Nanny Goat Island: Dungeness Then and Now

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Few forget their first visit to the shingle outpost of Dungeness. To the uninitiated, its stark beauty is totally unexpected in a location only two hours from central London. So much has been said of it that it has become cliched: “unique”; “magical”; “a special place”; “Britain’s only desert”. All these descriptions hold true except for the last – which is no more than an urban myth. But all this would have been totally different had plans to build a vast new ferry terminal, offering the shortest route from London to Paris, come to fruition.

In his third book, Keith Swallow, the author of The Book of Syn and Much Drinking in the Marsh, tells the story of the development of this special corner of Kent, from the early settlers, whose only source of milk was the animals that they kept untethered on the shingle, to the current day. It explores the hardships of those who have earned a living from fishing the waters here, the coming of the railway, wartime fortification, nature conservation, lifeboat and rescue services, the construction of the power stations – and exploding goats!

2019 ISBN 978-0-9933203-4-7 Price £15.00

Between Belief and Delusion

9780993320330

Bruce Nicol has been writing poetry for about 60 years. This volume includes poems from across that period. They range from the humorous to the deeply serious, but all show a richness and understanding of language that many would
envy.

The title Between Belief and Delusion gives a clue to Bruce’s patterns of thought. While having little time for those who would rule our lives on the basis of politics or organised religion, he has a deep concern for humanity and individual freedom, combined with a certain scepticism about the meaning of life.

The book is divided into sections, such as ‘Development of a Species’, ‘Conflict’, ‘Death’ and ‘Musings’, as well as ‘Humour’ and ‘Love’. In all the sections Bruce’s concern and humour come through, prompting the reader to think about the issues he raises.

2019 ISBN 978-0-9933203-3-0 Price £12.50

The Fallen of Pett

9780993320323

This book, by David Breakell and Martin King, is about the war memorial at Pett in East Sussex. It gives a brief biography of each of those killed in World War I whose names are listed on the memorial. It lists those killed in World War II and describes the new plaque added with the names of others from both world wars.  It also tells the story of the setting up of the memorial after the first world war and of the more recent restoration in time for the centenary of the 1918 Armistice.

2019 ISBN 978-0-9933203-2-3 Price £12.00

Much Drinking in the Marsh

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In this country, there are two institutions that have been fundamental to the development of communities: the church and the pub.  There has been plenty written – rightly – of the magnificence of Romney Marsh’s churches, but less on its pubs.  Down the years, the Marsh has been served by some wonderful licensed establishments. Some of these have inevitably and unfortunately gone to the wall, although there are many fine examples still to be found. This book, by Keith Swallow, author of The Book of Syn, explores the history of the area’s hostelries and breweries and seeks to address some of this imbalance. Within it you will find dark deeds, ghosts, eccentric landlords and more.

2017 ISBN 978-0-9933203-1-6 Price £15.00

The Viking Town

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Join us on a trip back in time, to the Viking Age and to the first town in Norway. In twelve short stories, meet children and young people in the town of Kaupang. Following each episode, learn what the facts are and what we can only make guesses about. Look at the exciting things that the archaeologists have dug up: beautiful pieces of jewellery, ancient coins, animal bones, wells and privies – and even a grave, with the remains of what we believe may have been a grandmother with her grandchild.

Unn Pedersen (b. 1973), who is the author of this book, is an archaeologist and an expert on Kaupang. She took part in the excavations at Kaupang.

First published in Norwegian and now translated into English under the sponsorship of the Souvenir Normand (British Section) and with the support of NORLA. Published by Gyldendal Norway, but available in the UK from Edgerton Publishing Services

2016. ISBN 978-82-05-49696-5. Price £15.00

The Viking Farm

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Did you know that nearly everybody lived on a farm, and that children did not go to school? Or that many people were slaves, while rich children became foster-children?

Come along with Thora, a girl from the town, as she goes on a visit to a farm where her cousin Ravn lives. You can follow them to the cemetery, into the logging woods, when they are preparing for Yule and when they are making sacrifices to the gods. The stories – and the facts – are based upon what archaeologists and other specialists have discovered by studying jewellery, sagas, graves, building traces and skeletons.

Unn Pedersen (b. 1973), who is the author of this book, is a Viking Expert. She is an archaeologist at the University of Oslo and has taken part in many excavations.

First published in Norwegian and now translated into English under the sponsorship of the Souvenir Normand (British Section) and with the support of NORLA. Published by Gyldendal Norway, but available in the UK from Edgerton Publishing Services

2016. ISBN 978-82-05-49695-8. Price £15.00

Pett à Manger

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Pett à Manger, A Village Cookbook, complied by Wendy Norcott, was originally put together to help raise funds for the Pett Flower Show in 2005. (Pett is a small village in Sussex; see Pett in Sussex). Many of the recipes were collected from villagers. Ten years later, the current edition was published, including an extra chapter that contains some of the recipes specified in the Flower Show schedule in the years since 1987. The selection is inevitably serendipitous, but there are some recipes worth trying!

2015 (second edition), ISBN 978-0-9933203-0-9, Price £8.00

The Jewish Ghost

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The Jewish Ghost – Being German: A Search for Meaning, by Louise Illig-Mooncie, describes one woman’s search for meaning. Louise was born into a post-war, post-Holocaust Germany and was tormented by a stream of questions about her purpose in life and the dilemma of her nationality at that time. Working in London for German TV increased her uncertainty and it was only as result of visiting a holy man in India and of another strange experience, that she was able to find solutions to her search for meaning.

2013, ISBN 978-0-9548390-6-2, Price £9.99

 

The Book of Syn

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The Book of Syn – Russell Thorndike, Dr Syn and the Romney Marsh, by Keith Swallow, is partly a biography of Russell Thorndike, actor, author and brother of Dame Sybil Thorndike, partly a discussion of the Dr Syn novels, set around Dymchurch in Kent and so graphic that many still believe that Syn was a real person, and partly a look at the background of the Romney Marsh and the smuggling that went on there. The book also looks at the making of the three films based on the novels and at other spin-offs, including the stage play, in which Thorndike starred. For anyone who has been hooked on the Dr Syn novels, this book provides valuable background information.

Keith Swallow’s new book, Much Drinking in the Marsh, has just been published

2013, ISBN 978-0-9548390-9-3, Price £16.00

My Early Years Down Under

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My Early Years Down Under, by John (Jack) Edge, is an autobiographical account of an English migrant trying to find work in Western Australia at the beginning of the Great Depression, 1929–1930. Jack, who had been working in his home town of Leicester, dreamed  of escaping to the open spaces of Australia and took an assisted passage out there. However, Western Australia had been hit hard by the depression and so Jack had to turn his hand to whatever (honest) work he could find. Two years later, he had to return to his job in Leicester. Nevertheless, this account, written many years afterwards, records his experience in vivid detail. The book was first published in 2009 and then a revised edition in 2011.

2011 (revised edition), ISBN 978-0-9548390-8-6, Price £12.50