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A Chapmanslade double

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Frome bookshop Hunting Raven has a history of supporting local authors and promoting books about the local area.

So, putting two recently-published books by local couple Joyce and Phil Jefferson on their shelves was right up their street – or perhaps we should say ‘Cheap Street’ – which is where Hunting Raven can be found.

Joyce and Phil lived for many years in Frome when Phil was a local authority education officer and Joyce was a teacher. Whilst retaining strong ties with Frome, especially with Frome Society for Local Study, for the past 20 years Joyce and Phil have resided in Chapmanslade, immersing themselves in village life.

When she retired, Joyce decided to study for an MA in local history at the University of Bristol and embark on a second career studying and writing about parishes in the Mendips. She started the Chapmanslade History Group in 2012 and last October, under Joyce’s leadership, the group produced ‘A History of Chapmanslade’, chronicling the history of the village and its people through the ages.

For many years Phil has been a Chapmanslade parish councillor as well as a stalwart of the local church, which led him to join forces with Corsley author Fiona Carruthers to produce the book ‘Lest We Forget – A Story of Corsley and Chapmanslade in World War 1’.

Despite their joint interest in history, Joyce and Phil don’t write together – though they often support each other during long hours of research in local museums, libraries and archives, as well as during field trips around the Frome area.

Tina Gaisford-Waller, manager of Hunting Raven, says, “Both these books are meticulously researched and so well written that readers are drawn into local life. Just like Joyce and Phil, the books are a great pair and complement each other so well.”

Both books are available to buy from Hunting Raven (priced at £10 each).

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