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A *brilliant* new children’s book

WIZZY, the Animal Whisperer

by Anthony Ridgway – author

and Suzan Houching – artist





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Portrait sketching LIVE!! on radio


Suzan Houching, Gervase Gregory & Alan Langford

take 20 minutes to sketch

Steve Harris 


the BBC Radio Solent Breakfast Show


After 20 minutes the sketching stopped for Steve’s interview with Suzan, Gervase and Alan.

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Please come !


Book Signing Event

Southampton City Art Gallery

Saturday July 16th


Front cover 'A Lifetime in Postcards' for Nielsen 22.05.13

A Lifetime in Postcards
by Gervase A Gregory

‘I think the book is wonderful; it perfectly evokes the mood, pace of life, beauty and variety that is The New Forest and The Waterside. So well prepared and presented, it’s like a tour of the Forest. I appreciate the OS map references. It is helping my memory of places like Lepe, which I have been to countless times, along with Hatchet Pond, my mother and father’s favourite place.’

John Grimley, Toronto, Canada.

My Story in Colour

by Suzan Houching

‘Suzan’s book is full of her glorious paintings, each telling a story, in pictures as well as in words. She seems to be one of those rare people, just as at home with a pen as with a paint brush. Her keen observation of life and the funny things that happen made me laugh. I found myself being immediately drawn into a wonderful, sunny world.’

Hannah Gordon in the book’s Foreword

My Story in Colour by New Forest artist Suzan Houching

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the equestrian art of 
Alan Langford

‘Alan’s book abounds with drawings and paintings of great energy and movement, but not only that, they tell stories, of people, of horses, in some cases of a vanishing lifestyle. With Alan’s work, every picture really does tell a story. The book does the same and what better thing can you say about a book or a painting than that?’

Alison Wilson  Reviewer Society of Equestrian Artists

Missed the BBC Radio Solent Breakfast Show

listen again‘ online click HERE
select this section 01:53:40 – 02:01:24

For VIDEO of the artists working on their portraits of Steve go to Radio Solent’s Facebook page 7th July 2016.

Steve Harris 2016

If you would like to have a go at your own portrait of Steve, here is his photo.

See what you can do and email me a jpeg or pdf of your portrait – Jenny@LittleKnollPress.co.uk

The best will join the artists’ work for display at the Southampton Art Gallery book signing event.

How’s that? You’ll be able to say you have work hung in the city’s gallery!!

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Suzan Houching, Gervase A Gregory

and Alan Langford

will be taking part in the first ever


to be held by


Saturday July 16th

10am – 12.30pm.

Come and meet the artists, browse their books and chat with them.

. . .

The gallery can be found in Southampton Civic Centre, same entrance as the library and on the first floor with disabled access via the lift.

Each book is written and illustrated by the artist, reflecting his/her unique life story and art.

A Lifetime in Postcards

by Gervase A Gregory

'A Lifetime in Postcards' by New Forest artist Gervase A Gregory

Gervase Gregory is a wonderful watercolour artist and he knows the Waterside and New Forest area extremely well. Through metal detecting he has found many interesting items that reflect local history, some of which are illustrated in his book – a penny of Ecgberht, King of Wessex, 802 – 839 AD, found near Totton, lead tokens discovered on the Solent shore embossed with the letters ‘HA’ standing for Henry Adams shipbuilder of Buckler’s Hard, a cast iron barrow wheel from the old brickworks not far from Beaulieu, and a Saxon coin found on the edge of Southampton Water. Gervase takes the reader page by page on journeys through the area – in fact quite a few people use his book as a tour guide.

My Story in Colour

by Suzan Houching

My Story in Colour by New Forest artist Suzan Houching

In Suzan’s paintings and stories you will recognise many places in the New Forest and Dorset, but most of all her pictures are about everyday life, depicting scenes that are familiar to all of us with all their characters, oddities and idiosyncracies – and they are really guaranteed to make you smile. Suzan loves bold colour and patterns. Her lively artistic style struck a cord with Hannah Gordon, who wrote in the foreword to the book, ‘Suzan seems to be one of those rare people, just as at home with a pen as with a brush. Her keen observation of life and the funny things that happen made me laugh. I found myself being immediately drawn into a wonderful, sunny world.’


by Alan Langford

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Alan’s book is again quite different. He has written about his first memories as a small child in a caravan park in Dibden, his fascination for the New Forest ponies and all horses, his love of drawing and how after a spell of labouring in Australia he returned to work at Fawley Refinery, going to night school to study art. Through his powerful paintings of working horses and their human owners he has gained immense respect, especially from Romany people. Alison Wilson, reviewer for the Society of Equestrian Artists, wrote, ‘His drawings and paintings have great energy and movement, but not only that, they tell the stories of people, of horses, in some cases of a vanishing lifestyle.’

Alan’s interest in equestrian art was the trigger for the ‘Nags to Thoroughbreds‘ exhibition in Southampton Art Gallery in 2012 which included one of Alan’s large oils.

This signing event in Southampton Art Gallery provides a wonderful link between our local art collection and the work of contemporary artists from the area.

A warm welcome will be there for everyone who can come.

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Wizzy the Animal Whisperer

written by Anthony Ridgway

and illustrated by Suzan Houching


Ant Ridgway’s new book, Wizzy the Animal Whisperer, is an adventure story about Wizzy the wheelchair, Dan, and friends, James and Sophie.


The book will be launched on the

29th of October at The Point, Eastleigh

– a date for your diary!

Please let me know if you would like to come.


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In the photo at a progress meeting are Grethe (Ant’s mum), Ant, and Suzan Houching, who is illustrating the book.

Oh, and of course, WIZZY, the wheelchair!

Ant has cerebral palsy and has been wheelchair bound all his life, so he has a unique take on life which makes this book very special.

He also has limited sight and hand coordination and writes using a computer programme that uses a large keyboard and speaks each letter out as he types.

Ant’s hearing is acute though, and this works to advantage in a story that is told mostly in dialogue.

Suzan’s wonderful illustrations are full of character, perfectly bringing the story to life.

A project to watch!!

Dan meets Nellie RGB 10cmH 200ppi If I had known how the day would end, I’d never have been bickering with Wizzy over a horse.

The cart horse started as we approached her. Her nostrils flared, eyes widened.


The horse looked at us, ambled over.

“I didn’t know that you could speak horse, Wizzy.”

I can speak to any animal. This one’s known as Nellie.

“When you’ve quite finished boasting how clever you are – oh! er! we’re going into a ditch.”

Oops! Picky, aren’t we?

“It’s a fine start to our farm holiday. You’re always getting us into scrapes.”

True, but I always get us out of them.” 

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The Waterstones, Lymington

Meet the Authors and Artists

event on Saturday 19th March

was an all out success.


3 NF artists signing event inv p'cd back RGB 200ppiScroll down to see photos of the event.

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A good crowd had already gathered by 10.30.

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Sharing local stories from the New Forest and Dorset, with Suzan Houching, artist and author of A Life in Colour.

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Alan Langford, member of the Society of Equestrian Artists, signing his book WELGORA.

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Gervase Gregory, watercolour artist, signs his book A Lifetime in Postcards for one of his oldest fans (Frank Tovey age 94).

 DSC00361 14cmW 200ppi Alan delighted young fans with original drawings done on the spot.
 DSC00323 cropped 12cmW 200ppi  Gervase shared painting tips with budding artists.
DSC00319 14cmW 200ppi Suzan’s stories engage everyone who picks up her book. 
DSC00353 14cmW 200ppi A happy and successful occasion for everyone.
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If you would like a copy of your photo from the event please let me know either on facebook (Little Knoll Press) or by email to Jenny@LittleKnollPress.co.uk
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To buy the books go to Little Knoll Bookshop

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Welgora vers10 front RGB 8cmW 600ppiWELGORA – the equestrian art of Alan Langford 

has received a glowing review in the Society of Equestrian Artists newsletter.


Alison Wilson, the reviewer, is well-known for her equestrian paintings and for her witty and articulate instructional book Drawing and Painting Horses. Praise from her is praise indeed!


With Alison’s kind permission you can read her full review here below. It includes the paintings selected to illustrate the review in the December 2015 Society of Equestrian Artists newsletter.


Book Review

Welgora: The equestrian art of Alan Langford

A New Forest artist’s story

‘Welgora’ (Anglo-Romani for ‘Horse Fair’) is a newly published book on the work – and the life – of Alan Langford, a long-standing Full Member of the SEA, whom many of you will know from workshops and other SEA events. I have always enjoyed Alan’s contributions to the SEA’s Annual Exhibitions, and therefore I was delighted to be asked to review this book for your Newsletter.

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‘Romani with vanners’ on page xi


‘Appleby Fair’ on page 103

This book has many strands. It follows the story of Alan’s life, but does so largely through his work, and the book is packed full of illustrations in colour and line-and-wash. Woven through the book are many observations on the history and the lives of travelling people, and thoughts on what it means to be an artist. Above all, it is a thought provoking read, courageous in not shirking controversy or difficult and personal topics.

I seldom read biographies of artists, especially if they are written by ‘non-artists’. I find their insight into working practice is at best minimal and often dangerously misleading, and their propensity to descend into irrelevant gossip – often unsubstantiated gossip – irritating, but autobiographies of artists are a different matter. If thoughtfully and honestly written, they can be a source of practical help, guidance and even inspiration. This book is a good example.


‘August Drift, New Forest’ on pages 8&9

It would be impossible to read this book and remain unaware of the dedication necessary to the life of a serious working artist. This dedication expresses itself in many ways- the time an artist must spend learning, not just as a student, but throughout their working life, the humility that means they never stop working to improve, the absolute need for ruthless professional self-criticism, which sometimes conflicts dangerously with the hard fight against self-doubt, the debts artists feel towards mentors and colleagues who generously help those who many people might regard as their potential professional rivals. It is all here, in this book. But there is something more, and that’s here too. It is the need to work.  Just wanting to ‘be’ an artist isn’t enough. You have to want, to need, to draw, to paint, to model.

Some of us have been fortunate enough to have it (relatively) easy – that is, we had the opportunity to go to a good art school full-time at a young age, but many of the best artists have not had that opportunity. They have had to work hard at other jobs to earn a crust while studying when and where they could, going to evening classes at the local college or art school. This requires an even higher level of commitment. As someone who taught such students I saw this in practice- to turn out time after time in miserable winter weather to go to a life class after an exhausting day at work and study hard for another two or three hours takes courage and dedication of a high order. Alan is an artist who has had to take this harder road, and it is humbling to read of how hard he has worked to get where he is.


‘New Arrivals, Stow-on-the-Wold’ on pages 50&51

Throughout the book you feel not only Alan’s ‘need’ to draw and to paint – for example,  how even when he was working as a full-time illustrator he got up early to complete his illustration commissions so he could go out and paint from life later in the day – but also his sheer joy in doing it. This drives the book, just as it has driven his life. As a result this is not a preachy book- it is a thoroughly enjoyable read and abounds with interesting and amusing stories and colourful descriptions which bring places and times to life ( and make me for one want to go and paint them) because Alan uses language in a painterly way – not something every artist is able to do.

Many of us will have worked alongside other artists at workshops and exhibitions, sometimes knowing specific artists superficially for years, but sadly it isn’t often we get to know much about each other apart from our work. It’s often surprising if you do get talking about each other’s murky pasts what varied backgrounds artists have – I know of artists who have been platelayers on the railway, accountants, carpet fitters, vets, police forensic photographers, bus drivers, and nurses. Amongst those who have more traditional pasts for artists I know graphic designers, technical draughtsmen, and scenic artists, as well as teachers of the various branches of art of course. Alan can add quite a few things to both lists, some that certainly surprised me and I’ve known Alan as an artist for some years, but I’d be spoiling the book for you if I listed them. So I won’t. You’ll have to read it yourself.

It won’t shock anyone who knows me who is reading this, but one of Alan’s points throughout the book with which I could not agree more involves the importance of drawing, and drawing often; Alan’s  ‘Draw, draw, then draw some more’- echoes Sickert’s famous saying ‘Drawing is the thing’, and Ingres’ somewhat more formal ‘Drawing is the proberty of Art’.  Throughout his life Alan has always drawn, and still attends life class (as indeed we should all do wherever possible). Alan’s quotation from Lucy Kemp Welch on the subject of life drawing nailed the reasons for an artist to work at life drawing (whatever subjects they may paint) better than any other quotation I’ve read.

For me, Alan’s most impressive skills involve those very aspects of art in which I feel myself to be least skilled – a good visual memory and the capacity to draw ‘out of your head’ – without a model in front of you. These skills, both of them rare and difficult to learn, and very difficult indeed to teach, are crucial to an artist like Alan who paints stories and not merely studies.

It’s always intriguing to hear from an artist which artists they most admire, and/or feel they have learned from. Alan’s case is no exception; there are many thoughtful references to artists, both masters and contemporaries, in the book. His long term admiration for Goya surprised me at first, as Goya is not an artist often cited as an influence with artists with the possible exception of printmakers, then when I thought about Alan’s background in illustration and considered some of the fine examples of it in this book (‘Shipwreck’ and ‘Warrior on horse’) it made perfect sense, and his words on Goya made me think it was time I went back and looked again at Goya’s work. That’s always a good sign in a book. I share Alan’s enthusiasm for some of the ‘usual suspects’, such as Rembrandt and Constable, but also for some of the rarer birds, such as de Loutherbourg, more known to scenic artists than painters as a rule. This particular liking didn’t surprise me in Alan, as de Loutherbourg was a great dramatic story-teller in paint.

The book abounds with drawings and paintings of great energy and movement, but not only that, fundamentally they tell stories, of people, of horses, in some cases of a vanishing lifestyle. With Alan’s work, every picture really does tell a story. The book does the same and what better thing can you say about a book or a painting than that?

Alison Wilson

To buy WELGORA and other New Forest artist’s books go to www.littleknollbookshop.co.uk 

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Front cover 'A Lifetime in Postcards' for Nielsen 22.05.13I would like to share a great review that I’ve just received via the

author and New Forest artist

Gervase A Gregory

on his book

A Lifetime in Postcards,

published by Little Knoll Press in 2013.

ISBN: 978-0-9565359-8-6


For anyone interested in art (watercolour painting) and in the New Forest, here it is (all the way from John Grimley, Toronto, Canada) for you to read:-

‘I think the book is wonderful; it perfectly evokes the mood, pace of life, beauty and variety that is The New Forest and The Waterside. So well prepared and presented, it’s like a tour of the Forest.

I am currently at my desk, in the basement office, devouring your book. I appreciate the OS map references. My wife bought a bound OS atlas at a book sale a while ago for a buck or two – to help with her genealogy – published in 1986. It has helped her and now it is assisting in helping my own memory of places like Lepe, which I have been to countless times. It, along with Hatchet Pond (sic) was my mother and father’s favourite place to go and soak in the scenery.

I shall now return to your book and my nostalgia and will write again soon.’


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A double page spread from ‘A Lifetime in Postcards’.

You can purchase the book on http://littleknollbookshop.co.uk/a-lifetime-in-postcards-by-new-forest-artist-gervase-a-gergory/

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Newsletter – Little Knoll Press in 2015

Strangers in Chaotung

Click on the picture for more about Strangers in Chaotung

8th Dec 2015
Dear Booklovers
It’s been more than 12 months since I last did a newsletter, so I’ll try to catch you up with what has happened with Little Knoll Press.
I published the first book, Strangers in Chaotung by Winifred Tovey, in 2010 and over the following five years the genre of books from Little Knoll Press has become more defined, I’ve therefore put the books below under their ‘genre’ heading.

'A Lifetime in Postcards' by New Forest artist Gervase A Gregory

To take another look at Gervase’s book click on the picture of the book cover


A Lifetime in Postcards by Gervase Gregory, the first of the series of New Forest artist’s books, is still going strong. It is a lovely book, full of Gervase’s watercolour paintings and stories about local places, people and happenings. I know several people who use it as their New Forest guide book and follow the Ordnance Survey references to go from place to place by car or on foot.  This book has sold far afield too, with copies going to Australia, America and Canada.

My Story in Colour by New Forest artist Suzan Houching

To see more about the book and read Hannah Gordon’s Foreword click on the picture of the book cover

MY STORY IN COLOUR by artist Suzan Houching was launched on 6th May this year at Waterstones, Ringwood. The shop was bursting with people and nearly 100 copies sold on that single evening, with Suzan signing every book and meeting everyone who came.

Suzan works mainly in acrylics on canvas in brilliant colours and usually with a strong dash of humour.

You can also see a short video of Suzan’s book launch on YouTube

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You can see more about Alan’s book by clicking on the WELGORA book cover picture

WELGORA – the Equestrian Art of Alan Langford, the latest New Forest artist’s book was launched recently on October 31st at The Herald, Hythe. That morning we lost count of the number of people who came to the launch and 123 copies of Alan’s book were sold. Alan had never signed his name so many times!

Alan’s style is yet again very different – he paints mainly large canvases in oils and the subjects of the paintings are full of vigour and movement.

Alan has always been fascinated by horses and their working relationships with people. His paintings powerfully bring this to life, and I think you’ll agree that this quote I spotted at his Easter exhibition in Godshill Village Hall shows the respect that he holds for the humble horse.

Why a hoss is very near a Christian, that know Sunday from weekday. Go you inter the yard a Sunday mornin’, you’ll find ’em all layin’ down. They know very well thass Sunday.’

Alan writes lyrically about the way his art has grown around this special interest and the unique importance of the horse in Romani life – Welgora is the Romani word for ‘Horse Fair’.

Pacific Avengers front cover RGB pcard size

To find out more click on the book cover picture

Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVRGeoffrey E. Wright 857 Squadron 1944(disbanded 1945)

Avenger TI US star


Pacific Avengers – The story of a Fleet Air Arm pilot’s training and service with 857 Squadron in the British Pacific Fleet by Mike Roussel, is a local story, as well as one that will be of interest to anyone whose relatives or friends took part in the Pacific War.

Mike, the author of a number of books on the history of ships and aircraft, responded to a friend’s plea for someone to visit Geoff Wright who was finding life confined to home rather depressing.

In Mike’s words, ‘When I arrived for my first visit I was amazed at the large models of steam engines on display that Geoffrey had made over the years. On the walls there were a number of pictures, and from my interest in aviation I was attracted to a painting of a Grumman Avenger, with the caption underneath:

‘Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR
Geoffrey E. Wright
857 Squadron 1944 (disbanded 1945)’

Further along the wall I saw a frame with a photograph of a very smart young man in uniform and asked Geoffrey if he was the young man in the photograph.’

Out of the friendship that grew has come Pacific Avengers, both Geoff’s biography and a fascinating account of the Pacific Conflict illustrated with many previously unpublished photographs from that time.

Geoff sadly passed away before the book was published, but his family and friends were proud to see his story in this book.

Aeroaddict front cover for website

To see more click on the picture of the book cover

Aerial of Doug in his S.E.5a for website

Doug flying his S.E.5a

Doug in WW1 uniform - as on back cover of book -for website

Doug in WW1 Bigglesworth RFC uniform, his S.E.5a behind

Doug and Liz Gregory in BBC Radio Solent studio with Katie Martin

The foreword to Pacific Avengers was written by Doug Gregory DFC author on an earlier Little Knoll Press book AEROADDICT – The story of one man’s lifelong love affair with Aeroplanes.

Doug’s story is primarily about his retirement project – building and flying his own replica WW1 aeroplane – an S.E.5a bi-plane. Interwoven with his recent story Doug describes his lifetime obsession with flying and the time he spent as a night fighter pilot during WW2. His love of doing aerobatics led to him getting together with some equally ‘addicted’ pilots who had replica WW1 planes and forming the Great War Display Team.

At the beginning of this year, Doug was no longer flying solo, but he was looking forward to flights with friends, giving talks and attending air shows. Unfortunately it was not to be – having survived over 67 operations over occupied Europe in WW2 and, after his retirement, 25 years of daring dog fight re-enactments with The Great War Display Team, Doug was knocked down by a car near his home. He lost the battle with his injuries and died with his family around him on the 12th April, aged 92.

Ernie Hoblyn, who helped Doug get his bookAEROADDICT ready for publishing, has written about Doug’s life on The Great War Display Team website. To read the tribute click on The Great War Display Team 

AEROADDICT is an interesting read that is full of Doug’s humour, poems and unique photographs from his life.

You can also listen again to Katie Martin’s interview with Doug and his wife Liz on BBC Radio Solent. Click on Interview

To find out more about this book click on the front cover picture

Nikki in the garden at Lewis-Manning Hospice

Nikki’s daughters fundraising at the 2015 R4 Life

In February this year Little Knoll Press also published the autobiographical book A Life Turned UPSIDE DOWN by Nikki Hastings, who passed away in 2014, but not before writing her story about the six years she lived with the diagnosis of terminal cancer.

Nikki was working in children’s Adoption and Placement Services when she was diagnosed, piloting  ‘Lifestory’ work, which has been proven to be important in helping children adapt to major changes in their lives. This encouraged her to write about the time she had left with her two little girls. Her no-holds-barred story is lifted by the colour photos of happy times and by Nikki’s wry sense of humour.

In the book’s foreword, Debra Stephenson (comedienne and voice artist) wrote, ‘I had the privilege of meeting Nikki in 2013 at a fundraising ladies’ lunch in aid of Lewis-Manning Hospice. I say privilege because it is always a privilege to meet someone who is courageous, determined and inspirational, especially someone who has the ability to touch your life through meeting them for the first time. Nikki was certainly special, but in her speech she revealed that she had not always been so positive.’

All the royalties and profit from this publication go to the Lewis-Manning Hospice.

To see more about John’s book click on the picture of the book cover

The Divo choir

African Encounters by John R Pritchard will be the next published memoir book – in fact it is at press as I write.

You will be glad to hear that John is very much alive and continues his keen involvement in events in Africa where he lived for so long. John is also the author of Methodists and their Missionary Societies (two volumes – 1760-1900 and 1900-1996).

John and family were in Africa through interesting times, first with the Methodist Missionary Society over the years 1965 – 1975 when decolonisation and industrial progress were rapidly changing the continent, and then later with the Methodist Church Overseas Division, visiting partner Churches in Africa several times a year to meet, encourage and, and on one visit as an independent observer of the first free election in South Africa. 

Te see more about ‘Jack’s Country’ click on the picture

Jack with his pack pony ‘Ghost’



OLD COUNTRY DVDs with Jack Hargreaves Series 1 (20 programmes) on 4 DVDs

Jack Hargreaves’ Biography & ‘Old Country’ TV Programmes DVD

Another biography book mentioned in my newsletter last November is Jack’s Country by Paul Peacock.  It is the full life story of Jack Hargreaves and, as circumstances often have it, Jack’s story has associations with others – he kept his pony ‘Ghost’, who features in the opening titles of his TV series Old Country, at Suzan Houching’s grandfather’s farm in Brockenhurst. This was back in the days when Jack was making his programmes Gone Fishing and Out of Town for Southern Television, followed by the Old Country series, which was broadcast on Channel 4.

My husband, Dave Knowles, was the film editor on Out of Town, and then, after the franchise was awarded to TVS, Dave was responsible for the independent production and editing (Series 1 & 3) of Old Country.

Jack was an interesting person to work with; having been in radio broadcast before and during WW2, he was later there at the inception of television. Out of Town and Old Country were filmed with just Jack and a single cameraman – no sound, that was dubbed on later, and then Jack went into the studio to make his commentary over the already edited film.

Dave has recently remastered the Old Country series from the originally broadcast medium to DVD. There are 60 programmes in all and Series 1 is ready now as a boxed set of 20 programmes on 4 DVDs.

You can find out more and buy the series by clicking on the picture of the DVD box cover.

Goblins front cover for Nielsen 650pixW

To buy a copy of this adventure story for 6 – 10 year olds click on the book cover picture

Click on the photo to see more of this event.


The Company of Goblins by Celia Leofsy is proving very popular with children and adults. Several schools have adopted it as their class reading book, with teachers using the Reading Guides that can be downloaded from The Company of Goblins website.

Children love the story of twelve-year-old Izzy and her cat, Orlando, who have to solve some tricky and dangerous problems to thwart the Goblins’ plan to take over big business and thence the world. Celia’s style and subject creates a modern myth, described by reviewers as ‘akin to Tolkien and JK Rowling’.

Beaulieu School, in the New Forest, had a wonderful visit from Celia in January, where she ran a lesson on mythology linked to their study of the Anglo-Saxons. 

‘Winter at Shave Green’ by Alan Langford

There are more new books in store for next year, but I will be impressed if you’ve stayed with this long newsletter to get this far, so I’ll save them for next year.

It remains for me to wish you all happiness over Christmas and the very best in 2016.          

                                Jenny  (Knowles)

P.S. This newsletter is circulated to subscribers using MailChimp so you can be sure your email address and details are not divulged to anyone else.
If you would like to receive future newsletters please drop me a line by email to – Jenny@littleknollpress.co.uk

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African Encounters front cover 10cmW 400ppi RGBAfrican Encounters by John R Pritchard

In this personal memoir John Pritchard, historian of the Methodist Missionary Society and its former General Secretary, recalls elements of a life in which Africa loomed large.

24 Village welcome 13cmW 400ppi contrast less 4 lighter 12In his schooldays large parts of Africa were still coloured pink and the long process of decolonization had barely begun when he started university. After John graduated in theology, he offered, with his fiancée, Pat, for missionary service in West Africa, and in 1966 they were sent to Côte d’Ivoire, where John travelled around a scattered rural circuit of sixty churches, in a Renault 4 where possible and on foot if necessary. Within a year another ten churches had been planted.

After their first furlough, John and Pat returned to a new assignment in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan. The challenges in the fast growing port were quite different, with industry, commerce and population expanding exponentially.  They lived in Abidjan until 1975; their children, Claire and Paul, grew up and began school there. At times John’s work took him further afield: west to Senegal, north to Mali, south to Zaire and Zambia.

209 T-shirt 12cmW 400ppiFollowing eleven years as a circuit minister in England, John was appointed Africa Secretary of the Methodist Church Overseas Division. The post was London-based, but three or four times a year he visited partner Churches to meet, encourage and learn from African colleagues: addressing together the issues that confronted small Christian communities, fast-growing churches or the challenges of South Africa under apartheid.

Looking back over half a century, John’s memories resonate with the words of the Zulu song, ‘Thuma Mina’ – ‘Send me, Lord.’

African Encounters by John R Pritchard

ISBN: 978-0-9927220-8-1

£12.00 +p&p from Little Knoll Bookshop

Pages: 1 2

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Today’s Mistletoe Fair 

the start of Christmas

in the village of Hythe on the edge of the New Forest.


DSC06777 Town Crier
Hythe’s Town Crier outside The HERALD.

Hear ye!

Hear ye! 

– children’s rides, face-painting, handmade crafts, collectibles, jewelry and … BOOKS!!!





Children’s books by Martin Bradley and Simon Chadwick under a gazebo outside The Herald.

A young visitor is drawn into The HERALD to look at the books.


DSC06813 Simon Chadwick
Simon Chadwick sketching.
DSC06809 Suzan & friend
New Forest artist Suzan Houching (in red) brought some of the paintings that feature in her book ‘My Story in Colour’.
DSC06787 Alan sketching for children
Alan Langford, equestrian artist, sketches a New Forest pony for a young fan of his book ‘WELGORA’.
DSC06806 Mike Roussel
Mike Roussel with his book ‘Pacific Avengers’.
DSC06790 John Leete with customer
John Leete with his book ‘The New Forest at War’.
DSC06808 Cathy Woodman
Cathy Woodman with her latest book ‘Vets on Call’.
DSC06810 Mike R with Roger Mansford
Roger Hansford, author of ‘Fawley’s Frontline – a Century of Firefighting and Rescue’, chatting with fellow historian Mike Roussel.
DSC06794 Louise & Paula at the counter

All these books and more are available from The Herald.


For New Forest artists’ books, memoirs and living history books

go to



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