Bryan Beggs was born in 1936 in the village of Keston, Kent, near the RAF station at Biggin Hill. He attended the Mercers’ School in central London. On leaving school Bryan was awarded a cadetship at the RAF College Cranwell, from where he graduated in 1957. Bryan first met his wife Diana on the Isle of Wight in 1946; they were married in St. Thomas’ church Newport in 1958.
In the RAF Bryan flew the CANBERRA Jet bomber in the interdictor role, and then became a helicopter pilot in charge of the Search and Rescue unit at Leuchars in Scotland. He qualified as a helicopter instructor in the RAF, later becoming a civilian helicopter instructor at Middle Wallop training the Army Air Corps. He finished his flying career there in 1994 having been the chief civilian helicopter pilot from 1981.
Bryan and Diana lived in Andover, Hampshire, from 1967. He was elected to the Andover Borough Council in 1972 and to the Test Valley Council in 1974. Bryan was elected to be Mayor of the Borough of Test Valley for the year 1986-1987, Diana of course, being the Mayoress. He retired from local government at the end of their Mayoral year.
Bryan wrote ten books, seven of them for children in the 7 – 10 age group and one, The Churches of Test Valley now in its second edition, which he wrote jointly with Diana, who also took some of the 120 photographs.
Sadly Bryan passed away in December 2017 after a long battle with a terminal illness. Bryan was a staunch supporter of the Chalke Valley History Trust and its history festival (www.cvhf.org.uk) and ensured that all the proceeds after costs from the sales of England’s Story were donated to the Trust : in total Bryan raised over £5,000.
The Chalke Valley History Trust is delighted to have been asked by Bryan to continue selling England’s Story on Bryan’s and Diana’s behalf.
Testing Times (1989) £10 A Political History: 1972-1987
. – Raised £1000 for Test Valley Lifeline Appeal.
The Churches of Test Valley (2005) £18 1st Edition
. – Raised £3000 for the Countess Brecknock Hospice, Andover, and the Countess Mountbatten Hospice, Southampton.
Hello Pud-swan (2007) (http://www.pud-swan.co.uk/) For Children aged 7-10
. – Raised £10,000 for the Naomi House and Jack’s Place hospices for children and young adults, near Winchester, Hampshire. [Reg Charity No. 1002832]
Hello Pud-swan: Part 1 (ISBN: 9780955663109) £8.99
Hello Pud-swan: Part 2 .(ISBN: 9780955663116) £8.99
Hello Pud-swan: Part 3 .(ISBN: 9780955663123) £8.99
Hello Pud-swan: Complete 3 Part Set (ISBN: 9780955663130) . £20
The Churches of Test Valley (2010) £15 2nd Edition
. – Raised £3000 to date for Test Valley Arts Foundation. (Reg. Charity No. 1007799) (ISBN: 9780955663147)
England’s Story (2014) £10 (ISBN: 9780955663154)
– Available to buy. Click here for more details.
– Raised over £5,000 to date in aid of Chalke Valley History Trust . (Reg. Charity No. 1148413)