THE WELL-KNOWN and the lesser-known history of Leamington is told in a new book.
Historian Graham Sutherland, a retired policeman and former Warwick Town Crier, has penned Secret Royal Leamington Spa, which follows hot on the heels of his book Secret Warwick.
It was the spa waters which saw Leamington thrive from a small village to a prominent Regency town.
With Napoleonic Wars raging between 1792 and 1815, travel to foreign places was greatly restricted, which led to a growth of holiday and medicinal venues in England – and Leamington was one such place.
The town, whose regency heritage is still very much in evidence today, was later afforded the prefix Royal in 1838 by Queen Victoria.
Until the 1940s, long after ‘taking the waters’ was a major draw, Leamington remained a haven for retired people, particularly those who had held very senior positions during their working lives.
Today the town boasts a multi-cultural and much younger population, including many students studying at the nearby University of Warwick.
The town has also seen much change industry wise. Automotive Products was once known as the supplier of vehicle brakes around the world but today it is the computer games industry which has put Leamington on the map – with the town k ow nicknamed ‘Silicon Spa’.
The lavishly illustrated Secret Leamington, published by Amberley, is full of tales of remarkable characters, unusual events and buildings and locations, both tucked away or now long gone.