Friday, 25 February 2011


I am researching for my 4th book on the Fens covering the changes in Fauna & Flora over the past 2 centuries to the present day. I am looking for Rookeries and Heroneries past and present across the fens, marsh and fen-edge, Any help much appreciated, if you know of any please contact me through my website, or leave comment on my blog.

Friday, 17 December 2010


I am delighted to say that my publishers "The History Press" due to demand have had to quickly reprint more copies of "Soil in Their Souls" for Christmas.
The new book has also created renewed interest in my other books "From Punt to Plough" and "Fenland Families" so much so they are also in print again for Christmas.
A happy and healthy Christmas to all my readers.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Book signing at Toppings Ely

I will be talking about my new book "Soil in their Souls" and signing copies at Toppings Ely from 7pm on Thursday 9th Dec. The venue was to have been at St Peters Church Ely but has been moved to their shop due to the cold weather. More cosy !!!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Soil in Their Souls

My publishers have sent my third book "Soil in Their Souls" to the "pagers" who prepare it for print on A3 pages for me to check and amend if required. It will be available in early November we will be holding a GRAND book launch and talk on the 12th Nov at "BOOKMARK" of Spalding where I had had my 2 previous book launches.
Chris Hanson the owner of Bookmark makes it a party atmosphere so put it in you diary.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Soil in Their Souls

My third book is weaving it's way through the publishers and on shedule for publication in Nov this year. The title is "Soil in Their Souls" a history of Fenland Agriculture, and while the cover is almost complete i am not able to put it on my website yet. However, the photo with this blog is one of the illustrations in the history chapter. It was taken in 1920 depicting a group of school children at Fen School Puddock Drove between Chatteris and Ramsey on the black fen. The photo is by kind premission of Richard Tinkler who's father Wharns Tinkler, front row 3rd from the left, earned his living as fenland smaller holder on a 24 acre Cambridge County Council Holding between 1934 and 1970. He kept a meticulous diary during his farming years, some of which i have used in my book.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A History of Fenland Agriculture

Potato planting in the Fens 2009; "Fields Apart"

My third book has gone off to my publishers, “The History Press”, at last ! The research has taken almost three years to complete in between working on my farm and other activities I still enjoy.
The book is about the changing face of farming in the Fens which covers it’s past, how our soils have changed and subjects such as; the crops we grow, how we grow them and the ever changing labour force on our farms. Other chapters cover how field names have disappeared with modern agriculture, the marshland adventurers who have reclaimed land from the sea and land ownership.
The Fens were at the forefront of the Allotment and Small holding movement over a century ago and are the last bastion of County Council Farms in Britain today. The content is based around our soils and the people who manage it, past and present.
My next blog will reveal the Title and a few notes on the first chapter.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Cropping Daffodils for Mothering Sunday on Cowbit Wash 2009

The Origin of Mothering Sunday
While reading "Christianity in the Southern Fenland" by Rev RF McNeile. MA Published in 1948
recently, I found the following lines on this subject.
It was a strict rule that once a year, usually in Mid- lent, all parishioners, including those who resided in outlying parts, should repair to the mother church, which they seem to have done in grand procession with flags and banners. This is the origin of "Mothering Sunday" of which the more popular explanations, as, for instance, that it was a holiday on which maids in domestic service could visit their homes, are merely modern inventions to account for the term long after the custom had fallen into disuse.

The Rev McNeile was Rector of Bluntisham-cum-Earith Huntingdonshire
Sometime Tutor of christ Church Oxford and assistant Master at Uppingham School.