AUTHOR and artist Rose Garrard hopes her new book, A Malvern Treasury, will be a pleasurable introduction to the unique story of the town.

Rose has published two previous books on aspects of Malvern's history, Malvern Hill Of Fountains, and Donkeys’ Years On The Malvern Hills, but her new work has a much broader canvas.

A Malvern Treasury is the first book for many years to attempt to record the comprehensive ancient to modern history of the Malverns, from the creation of the hills to the present day.

Rose wrote the book after she became aware that earlier comprehensive histories were no longer in print.

She was told in 1999 by the proprietors of Beacon Books that customers were regularly asking for a general history of Malvern, only to be disappointed. They suggested that Rose remedy the situation.

She said: "At first, not being a historian, I was reluctant to undertake this daunting task, but as the evenings grew darker my curiosity led me to begin re-reading the oldest 19th century books in my collection, sketching an outline on the computer and then researching further.

"Although these previous histories had created valuable academic records, the density of their detail often made them difficult reading.

"Also, almost all of the earlier authors didn’t have the advantages of digital technology and so had included few images in their books and rarely any in colour. I was hooked. Two years later, I hope that A Malvern Treasury will provide a pleasurable introduction to the unique story of Malvern.”

This fascinating new book not only provides an intriguing historical record of important events, but also of many of the treasures to be found in the Malverns, the rare images, precious objects, people and places in the district.

Filled with stories of the town’s joys and troubles, A Malvern Treasury is profusely illustrated with over two hundred unusual pictures, many in colour.

The book has been produced and printed by a local business, Aspect Design, of Newtown Road. "They have done a marvellous job," said Rose. "They took so much care over it, and I'm delighted with the way it's come out."

Rose is not quite a native of Malvern, but not far off, since her family moved here when she was three. She pursued a successful career as a sculptor, and returned to Malvern in 2000. She has made her own contributions to the town, in the shape of the Elgar statue and Malvhina water spout on Belle Vue Terrace, the Hand of Peace at Barnards Green, and the gates of the restored Tank Quarry clock tower.

Rose will be launching A Malvern Treasury with a signing session tomorrow (Saturday, April 3), at Beacon Books in Worcester Road from 10.30am-noon.

The book will be available at the Tourist Information Centre, Church Street, Aquarius beside the Priory Steps, Aspect Design, priced at £19.99.