Having been around for well over a millennium, there is a lot that is known about the town of Romsey, and there is a lot that isn't. From the first Romsey Abbey, which was founded in 907, religion has always been a strong presence in the town: whether it be Ethelflaeda, who ran the town's nunnery in the early medieval period and who would stand naked in the River Test in the middle of the night reciting religious chants for hours on end, or the wide variety of religious organisations that can be found there in the twenty-first century. More recent inhabitants and visitors include Jean-Pierre Blanchard who, a few months before he made the first balloon flight over the English Channel, landed his balloon through Lord Palmerston's park into the middle of the marketplace. Romsey is also known for the manufacture of jam and for having more pubs per person than any other town in the country at one time.
Secret Romsey explores the lesser-known aspects of the town's past. With tales of remarkable characters, unusual events and tucked-away historical buildings, this book will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of this Hampshire town.
Despite a career in broadcasting author Ian Dickerson is perhaps best known for his association with the adventures of Simon Templar, The Saint. He's written a biography of his friend, The Saint's creator, Leslie Charteris and written several books on aspects of The Saint's long career and has published articles on subjects as diverse as satellite links, mashed potatoes and Lord Grade. He's also written, produced and directed a number of documentaries on Saint and the making of various classic TV shows. Ian lives in Romsey, Hampshire.