New book documenting the lives of Lutterworth residents from 1950-80 proves extremely popular

All proceeds from sales of the book are going to charity
Photo: Andrew Carpenter.Photo: Andrew Carpenter.
Photo: Andrew Carpenter.

A new book which documents the lives of Lutterworth residents from 1950-80 has proved extremely popular, with one former resident even placing an order from Jamaica.

‘Lutterworth Memories 1950 – 1980’ was launched on June 23 in The Wycliffe Rooms in George Street - with the venue kindly providing refreshments for all guests.

The book was the brainchild of John Woodford as part of the fundraising campaign for Cllr Tony Hirons’ Mayor’s Appeal, which he launched during his term of office as Mayor of Lutterworth from May 2019-2020.

Meetings were held, information regarding the initiative was circulated widely on social media and interviews were planned - but the pandemic struck and the first lockdown complicated matters.

Despite difficulties imposed by the pandemic, more than 70 residents and former residents - some from as far away as Australia, New Zealand and Canada still managed to submit their accounts via telephone and email.

The book contains a wealth of accounts, including growing up in Lutterworth, schools, shops, working, sports and pastimes.

Big personalities in the town are also remembered, as well as major events like the Hotpoint fire.

Cllr Hirons said the inspiration for the book came from a short booklet which was published four decades ago.

He said: "In 1987 there was a thin booklet published called 'Lutterworth as I remember' - and that contained recollections of life from 1918 to 1939.

"We just thought that it would be a valuable piece of social history to bring it up to date.

"Lutterworth in the time we are talking about was a small, pleasant market town. Things like Magna Park were non-existent.

"For people like John and I, who were born and bred here, it was an opportunity to remember - but a lot of people moved here over the last 15 or 20 years and for them it will be a chance to learn about the town."

Cllr Hirons said the book has been extremely well received - and one former Lutterworth resident has even requested that a copy be posted to Jamaica.

He said: "The only criticism I've had is - 'why isn't there a volume two yet?'

"I'm 72 now and John is too - we're at the point where if we don't write things down they will be lost forever."

Cllr Hirons believes there is an immense value in preserving stories and accounts of the lives of ordinary people, and to this end he hopes younger generations will continue the project by documenting their lives in the same way.

All proceeds from the sale of the books goes to Lutterworth Age Concern.