The Last English Poachers by Bob & Brian Tovey & John F McDonald - review by James Fleming

James Fleming

One for the Pot?

The Last English Poachers


Simon & Schuster 277pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

There are two angles to this unusual book, both of great interest. First, however, a word about the authors, Bob Tovey (born in 1938) and his son Brian (born in 1963), who share the chapters between them. They despise education. Bob has only one criminal conviction (for which he was fined a fiver) but he behaved sufficiently appallingly to warrant a dishonourable discharge from the Navy. Brian has been done for several criminal acts and has served time. In short, father and son know how to look after themselves.

Their quarries are the various species of game and toff that live in south Gloucestershire. These are as intertwined as Bob and Brian are. As Brian says, were there no toffs there’d be no game, since the farmers, who are an ignorant lot, would just kill everything.

The straightforward part of the book deals with various methods of poaching. It would have

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