Category Archives: Local History

ROYAL LEAMINGTON SPA: Exploring with a Sketchbook

FrontCover Apr 2014I published this book in 2011.

It is the story of Leamington told in seven walks which are all outlined in maps. Each page has one of my monochrome drawings and text which describes the building or event illustrated and gives an outline of its history.

Leamington is remarkable for its rapid growth after the discovery and promotion of saline springs in the town as the nineteenth century began. The waters were for external and internal use and premises were described as Baths. The Royal Pump Rooms still exist but are not used as baths any more.

As well as posh residences and properties for rent by visitors numerous retail premises were developed and rather mean backstreets were built to house the people who worked in the town. The architecture is characterised by Georgian style but many later additions provide infinite variety.

You will read about how the town gained its “Royal” title and a number of well-known people who lived in or frequented the town as well as the buildings.

The book has 160 pages including an introduction and index.
The pages are square, 21 cm x 21 cm

The publisher announces that this book is Out of Print (12 June 2018)


My other two books are –
Warwickshire Landscapes: The Story so Far
Warwick: Exploring with a Sketchbook

The website of the Leamington History Group may be of interest



WARWICK: Exploring with a Sketchbook

CoverFrontThis is the cover for my new book. It was published and received from the printer on 8th April 2014. I publish under my own business name of Shay Books.

In this book the story of Warwick is told by men who have the same Christian name – most of whom were connected with the town.

The story unfolds on four walks with many (about 400) pictures in the style of a graphic novel (a posh kind of comic book). The pictures in the book are monochrome as in the example page below.

It is a 112 page paperback, size Royal, 23.4 x 15.6 cm

ISBN: 9780956277329

It is available from retailers at £10.00 or from the publisher for £11.50 including delivery. You may buy one copy and pay by card using this button –

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An example, page 11
An example, page 11, click on images for larger versions

Latest News:- Keith Smith at Warwick Books arranged a successful launch event on 21st May where I spoke about the book.

My other two books are –
Warwickshire Landscapes: The Story so Far
Royal Leamington Spa: Exploring with a Sketchbook


Mick Jeffs, Shay Books



Cover WordPress April 2014

NOW AVAILABLE as an e-book for £6.00
You may buy and pay by card using this button . . .

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OUT OF PRINT 2016, no plan to reprint

I published this book in 2009. It grew from voluntary work I had been doing (and still do) with the Campaign to Protect Rural England since I retired. I had realised that I was spending a lot of my time protecting the countryside as it was at present although it had changed it some way every year and by an enormous amount in some decades, centuries and millennia.

I decided to tell the story of the appearance of the landscape of the county through time starting with the surprisingly diverse geology and ending with the present day when the planning system creaks as it tries to meet the needs of the community whilst keeping a leash on the developers and speculators.

The book has 224 pages including an index amd is illustrated with many coloured photographs and maps. It is Royal size; 156 mm wide x 234 mm.

My other two books are still available –

Warwick: Exploring with a Sketchbook
Royal Leamington Spa: Exploring with a Sketchbook