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.

Hidden Leicester

EventsPosted by Stephen Thu, March 01, 2018 08:06:36
I am looking forward to presenting a talk titled HIDDEN LEICESTER at Kibworth Community Library on THURSDAY 8th MARCH 2018 from 2.00m to 4.00pm.

The subject is a mix of material from several of my books, and in many ways represents my personal fascination for local history. I worked in Leicester for many years, and spent many lunch breaks wandering round the back streets exploring abandoned buildings and hidden alleys, as well as listening to the stories and memories of the people in the area.

There are amazing stories to be told about many of Leicester's buildings, of the men and women who occupied them, and of what may lie just beneath the surface.

All proceeds from my talk will go to the library which is now independently managed and operated. Admission will be £5.00 including refresments. Tickets are on sale at the library which is open at the following times:

Monday: 2 – 6pm
Wednesday: 2-5pm
Friday: 9-5pm (Closed 1-2pm)
Saturday: 10-1pm

My talk will be illustrated by a collection of photographs taken and collected over many years, some of which will definitely surprise you! I look forward to meeting you on the day!

Leicester At Work

BooksPosted by Stephen Thu, September 21, 2017 17:42:53
I have just completed the draft of 'Leicester at Work' for Amberley Books, covering the principal occupations of the townsfolk from medieval times to the present day. The research has been fascinating and enjoyable.

Ironically, the most difficult chapter was the last one, on Leicester in the twenty-first century. Somehow, the perspective of time enables a clearer picture of the past than can be obtained of the present.

This moody and atmospheric photograph of the River Soar from West Bridge was taken by the artist and photographer George Henton. It encapsulates perfectly Leicester as it was in the heyday of the textile and hosiery industries. On the right is the West Bridge Mill, familiarly the home of Pex Socks.

Talks coming up!

EventsPosted by Stephen Thu, September 21, 2017 17:32:03
I haven't planned it this way, but I seem to have a busy few days coming up. On Monday 25th September I will be giving a third 'Kibworth in Old Images' talk at Kibworth Community Library, and bringing along some of the standard Leiestershire texts and a couple of special books from my own library. There'll also be a glass or two of wine for everyone which will no doubt help my talk go down well!

Then on Tuesday 3rd October I am visiting the Broughton Astley Heritage Society, talking about the 'History of Leicester in 100 People'. That's followed by a lunchtime event in the Victoria Park Pavilion with Age UK, when the subject will be 'Leicester Behind the Facade', the sarting point being the Pavilion, from where I will take my auience down the turnpike and into the town.

British Retail and the men who shaped it

BooksPosted by Stephen Tue, September 05, 2017 08:38:08
British Retail and he men who shaped it is the book I have recently completed for Pen and Sword. It tells the stories of the men (and women) behind many of the familiar and famous High Street brands, and the backgrounds to their products and businesses. The book will be published in hardback some time next year.

Kibworth in old images

EventsPosted by Stephen Mon, July 03, 2017 16:22:16
I am looking forward to Thursday 17th August when I will be presenting an afternoon of nostalgia titled 'Kibworth in old images'. This is a fundraiser for the library (and not a means of selling my books!!)

Do please pass the word around. Our library is very successful with lots of new users and plenty of books being issued, but we still have to pay the bills!

I thoroughly expect - and hope - that I shall learn much more about Kibworth from those who attend. Tea and cakes are available!

A-Z of Leicester in the news!

BooksPosted by Stephen Thu, June 29, 2017 06:03:53
Very many thanks to Mr Leicester for his kind review of my A-Z of Leicester which appeared in the Leicester Mercury recently. Mr Leicester highlights the Il Rondo nigtclub (my only entry under I) and mentions several other entries including Gary Lineker and the Liberty Statue.

There is, of course, a further connection between these two entries other than both being under 'L'. For many decades, Leicester City fans would salute the statue on their way to and from Filbert Street; and last year, when Leicester City won the premiership, the statue was adorned with all things blue.

This is my photograph of the statue on the day it was unveiled in its present location. You can read Mr Leicester's review 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.


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.

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