Leicester at Work: People and Industries Through the Years

Leicester is rightly proud of its industrial heritage. Leicester at Work explores the life of the East Midland's largest city and its people, from pre-industrial beginnings through to the present day. Its author, Stephen Butt, is a well-known local historian, who presents a weekly local history programme on BBC Radio Leicester. His book is a pictorial history of the working life of Leicester over the last century and more.

Featured in the book: a dramatic image of the fire at the West Bridge Mill in August 1979.

The 18th and 19th centuries saw the city's population grow rapidly with the construction of the Grand Union Canal and the arrival of the railway which not only provided a supply of coal to the town from nearby collieries but also linked the town to the national network. These developments encouraged and accompanied a process of industrialisation which intensified throughout the Victorian era; hosiery, textiles, and footwear became the major industrial employers.

In a fascinating series of contemporary photographs and illustrations it takes us through the city's dramatic industrial growth, the steady decline in Leicester's traditional manufacturing industries during the postwar years and their replacement by new jobs in the service sector, particularly in retail. It takes us into the technologically advanced world of today, showing how Leicester has reinvented itself as a major distribution centre and how the city has managed to attract new service and manufacturing businesses through its academic-industrial connections with the engineering departments at Leicester University, De Montfort University and nearby Loughborough University.

Featured in the book: A classroom in the Leicester School of Technology, c. 1930s.

Stephen works in the broadcasting industry as a Senior Broadcast Journalist and holds degrees in Psychology and English Local History. The author is also an honorary press officer for the Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust, and the editor of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society newsletter. He has written many local interest titles for Amberley and lives in Leicester.

Buy your copy of this fascinating read here.