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This quintessential countryman's autobiography records a wealth of personal experiences dealing with farming practices in the south of England from the 1920s onwards, recalled with humour, but without undue sentiment. John Randall's real strength lies in his detailed recollections of fifty years of working with sheep, especially his yearly work cycle as a hurdled shepherd. His many championships over the years include several firsts at the 1995 Royal Show. He lives in Dorset where he is still to be seen in his highly polished leather gaiters.

Paperback 198 x 129mm 202 pages 32 photographs
ISBN 0 85236 306 0 1st pub 1995

ONE DOG, HIS MAN AND HIS TRIALS - 4.95 - Marjorie Quarton

You don't have to be Irish to appreciate the humour in this autobiography of Shep the Border Collie, whose straightforward philosophy of life is constantly challenged by the amusing escapades of his human and canine farm companions.

Paperback 198 x 129mm 176 pages 1st pub 1993
ISBN 0 85236 253 6

BUTTERCUP JILL - 4.95 - Peggy Grayson

Delightful recollections of a country childhood in rural England. Peggy Grayson's enthusiasm for animals led to war work as a Land Girl in Somerset on dairy farms and with dogs and horses. Stories of eccentric farmers and disobedient animals are recounted with wit, humour, and a superb memory for every detail.

Paperback 198 x 129mm 154 pages 1st pub 1994
ISBN 0 85236 270 6

FALLING FOR IT - 4.95 - Geoff Surtees

Determined to become a forester, sixteen-year-old Geoff Surtees began working as a woodman on a Northumbrian estate in 1959.His book is a fast-moving and humorous account of his first three years at work. He portrays his respect for the skills of his experienced colleagues and his awe of the fearsome mill saw. He describes the characters and life of the country estate as well as the wildlife in the woodlands. Geoff Surtees also bears witness to a time of transition: he started felling with crosscut saw and axe and three years later the chainsaw had begun its inevitable rise.

Paperback 198 x 129mm 224 pages 1st pub 1995
ISBN 0 85236 299 4

THE SPACIOUS DAYS - 4.95 - Michael F Twist

A wonderful account of growing up on a Buckinghamshire farm estate in the 1920s and 30s, recalling an era when there was time to do a job well and time to talk. This story of real people and real places provides an insight into days gone by.

Paperback 198 x 129mm 192 pages 30 photographs
ISBN 0 85236 241 2 1st pub 1992

YEARS OF CHANGE - 5.95 - Mike Soper

A fascinating look back over a lifetime in agriculture starting in 1934. Mike Soper's experience ranges from practical farming to university lecturing, membership of the WarAg committee during World War II, and Head of the Oxford School of Agriculture. Over the years he has encountered many memorable personalities. His recollection of the minutiae of various farming systems and techniques will be of great interest to anyone concerned with the history of agriculture.

Paperback 216 x 138mm 370 pages 12 photographs
ISBN 0 85236 313 3 1st pub 1995


A warmly humorous account by Judy Vowles of a year working with her husband at a racing stud and country estate in south-west England. Their optimistic and tolerant attitude combined with good measure of common sense meant that they learnt very quickly how to cope with the 'Peers' who owned the estate, the 'Peasants' who worked and lived there, and the 'Pheasants' and other assorted animals who came to share their life.

Paperback 216 x 138mm 140 pages 15 line drawings
ISBN 0 85236 325 7 1st pub 1996

EARLY TO RISE - 4.95 - Hugh Barrett

A detailed account of life as a farm 'pupil' in the early 1930s. Tractors had not yet displaced the horses, labour was cheap and the working day long and hard. Hugh Barrett does not flinch from memories of difficult times but he remembers the good days with equal candour. 'A first class read.... well written, simple and factual' Times Literary Supplement.

Paperback 198 x 129mm 168 pages 19 line drawings
ISBN 0 85236 273 0 2nd paperback edition 1994

HALLOWED ACRES - 5.95  - Michael F Twist

His childhood on an agricultural estate in South Buckinghamshire in the 1930s gave Michael Twist a great respect for the land and the countryside. Fields were talked about as though they were living entities, and labourers had a real feel for the land, born of countless hours walking behind a team of horses or hoeing crops by hand. In tandem with The Spacious Days, this second volume of reminiscences is full of humour in its depiction of the characters on the estate and of interesting details of the wildlife that abounded.

Paperback 198 x 129mm 160 pages 24 photographs - 15 line drawings
ISBN 0 85236 338 9 1st pub 1996


This second edition of Eric Halsall's very popular work is an enjoyable and informative ramble through his life in the world of sheepdogs and their handlers. It contains an outstanding and broad-ranging collection of photographs, over a quarter of which are new to this edition. Pictures of the Supreme Champion sheepdogs from 1981 to 1995 are included as well as updated pedigree charts covering many famous dogs. As one of Britain's best-known trials commentators, Eric Halsall is able to give a personal and warm view of the sheepdog world, combined with a great knowledge of its dogs and handlers.

Hardback 234 x 156mm 368 pages 170 photographs (8 colour)
ISBN 0 85236 359 1 1st pub 1980 - 2nd edition 1996

SUMMER HOLIDAZE - 4.95 - Veronica Frater

A day-by-day account of the six-week school holiday one summer. Bed and breakfast business, holiday cottage lets and seven children all jostle together in Veronica Frater's hectic life, recounted with stoicism and humour. This was the last book she wrote before her early death in 1993.

Paperback 198 x 129mm 216 pages 1st pub 1994
ISBN 0 85236 271 4

POT OF GOLD - 6.95 - Meriel Brooke

1991: well-off and well-to-do, Meriel and Roger Brooke were quintessential city-dwellers. 1997: they are almost self-sufficient, and featuring in a Channel 4 documentary, The Good Life.

Pot of Gold is Meriel's honest and often moving account of how she and Roger learned to adjust to country life.

Their radical change brought with it some heartaches, and Meriel and Roger had to learn to temper their love for animals with the realities of running a small farm. However, they have persevered to find their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - a new life in the countryside.

Paperback 216 x 135mm 176 pages 1st pub 1997
ISBN 0 85236 409 1

A YEAR IN HARNESS (Audio Tape) - 8.99 inc VAT - Paul Heiney

Condensed from the Radio 4 series of the same name, A Year in Harness tells the story of a farming year on Paul's horse-powered Suffolk farm.

From lambing to haymaking, harvest supper to Christmas morning, Heiney's live recordings evoke the true spirit of traditional farming where hard work is rewarded with a sense of satisfaction and achievement.

An experienced radio and television performer, Paul Heiney has a popular weekly column on countryside matters ins in The Times.

Audio Cassette 2 1/2 hours Released 1997
ISBN 0 85236 386 9

BYGONES: THE HARVEST (video) - 12.95 inc VAT - Anglia Television, narrator Geoffrey Weaver

Like The Horsemen, this Anglia Television Bygones special recorded the memories of a group of retired farm workers in 1975, memories going back to the turn of the century.

The programme goes through the key operations: mowing by scythe; the clipper reaper; the dangerous sail reaper and finally the binder.

Leading the harvest wagons, stack-building (with and without an elevator), threshing with the flail and then steam-powered thresher are all recalled in detail. The result is one of Anglia Television's most memorable Bygones programmes.

VHS Video approx 40 minutes Released 1997
ISBN 0 85236 384 2

BYGONES: THE HORSEMEN (video) - 12.95 inc VAT - Anglia Television, narrator John Glyn Jones

At the turn of the century heavy horses were the lifeblood of a working farm. in 1975 Anglia television recorded the memories of retired East Anglian horsemen and recreated their working days as a Bygones special.

Based on research by social historian George Ewart Evans, the resulting film was a masterpiece, combining accurate recall with superb camerawork.

This unique portrait covers many of the horsemen's tasks, and recalls the camaraderie and optimism of the men whose skills and lore were essential components of the rural scene.

VHS Video approx 40 minutes Released 1997
ISBN 0 85236 388 5