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Poppyland Publishing - Media Information

Welcome to the Poppyland Publishing Media Information Page.

Lowestoft-based Poppyland Publishing published its first title in 1976. Since then it has regularly published titles of local interest in East Anglia. We publish books, DVDs and prints and offer many supplementary materials on our web sites.

Each section below covers a recent publication. For a full press release download the associated zip file, which contains a press release document, the front cover and, in many cases, photographs from the book for use in association with features and reviews.


Monks Hall: the History of a Waveney Valley Manor

A new publication from Poppyland Publishing
RRP £14.95

Published 20 October 2018.

This story of a Waveney Valley manor house and estate is told through the lives of its owners, occupants and admirers, a tale that spans 1000 years and provides a fascinating social history of rural England in one place, extensively researched and written by someone with a love of the Waveney Valley.

The manor was unusually well documented from medieval times because it was owned by the monks at Thetford Priory, who kept a detailed record of expenditure and gave a description of a house recognisable today, despite its 16th century ‘renovations’. After the dissolution of the priory in the mid 16th century, a succession of owners and scientifically gifted absentee landlords neglected to modernise the hall, leaving it remarkably little changed over the centuries until it was restored and renewed in the 1930s.

The people who lived at Monks Hall weathered famine, riots, plague, religious intolerance and war; their family lives reflect the rigours of country living over a millennium.

Press release - Monks Hall.zip



Kett 1549: Rewriting the Rebellion

A new publication from Poppyland Publishing
RRP £9.95

Published 30 October 2018.

Much has been written and imagined about Kett’s Rebellion in 1549 including the forthcoming historical novel Tombland by C. J. Sansom, who has also written the foreword to this, Leo R. Jary’s latest exploration of Norwich’s past. The author attempts to counter the bias of the establishment figures who wrote accounts at the time and, using his military knowledge, establishes a new theory concerning the question that has vexed historians since; the exact location of ‘Dussindale’, the place where Kett was finally defeated. Jary’s own illustrations and maps bring his persuasive research and arguments together in a book that will be of interest to anyone fascinated by Norfolk history, Kett’s Rebellion or Tudor military technology.

Press release - KETT 1519.zip



Sedgeford Aerodrome and the aerial conflict over north west Norfolk in the First World War

A new publication from Poppyland Publishing
RRP £14.95

Published 20 July 2018.

A detailed account of this west Norfolk aerodrome, both through archive research and archaeological excavation carried out by the SHARP team.

The word Zeppelin struck terror into the heart of much of the population of Britain as they realised that, unlike in years past, warfare might arrive in their city or town rather than be confined to some distant battlefield. The story of the Zeppelin raids on Britain has often been told elsewhere but in this publication the author takes the account further by putting the raids into the context of the subsequent development of air power in the east of England, with a particular focus on Sedgeford.

The accounts of the young men who flocked to try their hand at aerial adventure, their training at Sedgeford and the frequent loss of life before reaching a battlefield, are poignant. The skill and daring of Cadbury and Leckie - and their gratitude to have a Night Landing Ground - are the stuff of inter­war story telling. The perceptive accounts of death by fire written by Cadbury - a man from a Quaker family - sit alongside the responses of the populations of King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth as they reacted to injury and death delivered from the skies. The almost hysterical reactions of those who saw spies everywhere are also part of the story.

A particularly valuable aspect of the book is the part of the wireless scientists in the conflict, bringing their knowledge and perception to the efforts to defeat menace at sea and in the air. In a hut perched on the cliff-top at Hunstanton, the technicians scanned the wave bands to alert the fleet or the aircraft to give them the opportunity to gain an advantage of position and time. And in Room 40 at Whitehall, the birth of G.C.H.Q was under way ...

Sedgeford_aerodrome.zip - 818KbSedgeford_aerodrome.zip - 818Kb



The Baker Brothers: Diaries from the Eastern Front 1914-1919

A new publication from Poppyland Publishing
RRP £14.95

Published 20 July 2018.

The Baker Brothers - Diaries from the Eastern Front 1914–1919 is the story of a private fighting force raised by Oliver Locker-Lampson, a resident of Cromer and described by one of his men as, “an opportunist with friends in high places”. His ardent patriotism was only matched by his politician’s flair for self-advertisement. With the support of his friend First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, a man not averse himself to the adventures of war, he used his personal funds and his business connections to equip a Squadron of armoured cars.

Amongst his recruits were the three Baker brothers. Together with friends from the town they found themselves in a war like no other, waged against a myriad of foes that included Kurdish brigands, Bulgarians, Turks, Persians, Bolsheviks and Austrians, as well as the Germans they had actually volunteered to fight. Their respective diaries and letters are woven together to enable us to re-live experiences that beggared belief; to journey with them into a world of medieval banditry and encounter “the horrors of war” on the blood-soaked marshes around the Danube. Their crowning achievement lay in the enduring stoicism and steadfast courage displayed by ordinary men caught up in extraordinary events. Their distance from formal army regulations enabled cameras to be used freely. William Baker was charged by Commander Locker-Lampson to keep a record in pictures and his album provides the core of the picture record which accompanies the diaries and letters.

baker_brothers.zip - 1Mbbaker_brothers.zip - 1Mb



Lowestoft Fishermen's War: 1914-1918

A new publication from Poppyland Publishing
RRP £10.95

Published 2nd June 2018.

Lowestoft Fishermen’s War 1914 - 1918 is the story of the Lowestoft men and boys who found themselves in the frontline of the economic war with Germany. Required to make statements under oath to a Board of Trade official in order to seek compensation for losses, their unpublished testimonies, which were also used by Naval Intelligence in their vital work to defeat the U-boat menace from Germany, lay forgotten in the National Archives. Not all have survived, but those that have form the main primary resource material for this book. In examining these statements, the author provides an insight into what one might argue has been an overlooked area of the town’s maritime history.

The usual way in which the German U-boats destroyed the wooden sailing smacks that made up the Lowestoft fishing fleet was by using a time bomb. Unable to out-run the submarine, on capture, the crew were forced to use their small boat to pick up German sailors from the U-boat, who would be rowed back to plant the bomb. The smack’s crew would then be set adrift in their rowing boat to fend for themselves. These unique encounters enabled vital intelligence to be gathered as the fishermen and German crews often engaged in conversation. As the war drew, some smacks were armed in order to defend the others and this led to many heroic encounters including that of the vessel, Nelson, and the death of its skipper, Tom Crisp on 15 August 1917. Crisp was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

The author’s interest in Lowestoft’s fishing industry came from his father George who regaled him of stories of his father, George Francis, the last of the family’s driftnet fishermen following a tradition that can be traced back to the 1850s. George Francis had married Barbara Isbister a ‘fishergirl’ from Shetland deepening the family’s historical links to the fishing industry. Mr. Curtis came across the transcripts while researching his family history.

Lowestoft_Fishermens_War.zip - 5MbLowestoft_Fishermens_War.zip - 5Mb


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Click buttons below for more informationMaritime Norfolk Part OneEast Anglia against the Tricolor 1789-1815The Sheringham Lifeboats DVDThe Cromer Lifeboatson DVD or videoExploring the Norfolk Market TownWalking the Norfolk Long Distance TrailThe Diary of a poor Suffolk woodmanEast & West Runton - Two Villages, One Parish
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