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 Denishill1066@gmail.com 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.

What do you think?