Mike's career choices meant that he suffered during lockdown, but it did give him the time to write his local history magnum opus "Northampton: 5,000 Years of History". A tour de force of "I didn't know that!" when you read it, it does full justice to the history of the town he loved so much, and garnered the award you see him holding at the top of the page. He used to send me each chapter as he was writing it. Every morning for several weeks a new chapter would pop up in my in box, and I would read them avidly, marking them up and sending them back. His experience of using a publisher previously had irritated him considerably, and he resolved to self-publish, like we had done for the Society's books. It proved to be a wise move. His reputation made it a book eagerly anticipated, and sales exceeded expectations. If you don't have a copy, and want to help, then buy one now. You'll be informed and entertained, and all the profits will go to his family.
The last time I met and spoke to Mike in person was after the Battlefield Society meeting in November. I'd just given a newly prepared talk, called "Monstrous Regiment", about women who dressed as men to join the army in times gone by. When I'd been working on it Mike sent me little bits, most notably the story of Agnes Hotot, which lays the ground work. When I'd given the actual talk, and we were tidying up Mike was kind enough to say it was the best one I'd ever done, which gave me quite a buzz. As the Abbey had its Christmas light event on, the two of us and fellow Committee member Steve went and sat down and had a warm drink and talked things over. Plans for the Society for next year, the new City campaign, and so on. By the time we were done we'd put some of the world to rights, and we were looking forwards to January's talk and all the other things we were going to do in 2022 and beyond. I shall remember him like that. Full of ideas, opinions, drive and care for others.
I shall miss him very, very, much.
If you wish to help his family out and contribute to the funeral expenses, please follow this link.