HOLYWELL HOUSE PUBLISHING
88 Holywell Hill, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 1DH, England
Phone: +44 1727-838595
I was a retired academic publisher (ex University of Hertfordshire Press) until I started my own imprint in 2009 to publish a book about HMS Venomous,
the elderly V&W Class destroyer on which my father served in World
War II. Its success has inspired me to consider publishing other books
on naval and maritime subjects.
This is very much a "family business"
which I run with my wife from our home in St Albans. I use the same
designer, printer and trade distributor as I did when I was in charge of
the University of Hertfordshire Press. Although very small we pride
ourselves on producing good books and providing a professional service
to our authors.
Books can be ordered online post free
with payment by cheque, card or PayPal or from high street bookshops
who obtain their stock from our distributor, Central Books, or from
their preferred wholesaler. The Book Depository is our recommended
Internet bookseller for overseas customers.
Bill Forster, Holywell House Publishing
A Hard Fought Ship: the story of HMS Venomous - NEW EDITION
a destroyer of the V & W Class, the most advanced in the world when
built at the end of World War I and arguably the most successful ever.
By the end of World War II they had all been
or scrapped but during those thirty years thousands of men served on
them as convoy escorts on the East Coast, during the Battle of the Atlantic, on arctic convoys to Russia and in the Mediteranean.
A Hard Fought Ship is the most detailed
of the contribution made by a typical “old warrior” of this class to
winning World War II. HMS Venomous brought back the troops from Boulogne and Dunkirk, fought off the U-boat that sank HMS Hecla while rescuing 500 survivors and escorted the invasion fleet to Sicily as well as escorting convoys to Nova Scotia, Russia and in the Mediterranean.
The story of HMS Venomous is told by its officers
and crew and illustrated with 258 of their unique photographs
taken in the heat of the action plus paintings, drawings and maps.
The previous edition was praised by Navy News
as "an exemplary ship biography where a detailed narrative of the
destroyer's exploits are brought to life by a wealth of first hand
accounts" and described by the Naval Review "as being up in the same class as 'The Cruel Sea' for a picture of small ship life in World War 2."
A Hard Fought Ship: the story of HMS Venomous;
R.J. Moore and J.A. Rodgaard.
Holywell House Publishing, 9 May 2017. ISBN 978-0-9559382-4-5. Hardback, £35
Find out more about the book - and follow in the wake of HMS Venomous on this web site.
Forty Years at Sea: a voyage with my father
book is both a personal journey of discovery and the story of ships and
shipping in Britain during the last century, revealed through the life
of a typical marine engineer.
The author changed his mind about
going to sea when his father told him that “I shall throw you out of
the house if you do” but on leaving school he worked his passage to the
West Indies on his father’s ship and in his early twenties while
travelling the world worked as a deck boy and a junior officer on
merchant ships in the East Indies and Pacific and was shipwrecked
crewing a schooner in the China Sea.
In retirement he set out to
discover who his father really was by “following the paper trail which
even the most ordinary person who has been in the services or the
Merchant Navy leaves behind.” His search uncovered a life which began
with an apprenticeship as a fitter at a shipyard on the Tyne
interrupted by service in the RAF as an 18 year old Observer Gunner on
anti-submarine patrol in Orkney. In 1921 he went to sea as a marine
engineer on oil tankers, an Antarctic whaler, tramp steamers, cargo
liners and a Royal Fleet Auxilliary tanker.
Wartime service in the Royal Navy
on a destroyer was followed by a regular run across the Atlantic to the
Caribbean sugar estates of Tate and Lyle until retirement to the
seaside resort of Exmouth in Devon after forty years at sea.
Forthcoming: to be published in Autumn 2018
Forty Years at Sea: a Voyage with my Father; by William A. Forster.
Holywell House Publishing, Autumn 2018. ISBN 978-0-9559382-1-4. Price: tba
Find out more about the book - and register your interest
House (top left), the former home of the Duke and Duchess of
Marlborough before they moved into Blenheim Palace, stood at the bottom
of Holywell Hill (top right) in St Albans until it was
demolished in 1837 and replaced by a modest row of mid Victorian
one of which is our home and the office of Holywell