Title: Discover Old Swanage
Author: David Haysom
RRP: £13.95
Sale Price: N/A
Publication date: 6 Dec 2010
Format: 240 x 170 mm
Number of pages: 192
Illustrations: 352
Maps: 14
ISBN: 978-1-906651-04-6

* Sorry, but this title is temporarily out of print, awaiting minor updates from the author.

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A new way of exploring old Swanage ...

Discover Old Swanage explores Swanage through old photographs, following seven different routes around the town. Most of the 350+ photos, old advertisements and maps have never been published before. It’s a trip down memory lane, with photos of local people and businesses, some of whom/which are still around today. It captures the story behind the photos, and author David Haysom has really done his homework researching and providing intriguing, detailed captions. It’s a real social history and a great way to explore Swanage.



From Purbeck Gazette
‘fabulous … with hundreds of historical pictures and a ton of local information’ 

From Purbeck! magazine
‘This qualifies as the surprise book  of the decade … it’s an utterly engaging read. … As respected historian and honorary curator of the Swanage Museum, David Haysom is eminently qualified to bring us the story … open at random and you’re hooked. Anyone with even a passing interest in Swanage will find it more than useful as an historical record; it has a genuine ooh-aah factor that is difficult to convey. Time and again I’ve watched as friends pick it up and won’t put it down, delighted by what they’ve discovered – in old Swanage.’

From: George Willey's Tilly Whim page, Swanage Advertiser

From: Nick Lloyd (direct customer), Droitwich

‘I have been thrilled and delighted with David's book, which has consumed me for the best part of the day – a tremendous effort by Mr Haysom and yourselves as publishers. David's commentary is well researched and detailed and his selection of old photographs is superb. The page layout and quality of publishing is also excellent. I believe this is the first Roving Press book in my (large) collection of local history books. I am more familiar with the [bigger publishers] and their huge local studies catalogues. Having now seen the quality that can be achieved, it has given me a different perspective ...! Please extend my appreciation to Mr Haysom. I will certainly recommend this book and very much look forward to a sequel ….’

From: Chris (Amazon customer)

5-stars, Brilliant book! I have been visiting Swanage for almost 50 years and thought I knew the town pretty well. How wrong could I be! This book is a fascinating photographic record of the history of Swanage, particularly of buildings that have since been destroyed. A must for anyone who would like to know more about the town.

From: Deborah Norman (Amazon customer)

5-stars, Tracing family history. This book is fantastic,a must if you are trying to trace your family tree or just have a interest in learning about the area.There are many names I have come across in my tree and on p67 is my great great grandmother Mrs Ann Amelia Norman.David Haysom has worked really hard on this book and it is full with great photos and artifacts. A must have book for you to buy!!!!!

Extract from the Preface

My first book Swanage and Purbeck in Old Photographs, compiled with the late David Bragg, was published in 1991 and sold out within 18 months. So many people have asked me where they could obtain a copy, or was I writing another book; so at last here it is – a new and comprehensive selection of ‘Old Swanage’ photographs, adverts, and postcards, many of which have never been published before.
     Discover Old Swanage is a portrait of the town using old photographs, adverts and maps. It shows different aspects of Swanage through the years to provide a social history of this popular seaside resort. Parts of the town not covered will hopefully appear in a follow-on volume in due course.
      The book is also designed as a practical means of exploring the town as the images are arranged in the form of short walks. This allows you to take the book out and about and also shows how each area of the town has developed. Sections from the 1926 Ordnance Survey map and special outline walking maps help to guide you. The walking route continues from one chapter to the next, so if you are keen it can be used for one long walk!


Chapter 1 – The Quay to Purbeck House
Chapter 2 – Craigside to Parker’s Stores
Chapter 3 – Cowlease and Priest’s Road
Chapter 4 – British Legion Club to Newton Manor
Chapter 5 – Herston to King’s Road West
Chapter 6 – King’s Road West and Court Road
Chapter 7 – St Mary’s Church to The Parade

Each chapter starts with a modern map to guide you through the images, and an extract from the 1926 Ordnance Survey map of the same area shows how things used to be.


About the Author

Born in 1957, David Haysom has spent his whole life in Swanage. His grandfather and father both worked in the local stone industry, and his father’s interest and enthusiasm for local history was taken up by David from an early age. Since 1988 he has been Curator of the Swanage Museum, which though voluntary is virtually a full-time job. His encyclopaedic knowledge of Swanage serves him well in this role. As Curator he interprets the collections and helps people with their local and family history research enquiries, using the resources at the Museum’s separate Local Studies Centre. He also leads guided walks around the town during the summer, gives illustrated talks on ‘Old Swanage’ and organises exhibitions.

   David (right) with Bob Campbell at the launch.


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