Remarkably, this communal system still operates in the same way today, as a real living relic of the past. As well as using pre-19th century documents at the Lancashire Record Office, I contacted the present secretary of the owners of the grazing rights, who made available all documents still in his possession, including minute books and various maps and plans which proved vital in interpreting the written evidence.
This example of committed assistance highlighted for me the importance of face-to-face contact and the establishment of mutual trust and confidence. It also resulted in several minute books being deposited at the Record Office, guaranteeing their availability to future historians.
The history of the watermill which stood on the edge of the marsh appeared in a county journal back in 1942. I found out more, continuing its story until the building was finally demolished in 1968.
Three excellent hand-drawn maps of the marsh, including the site of the watermill as it probably appeared in the 14th, 19th and 20th centuries, had appeared in the 1942 article. Approval was given by the present secretary of the county society to reproduce these maps in my book, but I was left to clear the copyright.