Books by Bob Osborn

Bob's Booklist

Currently available, and forthcoming, books written by yours truly

 

Forthcoming Titles


        

Yeovil, Then & Now

Yeovil is changing. Yeovil has always changed, as has almost every other town in the country. It is natural to look back at the Yeovil we remember and think that it is not as it used to be. Rose-coloured spectacles can have that effect, but change is nothing new.
   In this extensive  volume, generously filled with 275 'then and now' comparison photographs and images, Yeovil author and historian Bob Osborn provides a fascinating comparison of "Yeovil, Then & Now", combined with an engaging and enlightening narrative.

Paperback

150 pages, 275 images

Release Date

Summer 2024

Price

£17.99

ISBN 978-1-80517-113-3

 

Currently Available Titles

Available from all good bookshops
(except where stated)



 

This book is only
available from
St John's church,
Waterstones, Yeovil,
Palmers Garden Centre,

and eBay (UK only)

CLICK HERE

        

The Church of St John the Baptist, Yeovil
- a History and Guide

Yeovil's parish church of St John the Baptist, has been described as "One of the most beautiful, pure and complete specimens of ecclesiastical architecture in the country”, which is surely no exaggeration. It was built in a very short span of some twenty five years at the end of the 14th century and is a supreme example of early Perpendicular Gothic architecture that results in a harmonious whole. However, the church we see today was not the first at this location, as there has been a church here for over a thousand years.
   In this volume, written from a historical and architectural perspective and lavishly filled with full colour photographs, Yeovil author and historian Bob Osborn provides not only a fascinating history of St John's church and the former churches on the site, but an interesting and informative guide of the church and its treasures.

Paperback

96 pages, 66 images

Release Date

October 2023

Price

£14.99

ISBN 978-1-80352-784-0

"An excellent and most informative read. Fascinating and so much history about our Church."  Reviewed by Roger Marchant, January 2024

"The normal exhaustive and in-depth research we expect of Bob Osborn, producing a really interesting and explanatory read."  - 
Reviewed by, Chantelle Phillips, November 2023


"An expert publication quite unlike normal church booklets; this one describes much more. Unique!"  -  Reviewed by davidbookends, October 2023




 

Only available from
Waterstones, Yeovil,
Palmers Garden Centre,
and eBay (UK only)

        

LIMITED EDITION

Victorian Yeovil

At the end of the eighteenth century, Yeovil was a typical small English market town, set within an agricultural hinterland and with at least fifty farms within the parish of Yeovil itself. However, the town suddenly grew and expanded as the gloving industry took hold in the town.
The resulting increase in the town’s population brought substantial problems in terms of housing, sanitation, water supply, health care, social services, education and even congestion in the narrow streets.
    By the end of the nineteenth century, Yeovil had changed out of all recognition and had become a socially thriving, modern town ready to face the twentieth century. Yeovil, at the start of the twentieth century, was completely different in so many ways from the Yeovil at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It truly had been a time of momentous change.

Paperback

92 pages, 37 B&W images

Release Date

June 2023

Price

£12.99 (plus £3 UK P+P)
Sorry, no international postage

ISBN 978-1-80352-738-3

"An engrossing book backed by Bob's usual wealth of knowledge and excellent illustrations." Reviewed by Sally C, March 2024.

"A thorough analysis of what made Yeovil the town it is today. Really interesting"  -  Reviewed by Judy Fry, August 2023

"Another Great Book from the Oracle."  - 
Reviewed by; davidbookends, July 2023

"An in-depth look at the development of 19th century Yeovil. Fascinating."  -  Reviewed by Roger Packham, June 2023





 

ELECTRONIC EDITION

This book was produced as an electronic edition suitable for reading on computer, laptop, iPad, Kindle, etc. to celebrate three million page-views of Yeovil's Virtual Mueseum. 

 

 

        

ELECTRONIC EDITION (only available on request)

Photographing Yeovilians

The late 1840s saw the introduction of the photographic studio in England when the new 'science' of photography meant that a 'likeness' would soon become affordable for the masses. As with other towns, Yeovil saw its fair share of photographic artists setting up studios from 1847 onwards.
   Today, of most value and interest, is probably the record of how ordinary Yeovilians looked and dressed. The vast legacy of cartes de visite and cabinet cards, professionally-produced postcards and domestic photographs have produced significant documentation of the fashions in clothing, for both sexes.
   Lavishly illustrated with photographs from his own collection In this carefully researched volume, Yeovil author and historian Bob Osborn explores the heritage of Yeovil's photographers from the 1850s to the 1920s and reveals the fashions that Yeovilians wore through these decades.

Electronic

74 pages,
94 illustrations (obviously all B&W)

Release Date

August 2021

Price £5 with free UK P+P
To buy now Please email me to buy.
My email address is at the bottom of the home page of this website.


"Ideal for anyone interested in fashion through the decades."  -  Reviewed by Molly, July 2022

"Beautiful photographs illustrating a wide range of fashions of women, men and children."  -  Reviewed by Sophie Evans, January 2022




LIMITED EDITION

ONLY available at
Waterstones, Yeovil,
and
Palmers Garden Centre

        

Reprint sold out

Crime and Punishment in Yeovil

Yeovil historian and author Bob Osborn has spent years researching the history of Yeovil. This new book uncovers an intriguing history of crimes committed and the often extreme punishments meted out throughout a period of over 900 years, and contains a wealth of cases derived chiefly from contemporary sources.
   Of course, just like every other town in England, crimes have always been committed in Yeovil. While many offences, such as murder, assault, robbery and drunkenness remain constant across the centuries, each period has crimes specific to that time; for example highway robbery, rioting, dueling, disorderly alehouses, infanticide, baby farming, and so on. There is even the case of Mary Hamilton who, "pretending herself a man", married fourteen women across Somerset!
   This engrossing book provides a fascinating insight into the darker aspects of Yeovil throughout history.

Paperback

198 pages, 49 images

Release Date

28 July 2020, reprint 5 Sept 2023

Price

£14.99

ISBN 978-1-78972-879-8


"Wow! who would have guessed there were so many misdeeds throughout history in this quiet little county market town"  - Reviewed by Gerry Richardson, October 2023.

"An excellent read."  - 
Reviewed by; davidbookends, July 2023

"Fascinating - a real history of local crime"  - Reviewed by Graham Newmarch, November 2020.




         




L
ost Yeovil

Lost Yeovil is richly illustrated with historic photographs, postcards, paintings and antique prints. These fascinating pictures capture the town in its various incarnations from the eighteenth century to recent times. It shows the buildings and roads, churches, public buildings, commercial buildings, factories, residential buildings, shops, and other numerous places that have disappeared from the local landscape. Local historian and author Bob Osborn describes a Yeovil that has been lost through time.

Paperback

96 pages, 175 photographs

Publisher

Amberley Publishing

Release Date

15 February 2020

Price

£14.99

Reduced price Amazon, eBay

ISBN-10

978-1-4456-9364-4


"Another brilliant Yeovil book by local author Bob Osborn - just what I've come to expect." Reviewed by Craig Rogers, January 2024

"Very interesting - both text and photographs." Reviewed by Cherry North, July 2021.

"So much lost (as everywhere) but lovely to see so many old photographs bringing back so many memories." Reviewed by Kath Blake, May 2020.





 

          
SOLD OUT
Another print run in due course


Inns, Taverns, Alehouses, Pubs and
Beerhouses of Yeovil

Yeovil, in Somerset, has always had a large number of licensed premises. In 1610, an order was made that only nine be allowed in the borough and two outside, with the rest being 'suppressed'. However, Yeovil at this time was about a hundredth of the size of Yeovil today. After several years of research, local historian and author Bob Osborn has discovered over 140 of Yeovil's inns, taverns, alehouses and public houses, plus over 100 beerhouses. All of these are described in a fascinating and informative tour of Yeovil's hostelries, past and present.

A DVD is included with the book to offer the reader a large number of additional photographs, advertisements, maps, plans, etc. Also included are extensive documentation, research material and family information of licensees.

Fully illustrated with photographs from the past and present, this book and DVD will appeal to anyone interested in Yeovil's history.

Paperback

100 pages (book) plus 605 pages (DVD)

Images

531 monochrome and colour

Maps

22

Plans

21

Licensee Info

463

Price

£14.99

Release Date

1 October  2019

ISBN

978-1-78972-281-9

 



"Excellent history on Yeovil retreats; very well researched indeed. Super DVD."  -  Reviewed by; davidbookends, October 2019.

"Brilliant - well done Bob. Excellent in-depth research and a really interesting read"  - Reviewed by Graham Newmarch, October 2019.





        

Yeovil - The Postcard Collection

Picture postcards first began to appear in Yeovil around 1899, used by people from all walks of life as a cheap and easy form of communication. Fortunately, local photographers saw the opportunities provided by the cards and began capturing everyday local scenes, leaving us with now priceless snapshots of a bygone age. While Yeovil has changed greatly over the past century, the origins and history of the town are still very much part of its fabric. Local historian and author Bob Osborn's postcards contained in this book capture just a glimpse of it. Yeovil - The Postcard Collection provides a fascinating insight into how the town has changed over the past century. Yeovil's most iconic streets, buildings, and long-lost views are all brought to life in this beautifully illustrated volume.

Paperback

96 pages, 160 photographs

Publisher

Amberley Publishing

Release Date

15 April 2019

Price

£14.99

Reduced price Amazon, eBay

ISBN-10

9781445678818


"A really interesting book with a wide selection of unusual postcards of my home town." Reviewed by J Hoskyn, May 2024.

"I didn't realise there were so many different and interesting postcards of Yeovil - a real eye-opener."  - Reviewed by Betty Crutchley, September 2022.





 


A-Z of Yeovil
The Somerset town of Yeovil may no longer be a thriving hub of glove manufacturing, but examine its history little deeper and you will find an exciting history dating back centuries. From its early Roman connections to its expansion as a major centre of glove making in the 1800s and later growth of its aircraft and defence industries, the town has always played an important role in the local area and county. Local author Bob Osborn takes the reader on a fascinating A–Z tour of the town’s history, exploring its streets and alleyways, and telling stories of the buildings, places and residents along the way. Fully illustrated with photographs from the past and present, A–Z of Yeovil will appeal to residents and visitors alike.

Paperback

96 pages, 90 photographs

Publisher

Amberley Publishing

Release Date

15 October 2018

Price

£14.99

Reduced price Amazon, eBay

ISBN-10

9781445675060

"Just found this on ebay - a very good read"  - Reviewed by Brian Voss, October 2023.

"Fascinating - so much I never knew before"  - Reviewed by Graham Newmarch, November 2018.



 


Secret Yeovil
The Somerset town of Yeovil has deep historical roots and its ancient streets hide many secrets. Well-known local author and historian Bob Osborn takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the town's past, unearthing tales of intrigue and grisly goings-on as he reveals the murkier side of Yeovil's heritage. Along the way we are introduced to the great, the good and the bad, as well as the famous and infamous characters who have all played a part in its lore and legends. Fully illustrated with photographs from the past and present, Secret Yeovil delves beneath the surface of this old glove-making town, revealing a lesser-known and less savoury past that even most local people don’t know.

Paperback

96 pages, 100 photographs

Publisher

Amberley Publishing

Release Date

15 April 2018

Price

£14.99

Reduced price Amazon, eBay

ISBN-10

9781445674902


"A lovely book, very interesting"  - Reviewed by Kelly Simmonds, November 2022.

"Great book again, Bob."  - Reviewed by Graham Newmarch, April 2020.

"Excellent. So much I didn't know about my home town"  - Reviewed by Sally Cox, July 2018.





           

Yeovil in 50 Buildings
Yeovil has managed to keep a wealth of architectural treasures from every era for us to enjoy and this is a celebration of fifty of those buildings and the stories attached to them. From the grand Aldon House to the Art Deco-inspired Odeon Cinema, we will follow Yeovil's diverse timeline through its bricks and mortar as local writer and historian, Bob Osborn, takes the reader on a tour of the town's architectural heritage.

Paperback

96 pages, 120 photographs

Publisher

Amberley Publishing

Release Date

15 October 2017

Price

£14.99

Reduced price Amazon, eBay

ISBN-10

9781445674803

 

"Despite what people may think about Yeovil, there is still an amazing number of historic and really interesting buildings in the town." Reviewed by Trevor Bonner, December 2023

"Fascinating - so much I never knew before"  - Reviewed by Graham Newmarch, November 2018.

"This volume is one of 40-odd that make up the 50 Buildings series published by Amberley. A joy both to read and to use as a guide, this one stands out even in a series that is generally superb. For a start Bob Osborn includes a short purposeful intro which gives us a quick contextual resumé and defines his purpose: not only to provide a short buildings history of Yeovil, but to highlight that the town was not savaged by planners and "retains an important architectural legacy in combination with its social, industrial and historical heritage".
The illustrations are excellent - I have come to expect this of the series, but "Yeovil" has also avoided tbe Achilles heel of the series i.e. mistakes on the map and its key. In this volume there is even a reference to a website where more info can be obtained.
Finally, I commend the ordering of the 50 buildings such as to facilitate a walking tour. That is enormously helpful; other approaches have been adopted in many of the "50 Buildings" books and sometimes they have made for hard walking out on the streets.
Many thanks to Amberley and Bob Osborn."  - Reviewed by Frank Morgan, June 2018.



For reviews - click here

           

Now That's What I Call Yeovil
There have been many books written about 'old' Yeovil but this book is a little different - it's about 'not so old' Yeovil and concentrates on the town during the latter half of the twentieth century. The idea is to take a nostalgic view of Yeovil during a time that many will remember, perhaps with mixed feelings, but it will hopefully bring back memories of places and events.

Paperback

96 pages, 175 photographs

Publisher

Amberley Publishing

Release Date

15 May 2017

Price

£14.99

Reduced price Amazon, eBay

ISBN-10

9781445671697

 

"Great book. Fab photos of the Yeovil I grew up in. Thoroughly enjoyable"  - Reviewed by Mandy, January 2019.

"Very interesting and informative." Reviewed by Graham Newmarch, August 2018.

"A very enjoyable book. Packed with photographs from 1960 to 1990. Although I have not yet visited Yeovil I now know lots about the place"  - Reviewed by KA Johnson, June 2018.




Yeovil From Old Photographs
This fascinating book charts the town's proud and distinctive history through a fascinating selection of old photographs, prints and postcards, showing what life was like for Yeovil's past residents and bearing witness to the celebrations and the struggles of this Somerset town.

Paperback

128 pages, 240 photographs

Publisher

Amberley Publishing

Release Date

15 September 2016

Price

£12.99

Reduced price Amazon, eBay

ISBN-10

1445665263

 

"An excellent and well-researched book giving a wonderful impression of how my home town used to be." Reviewed by J Hoskyn, April 2024.

"Some really cracking photos and interesting accompanying text." Reviewed by Steve Knight,  June 2018.

"As a collector of Yeovil books, I really enjoyed this one. I like to imagine myself walking about Yeovil in the time of my ancestors. The book is extremely well presented and the captions to the photographs are truly informative. Although the author has a comprehensive web site, one just loves to be able to peruse a book in the hand. if you love Yeovil, you'll love this one."  - Reviewed by davidbookends, November 2016.

 




Carved Medieval Bench Ends of South Somerset
An eBook on CD
In a county internationally renowned for its medieval carvings, south Somerset is home to a great concentration of medieval bench ends - 23 of the largest and finest collections, comprising more than 360 bench ends. This fully illustrated and information-packed eBook views the area's collections in a contemporary context.

eBook on CD

582 pages, 966 photographs

Publisher

WBD Publications

Format

eBook on CD

Release Date

2015

Price

£5.99 with free UK P+P

To buy now

 

Please email me to buy. My email address is at the bottom of the home page of this website.

 

"Very interesting and informative." Reviewed by; davidbookends, September 2023

"Another brilliant book Bob."  - Reviewed by Graham Newmarch, August 2018.

 


 

A Photo Guide to the Taunton Stop Line
An eBook on CD
It was early June 1940, Nazi Germany had stormed across Europe and Hitler had his sights now set on England. The Taunton Stop Line was the West Country's answer to the proposed invasion. Containing over 1,500 full colour photographs and more than 120 maps and illustrations, this enlightening book contains a wealth of information in an authoritative text to create a complete interpretive photographic record of all the surviving Second World War defences of the Taunton Stop Line and the twelve associated anti-tank islands.

eBook on CD

1,500+ photographs (yes, really)

Publisher

WBD Publications

Format

eBook on CD

Release Date

2011

Price

£7.99 with free UK P+P

To buy now

 

Please email me to buy. My email address is at the bottom of the home page of this website.

"It really amazed me at how much of the Stop Line remains today. Although I must admit that I prefer my books on paper, I quite understand that the sheer number of photographs, maps and information included in this book precludes that (otherwise I wouldn't be able to lift it!)"  - Reviewed by Graham Newmarch, June 2014.

 

 

Guide to Bayonets of the World
An eBook on CD
Now established as the leading authoritative work on bayonets of the world, this huge book is packed full of information and includes a unique Interactive Bayonet Identification System.

- equivalent to over 1,300 pages
- unique Quick Identification Guide
- unique step-by-step Interactive Identification System
- more than 1,900 colour photographs
- more than 700 scale line drawings
- featuring over 750 bayonets
- from more than 80 countries
- Guide to Bayonet Values

eBook on CD

2,600+ illustrations (yes, really)

Publisher

WBD Publications

Format

eBook on CD

Release Date

2003

Price

£14.99 with free UK P+P

To buy now

 

Please email me to buy. My email address is at the bottom of the home page of this website.

 

"An amazing amount of information and illustrations." Reviewed by Ray Soames, December 2023

"A really comprehensive guide to bayonets from across the world. The interactive identification guide is genius."  - Reviewed by John James Kettley, June 2023.

"Fascinating - such a wealth of information on a single DVD - amazing"  - Reviewed by Colin Crouch, January 2023.

"An extensive and encyclopedic volume - well done."  - Reviewed by Stan Davies, August 2022.

"The wealth of thumbnail photos that expand to full size show a great amount of detail missed in other works. The ID system is outstanding"  - Reviewed by Jules Remarque, February 2022.

"Fantastic book which I use often. Thank you."  - Reviewed by John Ramsey, November 2018.

"The Quick Identification Guide is really useful, but the Interactive Identification System is a brilliant idea and so easy to use."  - Reviewed by David Norwich, June 2010.

 

 

To have your review added in my booklist, please email it to me (my email address is at the bottom right of the Home Page).