The Wreck of the Gloucester and other new books

Samuel Pepys and the Strange Wrecking of the Gloucester

Back in 2007, brothers Julian and Lincoln Barnwell found the first evidence of the wreck of the Gloucester on the Ower sandbank in the North Sea some 25 miles north east of Mundesley in Norfolk.  The brothers from Aylsham (whose family business, Barnwell Print, prints our tide table booklets and quite a few other books on our list) have had to keep the find secret to avoid the wreck being plundered, but it has finally been announced.  But the find wasn’t purely chance.  It was the result of painstaking historical research, carried out by, amongst others, Nigel Pickford who has now released a book telling the story of the Gloucester, which was carrying James, Duke of York, to Scotland in 1682 to return to London with his wife Mary, to take up his position as heir to the throne.

Pickford’s ‘day job’ is working as a consultant to marine salvage companies to locate and identify wrecks with a view to recovering lost cargo.  In this book he uses his skills to forensically analyse the historical records to piece together the last days of the Gloucester and sets the story in the political climate of the times.  The diarist, Samuel Pepys, a friend of James who also held the post of Chief Secretary to the Admiralty, was invited to sail with James on the Gloucester but refused.  Pickford questions whether Pepys knew something was wrong.

Although clearly meticulously researched, this is a thoroughly readable and fascinating account, and will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in this period or in maritime history.

Samuel Pepys and the Strange Wrecking of the Gloucester

Samuel Pepys and the Strange Wrecking of the Gloucester: A True Restoration Tragedy
By Nigel Pickford
Hardback 293 pages; The History Press
ISBN 9780750997539; RRP £20.00

Also newly arrived:

Suffolk Above and Beyond by Martin Bowman

Martin Bowman is a Norfolk based author and photographer, probably best known for his histories of military aviation, but for this book he has toured Suffolk and produced a photographic guide to the most picturesque spots of this beautiful county.  Full of colour photographs, there is a personal feel to the book as Martin selects his favourite locations.

Suffolk Above and Beyond

Suffolk Above and Beyond by Martin W. Bowman
Hardback 144 pages; Halsgrove
ISBN 9780857043450; RRP £16.99

Back in Stock

The popular A-Z Adventure Atlas: Norfolk Coast Path and Peddars Way is now back in stock.  This has been out of print since the beginning of the year, but has now been reprinted and we have plenty of stock.  If you haven’t come across this atlas, it is a handy A5 sized booklet with OS Explorer 1:25000 mapping for the entire length of the Coast Path and Peddars Way.  For walkers along the coast it’s much cheaper and more convenient than buying the equivalent OS maps.

A-Z Adventure Atlas: Norfolk Coast Path and Peddars Way
ISBN 9781782571919; RRP £8.95

And in Other News

Our website will not be available for some time on Sunday 24th July as we are carrying out a significant upgrade.  Although it won’t look massively different it will incorporate many minor improvements and allow us to provide better information about books and authors.  If all goes well the site should be back online by lunchtime, but of course it may not all go well…

We have also been reviewing shipping charges for trade customers in the light of increasing costs from our delivery services.  As a result we will be making some minor changes.  From 1st August our minimum carriage paid order for trade customers will increase from £60 to £80.  For orders below this level, there will be a small increase in our shipping charge for packages over 2kg, which will increase to £4.50 (which is still considerably less than it actually costs).  Orders under 2kg will continue to be charged at approximate cost with a maximum of £3.50.


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