Author Ian shares infectious passion for Essex history

Paul Golder writes for the Brentwood Gazette

One of our favourite subjects on Phoenix FM is definitely Essex, so it was great to devote a show to the history of the county and ask a few searching questions at the same time!

Our stand-in Drive presenter Alan Johnson chatted to author and historian Ian Yearsley. Originally from Ingatestone but spending most of his life in the Southend area, Ian has published over 20 books and maps on local history or language together with poetry and some novels, including his latest – just published – An Essex Quizbook.

As well as being an author, Ian is a qualified historian and IT professional. He has an MA in History from the University of Essex and is a Member of the British Computer Society.

Ian’s passion is infectious and it was great to hear about what first sparked his interest in the county and its history at an early age. He was also a good sport, allowing Alan to test his knowledge by springing some questions of his own.

Alan is a former director of the station and has been with us since May 2010 – for the last few years he hasn’t presented regularly but has filled in when people have been ill or unable to do their shows, and it’s always good to get him back in the station hotseat.

You can find out more about Ian’s book at and his interview with Alan is online at

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