Mashies and Mash Tuns – A Whisky and Golf tour of England, Wales & Ireland
Andrew Brown

Following the success of Of Peats and Putts, this book explores how whisky and golf, ‘Scotland’s two gifts to the world’, have developed across the rest of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Again visiting nine distilleries and nine golf courses -four in both England and Ireland and one in Wales – the author discusses how these two great Scottish exports have fared outside of their native land. Many of the themes of the first book are developed; the importance of location, the role of landscape, the environment and people as well as the author’s contention that these two popular pastimes can be seen as metaphors for the vagaries of life. The author finds that there is always more to learn about both whisky and golf and starts to form a personal manifesto as to how each should evolve.
Published: May 2019
Hardback: 166 pages
Price: £19.50
ISBN: 9-781912-419753

£19.50 (+ £2.50 postage)
Number of copies:


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Andrew Brown was born in Edinburgh, brought up in the Borders and educated at Loretto School in Musselburgh. After reading history at Cambridge University, he pursued a career in the food industry, marketing many famous brands such as Bisto, Hovis and Mr Kipling.
He has three grown-up children, is now retired and, outside of his regular visits to Scotland, lives in the Chilterns. Apart from playing golf he is an enthusiastic dog walker, a very average tennis player and a novice gardener.
Reviews of Peats and Putts...

Charles Maclean, Whisky Writer and Master of the Quaich
It is astonishing that until now nobody has sought to bring together Scotland’s two greatest gifts to the world – whisky and golf.
This little book is a personal journey of discovery. In ten chapters, each devoted to a region or county – from Sutherland in the north to East Lothian in the south and Islay in the West - Andrew Brown reviews a golf course and a locally made malt whisky.
As he travels from one place to the next he ponders how and why these two products developed in Scotland and what it is about the country, its landscape and people, which connects them. As he writes: “Both whisky and golf are more than just a drink and a sport; both can be seen as metaphors for the vagaries of life itself.” Indeed!

Golf Quarterly Review June 2018
This is a delightful, well-written little book – part travel guide, part history, part personal philosophy, and part unwitting nationalist tract (what better way, after all, to celebrate Scottish distinctiveness than through writing about its two most famous exports?). It takes the form of a tour of nine regions of the country, in search of the author’s favourite distilleries and favourite golf courses along the way.
I can imagine peripatetic golfers with a fondness for an evening dram, or whisky aficionados with a set of clubs in the boot of their car, packing this little volume and reading up on pleasures planned for the following day. It will be equally enjoyable, though, with a glass of single malt to hand in the privacy of your own home.
What gives the journey special significance is the author’s playful exploration of the similarities and connections between whisky and golf. Andrew Brown, a native Scot who spent most of his career in the food industry south of the border, suggests that location, history and architecture are crucial to the two experiences. History, for instance, is an important part of the narrative that accompanies both playing and drinking. Just as we like to know the origins, ownership and social impact of a particular whisky brand (notwithstanding the marketing hype), so hearing about how and when a golf club was founded, who played there and who designed and changed it invariably enriches a round of golf.
Perhaps design is the most striking common factor given the simple, limited and seemingly unpromising ingredients that course architects and whisky manufacturers both start with. All golf courses are hewn out of sand and soil, while the essential elements of any whisky are also the same: only malted barley, water and yeast are permitted in anything that calls itself Scotch. What produces so many different and unique variations of the spirit is everything from the distilling process to the local landscape, whether it be the taste of the water, the quality of the soil, or the extent of the annual rainfall. In the case of golf it’s the eye and skill to use nature to best effect.
Each chapter describes the idiosyncrasies of a favourite course and distillery. The golf choices are far from predictable – Brora rather than Dornoch in Sutherland, Kilspindie rather than Gullane, Luffness New or Muirfield in East Lothian, the Eden rather than the Old Course in Fife. These reflect not just a conscious decision to stay away from Championship venues but those the author considers best meet his three criteria for selection: a tough but enjoyable (and affordable) test for all levels of golfer, delightful surroundings and a welcoming clubhouse. There is an equally diverse spread of distilleries, old and new, large and small, ranging from multinational owned enterprises such as Glenmorangie to independent Edradour in Perthshire (20,000 cases of which went down off the island of Eriskay in 1941, inspiring Compton Mackenzie’s wonderful book Whisky Galore).
Wisely, the author does not take prior knowledge for granted though spelling out a three-shotter for golfers or mash tuns for devoted whisky drinkers may mildly irritate some. I liked his many diversions - musings on what makes a good golf hole and a good malt, for example, thumbnail sketches of important golf designers like James Braid and Harry Colt, and reflections on the history and practise of naming golf holes. There are plenty of surprises (at least to this non-expert whisky drinker). Did you know that eight of the world’s top ten whisky brands are Indian, while the country that consumes the most whisky on a per capital basis is France (the United States being second and the UK third)?
Tim Dickson
Editor
Golf Quarterly

Simon Marquis, Cornwall
Of Peats and Putts will appeal to anyone who enjoys golf and/or malt whisky. Andrew Brown is an enthusiastic amateur of both and his enjoyment shines through this delightful scamper across nine of Scotland’s finest golf holes, and a rather more leisurely trundle around nine of its distilleries. The real pleasure of this short volume though is the author’s drawing of nice parallels between these twin pleasures and life itself. Golf has its ups and downs as do our lives, some of them at least, perhaps smoothed away by a late evening dram or two!
The book is a pleasure in itself. I eagerly await volume two.

James Holder - Author of The Great War's Sporting Casualties
Andrew Brown's second book, Mashies and Mash Tuns, has all the same charm as his first book. He describes the golf courses highlighted in his book leaving you wanting to play them and writes about whiskey in a way which, because of my own aversion to whisky (and whiskey), leaves me regretting I cannot taste them.
And not content with just writing about golf courses and distilleries, he expresses in no uncertain terms how he thinks golf should be played, views I share but views which I fear too many golfers choose to ignore.

When I Was Young – Memoir of Norman Wimbush
Mark Todd

In late Victorian Birmingham the Wimbush family with their three children gain their livelihood and maintain their respectability in a small café and confectionary business in the centre of the city. Their son Norman, writing in middle age in the 1940s, recalls their everyday life and his parents’ contrasting personalities in painstaking detail, and also his life in local schools and as a clerk at the firm of Nettlefolds, from where his studies at night school eventually enable him to go to University. Re-development of the city centre in the early twentieth century destroys his father’s business and contributes to his early death. Other chapters describe the world of Norman’s grandparents – grandfather Wimbush a tenant farmer in rural Oxfordshire and grandfather Hill a baker in Birmingham Horsefair – and some of the characters of their children, Norman’s uncles and aunts, including his young uncle Ambrose Wimbush as he takes the first steps in developing his bakery business. In the opening chapter Norman tells the story of his mother Annie’s journey as a teenager in the 1870s with her sister and brother-in-law Minnie and Frank Jackson as they emigrated to USA to live and work in Boston, Massachusetts.
Published: May 2019
Paperback: 180 pages
Price: £10.00
ISBN: 9-781912-419647

£10.00 (+ £2.50 postage)
Number of copies:


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Reviews...

The Swinging Pendulum of the Tide
Chris Green

The Swinging Pendulum of the Tide
Tom is an Anglican clergyman battling with his beliefs. He can’t come to terms with his wife’s tragic death in a car accident. He’s on his way to the remote Welsh island of Bardsey where he hopes to rekindle his faith away from the rush and demands of everyday life.
Beth is an Arthurian scholar on a quest to uncover the truth behind Bardsey Island’s claim to be Arthur’s Avalon. But, abandoned by her former lover, she too has her demons.
They meet in the bar of a hotel on the mainland where they are staying, before setting off to Bardsey on their separate quests. It is the beginning of a long and tortuous path which they must both tread. But it is a meeting that is destined to change their lives for ever.
Published: January 2019
Paperback: 372 pages
Price: £11.99
ISBN: 9-781912-419548

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After an early career in broadcasting (Granada TV) and PR (Britain in Europe Campaign 1975 and Queens’ Silver Jubilee 1977) Chris Green has worked in the cultural industries for 40 years. He was Popular Events Director of the City of London Festival (1978-1991), Director of The Poetry Society (1989-1993) and Chief Executive of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (1998-2008). He co-chaired the Music Industry’s Broadcasting Committee at the time of the 2006 BBC Charter Review. He contested Hereford and South Herefordshire for the Liberals (Liberal Democrats) in 1979, 1983 and 1987 when he came within 1200 votes of winning. He currently works as an independent arts consultant from his home in rural Herefordshire. He is chair of the Education Charity ‘Learning Skills Research’, a board member of Hereford’s Courtyard Arts Centre, a member of the newly formed Herefordshire Cultural Partnership and chair of the Francis W Reckitt Arts Trust. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Freeman of the City of London. He was awarded the BASCA Gold Badge of Merit for service to the Music Industry in 2009. ‘The Swinging Pendulum of the Tide’ is his first novel.
Reviews...

Auntie Emmie’s Suitcase
Susan Davies

Emmie Chester died on 9th March 1988. For the previous ninety five years, she had lived a quiet life in Shropshire, looking after her parents and family and later her great-niece Susan Davies, but once, long ago she had lived a very different life. It was something she didn't talk about very much.
During World War One, she had served in France in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and was wooed by a handsome Australian entertainer. She might have moved with him to Australia.
On Emmie's death, Susan found a battered old suitcase in the attic, which contained a jumble of her aunt’s letters, photographs, documents and souvenirs from that time. The suitcase revealed a life of comradeship, austerity, romance and also of sadness and it gave an insight into the changing role of women in society during the early twentieth century.

This is the story of Emmie Chester’s life in France told in words and pictures, as it emerged from the contents of a battered old suitcase.
Published: October 2018
Paperback: 64 pages
Price: £7.99
ISBN: 9-781912-419333

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Following a long career in the Probation Service, Susan Davies now enjoys an active and varied retirement in Shrewsbury.
Reviews...

The Ashes of D. H. Lawrence
John Welsh

In the summer of 1936 a young Englishman is sitting in a Siena café when he is approached by a stranger. It is an uncomfortable encounter but the man’s words draw him inexorably into the lives of a writer, his wife and their immediate friends. Eventually their identities become clear to him but he keeps this to himself at further, seemingly chance, meetings. Overtaken by events in Europe and the war that is to come he can eventually return to his notes. After the success of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, D.H. Lawrence is able to travel from Italy to France no longer beset by a lack of money. His friendships and the relationship with his wife are tested as, increasingly constrained by ill-health, he is beset with reminiscences, regrets, and contradictory emotions about his past and present life.

With thanks to John Farrington for the cover image.
Published:October 2018
Paperback:196 pages
Price:£9.00
ISBN:9-781912-419203


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The author was born into a Fife mining community in 1938. After Grammar School he worked briefly in banking until joining the Royal Air Force and subsequently entering college. Following a short teaching career and a post-graduate course at Reading University he again changed course to gain a Masters degree, lead an economic research team in the Midlands and was invited to the Triplex Lloyd Chair of Management in Brno a few months after the 1989 Czechoslovak revolution.
Now retired, he lives in Shrophire and walks, writes and plays golf, both at Crail Golfing Society on the banks of the Firth of Forth and at Ludlow. He also travels frequently through central Europe by car and is familiar with some of the locations in which the Ashes of D.H. Lawrence is set..


Reader Reviews

Amazon Reader
Lovely read, heard about the book thanks to local newspaper.
Read in a day - could not put it down.
Characters were believable. Liked the time hopping element.

Atlantic Lady – The oldest woman to row any ocean
Dianne Carrington

In the spring of 2016, recovering from burn-out and depression after many years in the NHS, Dianne Carrington was ready for a new challenge.
So when the phone rang and an old friend asked if she was ready to row the Atlantic in the Talisker Whisky Challenge, how could she say no?
She had always had an interest in outdoor activities and a big project like this was just what she needed to get back on track. Or was it? To row the Atlantic at any age is an undertaking beyond most of us but for a team of women in their sixties, and that was the idea that her friend was suggesting, it seemed almost impossible.
After all, the Talisker Whisky Challenge is one of the most demanding competitions on this planet.

Published: October 2018
Hardback: 156 pages
Price: £9.99
ISBN: 9-781912-419494

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Number of copies:


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At twenty-one I was in the Olympic squad for white-water slalom canoeing but left to take up my career. I taught outdoor pursuits for ten years by the sea. I've always loved the sea and canoed on it almost daily, challenging my limits. Then learnt that I couldn't have children and I trained as a nurse, working my way up the career ladder in the NHS. At fifty-five I had to end my career prematurely after I burnt out, having given more than 100%. I lost confidence and my body was racked with pain; I was in a bad place. A team of wonderful people helped me get well again and I wanted to give something back. What better way than to raise money for charity and go back to the oceans that I love? Life is too short to not live it to the full. I set out to gather a lovely team of ladies as close to my age as possible who would be passionate about rowing across the Atlantic with me. I wanted to inspire women and show them that we are never too old to do what we want to do. I wanted to help them embrace the courage to leave sight of the shore and to accomplish great things.”
Reviews...

The Great War’s Sporting Casualties
James Holder

The Great War claimed the lives of many professional and amateur sportsmen, including over three hundred who had represented their countries in one sport or another.
The Great War’s Sporting Casualties contains details of the sporting achievements and, where known, the circumstances of the deaths of those international sportsmen who were killed in the War or died as a result of injuries sustained in the War. It also contains details of nine other sportsmen who were killed in the War but who, although they did not represent their countries, did achieve something exceptional either in sport or in war.
Included amongst those listed are twenty-two Olympic gold medallists, twelve who captained their country at rugby, two who won the Tour de France and one who was a four-times Wimbledon champion. Also included are the three international sportsmen who won the Victoria Cross, one of whom was the only person to win two Victoria Crosses for deeds during the War and the fifteen who won the Military Cross.
Published: September 2018
Hardback: 502 pages
Price: £25.00
ISBN: 9-781912-419418

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Number of copies:


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James Holder was born in Somerset and, after reading law at Cambridge University, practised as a solicitor; he now works as a consultant. He is passionate about sport and has always taken an interest in family history much of which involves relations who were fortunate enough to survive the Great War. He and his wife have four children and one grandchild and live in Oxfordshire.
Reviews...

Andrew Brown, Oxfordshire

This is an impressively comprehensive guide to how the Great War led to the loss of so many top level sportsmen. While that in itself is not surprising –it led of course to the deaths of people from all walks of life-it is a stark reminder as to how many young, talented people were lost in the prime of their lives. The book focuses on international team sports - football, rugby and cricket - and Olympians and it is interesting to see the different rates of losses; for example, the worst hit proportionally were rugby players and Scottish rugby players in particular. The author surmises that this could be because a higher proportion of rugby players were privately educated and as a result officers who led from the front.

As well as the many fascinating and tragic individual stories in the main section of the book, I also enjoyed the appendices. One gives useful summary accounts of the many different Great War battles while one also details the losses by the internationals which they played; of the 30 players who participated in the January 1913 Scotland versus France rugby international, 14 were to die in the subsequent conflict.


Daughters of Hamilton Hall
Annie Beaumont

When a delicious young man knocks on her door one morning, it is the first time Laura has ever met an heir-hunter. And she has no idea that she’s ever had a great aunt either, let alone one from whom she is to inherit a neglected eighteenth-century mansion called Hamilton Hall in Norfolk.
Who were the Boulais-Hamilton family anyway? And where does Laura fit in? After all, she grew up with a single mum and had no other living relatives, as far as she knew. And how did her late mother come to be estranged from the Boulais-Hamiltons if they were her kith and kin?
If this is no fairy story, how can Laura, a part-time undergraduate student and part-time care worker, possibly find the money to restore Hamilton Hall to its former glory, let alone afford to live in it?
The answers to these questions will change her life and tell a story that spans five generations from World War Two to the present day.

Published:August 2018
Paperback:260 pages
Price:£9.99
ISBN:9-781912-419364


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Annie Beaumont was born in Scotland and left before her first birthday. She was brought up in various places around England and the Far East. At 47, she began her Bachelor’s degree at Sussex University and went on to complete a Master’s at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and a PhD at Essex. She has taught sociology at Essex University and social sciences at The Open University. Annie is currently a student at the Unthank School of Writing in Norwich. Set in Wymondham, Norfolk, the county she made her own, Daughters of Hamilton Hall is Annie Beaumont’s first novel.


Reader Reviews

Amazon Reader
Lovely read, heard about the book thanks to local newspaper.
Read in a day - could not put it down.
Characters were believable. Liked the time hopping element.