Jonathan Spain has worked as a professional researcher/writer and archivist for a wide range of organisations including The Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts (MSS), (the National Register of Archives), The New Dictionary of National Biography and Cambridge University Library, Dept. of MSS. He also worked as a ‘para-legal’ researcher for solicitors on behalf of clients requiring historical research in various subjects.
Jonathan now works independently as a writer both on historical subjects and fruit and vegetable growing, with a particular interest in the Allotment Movement. He has been a contributor to several titles including Country Life, The Countryman and Kitchen Garden Magazine. See List of Published Work.
He is the founding Secretary of Haslingfield Allotment Gardeners Association and has acted as a mentor to local groups setting up allotments. Pulling together his practical experience with his historical interests he has published an article in the journal of the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners on reform of allotment legislation.
Jonathan also gives talks and workshops  on Local History and Food Self-sufficiency and allotment issues. For more details see  ‘Talks and Workshops’.

8 Responses to About

  1. Dear Jonathan
    I have only just discovered your Blog, thanks to your entry in The Listing, and am amazed at the extent of your researches and writing. I’ve throughly enjoyed reading through the many topics you cover, and nodding vigorously in agreement as I did so. It quite puts my own research in connection with Orwell’s history in the shade ! I am currently putting together the coming year’s programme of talks for Orwell Local History Society and would be most grateful if you could speak at one of our meetings next year. The dates I have in mind are February 25th, , May 27th. and September 30th. As for the subject – very hard to choose, but Our Lady of the White Hill and trackways in S.Cambs are of particular interest to me.
    Regards, Sue Miller – Secretary, Orwell Local History Society

  2. Bridget Yates says:

    Hi Jonathan
    I am trying to gather information about Rev. C.J. Sharp who assembled a large private collection of ‘bygones’ and other material which he ran as a private museum in Shepreth from the 1930s to the 1950s. He later moved to Wonersh in Surrey with his museum. Do you know anything about this? Or about Rev. Sharp?
    Many thanks
    Bridget Yates

  3. Greg Dash says:

    Dear Jonathan,

    I’ve just been reading your most interesting articles on the local history of South Cambs.

    With reference to your interest about the orchards of Meldreth, Chiswick Farm has been in my family since 1960 when we bought it from the Howard family. You are mostly correct when you state that the orchards were grubbed in the early 1970’s and indeed, the Mettle Hill orchards were grubbed up during that time. The Whitecroft Road orchards however, went slightly later with the first orchard called ‘Long Field’ succumbing in circa 1974/75 and then the orchard adjacent to what is now ‘Mary’s Way’ being grubbed up circa 1983.

    Greg Dash

  4. Angus Donald says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    I’m a historical novelist writing a series of books about Holcroft Blood. I came across your name in the ODNB – you wrote the excellent article about Blood there – and I wondered if you knew any more about Holcroft’s service as a young man in France. I’m curious about his use of the false name Leture when he served the French guards as a cadet. Where did you discover this? Any info or pointers you can give me would be wonderful. Best wishes, Angus Donald

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