Author’s debut book looks at the history of Drayton

Richard Willoughby with his new book
Richard Willoughby with his new book

A man has published a book all about the history of the former hamlet of Drayton.

Richard Willoughby, 68, was born in Drayton and members of his family have lived there since 1850.

Drayton Hamlet 1850-2015 is available from today (Thursday) and has 110 pages complete with photographs, maps and illustrations.

Mr Willoughby said: “As Drayton used to be a hamlet, I thought it would be good to tell the story of how the hamlet became swallowed up by the development in the rest of Daventry.

“As I was born here, and have family going back, I thought I was in a pretty good position to work on it. This isn’t meant to be a ‘wasn’t it good in the old days’ type book, more telling that story.”

The book is based on recollections of more than 50 past and present residents of Drayton and sets out to record its development

He has worked on and off on the book since the 1970s, but it was a chance discovery that gave him the impetus to finish it.

Mr Willoughby added: “I originally had the novel saved on a floppy disk and then a memory stick. I lost the memory stick in 2000 and then found it at the start of the year.

“I took this as an omen; someone was telling me to finish this book so I have been working solidly on it throughout the year.

“There has been quite a bit of interest in the book already. I have had 50 pre-orders and the Drayton Residents Association has allowed me to have a stand at the Carols on the Green event.”

Anyone wishing to purchase a copy can do so by going to 15 School Street or by calling him on 01327 704232.

The cost is £8 and after printing costs, all the funds will go to the restoration of Holy Cross Church in Daventry.