Stephen Butt

Stephen Butt


This blog is about my interests in history and photography. I have always enjoyed discovering something new about the past, and there is always much to discover.

I am always pleased to chat about the subjects covered in my books and to hear about new historical research projects which I may be able to help you with.

I can also present illustrated talks to local history and heritage societies on a variety of subjects, some quite obscure, and I have my own audio-visual equipment.

If you would like to chat about a book, project, visit or idea, in the first instance, please contact me by email here.

Weston Seascape

Weston-super-MarePosted by Stephen Tue, January 31, 2017 12:18:39
I grew up by the seaside. We went for cross-country runs along the beach and later my first school holiday job was with a beach photography business. In recent years, the promenade and seafront have been improved beyond measure, mainly because of flood-prevention work. This is the view of the rebuilt Grand Pier, taken from Knightstone.

In its natural state Knightstone was a barren island reached only at low tide. It was a good fishing spot, a salmon of 30lbs once was landed there. The causeway, bath house and swimming pool were among the first features developed to create the health and holiday resort of Weston-super-Mare.

The causeway was heightened using granite from a quarry near Falmouth, owned by Dr Joseph Fox. This weighty cargo was transported round Lands End in ships belonging to his cousin G.K.Fox. Granite was also used for the characteristic Cornish bastions protecting Knightstone from the sea. Contemporary reports state that Dr Fox spent £20,000 or more on the island.

This view is from the building whch once accommodated Dr Fox's medical baths, and which are now Dr Fox's Tearooms.

Leicester in Fifty Buildings

BooksPosted by Stephen Tue, January 31, 2017 12:06:18
I enjoyed writing this book as I was able to take photographs during good weather, and chart my own chronological path around Leicester.

From its origins as a Roman settlement to its current status as one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the UK, Leicester has a proud and distinctive identity. This extraordinary history is embodied in the buildings that have shaped the city. Leicester in 50 Buildings explores the history of this rich and vibrant community through a selection of its greatest architectural treasures. From the ancent Jewry Wall to the shiny and modern National Space Centre, this unique study celebrates the city's architectural heritage in a new and accessible way.

Well-known local author Stephen Butt guides the reader on a tour of the city's historic buildings and modern architectural marvels. The churches, theatres, pubs and factories of Leicester's industrial heyday are examined alongside the innovative buldings of a twenty-first century city.

Leicester History Tour

BooksPosted by Stephen Tue, January 31, 2017 09:59:50
My next book to be published is a pocket-sized history tour of Leicester including a map so you can follow the route!

The publisher's blurb says: Leicester History Tour is a unique insight into the illustrious history of this East Midlands city. Local author Stephen Butt guides us through the streets and alleyways, showing how its famous landmarks used to look and how they’ve changed over the years, as well as exploring its lesser-known places and hidden corners. With the help of a handy location map, readers are invited to follow a timeline of events and discover for themselves the changing face of Leicester.'

Published on Wednesday 15th February 2017, it will be available from bookshops and online at £6.99.

John Theodore Kenney

EventsPosted by Stephen Tue, January 31, 2017 09:41:29
I am enjoying researching the life and work of artist John Theodore Kenney for a special evening event at Kibworth Community Library on Friday 17th February 2017. I am looking forward to meeting people from Kibworth who knew and worked with Kenney, and looking at examples of his remarkably broad repertoire.

Kenney was born in Leicester and studied at the Leicester School of Art. He worked for Slaters, the design studio based in Kibworth. He is best known for his images of Thomas the Tank Engine for the Revd W. Awdry, and for his paintings of horses, dogs and other animals. He also illustrated more than thirty Ladybird Books.

Arguably his most outstanding work is a series of sketches and paintings made whilst serving in Europe following the D-Day Normandy beach landings.

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