HIS humorous pony cartoons in Punch magazine made Hampshire artist, Norman Thelwell, a household name.

Now another side of Thelwell’s work has been given a new lease of life with the republication of his immensely popular book, A Plank Bridge by a Pool, first published in 1978 by Methuen.

Thelwell, who lived at Timsbury, penned 34 books and A Plank Bridge by a Pool, which tells the story of his beloved family home at Heron’s Mead in the village where he lived for more than 30 years was one of the most personal.

The book’s republication by Medlar Press comes 10 years after the artists’s death.

His son, David, a wildlife illustrator himself, said: “Dad will always be remembered for his cartoons of ponies. My father had many fan letters about his work, especially the cartoon ponies, but this book probably generated more fan letters than any other,”

The 200-page reprint is is much the same as the original, but with the addition of a selection of colour paintings and cartoons, incuding some paintings of St Andrew’s Church at Timsbury that have never been published.

David, who lives in Romsey recalls that when the book was first published, the family would often see readers coming to the gate to see the artist’s house.

The original house has since been demolished and another rebuilt in a different spot in the garden.

A Plank Bridge by a Pool describes the Thelwell family’s idyllic life by the Test.

Norman adored the wildlife in his country garden, where he created fishing ponds to encourage water birds, amphibians and other creatures on to his property.

A Plank Bridge by a Pool, is priced at £20, plus postage and packing, online from medlarpress.com and Amazon. It can also be ordered at bookshops.

An exhibition of Norman’s work, entitled Thelwell Country opens tomorrow (Saturday), at the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, in Lymington.