Sat on my book shelf is large thick paperback volume whose spine reads MY STORY Leonard Studley. The front cover reveals the full title My Story: Of Nigh Eighty Years In The Broadwindsor Area Of The Hill Country Of West Dorset.
This book was written by Leonard Studley who was born in December 1909 at Hurshay House, Burstock, just outside the village of Broadwindsor. In its 346 pages it tells of his life, local places and of course the local characters.
For example on page 218 Leonard tells the tale of The ‘Broadwindsor Mint’. Just along the road from The Cross Keys inn lived a cobbler called Johnnie Hop who augmented his income by making his own counterfeit half-crown coins, 12.5p in today’s decimal coinage, but worth far more back then. He was only found out when his generous half-crown donations in the church collection were noticed and questioned. For his ingenuity Johnnie found himself incarcerated in Herrison Mental Hospital, Charminster, north of Dorchester.
Well worthy of a read the book is long out of print, but at the time of writing reasonably priced second hand copies are being offered for sale on Amazon.
My Story was published back in August 1988 when Leonard was seventy eight, hence the title. Like so many local books it was printed by Creeds then based at Broadoak, now moved down the road to Bridport.