Jack Hargreaves’ favourite books

Jack’s fan photo

Jack Hargreaves is best known to us as the face and voice of the television series Out of Town and Old Country.

Born in 1911, Jack started his long media career in 1931, writing technical material for Unilever Livestock Foods. He then became a feature journalist for The Express and The Mirror, moving on to work as a journalist for early radio, a copywriter for an advertising agency and a variety show writer for the Windmill Theatre and the Fortune Theatre. All of this was before he was called up in 1939 to the Royal Artillery, where eventually he was given the task of developing forces radio.

Jack second from left, wearing the bow tie

After the War, Jack was asked by BBC television to gather details of battles so they could collate the film material they had from various theatres of war. In 1946 he went on to write scripts and plays for BBC radio broadcast, and then worked for Picture Post before moving on to the National Farmers’ Union.  It was Rosser Reeves who started Jack’s television career, head hunting him for his company Hobson Bates.

Jack’s influence was profound through the formative years of independent television right up to the mid 1980s when the Old Country series was made for Channel 4.  It’s not surprising that he was a great lover of books and even found the time to write some:



Jack also had some favourite books to which he referred and some, mentioned in his biography Jack’s Country, are still obtainable today:




There are over 130 titles in the Collins New Naturalist Library series. The range can be appreciated by the unfinished list below:

Garden Birds, Uplands and Birds, Pembrokeshire, Ferns, Gulls, British Bats, Lichens, Dragonflies, Early Humans, Vegetation of Britain and Ireland, The Soil, The Natural History of Orkney, Hedgehog, British Tits, Nature Conservation, Sea Birds, Mosses and Liverworts, The World of the Honeybee, The British Amphibians and Reptiles, Marches, Terns, Wild Orchids of Britain, Cormorants and Shags, Mountains and Moorlands, Wye Valley, Farming and Birds, Butterflies, The Natural History of Shetland, Southern England, Gower, Shallow Seas, the Redstart, Wildfowl, The Folklore of Birds, The Herring Gull’s World, Grass and Grassland, Lords and Ladies, Life in Lakes and Rivers, Britain’s Structure and Scenery, Farming and Wildlife, Trees, Woods and Man, The Natural History of Pollination, Moths, The New Forest, British Warblers, The Natural History of Wales, Waders, Slugs and Snails, British Thrushes, The Isles of Scilly, The Hebrides, Hedges, British Seals, The Broads, Wild Flowers of Chalk and Limestone, The Snowdonia National Park, Seashore, Sea-Birds, Beetles, …………..

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