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Books by Local Authors

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A Commoning Heritage: The Mansbridges of Longdown

By  Jo Ivey

A Commoning Heritage: the Mansbridges of Longdown tells the story of a commoning family from the time of the First World War to the present day. Written in the words of two of the family's members, it describes how life has changed for these guardians of the New Forest over nearly a century.

Jo Ivey is a researcher who has worked with the commoners of the New Forest for nearly 25 years. She has undertaken a series of censuses of the commoning population spanning 20 years of change, and written many reports on the economics of commoning and the challenges that the community faces. Being a commoner herself, she understands well a way of life sustained by mutual support within the community.

ISBN 978-0-9568990-0-2


It is available in local bookshops and museums.

Twelve Airfields

Revised Edition

By Alan Brown

This is the story of the twelve wartime airfields built in the New Forest. Its 33 A4 size pages are packed with hand written and hand drawn information in Alan’s own inimitable style. Cost £10.00

To receive your copy by post, send your name and address, and a cheque for £13.00 (£10.00 plus £3.00 p&p) payable to East Boldre Village Hall to:

East Boldre Village Hall

c/o Midsomer Cottage

Rowes Lane

East End


SO41 5SU.

Alternatively, e-mail us for bank transfer details.

Click here for sample pages.

The New Forest Aviation School 

at East Boldre, Beaulieu.


by Alan Brown

Especially written for the East Boldre Airfield Centenary Celebrations, the first print run sold out completely. The 70 A5 size pages start with the pioneers who, in 1910, opened the country’s second Flying School at East Boldre in the New Forest and it takes us through two world wars to the 1950s when the site of the old airfield was used as a parachute training ground.

To receive your copy by post, send your name and address, and a cheque for £10.00 (£7.00 plus £3.00 p&p) payable to East Boldre Village Hall to:

East Boldre Village Hall

c/o Midsomer Cottage

Rowes Lane

East End


SO41 5SU.

Alternatively, e-mail us for bank transfer details.

Click here for sample pages

A Collection of Our Poetry

Written by the South Baddesley Women’s Institute

To purchase this book and for samples of the sixty original poems, go to the SBWI website.

Cost £5.00

Available exclusively from the SBWI website.


by veteran aviator Doug Gregory D.F.C.

ISBN 978-0-9927220-0-5

Residents of East Boldre might remember the amazing flying display Doug Gregory and Des Biggs gave us at our New Forest Flying School Centenary Celebrations in 2010. Now he has written a book about his lifelong love affair with aeroplanes.

It might surprise former pupils of Noadswood School to learn what their old art and drama teacher, Doug Gregory, did during his RAF service in WW2 and more recently in building and flying his own WW1 replica aeroplane.  Doug’s book is a gripping read – and he writes with wry humour, honesty and some pathos.

The book is illustrated with over 40 photographs of the author building his plane and taking part in aerial displays, as well as his time in the RAF.

Doug’s is a ‘lifelong love affair with aeroplanes’ – as a boy in Southampton, as a WW2 night-fighter pilot, flying over 67 missions over occupied Europe, and post-retirement, in building a replica S.E.5a biplane and entertaining the public with his aerobatics in the Great War Display Team.

Doug in WW1 uniform - as on back cover of book -for websiteNow 90 years old, he hung up his flying goggles and helmet only recently, but not before penning this memoir. He writes as if building an aeroplane in the back garden and taking to the air in it, is a natural way to pass the time:

AEROADDICT will be available to buy from Little Knoll Bookshop and book retailers from the start of November 2013 at £14.99.



It is 1962. Imagine leaving behind all that is familiar and comfortable on the farm, to travel to an uncharted posting in Tanganyika under the British Government’s Overseas Aid programme with three small children and all your worldly goods, whilst your friends and relations predict doom and disaster in the ‘Dark Continent’ expecting never to see you again.

This is the adventure that Brian and Jo Dawtrey and their family embarked upon, armed with his black rolled umbrella with a gold band “to fight off primitive savages, in true colonial style” and a brand new Hoover washing machine.

From the very moment they leave England’s shores, you are swept along by their enthusiasm and lust for all that may face them – from recalcitrant hippopotami, charging elephants and a life-saving leopard, to welcoming tribes folk and the glorious unspoilt African bush. Unfazed by minor setbacks such as the lack of electricity to drive the Hoover and the confrontations with unwelcoming snakes, the Dawtrey family revel in their new surroundings and the challenges of their new life under President Nyerere’s regime of new found Uhuru (freedom).

Please go to the Amazon website for a full list of Brian’s books and Kindle books, and his biography.

Brian Dawtrey (age 85)has been a resident of East End for 35 years.

Local Author Publishes his Third Book

Congratulations to Brian Dawtrey on the publication of his latest book, Wild Africa Odyssey.

In 1964 Jo and Brian Dawtrey and their three children set off on their second tour of Overseas Aid to Tanzania, East Africa. Leaving behind twelve years experience of farming in England, they are appointed to initiate agricultural and resettlement schemes for tribal communities enabling them to upgrade their standard of living and to grow cash crops.

This story is about their extensive travel, often having to build or repair the roads before them, their wild bush adventures and their strident humanitarian efforts to bring tribal communities into the modern world.

When they are finally posted to the tropical coast of Tanga Province, they feel they have reached heaven but ‘God' has unforeseen plans for the Dawtreys.

Published by Austin Macauley it is available in paperback, hardback and as an e-book. For more information and preview chapters click here.

‘Smile Through Your Tears’

By Angela Rawcliffe

In April 1912, Maeve Donoghue, a 17 year old Irish girl, is faced with the loss of her father and the uncertain future that is thrust upon her. This brave and tenderhearted girl decides to embark on a perilous journey to America to begin a new life without the comfort of her friends and remaining family by her side. Thus begins the poignant tale of a love with its own destiny, and a compelling insight into the human cost of a terrible tragedy…

The heroine eventually settles to live in Southampton and the Waterside area during the first half of the twentieth century amidst the problems of that era.

This book is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle download.

Coming soon: ‘Anna's Story’, The sequel

From Forest Field to Western Front

Available Now

The Complete Story of East Boldre Airfield


In 1910, the sleepy village of East Boldre was awestruck by the arrival of a fleet of flying machines and the New Forest School of Aviation - one of the first flying schools in the world. By 1915, the Royal Flying Corps arrived, the personnel soon outnumbering the villagers by three to one. They cleared the heathland, erected massive buildings, flew their machines into trees, knocked off chimney pots and even landed on the Post Office roof.

Available in Superior Soft Covers

Our Price - £15.00*

With nearly 500 images in colour and black & white, this 253 page, A4-size book is available now as a Superior Soft Cover version.

All profits will be used to support East Boldre Village Hall, originally the Officers' Mess and the only WW1 airfield building to survive.

* Some outlets may charge more than £15 to cover their card machine charges

On Sale Now

Copies are on sale at:

East Boldre Post Office and Shop

Pilley Post Office and Store

The Hythe Herald Office, 2 High Street, Hythe (open 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Monday to Friday)

The New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst

Brockenhurst Post Office.

The Turfcutters Arms, East Boldre

You can buy a copy from members of the East Boldre Village Hall team as follows:

East Boldre - Gaza Avenue, Phone Robin on 01590 612450

East Boldre - Main Road near St Paul's Church, Phone Mike on 01590 611073

East End - Rowes Lane, Phone Gina and Steve on 01590 626368

Brockenhurst - Phone Tony on 01590 623827

Check here for news of sales at special events and other outlets.

We can post a copy to you for £20.00 to include post and packaging.

To receive your copy by post, send your name and address, and a cheque for £20 payable to East Boldre Village Hall to:

East Boldre Village Hall

c/o Midsomer Cottage

Rowes Lane

East End


SO41 5SU.

Alternatively, e-mail us for bank transfer details.

Single copies will be sent via Royal Mail Standard Delivery.

Multiple copies will be sent via courier.

Single copy, £20 to include p&p

For 2, 3 or 4 copies, calculate £15 per copy plus £8.00 p&p

For 5, 6 or 7 copies, calculate £15 per copy plus £9.95 p&p

For larger numbers, please e-mail us for a quote.

Please make sure you provide your postcode. If you order multiple copies, the courier will make three attempts to deliver your books before returning them to us. You can provide the following optional information to assist the delivery driver:

Delivery is normally within 3-4 working days of receiving payment but please allow up to 14 days at busy times, e.g., holiday periods.

New Book by Local Author Brian Dawtrey

Brian has published three biographical books in his series headed Wild Africa, and Life at Home Farm. Now he has ventured into the world of children's fiction

Brian, with his wife and three children, spent twenty-four years working in the Overseas Aid programme in Africa. He was an Honorary Wildlife Ranger and a onetime Chairman of the Wildlife Conservation Society of Zambia, in addition to his normal duties. He loves the natural world which led him to feel sympathy for the ostriches that must eek-out a living in desert environments. His imagination led him to visualize a holiday for an ostrich, with his grandchildren, in England's 'green and pleasant land'. An excellent gift for Christmas available on Amazon for £6.99 paperback or 12.99 hardcover.

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