Bill Hoodless


Researcher and author who wrote the comprehensive story of Hengistbury Head. Free talk 22 April 2017 - see below.


Author at Treak Cliff, Castleton, Derbyshire





Although this website mainly deals with books and research, it is really about people.


I have been most fortunate in both my work as a Chartered Surveyor and post-retirement interests. These have led me to writing on various subjects and taking thousands of photographs in the process.


I hope  that visitors will be as intrigued as I have been.


Brexit and Town Curiosities

Spontaneous Human Combustion in Bournemouth?

How did the Referendum operate to deliver Brexit? What were the real motivations of the voters?

Weather vane of the Priory Church, Christchurch, complete with what appear to be three bullet holes!

Perhaps I have placed these three illustrations together because there may be some affinity between the curious stories of Bournemouth and Christchurch on the one hand and the extraordinary recent experience of the UK Referendum. All three deal with the unexpected.


Road to Brexit is now written and was published on 22 January 2017. It looks at the whole affair including the political background, the publicity of the campaign, the arguments, motivations, voting figures and not least, captures what was being said at the time. It is impartial throughout, so leaving the reader to test their own opinions against those of the other side. Ending as it does on the day after the vote of 23 June 2016, there is no reflection of post-Brexit politics. Whatever one's views about the outcome, it is fair to say that the Referendum was both a huge exercise in democracy and an emotional rollercoaster. The simplest way to buy it (price £5.50) may be to visit Amazon and search on "Road to Brexit".


The two books about town curiosities are the result of quite an effort to track down the stuff which has either never been published, or if it has, will benefit from some fresh information. For example, the 1805 Inclosure Award meant that most of the land in what is now Bournemouth, was provided to very few people at very low figures, such as £5 per acre. With the benefit of hindsight, it is what Frank Sinatra would call "nice work if you can get it." Similarly, it was amazing to find out that the road to Christchurch Quay runs right through the former stone-built monastery almshouse whose stone walls actually face the road on both sides. That land was thus used to help the poor in the fourteenth century but to help the traffic today.


Other Stories 

Hengistbury Head

In my largest and most detailed book, a great number of features are described. From its ironstones enabling the town of Christchurch to exist to the amazing plans for a castle by retail magnate Selfridge, this is indeed an extraordinary place. I am giving a free talk at Christchurch Library 22 April 2017 but booking needed. Please see poster in Blog section.

Charles Rolls

The Charles Rolls Memorial Trust exists to hold a service and event on the anniversary of the fatal air crash in 1910 at Hengistbury. In addition, there is now planning consent for a new memorial to this magnificent pioneer aviator and co-founder of Rolls-Royce. 

Air Raid!!

A diary and stories from the Essex Blitz. By studying local papers and finding air raid records at the Essex Record Office, my mother's diary has been annotated to add to the story. The book also covers the war events of the time and the seeming inevitability of human folly.

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© W A Hoodless. 2016 - 2017. All rights reserved.