AN ANDOVER author has outshone worldrenowned writers with his book crowned the best-seller at a premier history festival.

The Chalke Valley History Festival attracted national attention with Michael Morpurgo, Ian Hislop and Simon Jenkins featured but Waterstones have confirmed that former Test Valley Mayor Bryan Beggs’ book England’s Story was the number one best selling children’s book at the festival. It was in the top 10 of all books.

Bryan said: “Now that the book is well and truly launched, it is my wish that the residents of my home town will be the first to see the book in a local shop.

“Andover Waterstones are hopefully going to have it on their shelves this week, and I will be present to do some signings for anyone this Friday morning.

“To be the total unknown among all the big names and to come top of all the sales of children’s books was incredible!”

Bryan needed a little help in designing the lettering for the book and enlisted the help of 11-year-old Charlotte Fry who designed the title lettering of the book last year.

Writing a children’s book is a far cry from 78-year-old Bryan’s previous occupation.

He joined the RAF straight from school and flew most of the early jets, converted to helicopters and then did a spell commanding a Search and Rescue unit in Scotland.

He left the RAF in 1967 and moved to Andover where he got an instructor’s job at Middle Wallop and for the next 26 years taught the Army Air Corps.

He finally retired from flying in 1994.