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27th Jun, 2022

New book on Droitwich character Nelly Copson

Droitwich Editorial 10th Dec, 2014 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

A BOOK on a popular Droitwich character penned by two Spa authors has been released.

Nelly Copson – A Tribute has been written by Paul Jones and Claire Lloyd.

And to help launch the book, which is 112 pages long and features colour and black and white photographs, there will be a signing between 10am and midday at Droitwich Library on Saturday (December 13) by Henry Sandon from the Antiques Roadshow. He used to visit Nelly on a regular basis and has written the foreward in the book.

Nelly was known by many people in Droitwich and was renowned for being a highly regarded ‘local historian’ until her death in 2011.

She was referred to as ‘Mrs Droitwich’ and on the day of her funeral, her coffin was carried from her High Street home to St Andrew’s Church where many spoke fondly of her.

Nelly also hit the national headlines in 2000 when she became the oldest woman to be sent to a British jail.

That was over her refusal to pay business rates on her home in the High Street which had previously housed a shop.

As the shop was empty, the local authority claimed 50 per cent in business rates was due.

But Nelly refused to pay, saying it had been vacant for a long time and was unsuitable for use as a business premises.

She was sentenced to time in what was then Brockhill women’s prison in Redditch but, after a ‘Free Nelly’ campaign, only served two days.

Nelly Copson – A Tribute originally began as a transcription from a recording of Nelly. A librarian undertook the interview in 1997 as part of an oral history project.

Nelly spoke on two separate occasions, once about her life and the other about her knowledge of High Street and Friar Street in Droitwich. The transcription on Nelly’s life was used for the basis of the book.

Claire said: “Nelly’s great niece was very helpful in providing more information and photographs.

“We were also able to collect information from other people who knew her.”

Books are available from Droitwich Library at £8, along with Grace Cards, the Heritage Centre and some local shops in the High Street.

Anyone who wants a book or more information on the publication can call Claire Lloyd on 01905 771865.

Copies of the new book will be signed by Henry Sandon at Droitwich Library on Saturday. s

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