Writing


I’ve been a published writer for forty years, beginning as a columnist and building up a wide range of material including books, plays, songs and poetry. Details of my books are below, along with links where you can buy them. Or click the links for more information and examples of my:

BOOKS

PENZANCE – THE BIOGRAPHY

“Penzance – The Biography” is the first full-length history of Penzance to be published for 40 years. It tell the story of the settlement through the whole sweep of its existence, from the Bronze Age to the 400th anniversary of its Charter in 2014, the two villages which became one town, and some of the characters who walked its byways over the centuries. It is a story told in sequence, accessible to historians or non-historians alike, suitable for students, schools, and anyone interested in the ups and downs of an iconic Cornish town.

Buy Penzance – The Biography

PENLEE LIFEBOAT – THE FIRST TWO HUNDRED YEARS

Following the publication of “Penlee – The Loss of a Lifeboat” I became closely involved with the Penlee Lifeboat Station, and have written the story of its first two hundred years. This covers its uncertain beginnings, the heroic era of rescues in open rowing-boats, the development of motor lifeboats and slipway launching, the loss of the lifeboat with all hands in 1981, the recovery of the station as an effective unit, right up to the present day with its two state-of-the-art lifeboats and superb record of achievement.

It is a story of courage, heroism and tragedy but also of humour and the everyday miracles which keep the RNLI going as a world leader in sea rescue supported entirely by voluntary funds.

All profits from this absorbing and well-illustrated book will be donated to the RNLI.
Buy Penlee Lifeboat – The First 200 Years

TRUE COLOURS – 2007 
“True Colours” is a novel cutting a slice through contemporary Cornwall, from the airy world of artists to the fading world of farming and fishing, through affluence and poverty, age and youth. Simon, a rising star in the art world, falls into an old tin mine shaft. What he finds there starts a chain of events with unpredictable and devastating consequences for himself and all those around him. It is a gripping story and an unflinching view of Cornwall’s reality, told with an insider’s eye. It was awarded the Holyer An Gof prize in 2008 as “Best Cornish Novel”.
Buy True Colours

PENLEE – THE LOSS OF A LIFEBOAT
First published in 1991 this book was immediately acclaimed as a classic of lifeboat literature
Buy Penlee – The Loss of a Lifeboat

SERPENTINE
The rocks which form the Lizard Peninsula are some of the oldest and most complex in the world. A large part of the peninsula is made up of deposits of serpentine, a volcanic rock which, after its formation, was squeezed and compressed to form a unique, marble-like rock with an extraordinary variety of colours and texture.
The beauty of these rocks led to a craft in fashioning of ornaments, on a small and local scale at first. After coming to the notice and approval of Queen Victoria, a growing industry emerged based on The Lizard and Penzance. The rise and fall of this sizeable industry, the survival of the serpentine craft through to a new mass-market as holiday souvenirs, and the prospects of its further re-invention as fine art, make up a fascinating and so far untold story.
Buy Serpentine

ABOUT PENZANCE, NEWLYN AND MOUSHOLE
A brief but ideal primer for anyone interested in the much-loved towns and villages on the shores of Mounts Bay, how they came to be, and how they developed over the years.
As an introduction to the area, or a memento to those who have visited it, it is a perfect gift.
Buy ABout Penzance

ABOUT ST MICHAELS MOUNT
This book explores the remarkable history of this magical island, as a monastery, as a fortress and as a country house, administered by The National Trust but still very much the home of Lord St Levan whose family have lived here since the time of Cromwell
Buy About St Michaels Mount

ROSEBUD AND THE NEWLYN CLEARANCES
‘ARMADA OF ONE TO INVADE LONDON’
So proclaimed the Sunday Graphic in the autumn of 1937. The story of the Rosebud caught the nation’s imagination, and her voyage was the culmination of a battle to save the fishing village of Newlyn from wanton destruction
Buy Rosebud and the Newlyn Clearances

 

OTHER WRITING

 

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