Greater Love by Ztan Zmith

Local author and historian Ztan Zmith  agreed, in 2014,  to research into the lives of the men from Brinsley who died in, or as a result of the two World Wars, and to compile this research into a book in their memory.

Unfortunately he passed away shortly before completing the work and it was left to his wife Christine to add the final touches. The completed work was passed to Brinsley Parish Council to be published,  and the paperback version recently came out and is available through Brinsley Post Office, at St James Community Cafe( every Wednesday from 10-00 am to 12 noon) , priced at £5-00, all profits will be donated to his chosen charity St James Church, Brinsley. Copies of this book along with all his other books are also available through the web site

During his lifetime he wrote 14 other books about the past of Brinsley and,  in memory of  the work that he did for the village,  a limited number of hard back copies have also been produced, the first of these was presented to Mrs Smith during a morning service at St James Church.

The second copy was then presented to the Rev David Stevenson, vicar in charge of St James, Brinsley to be held in the church for all to read.

The remaining hardback copies have been handed over to Brinsley Primary School, as a reference book for pupils to use in any future work undertaken in respect of the two wars, and added to Eastwood Libraries reference section.

Ztan Zmith was the pen name of Stan Smith of Brinsley, Chairman of Basford and District Local History Society and Vice President of the Nottingham Writers Club.

Ztan wrote many articles, short stories and poems, which have featured on Radio in the e-magazine The Nottinghamshire Times and in a wide variety of other publications.

He wrote about fascinating local characters from the past who lived in extraordinary times and this has led to the publication of six books for the Merrill Foundation’s Nottinghamshire Heritage Series, a further twelve books based on his home village of Brinsley, six books about nearby Underwood and Bagthorpe, several books on Basford, Cinderhill and Hyson Green and a Wedding Book that has proved to be extraordinary popular.

Ztan was also editor of The Basford Bystander a bi-monthly Community Newspaper devoted to nostalgia and local history in and around Basford and District in Nottingham. This publication is read in quite a few countries around the world.

The new book from the Wolds Historical Organisation, called Discovering the Wolds, is finally available!

The Wolds Historical Organisation is thirty years old in 2017. To commemorate this anniversary the members have compiled a book about various aspects of the history of the Wolds villages, from the Anglo-Saxon era onwards. The title is Discovering the Wolds.

There are twenty-six articles covering a wide variety of topics. Among the longer contibutions are:

  • Anglo-Saxon boundary shrines of the Leicestershire Wolds
  • John Noon of Burton Hall
  • The Inn at Prestwold
  • The Burton Parish Constable 1810–1836
  • Sale of a Wymeswold Farm in 1839
  • The Loseby family
  • The early years of the Wymeswold Bowling Club
  • The Lymeswold cheese myth
  • A look back at thirty years of the WHO

245 x 175 mm, 100 + iv pages, 28 colour photos, 79 b&w photos; 9 line drawings, 2 maps, paperback.

Cost £9.95

Phil Thorpe’s article on the Lowesby family is available as a free PDF. Additional information on earlier and later members of the family is also available as a free PDF.

Copies have been supplied to G G Granville’s in Wymeswold and the petrol station in Burton.  There are also copies available from Joan in Burton (phone 88055) and Bob in Wymeswold or 881342.

More information on  WHO’s web page:

East Midlands Coalmining Heritage Forum

The next meeting of the East Midlands Coalmining Heritage Forum is on Saturday 21st October 2017 and is being hosted by the South Derbyshire Mining Preservation Group at their HQ at Gresley Old Hall and later at the nearby Conkers Discovery Centre (ex Rawdon Colliery site).  Visits take place in the earlier part of the day from 11am with the Forum meeting taking place at the Conkers Discovery Centre from 2pm – 3.30pm.

The East Midlands Coalmining Heritage Forum is in the process of being formed mainly to help improve communication and networking between coalmining heritage groups and organisations in the region, establish links with higher education establishments and to try and ensure that important documentation and artefacts are not lost in the event of the worst scenario – think Snibston, the John King Museum and the DH Lawrence Heritage Centre, all of which have closed since 2015.

A steering group have been working on the main aims and objectives for the Forum which includes the setting up of a Constitution etc.  The Steering Group had a meeting with representatives from the National Coalmining Museum for England at the end of May 2017 and they are interested in working with the Forum as a proto-type for forming regional coalmining heritage hubs.  One of the early parts of this initiative will be the running of a Coalmining Heritage Day Workshop during the autumn / winter period 2017-18.

Arnold’s History

A new course led by Bob Massey and entitled ‘Arnold in the 19th Century’ will be run in four sessions on 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th January 2018 between 7.15pm – 9.15pm. The course fee is £20 and meetings will be held in Arnold Library Meeting Room (entrance via leisure centre)

Come and learn about Arnolds past

Old and new students welcome

No previous knowledge required

contact for details

Secret Beeston

Secret Beeston By Frank E. Earp and Joseph Earp
ISBN 978-1-4456-64880-0
96 Pages
Price £14.99
Published by Amberley Publishing, 15/08/2017

In this well researched and comprehensive review of history, buildings, landmarks, residents and famous visitors Frank and Joseph Earp provide a fascinating insight into life and times in Beeston starting with a review of the origins of the name and ending with a photographic tour round the town. The book is a mixture of a town guide, a historical review and a ‘Did you know’ and, in 13 short and well written sections, covers pretty much all there is to know. It is a book for anyone interested in local or urban history, or the development of 19th century industry or popular culture and entertainment but it is primarily for anyone interested in the area. It is richly illustrated with many historical photographs as well as current examples from the authors own private collection and contains a wealth of information about famous and not-so-famous Beeston people. A particular strength of the book is that it provides a photographic record of the significant buildings of the town; factories, churches, shops and pubs, and places them all within the context of growth and change. It also catalogues the individuals and families, residents and visitors, who enriched the life of the town, many of them recorded on blue plaques. This is an interesting and eminently readable book and a welcome addition to the body of work on the local history of Beeston and Nottingham.

After this there can’t be much about Beeston that is still secret!

Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Mansfield to Pinxton Railway Line

This train line, of which a good portion is now incorporated into the Robin Hood Train line (Mansfield to Kirkby) was opened in 1819 and as such is possibly the oldest continually running line in England. We therefore feel it important to celebrate this fact and involve as many relevant people and organisations as possible. This proposed project aims to research and promote this train line and anniversary and would like your organisation to join with us for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

After many years of debate of how to connect Mansfield to the growing network of canals it was finally decided to make that connection via rail to the Cromford Canal at Pinxton, rather than constructing a new canal. Work commenced on the rail in 1817 and concluded in 1819, when it opened for business on Easter Tuesday. Initially it was used to transport heavy goods, such as coal into Mansfield and stone, sand and malt out of the town. As the years went by passenger travel was introduced. The early trucks were pulled by horses but, when fully laden, there was sufficient momentum generated for the trucks to propel themselves from The Summit, at Kirkby, into Mansfield town centre.

Several years after the construction of this line, steam locomotives were developed with a subsequent network of railway lines being built across the country. Now it became the turn of Mansfield to be connected to this new network. The Mansfield-Pinxton line was purchased by the Midland Railway Company, upgraded and extended into Nottingham in the late 1840s, where it joined the main network. Steam locomotives were introduced on to this upgraded line and continued to transport goods and passengers until they were superseded by diesel power. However, during the mid-1960s the passenger services were withdrawn but goods continued to be transported.

Fortunately, as the commercial side of transportation started to decline the passenger service was re-introduced. This continued use of the train line therefore makes it one of the oldest continuously running lines in the United Kingdom and possibly the oldest in England.

The Project Partnership

The partnership consists of the following local organisations and several dedicated individuals:

  • Dedicated Individuals
  • Kirkby & District Archaeological Group
  • Old Mansfield Society
  • Pinxton & South Normanton Local History Society
  • Sutton Heritage Society

The Project

As can be seen from the above historic overview, the Mansfield to Pinxton railway is one of national significance and consequently this important milestone needs to be celebrated. Therefore, the partnership will ensure that the heritage of this train line is celebrated and remembered. We propose to:

  1. Carry out further research to:
    1. Bring it’s known history up to date (The full 200 years)
    2. Write a celebratory leaflet (including a map and timeline)
    3. Write a booklet
    4. Create a website and post all material on to the internet
    5. Produce a mobile exhibition
    6. Compile an education pack
    7. Film a celebratory video
    8. We aim to install permanent interpretation panels at:
    9. Mansfield Train Station
    10. Sutton Parkway Train Station
    11. Kirkby Aldi
    12. Pinxton Wharf
  2. Write and perform a dedicated play
  3. Produce a three-dimensional model of the train line and rolling stock
  4. Hold public events to celebrate the anniversary, including:
    1. Major event on the actual day (17th April 2019)
    2. Launch event for the leaflet and booklet
    3. Public competitions
    4. Guided walks
    5. Talks/presentations
  5. Archaeological Research, to:
    1. Understand how the original track-bed was constructed
    2. Map out the exact route of the original train line
  6. Produce celebratory memorabilia (still to be determined but may include):
    1. Plate
    2. Mug
    3. Stationery
  7. As part of the project we aim to involve the following people and organisations:
    1. All local authorities
    2. Train companies
    3. Schools & college
    4. Public
    5. MP’s
    6. Media (including radio and TV)
    7. Place articles in relevant magazines

Volunteers in the project will receive professional training, where needed.

We aim to have funding and relevant permissions in place by June 2018 to give us plenty of time to organise the Grand Celebration. However, all the above activities and aims won’t be completed until September 2020.

More information from Trevor Lewis, (Secretary, Steering Group), Mansfield – Pinxton Bi-Centennial Celebration Project at

Tinsley’s Barn & St Mary Magdalene opened 10am – 5pm Saturday 9th September 2017

Our first Heritage Open Day Trail (admittedly only two venues, Tinsley’s Barn and St Mary Magdalene, but that made a trail! ) were open on Saturday 9th September.

St Mary Magdalene (C14th Grade I Listed Building) was also open for Ride & Stride as was All Saints, Stanton-on-the-Wolds and Keyworth Methodist Church.

St MM offered refreshments; the cakes were delicious….

Tinsley’s Barn (Grade II Listed Building) opened for the first time for HODs, Graham & Pippa have recently restored this building and kindly invited K&DLHS and CAAG to put on displays for visitors.

80 people visited Tinsley’s Barn steadily throughout the day;

Sue Buckby from St MM said “We are so pleased all went well yesterday and people came to see both our buildings.  We had 32 visitors but only 8 with the ride and stride, but that was well worth being open for”.

Carriage 946 Ruddington Heritage Centre

Call to the surviving families of GCR casualties of WW1

An original 1888 fully-restored original GCR carriage, in a special Commemoration ceremony on Sunday 17th September 2017, is to be dedicated at Ruddington Heritage Centre, to the hundreds of employees who left the Great Central Railway to join the conflict in the Great War (1914-1918) but failed to return home.

“The carriage is again becoming a moving Memorial to the fallen in that devastating war of attrition that affected so deeply almost every family is the land,” says Roger Penson, Executive Trustee of the owning organisation, the GCR Rolling Stock Trust.

The event is to be honoured by The Deputy Lord Lieutenant Col. Roger Merryweather DL and Lt Col. Darren Woods RE, Commanding Officer of the East Midlands Army Reserve Centre; as well as leading County citizens.

“We are hoping that as many families as possible descended from those who died, failed to come home or were severely injured will come to the Heritage Centre to join this very special tribute”.

Please be sure to tell us you will be there – and be present from 2 o’clock when the RH Cadet Corps of Drums and Bugles leads the Parade salute.  To register your interest in this event, please email:

“It is to be a GCR-themed Come-and-See event on Sunday 17 September, especially for Members of the Great Central Railway Society and as many GCR enthusiast friends as possible.” announces Roger Penson, Executive Trustee of GCR Rolling Stock Trust.

“All GCR enthusiasts are welcome – but the first 50 GCRS members on site will not only be able to inspect the GCR Rolling Stock Trust’s work on its fleet of original GCR carriages but also have a free ticket to ride over the GCRN tracks from Ruddington Fields to Loughborough (Brush Works) and back.  There’s incentive!”

In pride of place at the Heritage Centre at Ruddington will be the newly restored and gleaming MS&LR 6-wheel carriage on display and in the open for the first time. This vehicle has been dedicated to those 225 troops of The Royal Scots Regiment who perished in a similar type of carriage in the worst-ever rail disaster in 1915 at Quintinshill.

Now for the treat……For a modest donation there will be a draw for the first 20 seats being offered for the first VIP public outing in the Spring, to be launched on GCR London Extension metals. “Also on view we will have numerous displays on the former Great Central Railway theme and this will be taken up by the offering of visits to the GCR stock of Barnums, the chosen Suburban carriage being converted to a vital stores van, especially the Barnum no 228 which is already part restored and heavily researched.  Progress on the new GCR Museum build at Leicester North we hope will be revealed.”

Expected on site will be GCR locomotives and stock in the numerous gauges – run by the NSMEE and the Model Railway Club – and an update on the progress of the MS&LR 4-4-0 tender locomotive being recreated by the 567 Locomotive Group.  Gates open at 10.00 hours. Roger says: “Please come and enjoy the day with us.”

Here are the details of the GCR Nottingham programme – thanks to the invaluable support of GCRN, our hosts:

10.00 – Gates open – Check-in at Entrance Marquee

11.00 – Reveal of the restored MS&LR no 946. Access platform for visitors.

12.00 – Welcome to RST members and GCRS and Light buffet in Marquee on Station Concourse.  And special brew real ale

13.00 – Take GCRN Steam return service from Platform no.1 – First 50 to sign in go free!

14.15 – Tour GCR themed site – Barnums (featuring research, seat model) and RST stock on view, reveal no.799 conversion, Building no.4 (new Carriage Shed), NSMEE, 567 Locomotive Group and Model Railway Club Displays

14.30 – Commemoration of no.946 to GCR Employees who fell in the Great War 1914-1918

16.00 – Tea/coffee – Reveal of winner of John Quick’s Prize GCR Quiz – programme end.

Hearing Deaf Voices Video

At our Angel Row History Forum on Tuesday 14th February, 2017 in the Local Studies Library, 1st Floor, Central Library Nottingham Nicola Ramsdale, Project Support Officer with Nottinghamshire Deaf Society gave a talk on the development of the Hearing Deaf Voices project.

The Hearing Deaf Voices Project was funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund and was designed to celebrate the history of the Deaf Community in Nottinghamshire, capturing memories, experiences, histories and heritage. It included an exhibition in the Central Library between 1st and 29th March 2017, interviews with community members; archiving photographs, videos, documents, and items of interest. The project ran from April 2016 to March 2017.

Nottinghamshire Deaf Society (NDS) is a registered charity that works with deaf, hard of hearing and deafened people of all ages across Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands, focusing on ability rather than disability. The Society is based in a Grade II listed building on Forest Road West and celebrated its 125th Anniversary in 2015.

The video is also available at

For more information about the project please contact Mo Cooper

0115 970 0516