Famous Derbyshire People


During my years as a writer & journalist, I have met and interviewed a number of local and national celebrities, all with some claim to fame and with some connection with the County of Derbyshire.

Some, like actors John Hurt and Alan Bates, and TV soccer pundit Bob Wilson were born here; others like Brian Clough and Gordon Banks became `adopted’ favourite sons – and yet others like Sir Joseph Banks, and WW2 fighter ace Johnnie Johnson lived here in Derbyshire, but found fame elsewhere in the world.

Without exception, all have led very interesting lives and all have their own stories to be told, including the more obscure, like Richard Block, the man who put the B in B & Q, and the infamous like Percy Toplis, the Monocled Mutineer.

Here also are the stories of Wirksworth man, Lawrence Beesley, who survived the sinking of the Titanic, and Emma Miller, the Chesterfield woman who founded the Australian Labour Party – and many others, both historical and contemporary.

Originally many of these essays were written and published as magazine features, along with a number of historical vignettes of other famous or infamous Derbyshire characters, which here have been re-written and adapted and collected together for the first time in book form.

This article has been brought to you by our resident peak district writerTom Bates