Boom Town, a novel set in 1917 Arklow, by Anthony Cannon

Arklow 1917, a small fishing port transformed into a thriving town by the Kynoch Munitions Works. But for Michael and his sister Mary working in the factory is a curse. The deadly chemicals are killing Michael by degrees but he lacks the strength of character to escape and move on. Mary on the other hand does find the courage to leave the oppressive factory. She finds employment as a housekeeper and waits for an opportunity to run away to England. – On the other side of the social divide are Mary’s employer, Mrs Dreiser and her reluctant lover, Oscar. Abandoned by her husband for the front, Mrs Dreiser, a lonely and unstable artist, is haunted by the immense works outside her front window, and Oscar, once a man of leisure, is now obliged to take up a position at the factory.

BOOM TOWN is a novel based on the remarkable true story of the Kynoch factory, an enormous industrial enterprise which brought great prosperity to the town of Arklow, County Wicklow. By 1917, the factory employed five thousand men, women and children in the production of explosives for the British Army and the war in France. But this prosperity came at a cost, it damaged the health of many of its workers, and on the night of 21st of September disaster struck…


Anthony Cannon was born in Arklow, County Wicklow in 1967 and has lived in London since 1990. He has a degree in History and English. Boom Town is his first published novel. He spent several years researching the Kynoch factory and has written about it in the magazine History Ireland.


I’d just like to wish Anthony every success with his first published novel. No doubt Anthony will be visiting Arklow this Christmas if an authors signature is required for this years must-have Arklow Christmas gift.

Boom Town is available on Amazon

Boom Town by Anthony Cannon can be purchased from Amazon.