Hazel Harvey - Local Historian and Author
Thornton Hill’s well known local historian, and cyclist, Hazel Harvey launched her latest publication, ‘The Story of Exeter’, December 2011. Copies are now available at Roman Gate Waterstone’s and also at Cathedral Waterstone’s in Exeter.
A great idea for a Present! Hazel will be happy to sign your copy.
After undergraduate and postgraduate study in German and French at Bedford College, London, Hazel joined the University of Exeter in 1961 to teach Medieval German.
Surprisingly, having failed History at school, Hazel’s personal interest in Exeter’s suburbs was sparked by her cycling and observation of local topography. While intrigued by Exeter’s Gothic Cathedral and Tudor High Street, the centre of the city has attracted historians’ research, so it was Exeter Civic Society, formed in 1961, which gave Hazel a platform for publication. Having published a booklet on St Davids, Joyce Greenaway suggested that Hazel might like to produce a booklet on Pennsylvania, which was followed by booklets on Sidwell Street and West of the River. Hazel also wrote the text for Community Mosaics and contributed to Gates of the Close, while assisting with the booklet on Public Inscriptions by checking their accuracy – by bike!
A stalwart supporter of Exeter Civic Society, Hazel was chairman for twelve years, and is now vice president. In addition to the Society’s booklets, Hazel has produced a ‘History of St Sidwell's School’, ‘A Better Provision - Fifty years of National Health at the RD&E’, and also updated W.G. Hoskins’ ‘Two Thousand Years in Exeter’. Local residents and readers of the Express & Echo will remember Hazel’s fascinating Nostalgia columns produced between 2000 and 2005.
In Spring 1962 Hazel moved into number 37 Thornton Hill’s attic, where, two years later, David Harvey, having joined the Classics Department at the University also in 1962, proposed marriage, and they have lived at number 53 ever since. Hazel's half century of contribution to the history of our locality is unlikely to soon be surpassed!
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