Stephen Butt

Stephen Butt

Welcome

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.

Leicester History Tour

BooksPosted by Stephen Sat, June 17, 2017 17:34:01
I cannot resist the temptation to see how my books are selling on Amazon which provides authors with various statistics. This is the graph for sales of my little pocket-sized book 'Leicester History Tour' which was published a few months ago.


Of course, statistics can be used to prove anything and interpreted in many ways, but it is interesting to see the peaks which occur every few days which take my book into the top 20,000 on Amazon out of over six million.

It also proves that Leicester sells! A few years ago, it was just a city in the East Midlands. now, for reasons we all know, it is on the worldwide stage.



Heatwave

ImagesPosted by Stephen Sat, June 17, 2017 17:10:29
With the heatwave set to continue all next week with temperatures forecast to rise to 28C on Tuesday and Thursday, here's a sultry summer image from Kibworth. The view is from the A6 looking easterly across the West Langton Road towards Tur Langton.


I took this photograph just after dawn, with the mist still lying across the fields. Fortunately, this is not near the section of the A6 which was deemed an Air Quality Management Zone in June 2017, so this is the cool air of the countryside, not the Nitrous Oxide from the thousands of diesel engines trundling through every day.

A-Z of Leicester

BooksPosted by Stephen Mon, May 15, 2017 06:15:39

The city of Leicester can boast a long and distinguished history and has been at the very heart of the country's political and economic development for over two millennia. Evidence of Roman occupation remains at the Jewry Wall and Cardinal Wolsey lies buried in Leicester Abbey, but the jewel in the city's proud historical crown was the discovery, in 2012, of the skeleton of Richard III lying beneath a car park.


The city's stories can be found everywhere: from the Victorian mills and textile factories to the bustle of shopping centres and markets, in buildings, churches, parks, streets and alleyways, and in the people themselves.


Local author Stephen Butt takes readers on their very own A-Z tour around the city's history, exploring its nooks and crannies, and along the way relating many a fascinating tale of the most interesting people and places. Fully illustrated with photographs from the past and present, this new A-Z guide to Leicester's history will appeal to residents and visitors alike.


£14.99 from all good bookshops, and all online booksellers.



A-Z of Leicester

BooksPosted by Stephen Sat, May 06, 2017 06:52:36
Copies of my latest book have just arrived, and as always with Amberley Publishing, it looks good, with a high quality of design, production and reproduction of the images.



A-Z of Leicester will be published on Monday 15th May at £14.99 - from all good bookshops, as they say - and also through your favourite online book supplier.

Celebrating Rutland's Independence

BooksPosted by Stephen Sat, April 01, 2017 07:59:32
Maybe it should have been called 'Rexit'? Twenty years ago today, Rutland regained independent status as a County, able to manage its own affairs. Here is an image from my 'Rutland Through Time', published by Amberley in 2007.



Thomas the Tank Engine

EventsPosted by Stephen Sat, February 11, 2017 16:10:50
On Friday 17th February I am honoured to be chairing an evening to celebrate the work of John Theodore Eardley Kenney, a fine artist of the latter half of the twentieth century who lived and worked in Kibworth.



John worked across many genres, from magnificently-detailed paintings of the hunting scenes of south Leicestershire to avdertisements for Wicksteed Park in Northamptonshire, the illustrations for 31 Ladybird books and six Thomas the Tank Engine stories.


I shall be joined by John's friends and former colleagues at the Kibworth design Studio of J.E.Slater.

Please contact Kibworth Community Library or the Kibworth Bookshop if you would like to join us.






Pochin of Leicester

ResearchPosted by Stephen Sat, February 04, 2017 08:01:31
While researching for my book on High Street brands, I discovered that James Kemsey Wilkinson, founder of the Wilko chain, worked briefly for Pochin who were based at the time in Granby Street. Wilkinson opened his own shop in 1930, appaently because he was disappointed that Pochins would not take up some of his suggestions for new products.



By happy co-incidence, I was recently looking through the souvenir programme of the famous Leicester Pageant and found this photograph of Pochins. The Pageant took place in 1932 so this must be very similar to how the store looked when Wilkinson was working there.

Broughton Astley

EventsPosted by Stephen Fri, February 03, 2017 07:15:33
I have two new talks booked in my diary. The Broughton Astley Heritage Society has invited me to talk about 'Leicester in 100 People' in October, and the Claybrooke Magna History Society about John Nichols - in January 2018!



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