DURHAM: THE POSTCARD COLLECTION, by Michael Richardson. Published by Amberley Publishing (www.amberley-books.com). £14.99. Softback.

A REMARKABLE selection of old postcards provides a visual record of life in Durham from the beginning of the last century, showing how the city and its community have adapted and changed over the years


NORTHUMBERLAND’S MILITARY HERITAGE, by Neil R. Storey. Published by Amberley Publishing (www.amberley-books.com). £14.99. Softback.

THE author, an award-winning social historian, hails the military heritage of Northumberland as one of the richest in all the British Isles. As England’s northernmost county, its borders have seen many bloody clashes and battles and it boasts the forts and fortified settlements of Hadrian’s Wall.

The first Viking raid was carried out upon Lindisfarne in 793, there were clashes with the Scots for centuries and from the 13th century and for 400 years afterwards there were border raids by reivers. The Battle of Newburn in 1640 was one of the flashpoints which led to the English Civil War, and many noble Northumberland families were ruined in the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.

The book acknowledges that Northumberland has produced a special breed of fighting men who were the backbone of the British Army including the regiments of the Coldstream Guards, King’s Own Scottish Borderers and the Northumberland Fusiliers. All served with distinction wherever they fought – from the Peninsular War through to South Africa, two World Wars and beyond.


THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S GUIDE TO NORTHUMBERLAND, by Ellen Bowness. Published by Long Valley Books (www.longvalleybooks.com). £12.95. Softback.

MORE than 50 sites around the coast, the countryside and Hadrian’s Wall are covered in this location guide for landscape photography. It gives detailed directions to each location including castles, beaches, piers, harbours, waterfalls and ancient monuments. Suitable for photographers of all levels, advice is given on the best time of day and the best time of year to visit locations, where to park, satnav information and a table of sunrise and sunset times for the area.

Examples include Cocklawburn Beach, three miles south of Berwick, which the author describes as having “some exceptionally photogenic geology”, and Budle Bay with a shore edged by high dunes that gives “endless possible compositions of sand, sky and marram grass”.

On the summit of Yeavering Bell the lichen-covered stones of the tumbled boundary wall of the prehistoric hillfort “make a fine foreground for the expansive panoramic views”, and Allen Banks, the beautiful wooded gorge to the south-west of Haydon Bridge, is described as “a great location for inner landscapes and long-exposure river scenes”.