Hobnob Press

Hobnob and Friends

On this page I describe some of the collaborations with fellow publishers and local organisations that Hobnob Press is or has been involved in. I provide a link here to their websites. I also include details of books which, although not published by Hobnob Press, I can supply.

Sarum Chronicle
This is an annual publication started in 2001 by an editorial team of historians interested in the Salisbury area. It is successor to an earlier local journal, Hatcher Review, which ceased in 2000. For the first ten years, issues 1-10 (2001-2010), Sarum Chronicle was published by Hobnob Press, but from issue 11 (2011) onwards it has had a separate identity. I continued to serve on the editorial committee until 2020, and to write for it and typeset it. Each issue includes a variety of historical articles relating to Salisbury and south Wiltshire, and in recent years it has grown from a uniform 64-page format to a much larger publication, incorporating colour. The most substantial issue, 20 (2020) has over 230 pages. The editorial team also publishes a series of monographs, Sarum Studies. For information visit the website: https://sarumchronicle.wordpress.com/.

Ex Libris Press
I have worked alongside Roger Jones, owner of this long-established Wiltshire publishing venture, for many years, and have written books for him in the past. For a while I distributed his books, and then until 2019 he represented and distributed my books in north and west Wiltshire, and in the Bath and Bristol area. For information about his list visit: http://www.ex-librisbooks.co.uk/index.html.

Wiltshire Record Society (see Record Societies page for details of recent volumes)
Like many similar record-publishing societies, the Wiltshire Record Society exists to produce in series each year an edition of historical records relating to its county. Begun in 1939 it has now (2021) reached volume 74, and this latest volumes have been published by Hobnob Press on behalf of the Society. I was for many years general editor, and since 54 have typeset each volume. The society relies on its membership to subscribe, and thereby receive the annual volume. Volumes 1-60 are now freely available on line. I can supply copies of volumes 52 onwards at £20 each to non-members. Visit the website: http://www.wiltshirerecordsociety.org.uk/.

Dorset Record Society
 (see Record Societies page for details of recent volumes)
Younger than its Wiltshire counterpart, the Dorset Record Society has reinvented itself in recent years. Formerly part of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, it is now a separate society which aims to publish volumes of Dorset records on a regular basis. I have typeset the last five volumes, and have experimented with bringing back into print older volumes. The 2017 volume, Treswell's Elizabethan survey of Purbeck, is proving a particular success.  A Weymouth borough minute book was published in 2020 and a clergyman's correspondence in 2021. Further information is on the Dorset County Museum website: http://research.dorsetcountymuseum.org/drs.html.

Wiltshire Buildings Record
I have published a series of monographs for this society on types of Wiltshire buildings - tollhouses, dovecotes, reading rooms, almshouses,
lodge gates and most recently nonconformist chapels. I have also been involved with their other publications, including an index of local architects (see below, other books available). Visit http://www.wiltshirebuildingsrecord.org.uk/.

Victoria County History
This national project, begun in 1899, to write the history of every English parish and county, remains active in various places, including Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. From 2011 I was editor of the VCH in Gloucestershire, researching and writing parish histories, and project managing the work of other historians and volunteers.  I am continuing to work with the Gloucestershire team, currently on Baunton, Swindon and West Littleton, but since 2016 I have also been consultant editor for VCH Wiltshire, and am currently researching Chippenham. Full details on http://www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk/. Then visit the Gloucestershire and Wiltshire pages on this site for more detail locally.


British Association for Local History

This is the national organisation representing the interests of individual local historians and societies, and besides its quarterly journals, the Local Historian and Local History News, it has a programme of occasional publications. I am chair of its publishing committee and have overseen the reissue (5th edition, 2020) of its useful Internet Sites for Local Historians: a Directory, compiled by Jaquelene Fillmore, Exploring Local History: a practical guide for teachers, by Geoff Timmins (2018), Reading Early Handwriting 1500-1700, by Mark Forrest (2019), Dates and Time, by Lionel Munby (2nd edition, 2021), and Manors and Manorial Documents after 1500, by Mark Forrest. I am involved in producing other titles for the BALH. Full details of this and its other publications will be found at www.balh.org.uk.


Swindon Libraries - Local Studies

I have produced for Swindon's excellent local studies libraries three books commemorating the town's role in the world wars, and local photographers, and we have plans to publish more. I attend meetings of the Swindon & District History Network.



Gloucester Rugby Heritage

On behalf of this organisation, which exists to preserve and share the history of Gloucester Rugby Club, I have published three large format hardbacks in colour, with more to follow, derived in part from the extensive club archives now deposited in Gloucestershire Archives (Gloucestershire Heritage Hub). http://www.gloucesterrugbyheritage.org.uk


Other Books Available

Architects and Building Craftsmen with work in Wiltshire, edited by Pamela Slocombe. An index, arranged by architect, compiled by Donald Watts, Barbara Rogers and others. Includes an introduction, portraits, place-index and reproductions of advertisements. Wiltshire Buildings Record, 1996, 132pp, paperback, £6.00, ISBN 0-9527933-0-X.

Architects and Building Craftsmen with work in Wiltshire, vol. 2, by Pamela Slocombe.Volume 2 greatly expands the previous work, and in some instances corrects it, with many previously unlisted craftsmen. Thousands of Wiltshire buildings are included, and there is a particular emphasis on the Swindon area. Wiltshire Buildings Record, 2006, 200pp, ills, paperback, £8.00, ISBN 0-9527933-1-8

A History of Malmesbury, by Jane Freeman and Aelred Watkin. Includes not only the histories of Malmesbury and Westport, first published in 1991 in VCH Wilts, vol. 14, but also the earlier account of Malmesbury Abbey and two medieval hospitals, published in 1956 in VCH Wilts, vol. 3. 1999, Wiltshire County Council, 240pp, ills, maps, paperback, £9.75. ISBN 0-86080-444-5

A History of Amesbury, Bulford and Durrington, by D A Crowley, R B Pugh, and Janet H Stevenson. Histories of three adjacent parishes on Salisbury Plain, first published in 1995 in VCH Wilts, vol. 15, together with the history of Amesbury Priory, published in 1956 in VCH Wilts, vol. 3. 2003, Wiltshire County Council, 236pp, ills, maps, paperback, £9.75. ISBN 0-86080-444-5

A Retiring Collection, by Ray Skinner. These essays by a prolific local historian working in north Wiltshire were collected for him to give to his friends and mark his retirement from writing. The 46 papers and shorter pieces range over local and family history, medieval topics, music, travel and maritime history, with an emphasis on Wiltshire, the West Country and County Durham. A substantial illustrated paperback, prepared for the author by Hobnob Press. 2004, 332pp, £20.00 [no ISBN]

Plenderleath’s Memoranda of Cherhill, edited by John Reis. Rev William Plenderleath was rector of Cherhill beneath the Marlborough Downs from 1860 to 1891, and during the later years of his ministry there com-piled memoranda, to be a record of ‘what an English country village was in the 19th century, as portrayed by one who had the best opportunities of knowing’. It is a charming portrait of Wiltshire country life (previously unpublished) recorded by a deeply understanding and intelligent mind. Published by Fulmer Publishing, Compton Bassett, 2001, 172pp, ills, paperback, at £10.50, ISBN 1-903979-05-6

Forgotten Harvest: the story of cheesemaking in Wiltshire, by Avice R Wilson. Avice, whose history of farmworkers in Wiltshire has just been published by Hobnob Press (see New Titles leaflet), wrote and privately published this thorough and absorbing account of Wiltshire cheese in 1995. North Wiltshire until the 20th century was predominantly dairying country, and a cheese, the very existence of which is now largely forgotten, was its staple product. 1995, 218pp, many ills, paperback, ISBN 0-9526544-0-7

An Historical Guide to Malmesbury, by Charles Vernon. This generously illustrated and informative account of Malmesbury is arranged as two guided walks – one around the town itself, and the other around its outlying suburbs. Published by Malmesbury Civic Trust in 2005, 159pp, many ills and maps, paperback, was £8.00, ISBN 0-9536692-1-1

Bath Stone: a quarry history, by J W Perkins, T Brooks and AE McR Pearce. A brief but still useful account, with many maps and illustrations, of this all-important industry in the area around Corsham and Box. Published by University College Cardiff, 1979, 54pp, ills, £3.00. ISBN 0-906230-26-8


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