Pensioner reprints book on history of Rowlands Castle

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A 77-year-old woman who wrote a book about Rowlands Castle in 1988 has reprinted the publication in colour to raise money for charity.

Mary Jane Lomer, who has lived in Rowlands Castle for 52 years, reissued 1,000 copies of her classic ‘past and present’ book this week in an attempt to raise £500 
for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association – an organisation that helps people with extreme breathlessness, like Mary Jane.

Round and About Rowlands Castle is 64 pages long and includes chapters such as how Rowlands Castle got its name, as well as exploring places like St John’s Church and The Green.

Mary Jane said: ‘I’m very pleased with it all and I’ve painted lots of new pictures.

‘It’s almost like a ‘then and now’ of a place I’m so fond of.’

Rowlands Home Hardware Store and the Stansted Park Foundation are just two of the local community retailers chipping in by each stocking 10 copies of Mary Jane’s book, which is being sold for £8.

A total of £7 of this will go to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, which helps improve the lives of people suffering from the condition by funding research, raising awareness and assisting individuals in their day-to-day lives.

Among some of the photos in the book are four watercolour prints from William Cottons that Mary Jane said could be found in the Havant and Portsmouth museums.

She said that gathering the pictures of the whole town was a job well worth it.

‘It took me 18 months to complete the book and I spent all of the autumn and the spring getting the pictures of The Green and town together,’ she said.

‘I’m just very much hoping people enjoy reading it.’

Mary Jane has dedicated much of her life to the area, working in the town’s coffee shop for 21 years, running its nursery school and also raising £3,000 selling tea towels on Hayling Island.

She said: ‘The book is one thing in a long line of things I’ve done and I don’t intend on stopping any time soon, even with my condition.’