Over Hill and Dale, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


"Over Hill and Dale" is the second volume in Gervase Phinn's bestselling "Dales" series. 'Miss, who's that funny man at the back of the classroom?

So begins school-inspector Gervase Phinn's second year among the frankly spoken pupils and teachers of North Yorkshire - the sight of Gervase with his notebook and pen provokes unexpected reactions from the children and adults alike.

But Gervase is far from daunted - he is ready to brave the steely glare of the officious Mrs Savage, and even feels up to helping.

Dr Gore organize a gathering of the Feofees - just as soon as someone tells him what they are!

He is still in pursuit of the lovely headteacher Christine Bentley, but will she feel the same?

This is a delectable second helping of hilarious tales from the man who has been dubbed 'the James Herriot of schools'. In "Over Hill and Dale", Gervase Phinn will have you laughing out loud. "Gervase Phinn's memoirs have made him a hero in school staff-rooms". ("Daily Telegraph"). Gervase Phinn is an author and educator from Rotherham who, after teaching for fourteen years in a variety of schools, moved to North Yorkshire to be a school inspector. He has written autobiographies, novels, plays, collections of poetry and stories, as well as a number of books about education.

He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children's charities and organizations.

He is married with four adult children. His books include "The Other Side of the Dale", "Over Hill and Dale", "Head Over Heels in the Dales", "The Heart of the Dales", "Up and Down in the Dales" and "Trouble at the Little Village School".


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: general
  • ISBN: 9780140281293



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This is more of the same from Gervase Phinn - the second year of his job as a school inspector in the Yorkshire Dales. Once again, we meet a cast of wonderful characters, including the three other inspectors - Harold, David and Sidney; Connie, the rather draconian caretaker of the Staff Development Centre; and, of course, Miss Christine Bentley, the beautiful young headmistress that Phinn is gradually falling in love with.The writing is eloquent and at times beautiful, as Phinn describes the awesome sights of the Yorkshire Dales that he encountours in the course of his school inspections. There is also a wonderful sense of his deep and abiding respect for the institution of teaching, and the part that teachers have to pay in the formative years of children.The children here are the stars of the show - blunt, yet innocent Yorkshire children who are more accustomed to seeing rabbits being shot as pests than as the main characters in stories by Beatrix Potter! There are little anecdotes about each school visit, including some lovely tales of nativity plays.The other side of the Yorkshire Dales is also explored here - the inner city schools and in some places the dire lack of basic education for children who are not expected to amount to more than factory workers and labourers.Altogether, a delightful book.

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