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The Squirrel-Nut Newsletter
The bite-size newsletter for all things Fircone...

The Squirrel-Nut Issue 5, Feb 2014

Welcome to the first 2014 Edition of The Squirrel-Nut.

Nature offers few bursts of colour during January and February, so we thought we'd share this photo of the uncommon and delightfully named Scarlet Elf Cup fungus.

Scarlet Elf Cup Fungus

This example was discovered on a recent walk along a damp and disused railway line near Hook Norton in Oxfordshire.

Please feel free to forward The Squirrel-Nut to anyone you know who might be interested.
Richard & Su Wheeler
Fircone Books

Look Closer ...

West Hendred glass inscription

Churches often contain magical but overlooked details. 'If you stand on a pew and climb onto the window ledge of the westernmost window (best not done on Sunday mornings) you have a delightful surprise. There, as the light shimmers through the old, clear glass is an engraved inscription, ‘C Parker Glazed this church Mar 2 1785 & glad of the job.’ Our thanks go to Tessa Case for telling us about this enticing detail in West Hendred church.

The Little Junk Shop
Little Junk Shop

Further to the story of 'Toad's Tea Shop' on the right, here is a postcard showing the same building when it was Jim's 'Little Junk Shop'. The shop was a wonderful emporium of treasures; no doubt many of them made it into Jim's books! Our thanks to Jim's family for sharing this picture with us.

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Fircone Books is now on Pinterest. We have pin boards of book covers, delightful surprises and Jim Smith illustrations - take a look and follow us at: www.pinterest.com/firconebooks.

Wonderful Reviews for Oxfordshire's Best Churches

Since the publication of Oxfordshire's Best Churches in July last year we have been thrilled to receive so many lovely comments, both from individual readers and in the media.

Oxfordshire's Best Churches jacket

Christopher Howse featured the book in his column in the Saturday Telegraph, describing it as '[A] wonderful new book' and saying 'I'd have wanted it for my birthday if I hadn't already bought the book.'

For Richard Lethbridge, reviewing the book in The Tablet, 'This is a book to be treasured by any lover of English churches and Richard Wheeler, who is both a conservationist and a professional photographer, has done Oxfordshire proud.'

In addition Richard was featured in the Oxford Times, the Witney Gazette and the Banbury Guardian, and was interviewed by Charles Nove for his programme on BBC Radio Oxford. The book was also covered in Country Life magazine, The Four Shires magazine, and numerous Society Newsletters, including those of the Oxford Civic Society, the Ancient Monuments Society, NADFAS and The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass.

There have also been some lovely comments about the quality of the book's design and production; something we took a huge amount of care over. One reader from Witney kindly told us it was 'a gloriously produced book, a pleasure to read and the photography and the way it is placed is spell-binding. Just the perfect companion for me to pop into churches.’

It is extremely gratifying to have had such a wonderful reception from our readers, and the publicity and reviews have all helped to give this new title a great start.

Richard is now hard at work on his next project ...

The Charm of Country Churches

Edited extracts from Oxfordshire's Best Churches are currently appearing in The Countryman. The January 2014 issue featured Somerton St James, 'A Mason's Masterclass in Oxfordshire'.

Coming soon are Easington, Iffley, Westwell, Widford and Uffington.

The Countryman

Inspiration for the Frog Band Books

Cafe on the Corner in Salisbury Alphonse and the Stonehenge Mystery Toads Teashop

In our regular slot on Jim Smith's inspiration for the Frog Band books, here is a photograph of the shop used for Toad's Tea Shop in Alphonse and the Stonehenge Mystery.

The building on the corner of Salt Lane in Salisbury was originally Jim and Mary's antique shop, the 'Little Junk Shop'; nowadays it is, coincidentally, a café. We stopped for a spot of lunch there on our last visit!

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Contact: Fircone Books, 44 Wales Street, Kings Sutton, Banbury, OX17 3RR, UK |  Email: info@firconebooks.com
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