The market town of Petersfield lies on the edge of the beautiful South Downs, and it has much to thank its idyllic location for. From medieval origins its prosperity was based on the rural economy of sheep farming, hop growing and cottage industries. It was also an important stagecoach stop on the route from London to Portsmouth.
Like many small towns, it was transformed by the railway, which arrived in 1859 and brought trade, industry and a surge in both people and buildings. Building expansion in the Victorian era included the Corn Exchange, schools, a courthouse, churches and a cottage hospital.
In a fascinating series of contemporary photographs and illustrations, Petersfield at Work explores the life of this Hampshire town and its people, from its pre-industrial beginnings, through two world wars, and into the twenty-first century.
Since retiring as a Modern Languages lecturer, David Jeffery has published three books on Petersfield. He has also co-produced six DVDs for Angerton Video Productions, including a tribute to the poet Edward Thomas for the Edward Thomas Fellowship and an account of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Steep and Petersfield, sponsored by Bedales School. David is a local author who lives in Petersfield, Hampshire.