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A local history and genealogy site for Wimpole, a village and parish in South Cambridgeshire
Curated by Steve Odell

Home    "Wimpole Amuses Victoria"    "Wimpole As I Knew It"    Alexander C Yorke
David Ellison
Local Author and Historian

An Appreciation by Thelma Hollands.
A local history and genealogy page for the Parish of Wimpole.

David Ellison (of 41 High Street, Orwell)
[The following tribute first appeared in the June 1996 edition of the "Orwell Bulletin" and later reprinted on the "Orwell Past and Present" website in 2013.]
"David literally lived and breathed history, such was his love of the subject. I first met him through Bassingbourn Village College where he taught my sons, among others, a variety of subjects including English and History. David was also very involved in drama and the college produced some excellent plays during his time as a teacher there. He was so enthusiastic about all his work at the school and the children had a great respect for his brilliant mind: they were well aware that he was an Oxford graduate.
"David's teaching career came to an abrupt end due to a horrific road accident at the notorious A14/A603 junction [now closed, alongside the War Memorial]. His larynx was damaged and his marvellous speaking voice almost disappeared. However, in retirement he continued to work on the historical publications which he had initiated during his time at Bassingbourn Village College under the name 'Ellison's Editions' [also published as 'Bassingbourn Booklets'].
"One of his first booklets, printed by him at the village college to coincide with its Jubilee year and with the opening of Wimpole Hall by the National Trust in 1979, was “Wimpole as I Knew It[available on this website], based upon the recollections of the Reverend Alexander Campbell Yorke of Wimpole.
"I would gladly lend my copy of this and another of David's booklets entitled “Wimpole Amuses Victoria[available on this website], to anyone interested. These two publications have given me so much pleasure and help during my work as a steward at Wimpole Hall.
"David did an enormous amount of work for the National Trust in researching this great mansion's history, and his name still appears among the acknowledgements in the Wimpole Hall guide book. This alone is a nice memorial to him. It is strange how brilliant thinkers, writers and artists live on so that they become more famous after death. I'm sure this will be true of David, and that he will be remembered in Orwell for his love of history and his 'Ellisons' Editions'."
Thelma Hollands (1996)
"David Ellison had a distinguished career as a District Officer in Nigeria after graduating at Oxford, and taught at Bradford Grammar School before coming to Cambridgeshire. He was a member of the Nelson Society and was working on some valuable research into the lives of ordinary seamen when he died in February 1996." - Sue Miller (1996).
Ellisons' Editions
The following is a [almost certainly incomplete] list of booklets either published [Pub] or projected/proposed [Pro] titles under the "Ellisons' Editions" [EE] and/or "Bassingbourn Booklets" [BB] label:
"Backstairs Cambridge" - Jane Barham, 1986, [EE][Pub] ISBN 0 946092 33 8
"Camera in Convoy" - Ivor Small, 1987. [EE][Pub] 92pp. ISBN 0-946092-52-4. £10.00.
"Colbatch and the Classroom" (Memorial Edition) - Ingles Landeman. [EE] [Pro?]. £6.00
"Eyewitness to Trafalgar" - Thomas Haskisson [EE][Pub] "The author was encouraged by his family to write about his life and experiences in the Royal Navy from 1800 to 1809 including the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Originally published for his family, this book was reprinted in 1985 as a special issue of only 1000 copies."
The 'Hardwickes at Home' Series: [EE][Pro?]
"Noble Country Cottage" - The First Earl.
"Personalia" - The Second Earl.
"Captain Swing" - The Third Earl.
"Blowhard Ashore" - The Fourth Earl.
"Losing all the Money" - The Fifth Earl.
"Pressganged" - George Price, 1984. [EE][Pub] 70pp. "Letters of a Butcher pressganged from an East Indiaman in 1803 to serve as an ordinary seaman in HM Sloop 'Speedy' 1803-1805. George Price's (alias 'George Green') letters home to his brother's inn in Southwark are as valuable to historians as Nelson's.". (ISBN 10:0946092656/ISBN 13:9780946092659)
"Seventeen Taxis" - David Hamdorff, 1983. [EE][Pub] Limited Edition of 500 copies. The famous 'Rational' Taxis built in Bassingbourn. Intro by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu. [link is for the full Pdf version of the booklet available on the website]
"Shoesmith to the Gunners" - Corporal Frederick Robert Ingrey, 1988. [EE][Pub] A private unofficial diary of a Cambridgeshire shoesmith 1916-1917 on the Somme and at Ypres. £2.50
"South Cambridgeshire Sources" - Anon [EE][Pro?]. A guide to historical material.
"The Old Hands" [EE][Pro?] (Base and Barracks, RAF Bassingbourn) £2.75.
"The Rector and his Flock" - David Ellison. [BB][Pub][2 editions]. £6.00. Francis Fulford.
"Wimpole Amuses Victoria" - David/Susan Ellison, 1981. [EE][Pub] A5. 28pp. Limited Edition of 500 copies. Queen Victoria's visit to Wimpole Hall in 1843. Also this website.
"Wimpole As I Knew It" - David Ellison [BB][Pub][3 Editions] £2.50. A reminiscence of a Wimpole boyhood from 1852 to 1871. Also this website.
In 1983, other possible titles were being considered, including the story of a family emigration of seven children, one by one, to the Mormon outposts in Utah from Litlington, Cambridgeshire.
Wimpole Amuses Victoria - Cover Wimpole Amuses Victoria - Title Page
"Wimpole Amuses Victoria" was published by Ellisons' Editions
in a numbered Limited Edition of 500 copies in 1981.
Read "Wimpole Amuses Victoria" here.
This small A5 booklet is an account of Queen Victoria's 1843 visit to
Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire.

This page was last updated on: 13 August 2020.

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