I think it was when I saw a man walking…
22 Ideas that saved the English Countryside
by Peter Waine and Oliver Hilliam
I’m not particularly sure that the English countryside has been saved yet, or ever will be from the ever present threat of development, particularly when you consider the current housing needs and the government’s building quota dictates. But the title provokes interest and this subject should be close to every Englishman/woman’s heart. It’s more important than ever that we’re vigilant and strive to protect our unique countryside. This book covers subjects such as ‘keeping villages alive’, ‘taming the Octopus’, ‘this green and pleasant land’ and has been put together by some very high profile individuals (Melvyn Bragg, Kate Adie, David Puttnam, Tony Robinson), who obviously all want to do their bit because they undoubtedly care deeply. It’s essential reading and I’d say that if you have a deep interest in our countryside, it’s a great way to gain background knowledge on the history of preservation of our countryside, covering institutions such as the National Trust.
ISBN – 9780711236899
The Lifeboat Service in England
by Nicholas Leach
I’ve omitted the rest of the title which says this book also covers the South Coast, Channel Islands and it’s covered in a station by station way.
The book also details the 19th, 20th and 21st century lifeboat services and delves into the detail of the great tragedies on the south coast, the first lifeboats, wartime service, post war rebuilding and the RNLI, past and present. It’s sort of a mini encyclopedia on the Lifeboat Service and as such it’s quite fascinating because it’s been well designed with a great range of photos which add much interest.
We all know that the Lifeboat Service do a particularly valuable job and although I’m not particularly interested in lifeboats or the service, I’d be tempted to buy the book for reference. I should imagine that for the boating/yachting community this would be essential reading and referencing.
From Barry to Bari
by Chris Robillard
An account of David (Chris’s father), who joined the Devon Regiment in 1940 and was posted to Plymouth, where he looked after a fuel depot and drove ambulances at night during the Blitz. David was also on his way to Norway, when Germany invaded it, he was then posted to Egypt. He endured capture at the fall of Tobruk with 30,000 other allied troops. A sea journey to Naples imprisoned in the hold of a boat and then to various prison camps across Italy. He then escaped in 1943 with three others and then did a four month trek across northern Italy. Hiding and working on an Italian farm south of Verona for 18 months until disaster struck in April 1945. A compelling read, the book is dedicated to the bravery of the Italian people. It’s sometimes hard to believe that not so long ago Germany was attempting to take over Europe (some things never change). I’d say it’s an absolute must read and recommend the book, particularly for those interested in wartime experiences.
The Sea Shell Girl
by Linda Finlay
This Devon based writer is already the author of The Royal Lacemaker, The Girl With The Red Ribbon and Family for Christmas.
Seventeen-year-old Merryn Dyer has been helping her mother to knit fisherman’s jumpers in a small Cornish village since she was a young girl. Growing up without a father, Merryn is used to barely scraping a living and her mother has always instilled pride and honesty in her. But she dreams of one day having more in life. She gets the chance of a job in a nearby city of Plymouth and discovers the long-buried secrets about her past.
It’s well put together, engaging and enjoyable novel with much morality and a happy ending!
Published by Penguin Books.