2010 - 2011 Publications
Pewsey Avon Trail, by Chris Cole. Pewsey Avon Trail takes the walker down the sublime Avon valley in Wiltshire from Pewsey to Salisbury by means of a series of ten linked waymarked walks. It has been devised in memory of Pat Beresford, a much-loved countryside campaigner and walker, by Natural England’s Living River Project on behalf of Pewsey Parish Council. Its author, Chris Cole, is the doyen of writers on walking in Wiltshire, and he describes with clear instructions and a wealth of information the memorable places and sights encountered on the way. Sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund. May 2010, 104 pages, full colour throughout, illustrated, maps, paperback, £8.95. ISBN 978-0-946418-83-1.
Birds’ Marsh, Chippenham: an Unfinished Story, by Stephen E Hunt (Chippenham Studies 1). Situated to the north of Chippenham, Birds’ Marsh lies between the old parishes of Hardenhuish to the south, Langley Burrell to the east and Kington Langley to the north. The Victorian diarist Francis Kilvert, picnicked and danced the Roger de Coverley there with his friends. The artist Robin Tanner, and writer Heather Tanner, celebrated it in art and letters as their favourite wood, a part of the quintessential English countryside that they loved. And who lived in the lost Keeper’s Cottage at the heart of Birds’ Marsh? This work explores the history, lore and natural history of the woods, meadows and hedgerows that make up this unique place, familiar to, and loved by, many generations of local people. June 2010, 240 x 170mm, 78 pages, illustrations, paperback, £6.95, ISBN 978-0-946418-58-9.
Edington: the Bishop’s Legacy, by Graham Laslett. The church at Edington, in its sublime position beneath the Wiltshire downs, is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful in England. Alongside other great building projects sponsored by William of Edington, Bishop of Winchester, 1345-66 – which include Winchester Cathedral and Windsor Castle – Edington is of great architectural interest for marking the change of style to the Perpendicular of the late middle ages. Graham Laslett’s new study of this remarkable building, couched as a factual historical tale over 650 years, is one of the most detailed, well-informed and readable guides to a church ever written. August 2010, 232 x 158mm, 224 pages, illustrations, paperback, £14.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-03-7.
Shot for a White-Faced Deer: Life at the New Forest Edge, 1837-1914, by Stephen Ings. This eloquent and finely observed social history charts the lives of a rural population whose horizons were defined by the Hampshire and Wiltshire countryside between Salisbury, Romsey and Fordingbridge. Their unassuming stories of joy and celebration, mingled with sadness and poverty, are told with great insight and sympathy, and make a significant contribution to our understanding of the Victorian and Edwardian world so wholly removed from our own. It is a profoundly moving and sensitive account, expertly told in the finest tradition of English country writing. October 2010, 229 x 152mm, 222 pages, illustrations, paperback, £12.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-00-6.
A Wessex Nativity: Celebrating Midwinter in Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire, compiled by John Chandler. Every year it creeps up on us. We love it or hate it, but we cannot ignore it. Christmas and all its wintry associations – old customs, merry-making, feasting and worshipping – have inspired some of the finest, most intriguing, most memorable writing in the English language. And much of it emanates from the counties of Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire, the area that has come to be known as Wessex. For two decades John Chandler has been collecting Christmas poetry, fiction, folklore and traditions from all over Wessex – the odd and obscure alongside all the old favourites. And here it all is, a sumptuous Christmas banquet served up with all the trimmings, to delight anyone interested in the history of Wessex, or the history of our winter celebrations. November 2010, 229 x 152mm, 420 pages, illustrations, paperback, £14.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-22-8.
Endless Street: a History of Salisbury and its People, by John Chandler. Classic social history of one of southern England’s most attractive and historically important cities, first published in 1983, and in and out of print ever since. This is the first time in paperback, reprint of the 1987 edition. November 2010, 229 x 152mm, x, 342 pages + 48 pages of illustrations, paperback, £12.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-23-5.
Collecting the American West: the Rise and Fall of William Blackmore, by Anthony Hamber. William Blackmore (1827-1878) remain a little known millionaire mid-Victorian polymath. He was a successful lawyer based in Liverpool and an international financier involved in numerous American enterprises. He established an important ethnographic museum in his home town of Salisbury; commissioned an influential set of watercolours of the Yellowstone region by the noted American painter Thomas Moran (1837-1926); and his photographic collection documenting North American ‘Indians’ was copied to form the basis of the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Yet Blackmore’s legacy was to be comparatively limited. He went bankrupt and committed suicide in 1878, and his papers and other materials lay apparently unused for almost half a century. This is the first biography to cover the wide gamut of Blackmore’s professional and private interests and the significance and impact of his wide ranging achievements. December 2010, 229 x 152mm, 310 pages (approx.), illustrated paperback, £14.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-10-5.
The Dovecotes and Pigeon Lofts of Wiltshire, by John and Pamela McCann. This in-depth study of historic dovecotes in Wiltshire describes and illustrates all the surviving examples, and traces all the former dovecotes of which we have any evidence. Their features are related to contemporary descriptions of working practice. Introductory chapters describe how dovecotes were designed and used, and cover the origin and history of pigeon-keeping for food in Britain. Wiltshire is exceptional in retaining many pigeon lofts and nest-holes in other buildings; typical examples are described. The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs in colour and black-and-white, and some measured drawings. Published by Hobnob Press on behalf of the Wiltshire Buildings Record. February 2011, 240 x 170mm, xvi, 235 pages, + 20 pages of colour ills., illustrated paperback, £14.00, ISBN 978-0-946418-84-8.
The Arundells of Wardour: . . . from Cornwall to Colditz, by Barry Williamson. Few West-Country families can have had so turbulent a history as the Arundells, whose seat was Wardour Castle in south Wiltshire. Tudor opulence and military catastrophe in the Civil War were followed by the building of the largest Georgian mansion in Wiltshire and a spectacular bankruptcy. The last Lord Arundell died in 1944 on his return from German prison camps. Throughout the centuries the Arundells were steadfast in their loyalty to the Catholic faith. Barry Williamson, a history teacher, spent his childhood in a village on the edge of the Wardour estate, and so began a lifelong interest in the Arundells. With profound historical insight and an eloquent narrative style he has produced this fascinating and definitive account of a remarkable family through five centuries. May 2011, 229 x 152mm, viii, 242 pages, illustrated paperback, £12.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-12-9.
In the Shadow of Salisbury Spire: Recollections of Salisbury Cathedral Choristers and their School (1826-1950), edited by Peter L Smith. This book of memories spans 125 years in the lives of choristers and others closely involved in the music of Salisbury Cathedral. Recalled are not only daily life in the cathedral and school, but also events that made life rather more exciting. Stories abound of the bishop tobogganing on Harnham Hill; hair-raising Guy Fawkes’ Night fireworks mayhem in Salisbury market place; ferrying a piano precariously up the river on a wooden punt; and ghostly apparitions in the boarding house. These, together with the more serene moments of life spent in close contact with that glorious cathedral; or astute and sometimes acerbic observations on the eccentricities of teachers and clergy alike; or meeting great musicians or composers in the daily round of prayer and music; all have been collected and presented by the school’s honorary archivist. June 2011, 356 pages, illustrations, £14.95. ISBN 978-1-906978-17-4.
Echoes of Ingen Housz: the long lost story of the genius who rescued the Habsburgs from amllpox and became the father of photosynthesis, by Norman and Elaine Beale. Jan Ingen Housz (1730–1799) was a remarkable physician and scientist who lived in a circle of very famous names and through tempestuous times. His reputation has slid into obscurity and deserves new prominence, especially his discovery of the primacy of light in photosynthesis. ‘Echoes is an outstanding work of biography; science with the nasty bits left in . . . every sentence nursed to perfection . . . I couldn’t put it down.’ (From the book’s foreword by David Bellamy.) ‘This is a remarkable book . . . one in which you should immerse your-self and enter a period of history during which our understanding of life on earth took a huge leap forward . . . I thought that this type of comprehensive scholarship had died.’ (Timothy Walker, presenter of the BBC series, ‘Botany: A Blooming History’, and Director of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden.) August 2011, 632 pages, illustrations, £25.00. ISBN 978-1-906978-14-3.
Forests of the Dinosaurs: Wiltshire’s Jurassic Finale, by John E Needham. Around 146 million years ago, the warm shallow seas receded, a new landscape emerged and a diversity of wildlife flourished in a probably Mediterranean-type climate. Across what is now Wiltshire and Dorset dinosaurs roamed, along with crocodiles, lizards and an array of small amphibians and mammals. This ground-breaking book examines the history of previous research and looks at recent finds, particularly remarkable plant discoveries made over the past thirty years or so in the Vale of Wardour, which are compared with fossil material from other parts of the world, particularly the Americas. It is hoped that this broad introduction will stimulate a wider appreciation of Wiltshire’s remarkable fossil heritage from the final epoch of the Jurassic Period. October 2011, 221 pages, illustrations, £12.95. ISBN 978-1-906978-01-3.
Alvediston: a history, by Biddy Trahair. Alvediston is a remote and thinly populated parish set in dramatically beautiful south Wiltshire countryside between Salisbury and Shaftesbury, and this is the first book devoted to its history. In her celebration of the village where she has lived for over thirty years, Biddy Trahair has skilfully woven the everyday with the unusual, and the ancient landscapes with the families and characters who have lived there, to produce a model local history. Of interest to everyone whose lives have been touched by Alvediston, of course, her book will also appeal to all who love to read about and explore the English countryside at its best. September 2011, 373 pages, illustrations, £14.95. ISBN 978-1-906978-06-8.
Gillingham: the Making of a Dorset Town, by John Porter. This is the first new history of Gillingham for nearly thirty years, and the first to provide a comprehensive history of the town. It traces the rise of Gillingham from the manor and forest of the medieval period to the coming of the railway and the flourishing industrial town of Victorian times. Later chapters include the role of Gillingham in two world wars, and take the story down to the Gillingham of today. The study draws on the extensive records of the Gillingham Museum, as well as county and national archives. Many of the illustrations used have not been previously published. Produced by Hobnob Press and published by the Gillingham Local History Society. October 2011, 488 pages + 16 pages in colour, illustrations, £19.95. ISBN 978-1-906978-13-6. For availability please contact Gillingham Local History Society (email@example.com).
The Pump Room Orchestra, Bath, by Robert Hyman and Nicola Hyman. This is a pioneering and entertaining history of the City of Bath’s Pump Room Band over three centuries. It explores the triumphs and tragedies of the musicians who took to the stage of the famous Pump Room and the audience who followed them. It is co-written by a current Pump Room Trio violinist, with a Foreword by Tom Conti. Illustrated throughout. November 2011, 214 pages + 8 pages of colour, £14.95. ISBN 978-0-946418-74-9.
Walking on Wheels, by Jill Brown. Daughter of a bishop, the author’s promising career as a physiotherapist was cut short by a rare form of muscular dystrophy; but, accompanied by her assistance dog, she has become a familiar figure around Salisbury supporting numerous cultural and welfare organisations. This is her story. December 2011, 192 pages, illustrated paperback, £9.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-25-9.