My Books

Tales from the Arctic Convoys
Working on the icy roof of the world during the Second World War, with a sick fear of the dark, desolate waters that would freeze a man as he fell into them, the treacherous weather, fear of attack by the enemy, the uncertainty of reaching home again, the men of the Arctic Convoys carried out their duties to the letter.
The Merchant ships; converted trawlers and cargo vessels, escorted by battleships, destroyers and cruisers of the Royal Navy, all running at the speed of the slowest ship, endured some of the harshest conditions in the world to supply desperately needed tanks, aircraft, guns, ammunition, and raw materials to Murmansk (the only North Russian port which remained ice free all the year round) and Archangel in Russia; a route which took them around the North Cape of Norway,

and Archangel in Russia; a route which took them around the North Cape of Norway, and into the range of a strongly determined enemy who, with warships, submarines and bombers, endeavoured to prevent every Allied ship from reaching the end of its journey. Without their efforts, Russia could easily have become cut off, and the whole outcome of the war, and indeed, our way of life now, could have been very different.

119 pages

ASIN : B07KTB52KS

Available at
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Southampton Airport Through Time
Southampton Airport boasts a long history, with the first aircraft taking off from the original site at Stoneham Farm in 1910. Requisitioned by the War Office in 1917 as an aircraft assembly area, it was given to the US Navy to develop. The current airport was established in 1932, and was the test bed for R. J. Mitchell’s prototype Spitfire.
The airport was commissioned as HMS Raven in 1939, and subsequently spent most of the war in service with the Royal Navy. Regular air services returned in 1945, and by the early 1950s Southampton was one of the busiest airports outside of London.
Despite the nationwide slump in air passenger traffic during the 1970s, huge investment was made by its owners Airports UK Ltd, and a decade later it was purchased by the British Airports Authority.

Amberley Publishing

96 pages (Illustrated)

ISBN-13: 978-1445687445

17.8 x 0.9 x 23.1 cm

RAF Southend 1940-1944

RAF Southend focuses in diary-type format on the airport between October 1940 and August 1944, from when it became a fighter station in its own right, to it becoming an armament practice camp later in the war. It describes the manning and maintenance of the forward fighter station, often under attack, and follows the varying fortunes of the staff and personnel who were posted there, and the highs and lows and often tragic events that occurred on and around the aerodrome.
It gives in-depth details of the numerous defensive and offensive operations carried out by the various RAF fighter squadrons while based there. Through interviews with ex-staff and eyewitnesses 'who were there' and the meticulous cross-referencing of original material, it makes for a very accurate and interesting read for people with an interest in local history and/or aviation and military history.

The History Press

208 pages (Illustrated)

ISBN-13: 978-0752470030

15.6 x 1.19 x 23.19 cm

Southend Airport Through Time

Southend Airport, one of the six main airports serving London, began life as a landing strip for pleasure flying. The largest flying ground in Essex, it was established by the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War as part of London’s air defence network. During the Second World War, the RAF requisitioned the airfield and it served as a Spitfire base during the Battle of Britain and was an important fighter station for the rest of the war.
Southend’s potential as a gateway to Europe was finally realised with the construction of two runways during the 1950s. During the 1960s, it was one of the busiest airports in the country and home to some of the most innovative aircraft designs of the time. An increase in the length of the runways and in the number of services operated mean that Southend will continue as a gateway to Europe into the twenty-first century.

Amberley Publishing

96 pages (Illustrated)

ISBN-13: 978-1445610122

16.51 x 0.76 x 23.39 cm

£12.99
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Edinburgh Airport Through Time

The land around Turnhouse Farm was converted to a military airfield following a Zeppelin attack on Edinburgh in 1916. Known as RAF Turnhouse after 1918, the site served as a base for fighter squadrons defending Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth. Edinburgh Corporation first expressed interest in February 1944 in operating civilian flights from Turnhouse after the war and in 1946 British European scheduled the first flight between Edinburgh and London. Turnhouse officially opened as a civil airport in 1949 but the site was not fully demilitarised until 1960. Passenger numbers began to increase and in 1976 a new runway was built. Between 1983 and 1984 passenger numbers at Edinburgh exceeded 1 million; for the twelve months to November 2007, they exceeded 9 million.

Amberley Publishing

96 pages (Illustrated)

ISBN-13: 1445615370

16.51 x 0.76 x 23.39 cm

EKCO Sounds: How a Southend Radio Maker Changed the World

When Eric Cole discovered a way to use electricity to power radios in 1922, it was to change his life forever, and his name became an international brand of the must-have gadgets of the day. His company EKCO was the first to produce car radios, truly portable televisions, convection heaters, and fluorescent lighting. Less known is its important role in radar, providing the technology behind Britain’s first guided missile, and its secret war work monitoring the Nazis. From plastic baby baths to vital medical equipment, the EKCO brand touched most people's lives in its 40 years in business, led by a true pioneer. Eric Cole was one of the first to establish apprenticeships and paid holidays, occupational pension schemes and an employees' sports and social club.

This book offers a unique and fascinating insight into EKCO and its founder from the people who worked there. Vivid memories of work, experimentation and social life at the company are recounted by the people who laid the groundwork for the many innovations of today's technology, and is sure to appeal to everyone interested in the history of British invention.

Estuary Publishing

146 pages (Illustrated)

ISBN-13: 0957063532

16 x 0.7 x 23.4 cm

£11.99
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Voices from the Arctic Convoys

With the invasion of Russia by Germany in 1941, Britain gained a new ally and a responsibility to provide material for the new front. More than four million tonnes of supplies such as tanks, fighters, bombers, ammunition, raw materials and food were transported to Russia during a four-year period. The cost was high and by May 1945, the campaign had seen the loss of 104 merchant ships and sixteen military vessels, and the thousands of seamen they carried. The Arctic route was the most arduous of all convoy routes. The ever-present threat of attack from German U-boats and Luftwaffe bombers such as the dreaded Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor were not all the Arctic convoys had to contend with. They had to deal with severe cold, storms, fog, ice floes and waves so 

huge they tore at the ships' armour plating. It is to the memory of these brave men that this book is dedicated and the stories of the immeasurable contribution they made to the Allied efforts during the Second World War have been collected for this book by their veteran comrades.

Fonthill Media

224 pages (Illustrated)

ISBN-13: 1781552841

15.24 x 1.91 x 22.86 cm

Essex Witches

Medieval folk had long suspected that the Devil was carrying out his work on earth with the help of his minions. In 1484 Pope Innocent VIII declared this to be true, which resulted in witch-hunts across Europe which lasted for nearly 200 years. In 1645, England (notably Essex) was in the grip of witch fever. Between 1560 and 1680 in Essex alone 317 women and 23 men were tried for witchcraft, and over 100 were hanged. Essex Witches recounts many of the local common folk who were tried in the courts for their beliefs and practice in herbal remedies and potions, and for causing, often by their familiars, the deaths of neighbours and even family members, and had meted out the harshest penalties for their sorcery and demonic ways.

The History Press

162 pages (Illustrated)

ISBN-13: 0752499802

15.6 x 0.94 x 23.39 cm

£10.99
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Shoreham Airport: An Illustrated History

Shoreham is the oldest airport in the UK, aviator Harold Piffard first flying from there in 1910, although the aerodrome only officially opened on 20 June 1911. It served as a base for Alliott Verdon Roe (founder of Avro) and John Alcock (one of the first men to fly the Atlantic). At the start of the First World War, the first flight of British military aircraft left from Shoreham to join the fighting in France. In the 1930s the airfield became an airport for Brighton, Hove and Worthing and a new terminal building in the art deco style was opened in 1936. This building is still in use today and is now Grade II listed. During the Second World War, Shoreham again served as a military airfield, coming under attack several times. The airfield is still operational today and is used by light aircraft and flying schools and as a venue for an air show and a filming location.

The History Press

162 pages (Illustrated)

ISBN-13: 1445633442

15.49 x 1.02 x 23.37 cm

£10.99
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The Southend & District Roll of Honour 1914 - 1921

The Southend & District Roll of Honour 1914-1921 is an A to Z list of the 2,152 of His Majesty’s servicemen, who were either born in, or moved to, the following areas at the time they were called to service: Southend-on-Sea, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay, Shoeburyness, Foulness, Barling, Westcliff-on-Sea, Leigh-on-Sea, Hadleigh, Thundersley, Benfleet, Canvey Island, Rochford, Hawkwell, Hockley, Rayleigh, Wickford, Vange, and Pitsea, and who fought and fell during the Great War, or died as a result of war between 1914 and 1921.
The names are listed are as used by the men in service records upon their enlistment. Among these are several aliases which appear instead with only a reference to their real names.
Completely updated, the files include biographies of the serviceman of the Land, Air and Sea forces, their regiments and service numbers, theatres of battle and actions, personal letters, and citations where medals were issued.

765 pages

ASIN : B01M1HIOUH

Available at

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Recollections of Southend-on-Sea and Neighbourhood 1855 - 1912

This book is based on the memoirs of Mrs Augusta Mary Tawke, who was born around 1819 at Priors, near Brentwood, Essex, and lived, for the most of her life, by condition of marriage, at The Lawn, Rochford. She was married to Arthur Tawke of Chigwell, Essex, Magistrate of Rochford, and they had one child, Augusta Saumarez Tawke, who was born c1856. Arthur Tawke died on 11 May 1884.
The household members at The Lawn were Mary A. Stock of Hockley (Ladies Maid), Alice Stock of Hockley (Housemaid), Margaret Keeling of Danbury (Parlour Maid), Mary A. Smith of Rochford (Cook) and Adelaide Blowers of Rochford (Kitchen Maid). Details obtained from the 1881 Census of Rochford.

Augusta Mary Tawke's memoirs had been recorded by her daughter by 1911 as her mother, then in her 93rd year, was quite blind. She later died on 14 January 1916 at Belgrave, The Cliffs, Southend-on-Sea. Probate on 9 March 1916 settled Augusta Saumarez Tawke (who was a spinster) with effects to the value of £7,049 9s. 6d.

In her memoirs, the reader being taken on a gentle tour around Southend-on-Sea, and will meet some of the tradesmen of Prittlewell, and then stroll towards the sea via Whitegate Corner to meet some of the most interesting and, even taking into consideration today’s generations, most quirky townsfolk.

The reader is then taken to the Terrace by the Royal Hotel and the library opposite, which was frequented and favoured by royalty, and meet some of the residents, including Mrs Pilton, who ran her little shop in the depths of the Shrubbery, and then back around past the fields to where Alexandra Street would be built (this road being taken from a portion of the beautiful garden of Mr John Page). There is a front row seat too, for the visit by special train of HRH Princess Louise to Southend on 9 December 1912, who declared an extension of the Victoria Hospital in Warrior Square open. Invited guests were crowded into the reception room in the Winter Garden at the Palace Hotel for a special afternoon. A treat is in store, too, as the reader is taken on the first steam train out of Southend -well, as far as Wickford, anyway. The return journey was delayed because of a derailment further up the line, but it is worth noting the differences in the level of interest and enthusiasm towards this new transport system as it has just reached our town! The book also takes the reader to Southchurch, Prittlewell, Rochford, Hawkwell, Hockley, Rayleigh, and Thundersley. The final chapter includes an extraordinary List of Executions in Essex in the 100 years leading up to 1871: crimes include many highway robberies.

115 pages

ASIN : B07QQ3F325

Available at

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Prestwick Airport Through Time

Prestwick Airport is a major international freight hub and is the only airport in Scotland to be connected by rail. It also has the second-longest runway in Scotland, accommodating all types of aircraft with no requirement for future extension. Prestwick sits in third place after Glasgow International and Edinburgh Airports in passenger traffic terms, and in 2016 was selected to become one of Europe’s first spaceports. Its aviation history began in 1913 when it was developed as a pilot training airfield for the Royal Flying Corps, and during the Second World War it was involved in fitting and maintaining military aircraft delivered from the USA. Post-war, it retained a military role, building STOL (short takeoff and landing) utility aircraft, while a civilian airport

grew alongside to accommodate commercial air travel. Prestwick quickly achieved the status of the transatlantic gateway to Scotland, prompting major expansion work in the 1960s to keep pace with the rising number of passengers.

Amberley Publishing

96 pages (Illustrated)

ISBN-13: 1445677699

23.3 x 0.7 x 16.6 cm

Birmingham Airport Through Time

Birmingham Airport has a history stretching back to the Second World War, when it was requisitioned for use by the military. During the post-war years, races and public events were held at the site and it grew steadily throughout the remaining years of the twentieth century. By the mid-1970s, Birmingham Airport was handling over a million passengers and, in May 1984, the main terminal was opened by the Queen, with capacity for 3 million passengers, giving opportunity for more routes and an increase in passengers using Birmingham Airport.
After the West Midlands County Council was abolished in 1986, ownership of the airport was transferred to a joint committee of the seven West Midlands District Councils. The old terminal at Elmdon has been turned over to 

cargo, and the old terminal building protected with ‘Listed’ status. On 20 October 2003, Concorde made her final visit to Birmingham Airport as part of her farewell tour. In July 2007, Birmingham was voted the best airport in Europe in the 5 million to 10 million passengers per year category, and it continues to go from strength to strength.

Amberley Publishing

96 pages (Illustrated)

ISBN-13: 1445664101

16.51 x 23.39 cm

Manchester Airport Through Time

Manchester Airport (EGCC) is a Category 10 international passenger airport located in Lancashire, UK, comprising three passenger terminals and a world freight terminal. It operates long-haul and short-haul flights to around 225 destinations worldwide. It is one of the largest centres of employment in the north-west of England, with more than 19,000 people directly employed on site, and supporting a further 42,500 jobs in the area. It is the fourth busiest airport in England, and is the only British airport other than London’s Heathrow Airport to operate two full-length parallel runways. In 2013, Manchester recorded a passenger rate of 20.8 million, with the capacity to manage millions more. More than a million people a year visit the airport’s Runway Visitor Park, which is home to

the retired Concorde (G-BOAC), as well as a Monarch Airlines DC-10, a BEA Hawker Siddeley Trident 3B and an Avro 146-RJX – the last civil airliner to be fully built in the UK.

Amberley Publishing

96 pages (Illustrated)

ISBN-13: 1445663906

16.51 x 23.39 cm

£12.99
Free Post

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