Why did it happen in Gedling? by Bob Massey

Ever since I was young I’ve always asked the question why! I never did to just like to accept things. As a historian this has always had me wanting to know more. Why did this or that event happen and why did it happen just there or why on that day and why was the out come what it was. Why is Arnold, Mapperley, Lambley, Burton Joyce and all the other places in the borough  just where they are why are they not somewhere else and why did some village like Arnold grow and other not.

The answers to these and similar question are often more fascinating and revealing than the basic facts about battles and events. It gives us a greater understanding of how our ancestor lived and so to understand more about the society we live in today. When we grow up in an area or have lived there for a long time we tend not to notice how things change over time and before long the past is lost. I write these articles some 2 months before publication so events sometimes happen between the writing and publication these therefore are in themselves like many publications historic documents which come from the past. Gedling has a lot of history much of it not well-known with only a select few who either remember times gone by or have researched it for one reason or another. The response I have received to these articles and my books have shown a hunger for knowledge of our past.

My history talks in the pub, (the next one is Craftsmen, Colts and Conflict on Arnold and the Luddites is on 21st May in the Robin hood and Little John Arnold at 7pm with other talks and walks around the borough). The Halloween and other walks and the meetings of the local history and other groups have shown by the large numbers attending that there is a great interest and fascination in the history of the area. The more we record and make this available in all shapes and forms the more the interest grows.. Gedling Borough Council has recently been awarded a heritage lottery grant to do just this. “Gedling Borough’s Heritage Brought alive” is the name of the new project and over the next 18 months will see a heritage centre next to the cafe in Gedling park, a book on the borough’s history, and recordings of oral history from those who remember times gone by. The installation of touch information screens and leaflets,  history trails, videos and films, history walks, talks, exhibitions and events of all sorts are being planned. Look out for future announcements. The council now have the resources to carry out this much-needed work but what is needed now is people . None of this can be accomplished without your help, the people with the local knowledge.. We the historians of the borough, members of history groups and the like can only do so much, volunteers are needed in all sorts of ways. Dennis Hill, a Heritage  Consultant, has been appointed by the council as project officer and would love to hear from anyone who is interested in the history, of all parts of the borough, to tell their story and help with the various projects. He and the project team would love to talk to you and any groups in which you are involved. This is a chance to expand access to our history for not just those in the borough but beyond.. He can be contacted at or via the Gedling Council Offices.

Without volunteers this project will not happen and the chance may not occur again. If this were to happen so much would be lost.

We Dig the Castle 2018

16 July – 17 August Booking opens 1 March

Digging the Castle since 2015
We Dig the Castle, first held in 2015, is a partnership between Historic England, Trent & Peak Archaeology (based in Beeston) and Nottingham City Council.

We Dig the Castle 2018 runs from 16 July to 17 August and enables people from all backgrounds (ages 14+) to get involved in archaeological investigations uncovering more of the history and archaeology of Nottingham Castle and its surroundings.

We Dig the Castle is doing more
2018 brings a brand new programme. It takes We Dig the Castle trainees not only into the medieval Outer Bailey but also to the castle’s defensive walls and the area below its towering cliff face.

In Brewhouse Yard, We Dig the Castle will carry out the first major archaeological investigation since the 1970s, seeking evidence of buildings depicted in the earliest maps and developing a new understanding of how this area might have looked in the medieval period.

At the gatehouse, investigations will aim to locate the medieval ditch that ran around Nottingham Castle’s walls, while recording the surviving fortifications.

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CAAG & KDLHS Census event:“Farms, Barns and Rural Buildings” in the Centenary Lounge

A big “thank you” to those who visited the CA Census event “Farms, Barns and Rural Buildings” on Saturday 17th February 2018: about 25 people came in to see the exhibition, brought us documents to record and photographs to scan: some promised to contact us again in order to record their mementoes, photographs and reminiscences of village life.

Keyworth and District Local History Society members provided a bookstall of KDLHS publications and cards, a display of finds, and material featured in “The Romans in Keyworth” a very successful exhibition the previous weekend, in Keyworth Library.  The display materials have been kindly donated to the Village Archive by ‘The Field Detectives’.

The Census displays featured historic records about, and plans and photographs of, our two most prominent (listed) buildings which refer to our agricultural heritage: George Martyn’s Barn and Tinsley’s Barn.

Additional images and information featured the mediaeval farming practices in the area, Inclosure (1799) the importance of the preservation of ridge & furrow, and additional material from English Heritage’s current debate about the future of traditional rural buildings, and information about the Parish Boundary Project (CBA).

We are able to scan photographs directly to the electronic archive; the rolling picture gallery is regularly being added to by village Archivist Dave Clarke; being scan and record photographs and documents on the day really helps us add precious material to the historical record.

If you missed it, or have anything you would like us to share, please

contact the archivist directly:

see the KDLHS website: and

The next CA Census event (Saturday 17th November 2018, the weekend after Remembrance Sunday) will be entitled “Commemorating Conflict”.   Marking the Centenary of the end of WWI and Armistice, 1918, it is hoped to collaborate with the Royal British Legion and feature items which also relate to WWII and later conflicts – please bring your memorabilia, if you can, we hope that you will be able to come.

Sheila Barton CAAG & KDLHS

Basford and District Local History Society

At an Extraordinary General Meeting in November 2017 it was unanimously decided to wind up the Basford and District Local History Society.

Membership had been diminishing over a number of years and it was found difficult to continue.

The Society was formed in 1984 by Karl Routledge-Wilson, Brenda Summers, Yvette Pollitt and Margaret Gardner. Keith Train agreed to take the position of President, subsequently Reuben Carlisle, Alf Bowley and Bill Russell also filled this post.

Stan Smith was appointed Chairman in 1987 following the resignation of Dennis Cooke and Stan remained Chairman until he passed away in 2016, following which President Bill Russell ran the meetings. Brenda Summers continued in the position of Secretary until her death in 2001 when I took over this post. Yvette Pollitt served as Treasurer for the whole of the Society’s existence.

The Society’s members produced several publications including Basford Probate Inventories 1685-1735; Basford and District from 1821-1851; The Green – a Journey Through Time; The Moores of Old Basford; George Pallant’s Basford and Cinderhill – Bystander Cream and Bystander Bulwell were edited by Stan under his pen-name of Ztan Zmith.

I will continue to publish the Basford Bystander and I hope readers will continue to enjoy it. If anyone has memories they would like to share I would be very pleased to receive them.

With Many thanks to members and friends of the Basford and District Local History Society for their help and encouragement in the past.

Christine Smith.

The Basford Bystander is available from:

  • Bryan Exton Motors, Carey Road, Bulwell
  • Jennison’s Wool Shop, Highbury Vale
  • Bulwell Baptist Church
  • Jay’s Hairdressers, Park Lane
  • Basford Library
  • Southwark Street Newsagents
  • Bailey Street Stores
  • Don and John Barbers, Nottingham Road
  • Londis Stores, Valley Road
  • Bagnall Road Newsagents
  • Perry Road / Hucknall Road Newsagents
  • Horsendale Newsagents, Nuthall
  • Plumbs Ironmongers, James Street, Kimberley

New distributors are always welcome.

Vote 100 February 2018

We are commemorating and celebrating Vote ‘l00 in
Nottingham because it is about women and the ongoing
debate about their rights and status in society.

Whilst it is recognised that the Representation of the People
Act in 1918 was only a partial victory, as the vote was only
granted to women over the age of 30. lt was an important
watershed and led eventually to all women gaining the same
rights as men to vote in 1928.

The vote was only won after a long and determined campaign for suffrage and Nottingham and Nottinghamshire women were key to this. New campaigns and feminist demands emerged after the end of WW1 .

These included the right for equal pay, the improvement of working conditions, decent housing and childcare, a list which continues to resonate with women today.

In our programme for Vote 100 we hope we have provide a range of events and activities for you to participate in. There is lots about Women’s History and plenty of opportunities for debate and discussion. We look forward to seeing you.

Nottingham Women’s History Group

There’s a WEA Course for You

WEA is the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of adult education and they offer an exceptional range of history and local history courses. Their tutors are experts both in their subjects and in drawing parallels with our lives today.  Classes are active, and you will have opportunities to get involved and develop your research skills. WEA also offer trips and day schools.

  • Ireland – The Troubles with Ann Parker Ref:C2338875 at Kimberley
  • Suffragettes in the East Midlands with Rosa Straw Ref:C2338991 at Lowdham
  • Britain – Conflict and Peace 1945-1950 with Ann Parker Ref:C2339160 at Newark

For information on course content, location, timing and costs please go to

Tracking the Black Death in Nottinghamshire

A new project on a Nottinghamshire village in the 14th century has thrown up an intriguing question : Did the 1348/9 Black Death spread throughout the county? And if so, what is the nature of the evidence at a local level? The standard county histories appear to have very little or nothing beyond the general comment about 30% incidence across the country, with the notable exceptions of Newark and Nottingham. So did it occur everywhere, and how confidently do we know this?

Keith Hodgkinson of East Leake & District Local History society has recently sent an enquiry to all local history societies listed in the NLHA website, asking for evidence of the Black Death in their area. That’s over 100 email enquiries, and the response has been excellent so far and has generated lots of other links and suggestions. So a big thank-you to all those who have responded.

We hope to be able to publish a report on the results in a future edition. In the meantime, Keith says, please keep the replies rolling in!

Keith Hodgkinson

The People’s History of the NHS

A  London-based TV Production company called 7Wonder is currently making a new documentary series for BBC4 titled The People’s History of the NHS. This three part series is a crowdsourced history of the health service, told through treasured mementos and objects from both its staff and patients through the ages.  Using these fascinating objects and personal stories and made in partnership with the University of Warwick’s History department and the Wellcome collection, these films will uncover a seventy year history of the highs and lows, triumphs and catastrophes of the NHS, which together paint a vivid, and often conflicted portrait of Britain.

7Wonder is trying to speak to as many people as possible who may have a story to tell or an interesting object to show  from the last 70 years, for example, perhaps you might know of someone who migrated here to work in the NHS in the mid 20th century and has a fascinating story to tell? Or maybe you know of someone who was affected by the Stafford Hospital scandal?  Or perhaps you know someone who still has a set of spectacles that were available for free on the NHS before payment was introduced in 1952?  It’s worth stressing these are just examples of the kind of thing 7Wonder might be interested in; they are casting their net high and wide for potential stories and are interested in any stories from 1948 to today that can reflect positive or negative experiences related to the NHS!

For more information contact Tom Macrae by email at or  phone 020 3701 7615.

Gedling Station and ‘the Back Line’

Gedling Station and ‘the Back Line’. A display of images and stories, and a talk, exploring Gedling Station past, present and future.

An event organised by the Friends of Gedling Station (FoGS) and the Gedling Village Preservation Society (GVPS), with the support of Inspire.

Gedling Station (properly Gedling and Carlton Station) opened in 1874 as part of the Great Northern Railway line. It was used by holidaymakers visiting the seaside, goods trains, miners travelling to and from Gedling Colliery on the ‘paddy mails’, and even JRR Tolkien during his visits to family in the village.

Come along to hear about the history of the station, share any family stories, photos or items connected with this or other Nottinghamshire stations that you might have, and discover the Gedling Village of old.

Display: during library opening hours, Monday 8 January onwards
Talk: Thursday 1 February, 2pm. Free of charge. All welcome

Carlton Library, Manor Road, Carlton, Nottingham, NG4 3AY

The Friends of Gedling Station (FoGS) is a new group of volunteers interested in exploring potential futures for this historic building, and in uncovering the station’s history. We’re affiliated with Gedling Village Preservation Society. You can find more information about us and Gedling Station, and tell us about other events that you’d be interested in, at

Library opening hours:
Monday 9.30am-7.00pm
Tuesday 9.30am-6.00pm
Wednesday closed
Thursday 9.30am-7.00pm
Friday closed
Saturday 9.30am-1.00pm
Sunday closed

MAYORESSES – Unsung Heroines 1914-1928

Exhibition at Newark Town Hall Museum: FREE entry

This small exhibition in the Spotlight Gallery from 14 March to 14 April 2018 explores the role of eight Mayoresses from 1914 to 1928, during the period of turbulence of the First World War, the aftermath, political engagement to full female suffrage in 1928.  The display is supported by a number of relevant artefacts and family activities and has been funded by Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum.

Museum Opening Hours:  10.30am to 3.30pm.  Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays, for more information phone 01636 680333 or go to