Local man collects 90 years of history in book about Halesworth place names

Derek Newby,92, with his new book 'Halesworth Street Names and Places'. Proceeds from sales of the b

Derek Newby,92, with his new book 'Halesworth Street Names and Places'. Proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Town's Museum. Derek with Sue Clapson and Brian Howard from Halesworth Museum. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A man who holds an affinity for Halesworth has made a book about the town's history.

Derek Newby,92, with his new book 'Halesworth Street Names and Places'. Proceeds from sales of the b

Derek Newby,92, with his new book 'Halesworth Street Names and Places'. Proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Town's Museum. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Derek Newby, 92, has put his vast knowledge of the town together to publish a book called 'Halesworth Street and Place Names'.

Proceeds from the book will go towards Halesworth and District Museum.

He said: 'People kept on asking me to do a book, so I thought I'd better set to and write it all down.

'The book has taken around nine years to compile and there was a gap where I didn't write anything but I am happy to have completed it.


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'While I live in Wenhaston I was born and bred in Halesworth, my father lived here and it is a place I love and know a lot about.'

There are few people better equipped to hunt out the stories that lie behind the 129 names that fill the book.

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Born in the Thoroughfare in 1924, Mr Newby was the son of another keen recorder of Halesworth life, James Newby, who was a journalist who wrote, among other works, the history of the Patrick Stead Hospital.

Apart from war-time service, Mr Newby has spent his whole life locally and his memory of people, events and the changing faces of the town stretches back across nine decades.

Many of the streets whose names he explores in this book did not exist in his childhood.

Some names are more obvious than others. Lansbury Road owes its name to a politician while Durban Close is to a famous soldier and diplomat.

Others such as Sparrowhawk Road has surprisingly very little to do with birds.

Pauline Wilcock, chairman of Halesworth and District Museum said: 'I am very grateful for the extremely generous gesture which has turned Derek's incomparable memories into a practical way of supporting in the future the Halesworth history which he cares so much about.'

'Halesworth Street and Place Names' is now on sale at a price of £7.95.

It is available in the town's library, the museum, Halesworth Book Shop and other outlets based in the area.

•Does this bring back old memories for you? Email kieran.lynch@archant.co.uk

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