lil and the Headscarf Revolutionaries inspires me. 

Jess Phillips MP and author of Everywoman – One Woman’s Truth about Speaking the Truth.


As the cliché goes, I just could not put The Headscarf Revolutionaries down. And it is all credit to Glasgow journalist Brian W Lavery for making this somewhat niche subject so riveting. 

Ines Watson, Scottish Daily Express


Brian’s story made me feel as if I was back in the fight in 1968. It was almost like he had been with us. By far and away the best thing ever written about us. 

Mary Denness (1937-2017), trawler safety campaigner, one of the Headscarf Revolutionaries


This is the story of the men whose exploits built a city’s wealth and helped feed a nation. Lavery’s tale of how the Triple Trawler Disaster unleashed the fury of the formidable women of Hessle Road is inspirational. 

Alan Johnson, former MP for Hull West and Hessle and author, This Boy, Please, Mr Postman, and The Long and Winding Road


Lavery goes into detail about the personal circumstances of the key players in this story […] It is genuinely moving.

Steve Regan, Northern Soul arts website

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