Just in time for Halloween, our Local Studies Library has an intriguing set of booklets on display, describing some of the ‘darker’ history of Draycott. These have been produced by the Draycott & Church Wilne History Group.
‘Rogues and Miscreants’ starts with an interesting summary of Crime and Punishment including the ‘The Bloody Code,’ the justice system and the types of punishments available to miscreants.
The range of cases make a fascinating read, as does the personal information about the perpetrators. Among the gory cases are some other interesting types of crimes such as ‘keeping petroleum for sale on premises without a licence, ‘riding without reins’ and ‘removing cattle along the highway without a license.’
As with ‘Rogues and Miscreants,’ this booklet starts with a useful historical background – highlighting the press’s tendency to sensationalise the stories and details of unfortunate incidents (as with modern media!)
Some of it makes stomach churning reading, involving injuries and deaths caused by fires (including in a fireworks factory), drowning and traffic accidents. I wonder if there is a place in Derbyshire that is known as the ‘most accident-prone?’ Let us know!
Next is some slightly lighter reading, about the pubs of Draycott & Wilne (although there are some accounts of drink-related crimes thrown in for good measure!). Again there is a really useful general background history ‘How did Pubs Come About?’ and a useful summary of existing sources of information specifically about Draycott’s Pubs.
On the last page, the Draycott & Church Wilne History Group say they are interested in hearing any memories about the pubs in the area – so whether it’s The Cleaver, The Traveller’s Rest or The Coach and Horses you have a story about, please get in touch with them!
Last, but not certainly not least, the History Group have also produced a fabulous Draycott Historical Trail Map. It’s a really handy size to carry and has over 15 points of historical interest on a really clear map. What a great excuse to go walking in the area, visit a couple of the public houses, pore over the stories of rogues, miscreants and accidents and toast your health, I’d say!
The History Group also have a Facebook page if you are interested in contacting them via social media.