About James Gardner

James Gardner is a retired teacher and social care and charity worker. After obtaining a degree from Warwick University in History and Sociology, he trained as a teacher in London. After teaching in Wandsworth, in 1982 he moved to Italy to work for the Fiat Motor Company where he helped develop an English self-study course for its employees. On his return to England he worked as a mental health support worker; for the Alzheimer’s Society; for Age UK and then for the homeless charity “Homelink”, based in Lewes. He now lives in Hove but frequently returns to Italy for his holidays.

His first book, “Sweet Bells Jangled Out of Tune” , a history of the Sussex Lunatic Asylum (St Francis Hospital) Haywards Heath, was published in 1999. His second, “The Trail of the Serpent” the true story of the Balcombe Tunnel murder of 1881, was published in 2004.

His third book, “A History of the Brighton Workhouses” came out in 2012 and “The First British Railway Murder” in 2013.

James likes playing tennis and jogging and is used to disappointment having been a supporter of Fulham FC for most of his life! He has written a biography of Johnny Haynes, the former captain of the England football team, which was published by Pitch Publishing in August 2017:  Johnny Haynes: Portrait of a Football Genius.

James has also been interviewed about the Balcombe Tunnel murder by Michael Portillo for his TV series, Great British Railway Journeys.
His latest book: With God on Their SideWilliam Booth, The Salvation Army and Skeleton Army Riots is being published by The Lutterworth Press in March 2022. In June 2022, James appeared on the TV programme Who Do You Think You Are with Richard Osman.