Secret series

  1. Secret Broadstairs by Andy Bull

    The untold story of the lady from Broadstairs who inspired David Copperfield’s aunt, Betsy Trotwood. Charles Dickens’ semi-autobiographical story of David Copperfield has proved a timeless classic, and is gaining new admirers through Armando Iannucci’s 2019 film version. Aunt Betsy chasing donkeys off the green in an illustration for the American edition of David Copperfield. (Secret Broadstairs, Amberley Publishing) A...
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  2. Secret Dover by Jeff Howe

    Dover is Quite Alright Dover holds a particular fascination for me. I don’t really know why, I don’t live there.  It’s just another run-down seaside town, suffering still from the effects of war-time bomb and shell damage, and population stagnation. Since then various economic impetuses have caused many buildings of monumental style and importance to be demolished; as recently as...
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  3. Secret Loughborough by Lynne Dyer

    The secret that is the town of Loughborough There’s nothing secret about Loughborough, now is there?! Everyone’s heard of it; everyone knows where it is; everyone knows what it’s famous for, and everyone knows who its famous inhabitants are - right? Err, well, possibly not! Welcome to Loughborough. (Secret Loughborough, Amberley Publishing) Wherever I get into conversation with people, whether...
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  4. Secret Ramsgate by Andy Bull

    Pugin and Montefiore: building Jerusalem in Ramsgate Two remarkable men with a great deal in common but a key religious difference were building empires at opposite ends of Ramsgate in the 1840s. I explore their stories in my new book, Secret Ramsgate. On the West Cliff, Augustus Welby Pugin, best known for designing the interiors to the Palace of Westminster...
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  5. Secret Leith by Jack Gillon

    Having previously written Leith Through Time (2014) and Leith History Tour (2018) for Amberley, I was very pleased to have the opportunity to delve deeper into Leith’s past and some of the lesser-known aspects of its long and distinguished history with Secret Leith (2019). Leith from the Firth of Forth, 1820. (Secret Leith, Amberley Publishing) Leith has played a long...
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  6. Secret Margate - 'The remarkable secret life of Turner’s Mrs Booth' by Andy Bull

    On the face of it, there aren’t many secrets about J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851). His Margate connection is very well-known. The Turner Contemporary gallery, built by the harbour at the very spot where he lodged, makes the link between Turner and Margate very clear and evident. He was sent to school here, and returned many times in later life...
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  7. Secret Evesham by Stan Brotherton

    When writing this book I had two particular ideas in mind. First, I wanted to debunk a handful of long-standing local stories because, well, they have no basis in history (though they’re undeniably a bit of fun). Second, and much more importantly, there is a lot of “hidden history” which I wanted to explore and share. Pavement slab in Vine...
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  8. Secret Rochester by Philip MacDougall

    Another Chapter in the Secret History of the Medway Towns A general view of Rochester as seen from the north, with both the castle and cathedral clearly visible. (c. Ewan Cambell MacDougall, Secret Rochester, Amberley Publishing) Strange it must have been in December 1812, when a fleet of twenty-two warships gradually, over a period of a few days, slowly made...
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  9. Secret Sunderland by Marie Gardiner

    Extract from book: Cretehawser – The Concrete Boat Cretehawser, the concrete boat. (Author's collection, Secret Sunderland, Amberley Publishing) If you go down to the riverside at Claxheugh Rock (pronounced ‘Clatchy’ locally) in South Hylton, and the tide is just right, you might see an interesting lump of concrete shaped like a boat sticking up from the water. It may not...
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  10. Secret Southampton by Martin Brisland

    In October 1971, Muhammad Ali was in a local supermarket in Hedge End. (Secret Southampton, Amberley Publishing) Saturday 15th July 2017 was a day to remember. Well it would be if only I could remember it. I know I was in bed having not been awake long. Then a thunderclap pain in the back of my head hit. I...
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