Gerald Ponting  -
writer, publisher, photographer, lecturer,  
based in central southern England
Gerald Ponting
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I was brought up in the village of Breamore, on the edge of the New Forest, Hampshire, England, where my father had a small farm, producing and selling farm-fresh milk. I attended Bishop Wordsworth’s School in Salisbury during the 1950s, where one of my teachers was William Golding, since famous as the Nobel-Prize-winning author of Lord of the Flies.
Gerald Ponting -
I obtained a degree in Zoology at Southampton University and subsequently a teaching qualification at Leicester University. I then taught Biology and General Science in secondary schools near Ipswich for about twelve years. I was an active member of the nature conservation movement in Suffolk.
In 1974, my first wife and I, with our two young children, moved to the Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s westernmost islands, the Outer Hebrides. During ten fascinating years there, although I was teaching full time in Stornoway, we adopted a crofting lifestyle with hens, goats, sheep, vegetables, haymaking and peat-cutting.
We also became deeply involved in amateur archaeology, mainly concerning the Standing Stones of Callanish, the so-called ’Stonehenge of the Hebrides’. Only two years after our arrival on the island, we wrote and self published a small guide-book, The Standing Stones of Callanish, which sold 13000 copies over a seven year period.
As a result of continuing research at Callanish, we received a British Archaeological Award in 1978 from the Prince of Wales and were invited delegates to several archaeological conferences.  In 1984, I was invited to lecture in the U.S.A. and presented The Stonehenge of the Hebrides at venues including Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.
Shortly after this, I left the Isle of Lewis and returned to Hampshire. My ex-wife, now Mrs Margaret Curtis, stayed on the island and remains involved in the local archaeology.  Not long after my return to Hampshire, I met Liz and in due course we were married.
I continued to teach Biology and Science for eight years after my return to Hampshire. In 1992 I was pleased to be able to take early retirement. As a result I was able to expand my activities as a lecturer, writer and publisher. I also worked for some years as a Tourist Guide. More details of all these activities are to be found elsewhere on this  website.
My other interests include photography, for my own interest, for my digital presentations, for entries in Camera Club competitions; continuing to write chapters of autobiography; foreign travel, with lesser-known Greek islands being our favourite destinations; walking, gardening, theatre, grandchildren and so on ... ...
Thatched cottages, Breamore
The 'Yesterday and Today' series
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Latest revision of this page  March 2009