THE fascinating history of Findern has been set down in a book for the first time, after a lifelong history enthusiast took it upon himself to write about the South Derbyshire village.
John Hawkins’ a History of Findern was written to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the consecration of the ‘new’ church in the village, and reveals a plethora of little-known facts about the area.
The 82-page tome has been made up from notes which the historian has been collecting since he first arrived in the village in 1966.
“All the information was in notebooks, and the biggest thing was sorting it all out. A good index system was the most important thing,” Mr Hawkins, 73, said.
He decided to write the history earlier in the year, after he was approached by a representative from All Saints’ Church who asked him to write about the building for the 150th anniversary.
Mr Hawkins told the Mail: “I thought it would be rather a slim book, and since I had been collecting details for a long time, I said I would write a history of the village.”
The book tells the story of the village from its inclusion in the Domesday Book to the present day, with one interesting chapter revealing the rise of nonconformism.
Findern became the unlikely home of a nonconformist academy in the early 18th century, which was set up by dissenting clergymen who refused to comply with acts imposed by King Charles II to restrict the power of the Church of England.
Mr Hawkins said he believed the academy was placed there because it is five-and-a-half miles away from Derby – just outside the boundary imposed to stop nonconformists living near a corporate town.
The book, which was published through the Magic Attic in Swadlincote, also includes tales from the school, both the churches and parish registers.
Mr Hawkins, of Hillside, Findern, said: “The printers have done a super job. I’m very happy with the final product.”
The book is priced at £8.95 and is available from Findern Post Office, the Magic Attic, and from Mr Hawkins directly by calling him on 01283 703046.