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Local History Books

Web Link: The Murder that Defeated Whitechapel’s Sherlock Holmes: At Mrs Ridgley’s Corner

ISBN: 9781526733856 – published by Paul Stickler (April 2018 – Pen & Sword)

In 1919, when a shopkeeper and her dog were found dead in Hitchin, Hertfordshire with brutal head injuries, there followed an extraordinary catalogue of events and a local police investigation which concluded that both had died as a result of a tragic accident. A second investigation by Scotland Yard led to the arrest of an Irish war veteran, but the outcome was far from conclusive. Written from the perspective of the main characters involved and drawing on original and newly-discovered material, this book exposes the frailties of county policing just after the First World War and how it led to fundamental changes in methods of murder investigations.

Available from Amazon (Paperback & Kindle)

Web Link: A Glimpse of Stockbridge Past

Published by Geoff Merritt (November 2016)
– a treasure trove of photographic memories of Stockbridge

Having worked in Stockbridge for almost 50 years, Geoff has, for over 40 of them, been collecting postcards, photos, news, anecdotes and memories all about Stockbridge. Now he has put them together in a book, which is supported by the Court Leet.

There are pictures on nearly every page and you will find chapters on the railway, its closure and the demolition of its huge bridge, as well as the building of the roads and roundabouts that replaced it. You can also learn about the old Workhouse, the floods, the ancient pubs and inns, carnivals, the Fire Brigade and Stockbridge at war. Everyone living in Stockbridge will enjoy browsing through this fascinating collection of memories.

Web Link: On Wing and Water

ISBN: 9781861513588 – published by Jane Wilson (December 2014 – Mereo Books)

Leslie Colquhoun was a man who flew high in more ways than one. Enlisting with the RAF at the start of World War 2, he had no sooner got his ‘wings’ than he was plunged into the thick of battle after being effectively kidnapped by a Malta-based squadron to help fight off German attackers during the notorious siege of the island. After the war, having received a Distinguished Flying Medal, Leslie became a test pilot based at Chilbolton Airfield, taking part in attempts to break the air speed record. He then turned his skills to a new invention, the hovercraft, testing early prototypes and taking charge of the world’s first regular passenger service in 1982.

During relatively brief periods on the ground, Les helped his wife Katie to raise four daughters, one of whom Jane, has written this affectionate portrait of her ‘modest, gentle’ father, a man who was also exceptionally courageous and skilled.

Available from Amazon (Paperback & Kindle)

Web Link: A Personalised History and Memories of Anna Valley Motors

Published by the author in March 2014.

Anna Valley Motors was Andover’s leading car specialists from 1912 until it closed in 1962 This book covers the motor company, its premises in Andover and Salisbury, its workforce, associated trades and means of transport in and around Andover and is packed with photographs and other printed memorabilia.

Web Link: Main Line to the West – Branch Lines Part 4

ISBN: 9781906919627   Main Line to the West: Branch Lines Part 4:

(The Southern Railway Route Between Basingstoke and Exeter)

by John Nicholas and George Reeve

Published: 2nd November 2013

An excellent book which includes the branch line through Wherwell.

Web Link: Wherwell and Chilbolton – Personal Memories and a Little History

ISBN: 9781907640117 – published May 2013 (George Mann Publications)

This book is a tribute to Percy’s parents. It reflects on village life in Wherwell and Chilbolton, when the horse and cart were the norms, when water was dipped from the river Test or a well, and when paraffin lamps or candles provided the means of light. At a time when the working population were employed in the village, many at Wherwell Priory and Estate and lived in cottages provided.

Web Link: The A303: Highway to the Sun

ISBN: 0857203266 – published by Simon & Schuster Ltd (May 2013)

One of the essential routes of English motoring and the road of choice to the West Country for thousands of holidaymakers, the A303 recalls a time when the journey was an adventure and not simply about getting there. Tom Fort gives voice to the stories this road has to tell, from the bluestones of Stonehenge to Roman roads and drovers paths, to turnpike tollhouses, mad vicars, wicked Earls and solstice seekers, the history, geography and culture of this road tells a story of an English way of life.

Available from Amazon (Hardback, Paperback & Kindle)

Web Link: Queen Elfrida’s Cockatrice

ISBN: 9781843866886 – published by Judy Monckton (January 2011, Vanguard Press)

It is the beginning of the 11th century and the Dowager Queen Elfrida is spending her autumn years in quiet seclusion in the abbey she has founded. But the tranquillity of the abbey is shattered by the sudden appearance of a terrifying dragon-like creature, the cockatrice. As Queen Elfrida struggles to understand why the creature has appeared and how it might be connected to her own difficult past, members of the abbey and the local community are threatened by mysterious disappearances and deaths among their number. Will Queen Elfrida be able to destroy the cockatrice? And will she be able to overcome the terrors of her own past? Or will she be overcome by both? Queen Elfrida s Cockatrice captures very well the atmosphere of the period (inasmuch as we perceive that period’s
atmosphere today) and the combination of history, fable, fact and fantasy work well.

Copies of this book can be purchased from Wherwell History Group

Web Link: The Foundations of Wherwell Abbey

Published by SWAPP Art & Design Limited (May 2010)

This booklet aims to explain the controversy surrounding the founding of Wherwell Abbey and to shed light on a great rebuilding that commenced at the end of the twelfth century, marking a new beginning for the Abbey. It does not attempt to assess the economic fortunes, the land management, or the structure of the parishes, nor does it follow its history to the end.

Copies of this book can be purchased from Wherwell History Group

Web Link: Chilbolton – A Record of Our Time

ISBN: 9780950933344 – published by Eleanor M Lockyer (2006)

This book is a record of our time, and chronicles people and historical events in Chilbolton, rural Hampshire, mostly from the early 1900’s onwards.

Web Link: A Portrait of Stockbridge

ISBN 9780952442469 – published by George Mann Publications (2001)

This is a portrait of a well-loved Hampshire town in the millennial year, by local retired doctor Hugh Saxton. Starting with a brief sketch of the history of Stockbridge, the author moves on to the lives of those who grew up in the 20s and 30s, looks at the experience of the town during the War and then gives a picture of the changes which have occurred in the past half-century.

Web Link: Into the Jet Age (Chilbolton Airfield 1945 – 1962)

ISBN: 9780950933337 – published by Eleanor M Lockyer (1999)

The final book in a series of three, which uncover the history of Chilbolton Airfield in rural Hampshire. This book includes features about Hawker Hurricane, Spitfires, Vampire Jets, Supermarine aircraft, Supersonic flight and 183 / 234 / 247 Squadrons. This book displays over 100 illustrations of aircraft and personnel.

Web Link: English Airfield: Chilbolton Memories 1941 – 1945

ISBN: 9780950933320 – published by Eleanor M Lockyer (1997)

In 96 pages, this book is packed with stories and events about the people, squadrons, officers, pilots and WAAFs who were stationed or passed through Chilbolton Airfield in years 1941-45. ‘Chilbolton Pilots were the first over Normandy on the morning of D-Day.’ ‘Chilbolton Squadrons were the first to land in France.’ ‘From Chilbolton came the first man to shake the hand of the first Russian at the Elbe River, so cutting Nazi Germany in half and heralding the end of the war.’ This book has nearly 100 black&white photographs and illustrations.

Web Link: Memories of Chilbolton Airfield: 1940-41

ISBN: 9780950933313 – published by Eleanor Lockyer (December 1995) 

The first book in a series of three, which uncover the history of Chilbolton Airfield in rural Hampshire. This book starts with the original site survey for an airfield and ends with the victorious landing of No. 260 Squadron on Ark Royal in Gibraltar harbour. Along the way, it includes features about Hawker Hurricanes, Spitfires, Junkers Ju Bombers, 238 and 260 Squadrons and numerous accounts of sorties, collisions, DFCs and personal memories. This book (64 pages) displays over 40 photographs (some rare) and illustrations of aircraft and personnel.

Web Link: Chilbolton Fragments – The Story of a Test Valley Village

ISBN: 0950933309 – published by Eleanor Lockyer (1984)

Possibly, available on loan from Andover Library

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