In many records the Reginald was dropped and he became Leighton Houghton. Born 1910 in Warwickshire, the family, according to the 1911 census, had within a year moved to Weston Super Mare.
Reginald was vicar of St Mary’s Church from 1942 to 1950, during which time he married Laura J. Tuffield. Laura was an Essex girl born Rochford in 1922 and married Colchester 1948, the surname Tuffield being familiar to Benfleet ears, for the Tuffield family ran the general stores (now the Benfleet Tandoori) in the High Street.
Between 1939 and 1973 he wrote ten novels for children and six factual books for children and adults :-
- Companion to the Common Prayer Book (1939)
- In the steps of Anglo-saxons (1948)
- In the steps of Normans (1949)
- In the steps of Joan of Arc (1951)
- Haunted Creek (1954)
- In the steps of Jesus (1956)
- Crusoe Game (1956)
- Sealed Orders (1957)
- Haunted Stable (1957)
- Phantom Rider (1958)
- Gallows’ Tor (1960)
- Catch me a Peewit (1961)
- Luck of the Ravens (1961)
- Play Up, Barnley (1964)
- Guide to British Cathedrals (1973)
- Herons’ Quest (1962)
His first novel, Haunted Creek, is clearly based on Benfleet Creek as you will see from the illustrations by P A Jobson. It is perhaps not surprising that he should use what would be familiar to him, when starting out.
If anyone knows of further book titles written by this author, or is aware that any of those already listed are also set in Benfleet, please let us know…