New Releases

Barone Hopper - Social History Author

New Releases
This page updated February 2017

Caremakers Blog online!

For those of you who would like to leave comments, or suggestions, as well as talk about your experiences, the Caremakers Blog is now running at

This Blog will have the latest news regarding our PDF versions, as well as discussions relating to ongoing projects.

Any ideas would be welcomed.

New Book, Frith, OUT NOW!

This book Is available now via Amazon. To let you know more about it, the cover is shown below:


From the cover:

During his professional working life in social care and mental health, and subsequently in a deeply researched series of books, Barone Hopper has championed the vulnerable and the dispossessed. In Frith (an old English word for sanctuary) he explores in historical detail the succour available to life’s unfortunates from early times until the present day.

Lavishly illustrated with photographs, documents and maps, his story takes us from the support and security offered by the parish church in the Saxon and medieval periods, through the establishing of spitals, leper hospitals and pest houses to organised systems of relief from the days of the first Elizabeth to the Victorian workhouses and beyond.

Set apart from the chronological account are poignant insights into the often wretched lives of individuals in need. We read, for example, local authority minutes from the 1820s dealing with Poor Law issues (‘Pay to be stopped for one month on account of his son’s stealing turnip greens’;  ‘Ordered to return to the Poorhouse, she being too young to be sent out to Australia.’  ‘Friday March 7th 1834; Snelling, Elenor 50/- to be paid to Toler (the beadle) for him to convey her and family to Portsmouth and to see that they go on board the vessel for America’), while from more recent times there are revealing transcripts of the author’s conversations with a former Master of East Preston workhouse in West Sussex, and a history of modern Social Work in the twentieth century.

The book is now available directly from Amazon, click HERE for more details and to order it. Any further enquiries, please get in touch using our contacts page (see contact us for further details).

Squaddie Blitz and The Bomb now on Amazon

You can now purchase all of Barone's work in the UK directly from Amazon, as well as online at Waterstones, and from Kim's Bookshop in Chichester or Arundel. (Links open in New Pages, just close the pages to come back here). For overseas enquiries, log on to your relevant Amazon and search for 'Barone Hopper'.

Any further enquiries, please get in touch using our contacts page (see contact us for further details).

Rough Draft PDF library now available

A selection of unpublished drafts and other incomplete works is now available in PDF format for your further information on the Archives Page. Anyone wishing to find out more about these works can contact the author using the contact us page.

Graylingwell Titles available from Amazon

People have been enquiring where they can purchase the author's works on the history of Graylingwell Hospital (both in general from 1897-1997, as well as the author's time there).

You can either purchase them directly from here (see contact us for further details) or you can click  to his Amazon Author Page in the UK(opens in a new window). There is also a fictional Kindle eBook based on his experiences available at that page. For overseas enquiries, log on to your relevant Amazon and search for 'Barone Hopper'.

Squaddie, Blitz and The Bomb (see below) is currently only available directly from the Author.

Work completed on 'Squaddie, Blitz and The Bomb'!

Primarily an autobiographical work, sections feature the author's military service at Christmas Island, during the early part of Operation Grapple, with an all new section based on material provided by 'nuclear veteran' Gerald Rice.

Heavily illustrated throughout, the work starts from school days, and being re-homed during The Blitz, as well as experiences in a Spurgeon's Orphanage. Going right through from School Days to finding a first job, followed by military service during the 'cold war'.

The book includes a Christmas Island photo gallery (see also item below). Extracts will be available on this website shortly, and the book will be going to the printers next week.

For further information, price and availability, please get in touch using the 'Contact Us' link above.

As a 'starter for 10', here is the cover:

Squaddie Blitz and The Bomb 

From the cover:

Life was tough for the young Barone Hopper – his family bombed out of their London house during the Blitz, his father disappearing, his mother forced to put her two sons into care  – but there’s a bracing upbeat tone to this colourful memoir by one of life’s survivors.

We follow the footloose lad via various wartime evacuations, a temporary fostering and several years in a Baptist orphanage until in 1951, at the age of fourteen, he is at last reunited with his brother in a north London house they share with their mother and a new step-father. This part of the story vividly evokes the post-war atmosphere of our capital city, its markets, smogs, the Festival of Britain, cinemas and theatres, pop music and, of course, the author’s early meaningful relationships with girls.

Barry’s first job is with a photographic press agency near Fleet Street, but two years later National Service calls, and he finds himself a sapper shipped to the now notorious Christmas Island where in the 1950s the British, and in the 1960s the Americans, tested numerous atomic H-Bomb nuclear weapons... of mass destruction...

Although Barry himself avoided the direct exposure to radiation which damaged the health of many servicemen, the experience seared itself on his consciousness. After a description of life as a squaddie on this desert island, the latter part of the book is an investigation of the bomb experiments and their aftermath, accompanied by an impressive gallery of photographs and other illustrative material.

Nuclear Veterans Christmas Island Photo Gallery now online

Flickr gallery to complement the forthcoming book is now available HERE:

Trailer and full DVD Documentary now available

Full documentary is available below:

Tales of a Caremaker just released for Kindle

Non-fiction memoirs of a registered mental nurse and social worker, Barone Hopper. The anecdotes are taken from various periods throughout his career in the Sussex and surrounding area. Please note that names have been changed, for reasons of privacy, with the the exception of the included tale from George Stewart Pople, the 'Relieving Officer' for the Bognor Regis area.

The tales paint a picture of circumstances that can happen to all people, from all walks of life, told in Barone Hopper's 'down to earth' style. They are not sensationalised, nor do they need to be, as they stand on their own merits.

To purchase the book for your Kindle, click HERE to be redirected to Amazon (in the UK only, overseas readers will need to use the appropriate Amazon web site)

Tales of a Caremaker, KIndle Cover

New BCTC Volume 1 review: 

The following review, written by Professor Peter Nolan, is featured in the March/April 2013 issue of the British Journal of Mental Health Nursing (p.64) (reproduced here with permission):




Barone Hopper PV Publications, 690pp ISBN: 9780956997003

This is perhaps one of the most significant memoirs of a mental health nurse to emerge for some time. The biography of the author, who commenced nursing in the 1960s, is a fascinating one, as are the events he observed during his training and work at Graylingwell Psychiatric Hospital in Chichester.
    Hopper was born in 1937. His childhood home was bombed during the Blitz, and he spent some years as an evacuee during and after the Second World War. The members of his family were separated and this enforced break-up provided fertile ground for reflection and for insights which he later applied in his conversations with patients and observations of staff During his national service, Hopper spent 13 months on Christmas Island at a time when nuclear weapons were being tested there, so making him a ‘nuclear veteran’. Once demobbed and prior to doing nurse-training, he Worked in various jobs, including periods spent at a Fleet Street photographic agency, as a West End dance teacher and in the Press Office of New Scotland Yard. After qualifying as an registered mental nurse, he became a social worker, and for more than 30 years specialised in the care of older adults and people with learning disabilities, working close to where he did his initial training.
    As he states in the ‘Preface', for Hopper, this book represents a labour of love which has been gestating for the past 30 years.
Readers will be impressed by the enthusiasm with which he approaches his work, the acuteness of his recall, and the ease with which he references the arts, humanities and sciences throughout his book. It is apparent that from his first day as a nurse, his curiosity was active and the committed interest he took in his work is testified to by the meticulous recording of conversations with patients and staff and of the practices he saw around him. Hopper clearly believed that everyone he met had an interesting story to tell. He draws on both formal records and verbatim accounts of patients, psychiatrists, nurses, pharmacists, administrators and support staff In describing the context in which mental health services were provided using the language and terminology of the time, Hopper brings to life mental health care in an age that for most mental health personnel today is regarded as ‘history'. The people Hopper talks about come alive as he skilfully knits his accounts of each of them into a coherent tapestry of mental health nursing history.
    While the book is highly informative and a fascinating read, there are a few criticisms that might be made by readers versed in historical methodologies. First, the fact that Hopper does not make his methodological approach explicit will, doubtless, cause some to ask why certain events are focused on and not others.
I feel the book would have benefitted from more attention to style and presentation, the elimination of repetition, and the correction of some typographical and a few factual errors.
These drawbacks may be considered to be countered by the fact that, as the author frequently reminds the reader, this is a personal memoir. Hopper does not claim that the events about which he writes were typical of what was happening in other hospitals at the time. However, through this personal account, he provides fascinating material for those interested in exploring the effects of organisations and legislative frameworks on the culture of care and nursing practice.
    I believe that this book is an important contribution to our understanding of the history of mental health care in the UK. It should encourage others to tell  their own stories and for anyone interested in learning about or undertaking nursing history, this book would be an ideal place to start.

Peter Nolan

British Journal of Mental Health Nursing March/April 2013 Vol 2 No 1

BCTC Volume 1 Preview Showcase

Preview pages are now available HERE for both Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Click on the links below to open the Preview PDFs. You can Save or Print them. Please note, however, that all content is Copyright 2012 Barone Hopper, and protected against copying/reuse. All links will open in a new window, you will need Adobe Reader (or similar) to view them.

Volume 1 extracts:

Pages 86 - 136, click HERE    Pages 230 - 255 click HERE    Pages 587 - 598 click HERE

Volume 2 extracts:

Pages 19 - 45, click HERE    Pages 175 - 185 click HERE    Pages 356 - 362 click HERE

For more information about the two volumes, either click HERE to download the Advance Information notice, or click HERE to download the A5 sized Social History booklet '100 Years of Sanctuary', the initial work from 1997 that was a basis for this in depth project. (Hard copies of the booklet are available from the author for £2.50 including postage and packaging, click HERE for contact details.)

About the author:

Barone Hopper (aka Barry), a long-term wartime evacuee; chequered youth in Fleet Street, in photography, in the early 1950s; Sapper and Nuclear Veteran of Christmas Island in the late 1950s; West End dancing instructor in early 1960s, a civilian clerk in the Press and Infomation department for the Metropolitan Police based at New Scotland Yard, mid-1960s, trained as a Registered Mental Nurse at Graylingwell Long Stay Psychiatric Hospital in the late 1960s. Qualified in Psychiatric Child Care at St James’, Portsmouth and gained a Diploma in Social Work from North London Polytechnic in 1977. Worked for over 30 years in Child Care and Mental Health, both in Hospital and in the Sussex Community as an Approved Social Worker. Widowed, he retired in 2000.

photo of barone hopper, the author

Barone has published occasionally since 1957 photographs and various non-fiction pieces (see the References page for some example entries). The photo of the author to the left is from 1957.

Updated October 2012

Lest We Forget... Better Court Than Coroners Volume 2 is now in the final stages of production, and will be released soon. There will also be a set of Volumes 1 and 2, together with a documentary DVD, available for a special price.

Updated April 2012

Due to the author's ill health, updates to this web site have not been as frequent as hoped. Better Court Than Coroners Volume 1 has been favourably reviewed by Adam Trimmingham in The Argus (local newspaper for Brighton and Worthing) , in the Weekend Supplement dated 14th January. Click HERE to read the review (opens in a new window). Locally, the book is availalble from Kim's Bookshop in Worthing, Arundel and Chichester, as well as the West Sussex County Records Office in Chichester.

For further information, please see the 'Contact Us' link at top right, as well as the 'Archives' page, available from the menu above or the article in the link below. 

Updated November 2011:

NOW AVAILABLE, 'Better Court Than Coroners, Volume I', a full length non-fiction social history work about the duty of care working in Mental Health in Sussex for over 30 years.

For more information, click HERE to go to the Archives Page.

Updated August 2011:

Christmas Island Gallery added. Please note that an additional PDF file containing thumbnails of over 250 unedited pictures by the author (as well as other items) is available for download by clicking HERE, with captioned versions of the author's pictures (as part of the document featured below) available HERE

(Should you recognise anybody (or anything) could you please let me know via the contacts page, quoting the name of the image in your message?)

Institution 1937-58 includes  time in a Spurgeons Orphan Home (Reigate) 1944-1951. Click HERE  to download an updated copy in PDF format. Please note that the latest version includes photos kindly supplied by other 'Nuclear Veterans'.


Please note that the Google references to Barone Hopper, an Australian Vaudeville artiste, refer to my father.

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