AN author has revealed a colourful history of Hampshire rarely seen before.

Chris Brindle spent the past four years searching for the work of his great-great-great-grandfather, Hampshire artist RHC Ubsdell.

Now after collecting hundreds of watercolours and drawings from auctions, Winchester Cathedral's Morley Library and Portsmouth City Museum, Mr Brindle has written two books collating the work.

Speaking at a book launch at Winchester's P&G Wells book shop last Saturday (Nov 24), he said: “This was inspired when my mother died and I started writing down the stories she would always tell us. With the benefit of technology I looked into these stories and discovered my great-great-great grandfather.

“I've been trying to identify his pictures and the stories behind them. What's incredible about this is the sheer number of them. I was looking at the history of the geography of Hampshire.”

The book is in two volumes, one focusing on Southampton and wider Hampshire and the other on Portsmouth.

Mr Brindle added: “It's not easy putting this sort of thing together and publishing it because these pictures have been undiscovered for so many years. But people are starting to see in these things what I saw - An incredible view of Hampshire in colour before the age of photography. The whole of Hampshire is covered and that is just astonishing.”

The book is available at P&G Wells in College Street, Winchester Cathedral book shop, Waterstones and online.