Book Reviews - Winter 2004

Gardening with Wildlife in Mind - England's Thousand Best Houses - Britain's Best Museums and Galleries - Discovering Yorkshire's History - Unsolved Yorkshire Murders - Murder and Mystery in the Peak - The Jackie Robinson story - The Forgotten Mines of Sheffield - A Walkley Camera and An Owlerton Camera - Flying visits to Scandinavia

More than 70 percent of Britain's 16 million gardeners believe wildlife should be considered when gardening. This awareness of the importance of gardens, no matter how small, as havens for wildlife has prompted English Nature to produce a CD-Rom called Gardening with Wildlife in Mind. This is designed to help gardeners plant their plots with maximum benefit to wildlife. More than 500 plants and 300 creatures are profiled and linked, allowing the user to search for plants which will encourage particular wildlife species, and explore relationships between them. The disk is available from Plant Press for £9.99 (plus £1.50 postage & packing). Tel: 01273 476151.

If you love travelling in England, chances are you are drawn to our stately homes and other architectural treasures. England's Thousand Best Houses by Simon Jenkins is a must have companion for the traveller, detailing as it does, county by county the amazing range of houses that make up our architectural heritage and are open to the public. From Medieval gems like Athelhampton House in Dorset, through stately homes like Chatsworth, to humble cottages and even a prison, each carefully described according to its merit. The book is soundly researched and intelligently written. Thumbing through the 950 pages is guaranteed to set you planning, there is so much to see. Now published by Penguin Books in paperback price £18.99 ISBN 0-141-00625-0

As a child museums seemed dry and boring places, but not any more. Together with galleries, museums can provide an illuminating picture of Britain, embracing its natural and man made history. A major new book, Britain's Best Museums and Galleries sets out help us discover what author and MP Mark Fisher believes are the best 350. Some are internationally famous, like the British Museum, others specialise like the Royal Armories Museum in Leeds and others are small and little known gems, like the Treasure House in York. Infact, Yorkshire is well blessed as is clear from the lists provided for each county, with star ratings against entries. For each site there are succinctly written details of the history, context and contents. Given the number of museums available near at hand, this book ought to help make us aware of their value and interest to anyone who wants to know what makes us and our country tick. 848 pages, published in hardback by Allen Lane, price £30 ISBN 0-149-05573-0

Over the centuries Yorkshire, has helped shape the history of the nation. Discovering Yorkshire's History is an unconventional guide to the people and the places that played their part. In his book author Len Markham details 165 sites providing a national lexicon of war, insurrection, invention, industrial expansion, political and social development and pioneering achievements in literature, art and science. This is a fascinating book with subjects often unusual but never boring. We learn that in West Witton they each year they burn an effigy of Old Bartle a sheep rustler, about miracle cures in Harpham and yes about Ecgbert ‘Bright Sword' in Dore. The county is divided into five sections with maps for each showing locations written about. Published in paperback by Wharncliffe books in 184 pages. Price £10.99 ISBN 1-903425-73- 5

Judging by the number of television programmes and book output, it seems we have a never ending fascination with crime and murder. Unsolved Yorkshire Murders , a ‘Foul Deads Special' will appeal to many potential readers. It contains 29 chapters covering the most horrific and foul crimes imaginable mainly in the Leeds, Bradford and Hull areas. It seems Yorkshire has had more than its fair share of unsolved murders with killings on the wild moors, attacks in dark alleyways or corner shops. Author Stephen Wade provides the basic facts and story for each murder with black and white photographs of locations or drawings where necessary. Published in paperback by Wharncliffe Books 176 pages price £9.99 ISBN 1-903425-60-3

Well known author Roly Smith is also fascinated by murders brought together in his new book Murder and Mystery in the Peak. Roly enjoys retelling stories from deep in local history, to murder and revenge, skulduggery or more ghostly tales of phantom aircraft and modern ‘whodunit' cases. Just the stuff for a Christmas stocking. Published in paperback by Halsgrove, 95 pages, price £6.95 ISBN 1-84114-369-3

Football fans, and those of Sheffield Wednesday in particular, will welcome a new book The Jackie Robinson story . The book covers both his personal life and footballing career including his time as a Sheffield Wednesday and England player. Jackie lived from 1917 to 1972 with a career embracing what many will think was the heyday of true English Football before excessive professionalism set in. The book by Alan Troilett (family) and Eric Brodiei (fan) is full of old photographs, and drawings and provides a real nostalgia trip. Published by pickard communication price £11.99 ISBN 0-9547264-2-1

It is easy today to forget Sheffield's early industrial history in favour of its steel image. The Forgotten Mines of Sheffield looks the rise and decline of Gannister and Pot Clay mining and processing, and its impact on the settlements and the landscape of western Sheffield. Parts of this area are littered with the remnants of this 18th, 19th and early 20th century extractive industry, including Ecclesall Woods, Dore and Totley. The impact of the industry is still evident in the area for those who know where to look! This book, which includes many maps, diagrams, documents and photographs, can be purchased direct from the author, Ray Battye, tel 286 4418 price £9.99 + £2.01 postage & packing. ISBN 190158740-1

There seems to be a growing fascination with old photographs and pictorial records of communities. This is probably because photographic records now stretch further back than living memory. Sheffield resident J R Wrigley has tapped into this interest with a number of books looking at different areas of the city. His two latest publications A Walkley Camera and An Owlerton Camera follow the same format with collections of historic, and 20th century photographs of their respective areas. I particularly enjoy the Victorian examples of building long lost and those capturing the areas in the 1950s, often still recognisable today but illustrating how much our streets have changed in the meantime. Both books are published by pickard communication price £ 7.99

There are plenty of holiday guides to choose from when travelling abroad, but undoubtably one of the best series available are CADOGANguides. The latest addition to the range is Flying visits to Scandinavia which as you would expect offers a comprehensive introduction to the three countries, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Travel, when to go, the main areas of interest, places to visit, what to eat, and where to stay are all detailed in an easy to read format. Scandinavia is a little different to many other holiday destinations. It is clean, offers wide open spaces and dramatic scenery, attractive cities and friendly people, so what are we waiting for! This guide contains everything you need to plan and enjoy a holiday there. Published by Cadogan Guides price £ 12.99 ISBN 1-86011-137-8

One picture is said to be worth a thousand words, and certainly old photographs are an invaluable source of information and interest. Two new books by local photographer J R Wrigley provide interesting snapshots of the history of Sheffield. A Sheffield Camera is devoted to the city centre using some 70 pictures taken by the author since the 1960s. It is surprising how much has changed and how many landmark buildings and corners have been lost such as ‘The Hole in the Road’. These are everyday shots in black and white, capturing people and traffic going about their daily business and all the warmer for that. Its sister book A Hillsborough Camera is slightly more ambitious, bringing together a collection of 80 old photographs of the area from a variety of sources combined with black & white and colour photographs taken by the author. The old shops are fascinating as are the old street scenes and the inevitable Hillsborough football crowds. Both books are published by Pickard Communication, price £7.99 each ISBN 09544045-6-4 and -3-X respectively.

Sixty years on, the Second World War continues to fascinate researchers and authors alike, in many cases drawing on the fading memories of participants or the release of government documents. Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Airfields in the Second World War looks at the role of these 21 airfields, both in active operations and for training. Author Robin Brooks describes the history of each airfield, and covers the major operations carried out from them and the impact on local people and their lives. Pictures of buildings, planes and air crew illustrate this carefully researched and well written book. 256 pages in paperback, price £12.95, published by Countryside Books, ISBN 1-85306-799-7

Go to Bradway Bugle Past Issues

Opinions expressed in articles & services offered by advertisers are not necessarily endorsed by the publishers.

Text  © Copyright
Village Publications 2000

Web site maintenance by
Stratton & English Software Ltd.