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Branscombe Project © 2009-2017
Our publications are available at all Branscombe Project events in the village hall. (For postal sales p&p details are available on request).

Publications are also available through local outlets :
   Paragon bookshop, Sidmouth
   Post Office, Beer
edited by Barbara Farquharson & Joan Doern

People say that before the Second World War you didn’t need to go beyond the Parish. There were shops; there were services; there was work. Right through until the late 1950s Branscombe was almost self-sufficient. This book is based on the stories told by people in the village, and the focus is mainly on Branscombe between the wars, though sometimes the stories go further back in time, sometimes forward.
58 pp with illustrations
£3.50 plus p&p
edited by Barbara Farquharson & Joan Doern

A hundred or a hundred and fifty years ago, when the grandparents of some of the people who still live in the village had just been born, there were, in almost every cottage in Branscombe, women and girls who sat for hours each day making lace. The pay, which was more often in kind than cash, was pitiful, and the conditions so harsh that even the hardened Commissioners sent to report on children’s employment were appalled. But families were large, and farm labourers made very little money; the money or goods brought in through lace-making often made the difference between going under or creeping by.     
44 pp with illustrations
£3.50 plus p&p
by John Torrance

William Braddick Ford was a young farmer in 1790. He kept a diary for two years in which he tells of his work in the fields, bringing in coal on Branscombe beach for his lime-kilns, acting as a dogsbody for rich old John Stuckey up at Weston, and getting embroiled in village disputes. He also describes family events and his adventures shooting game.
John Torrance, historian, brings the diary to life, and opens a window on to life in the village.
61 pp with illustrations
£3.50 plus p&p
edited by Barbara Farquharson & Joan Doern

Branscombe has more than its fair share of ghosts – sometimes there’s just a voice, sometimes a sound, or it could be a poltergeist, or – most often, an apparition. Some are historical, many are more recent. They have been recounted by older villagers and by incomers.
61 pp with illustrations
£3.50 plus p&p

by Margaret Tomlinson

This book tells the story of the east Devon lace trade, and of the three Branscombe families – the Chicks, Tuckers & Fords – responsible for the rise of the Branscombe cottage industry. There are some remarkable characters, including some very strong women, and Margaret Tomlinson, who belongs to the Chick family, tells the story from the inside.
This remarkable book, first published in 1983 and long out of print, has become much sought after. Margaret Tomlinson’s family have very kindly allowed it to be reprinted by the Branscombe Project.
94 pp with illustrations
£5.50 plus p&p


The Shooting at Branscombe Old Pits
Barbara Farquharson & John Torrance

One moonlit night in September 1883 an old man was shot dead as he made his way home from harvesting. Three local people were accused of murder, the village was in turmoil …
Unsolved murder, or unexplained accident?
This book reconstructs real events — shooting, arrest, trial, inquest, and turbulent aftermath — and seeks to explain what happened, and why. It draws a picture of a late nineteenth century village torn apart by a sudden inexplicable event and, at the same time, deeply affected by more general economic and political changes.
200 pp, £5.50 plus p&p



Sue Dymond

A look at what went on in the village in WW2. Telling our wartime story with the help of people’s memories, newspaper accounts, official documents and photographs.

A sleepy Devon village suddenly faced with London evacuees, soldiers guarding the beach, farmers being told to grow more and husbands and sons going away to fight, wives and children left to cope as best they could.

A munitions factory opened in the village and fundraising and collecting waste for the war effort are all remembered here, along with the dancing and social events that made a hard time more bearable.

156 pp, £5.00 plus p&p

Cliff and Beach at Branscombe

By Barbara Farquharson & Sue Dymond

From prehistoric flint-working to modern day storms; examining the working cliffs. Growing crops, particularly early potatoes, on the cliff face, landing coal from boats onto the beach to fire the lime kilns, extracting gypsum from the cliffs, landing smuggled goods and spiriting them away up the steep cliff tracks in the past (and playing cat and mouse with the revenue men), the grounding of the Napoli; a recent confrontation with the authorities.
The cliffs and beach have always been busy places and we have lots of oral history to help tell the tale.

192 pp, plus colour plates, £6.50 plus p&p.

An old recipe book from Branscombe

By John Torrance

It tells the story of a handwritten recipe book belonging to a Branscombe family. Started in the 1700s, the recipe book contains 217 recipes written by four women, probably farmers’ wives.

We see what foods they liked to eat,  what home-made wines they drank, and how their kitchens were equipped. Their home remedies include many garden and wayside herbs. The  cure for consumption begins ‘Take 300 snails ... then take a pint of great earthworms’. A good read!

With four colour plates, and illustrated with original drawings by Cory Lyons.

£3.50 plus p&p