We are pleased to announce the publication of the new book from East Leake Local History Society. “To a Place of Greater Safety” tells the story of the 200 or so children who were evacuated to the village from Sheffield, Nottingham, Birmingham and London during the Second World War. The book includes stunning photographs of the children in transit and some personal accounts of their stay here (and later- some stayed in touch for the rest of their lives). There is finally an analysis of the effects of this massive migration on the lives of their hosts, the village and other people concerned both here and elsewhere. The “Pied Piper Programme” was of course a prelude ( almost a rehearsal) for greater state involvement in the welfare state itself after the war was finally over. So was the disruption worth all the effort, and the cost? Read on…
“To a Place of Greater Safety” is now available from East Leake library, the local card shop (“Something Special”) and from our website, eastleake-history.org.uk, at £8.50
HODs “Edible England” Festival: Heritage Open Days 10/9/2021 –19/9/2021 Displays in both historic barns, open together for the first time registered independently, GMB registered by SMB for CAAG, HFB registered by Graham Tinsley. Open to the public 2 – 5 pm Saturday 11th September 2021 and 2 – 5 pm Saturday 11th September 2021 HOME FARM BARN: Display of barn restoration by Graham & Pippa Tinsley; Agricultural Development; GEORGE MARTYN’S BARN: The Mediaeval Year; Food and Medicine in the 17th century; Mills and Milling; bookstall
The theme of “Edible England” caught our collective imaginations and we presented aspects of 17th century food, medicine and their production in both threshing barns, with examples of bread, pottage, gruel, herbs and spices in George Martyn’s Barn. The event was well attended and visitors were welcomed by CAAG members in 17th century dress. About 120 visitors attended. We hoped to explain the processes of food production from ‘field to plate’ in the context of the historical time in which George Martyn’s Barn was built (1651), during the unstable political times of the Interregnum, during the Civil Wars. Contributors included Andy Staples: “The Mediaeval Year”; Anne Rhodes (Newcastle’s Foote Sealed Knot Society member): “17th century Medicine” – supporting displays added information for a modern audience. Displays about agricultural development from the mediaeval period, the impact of the later Enclosures (here in 1799) and the local effects to the industrial revolution were touched upon. “George Martyn’s Barn – A History” available with KDLHS bookstall.
CAAG were pleased to receive 30 copies of “From Quern to Computer” from the Mills Archive as free “giveaways” for our HODs event, which supported the Milling displays which included “Keyworth Windmill” – Leigh White has previously donated a copy of his booklet proposed a reconstruction of Keyworth windmill to the Village Archive; the detailed drawings he has created have been uploaded to Mills Archive record. Leigh attended the event on Saturday 18th September and subsequently kindly donated his display materials to the Archive. The rolling screen of village archive images was also available throughout the opening times.
Publications: Cards featuring George Martyn’s Barn and several KDLHS publications were available, including: “Keyworth the First Millennium 900- 1900” (1998) Rosalind Hammond “Plants that changed History” (2001); David Charles “The Natural History of Keyworth” (2017); David Charles “Farm Animals of the East Midlands”( 2018) David Charles “Traditional Foods of the East Midlands” (2019) David Charles; “Farms, Farming and Conservation in Keyworth 1800 – 2020” (2020) Margaret Wright; “George Martyn’s Barn – A History” (2021) SMB email: email@example.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. KDLHS and CAAG publications are available when open to the public.
The Conservation Area Advisory Group (CAAG) are looking forward to opening GEORGE MARTYN’S BARN (one of our Grade II Listed Buildings) more frequently to the public in the future, as the restrictions are removed. For further information, look out for items in Keyworth News or email the CAAG secretary, Sheila Barton: email@example.com if you wish to be added to our email circulation list.
Shoppers will be able to scan a QR code on a building to reveal a hidden story
Revellers will be able to unlock the history of one of Nottingham’s most prominent shopping streets in an “interactive” way this Autumn.
As part of the ongoing transformation of the southern gateway to the city Nottingham City Council has commissioned a poet for an intriguing project which is set to be delivered this Autumn.
In 2016 the National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded the council more than £680,000, delivered over five years, to allow owners or tenants of the beautiful historic buildings in Carrington Street and Station Street to restore them to their former glory.
Helen Goodbarton, a children’s author and poet, will now be writing a series of poems which shoppers will be able to listen to by scanning a number of QR codes located on the side of the buildings in the street.
Mrs Goodbarton says she will be working with Space Face Films which will be producing both audio and visuals which will help reveal the history of the buildings on the street as well as the stories of people and businesses which once inhabited it.
She said: “It is interesting because I am more of a children’s writer but this year during lockdown I set myself the task to write a poem a day and I found myself writing quite profound, epic pieces.
“That gave me the confidence to apply for this project that is not just focused on children, but everyone.
“Each poem will be [accessed] through a QR code on the buildings. There will be a video and audio and each poem will be a standalone piece.
Carrington Street, while predominantly lined with cafes and bars today, has been inhabited by various businesses in since it began life in 1829.
In the 19th Century enterprising businessmen began to exploit the sheer amount of foot traffic arriving from the railway station, transforming what was once little more than a swamp between Lister Gate and the River Leen into a vibrant shopping district.
From the huge sporting emporium of Redmayne and Todd, now the home of Cafe Nero, to a family-run shoe shop founded in 1894 and the Shipsides Car Showroom in 1927, it has been a hive of activity for years.
“I’m trying to really get a sense of what the street was like at each moment in time,” Mrs Goodbarton added.
“Redmayne and Todd sports outfitters, I will be focusing on that. Carrington Street had quite a lot of sports shops. It had a history in the motor industry. I will also be looking at ghost buildings that are not here anymore.
“I’m really excited my words will be a part of the history of this street. I understand the history of the street but what I want to know is how people relate to the street.
“I would like to know about people who used to shop on this street. I do not want [the poems] to be cold, I want it to feel lived in, bringing the community back into it.”
To achieve her goal Mrs Goodbarton is asking people to fill in a Google form, accessed here, to tell stories of the street and share their thoughts on its history.
She says the project should be introduced by mid-October this year.
Councillor Linda Woodings, portfolio holder for housing and planning at Nottingham City Council, added: “We’re really excited to be working with Helen on this project and we hope that people will enjoy the poems and interactive way of accessing them.
“It forms part of the council’s wider Townscape Heritage Scheme for Carrington Street. Back in 2016, the National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded us more than £680,000 over five years to provide grants to eligible owners or tenants of historic buildings in Carrington Street and Station Street. This money could be put towards repair or refurbishment work and covered up to two-thirds of the overall cost.
“The scheme also has funding for activities to help local people engage with the heritage of the area, including the commission of street poems.
“The overall project has made a huge difference to the overall look and feel of these key gateway streets on the south side of the city centre.”
The Cattle Market & East Croft Heritage Group CIC receives a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £46,000 for an exciting project which will discover, document and celebrate the rich history of the Cattle Market area of Nottingham. This exciting project will encompass a variety of creative and innovative formats and engage a diverse range of people.
In our research, we want to draw links between the Cattle Market, which was established in 1886, and Nottingham receiving its official city status just a few years later in 1897, and therefore reinforce and celebrate the importance of the market and its impact on Nottingham.
We also plan to research the general history of this part of Nottingham which, up until now, has received very little attention.
The project will engage a variety of young people in learning about the heritage of the Cattle Market and develop creative and digital skills such as illustration, animation, social media and marketing. In addition, there will be an oral history project with illustration workshops for children, a documentary film about a week in the life of the Cattle Market, portrait photography workshops, ‘Now and Then’ photography and a celebration evening to wrap up the project.
In addition, many aspects of the project will rely on working with interns from the ‘Collaborative Futures Internship Programme’ which provides paid and flexible work experience to 18 to 24 year-olds.
Georgianna Scurfield, one of the key organisers of the Cattle Market Project was delighted at the news: “We’re so excited to be given the opportunity to celebrate the history of the Cattle Market and the people who make it what it is, in all the creative ways we have planned. We can’t wait to get started with uncovering the hidden history and bringing the project t o life.”
About The Cattle Market
The Cattle Market is situated just outside the City centre, and as well as hosting a weekly outdoor market, it is also home to one of the oldest auction houses in the country, Arthur Johnson and Sons. The Cattle Market area is a cherished part of Nottingham that has remained largely untouched since it was established in 1886.
A History of English Places is a map-based smartphone app for discovering the rich history of places in England. Information is drawn from the Topographical Dictionary of England (compiled by Samuel Lewis, 1848) and the place-by-place histories of the Victoria County History (VCH), published between 1901 and the present day.
The app is navigated by a map interface or a search option and also tracks your location to present the 10 nearest entries, making it an excellent historical guide when travelling.
1:00pm on Sunday 26th September 2021 from the south end of Queen’s Walk by the Embankment tram stop
In the 18th century Nottingham was a fashionable, elegant town. In 1724 Daniel Defoe described it as ‘one of the most pleasant and beautiful towns in England’. In 1772 Robert Sanders said of Nottingham, ‘the situation is not exceeded by any in Englandwith many fine houses, the streets are broad and well paved, many gentlemen of great fortune reside there’. In 1782 a German traveller, Karl Moritz, found Nottingham to be ‘of all the towns I have seen outside London the loveliest and neatest’. However, due to a combination of urbanisation, movement of people off the land, industrialisation, and population growth, the number of people in the town increased from 10,910 in 1750 to 28,861 in 1800 and by 1831 it had reached 50,220. The upper classes moved out of the town centre which became increasingly populated by the working class. All the available space within the town boundaries was intensively developed with ‘in-fill’ building which resulted in the creation of cheap, poorly designed, overcrowded housing, mostly in the form of common lodging houses. Housing conditions were poor, sanitation was an increasing problem and in 1845 J.R. Martin’s, ‘Report on the Sanatory Condition of Nottingham, Coventry, Leicester, Derby, Norwich, and Portsmouth’ described the situation of Nottingham as ‘so very bad as hardly to be surpassed in misery by anything to be found within the entire range of our manufacturing cities’.
Historically the town boundaries were surrounded by open ‘Common Land’ to the north-west (the Sand Field), the north-east (the Clay Field) and the south, between the Rivers Leen and Trent (the Meadows). The obvious solution was to develop this open land through the process of Enclosure, but the Town Corporation was persistently against it. The Corporation closely guarded the established rights and privileges of the freemen, of whom they themselves formed the inner circle. The issue was essentially that certain lands surrounding the built-up area of the town were subject at various times during the year to pasture rights by the freemen, and also that parts of the lands owned by the Corporation were let to freemen at a nominal figure. Enclosure would abolish both privileges, and the Corporation, backed by the freemen, would not even discuss the matter. The consequence was that as long as the freemen had rights over these lands they could not be developed as building sites or for anything else that would destroy grazing rights. The result was a deadlock, with most regrettable consequences, and so it remained until the implementation of the Municipal Reform Act of 1835 which changed the way that councils were elected.
On June 30th 1845, an Act to enclose the Fields and Wastes of Nottingham, St. Mary’s Parish, was given the Royal Assent. The Act would allow the town to build out over the fields in all directions, but it was not actually implemented until 1865, which must suggest the number and complexity of the different issues involved.
One result of this process was the allocation of 130 acres of land for the use of the public for recreation. The open fields around Nottingham had given the townspeople space for walks and games in the fresh air, and now it was seen to be necessary to keep something of this facility in spite of the building that was about to take place. The plan was to create a circle of walks around the town, linked to local parks and including a few cricket grounds. This was subsequently amended to include an arboretum but to reduce the extent of the walks. Some land was also to be used to expand the General Cemetery and the Rock Cemetery.
When The Friends of the Forest was set up in 2001 there was little appreciation of how important the 1845 Act had been in maintaining open space as a source of fresh air and recreation for the people of Nottingham. However. but The Friends set about establishing an itinerary and created a free public event to show and explain this land, its heritage, and its purpose. For the past 17 years June Perry and The Friends of the Forest have been conducting an annual guided walk which takes in Queens Walk, Queens Walk Recreation Ground, Victoria Park, Robin Hood Chase, Corporation Oaks, St. Ann’s Hill (round Belle Vue Reservoir), Elm Avenue, The Arboretum, Waterloo Promenade, and The Forest. The walk also includes parts of the General and the Rock Cemeteries, both of which provide the pleasures of a park with their winding paths over hilly landscapes, richly populated with trees and fascinating monuments. This year the walk has been made into a Town Trail marked with information boards to help follow the 5-mile route and Kate Ashbrook, General Secretary of the Open Spaces Society, will formally open The Trail and start the walk at 1:00pm on Sunday 26th September from the south end of Queen’s Walk by the Embankment tram stop.
The walk takes a leisurely pace and includes brief historical chats along the way. It is suitable for powered wheelchairs. It finishes at the Inclosure Oak at the Lodge end of The Forest.
Please join us in supporting the Inclosure Walk and Nottingham’s green spaces.
INSPIRE has been proud to present their annual Local History Fair since 2013, bringing local groups together to celebrate the variety of heritage activity in Nottinghamshire. This year the celebration will be digital, featuring a selection of photographs, videos, talks and presentations from groups and organisations from all over the county. The highlight will be a live, online interview with author, broadcaster, curator and former Nottinghamshire resident Lucy Worsley..
ONLINE INTERVIEW WITH LUCY WORSLEY
11am / Saturday 15 May
£5 Booking essential
Lucy Worsley grew up in West Bridgford and was possibly history’s most assiduous volunteer ever at West Bridgford Library, where she spent all her childhood Saturdays. She went on to study history, researching a PhD thesis about Nottingham Castle and Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire, before making her career in London working in heritage and history television.
Below is a list of participants in the Great Nottinghamshire Virtual Local History Fair. The participants and their pages/content can be found on the INSIRE web page from 1 May – 31 May:
Bannister Publications £17.99 ISBN 978-1-909813-68-7
Why was I, approaching four years old, lying on cushions under my grandmother’s dining table with Grandpa outside the front door of their Spring Lane, Lambley, house on the night of 8 May 1941?
Fortunately for me I was not aware of the tumult of fear and destruction evident from the thundering of high explosives and the persistent glow of the incendiary inferno. (It was only much later that I realised how frightening it must have been for my grandparents, knowing that my parents were on ARP and fire-watching duties that night.)
And it is only since reading David Needham’s Battle of the Flames that I have grasped a true picture of the horror, terror, fortitude and heroism shown and experienced by the citizens of Nottingham and in particular the Fire Service, police and medical staff and the volunteer forces of the ARP (Air Raid Precautions) officers, the WVS (now Women’s Royal Voluntary Service) and all those neighbours and others who did their best to aid and protect during the onslaught.
David Needham takes us through Nottingham’s wartime experience from the setting-up (and occasionally somewhat rocky settling-in) of the city’s defence structure, and the gradual unfolding of the impending fearful attack on Nottingham.
David’s very skilled and readable account, as well as giving us a detailed account of the city’s preparations, also manages to convey the feeling of apprehension as the Blitz on the United Kingdom developed.
On the night of the “Bomber’s Moon” – bright moonlight clearly illuminating vulnerable targets – the journeys of the firemen to their fire stations are vividly described:
“Alf Porkett had to leave his family in the care of a neighbour and then cycle as quickly as he could from his Wollaton home to Triumph Road Fire Station. The anti-aircraft guns were firing, and shrapnel was chattering to the street, searchlights were sweeping across the sky and the dark shape of the bombers could be seen in the beams, or as they passed across the moon.”
Truly evocative; and spine-chilling.
As the chapter progresses, incidents follow on top of one another, giving a sense of the urgency and chaos in the streets as fire engines battled to get through tangles of hose and avoid falling masonry: the battle was particularly difficult in the narrow streets of the Lace Market where Bishop Talbot, vicar of St Mary’s, beseeched the firefighters: “Will someone help me save my church?” which, threatened on all sides by explosions, the fire-fighting crews managed eventually to do, averting a catastrophe such as had happened at Coventry Cathedral just a few months before.
Amongst the unceasing efforts and courage (some fire-fighters worked for 18 hours with no break) there were the odd unexpected or bizarre moments. The caretaker of the Masonic Hall on Goldsmith Street was fire-watching on the roof when he heard a blast and suddenly found himself on the ground floor, concussed but otherwise unharmed.
A Government official in seeking to rescue a safe containing important documents from a top floor office in the Lace Market asked the firemen not to roll it down the stairs – as he didn’t want to spoil the carpet!
As well as a detailed account of the events in the Lace Market and city centre, the book also covers the destruction wrought in the suburbs, where Sneinton suffered considerably – with tragic losses at the Co-op Bakery.
Battle of the Flames is lavishly illustrated: this new and enlarged edition features both colour and monochrome images. In a number of cases the original building, its bombed ruins and its replacement are shown side by side.
Fortunately for Nottingham, the heroic efforts of the Fire Service and others managed to save the greater part of the city which we can still enjoy today.
One building which did survive (despite its proximity to a major explosion at what is now NTU’s Arkwright Building) is the original Central Fire Station, which remained in operational use until a few years ago. This building was surely a central player in the city’s twentieth-century and World War II heritage, and as such should be valued and conserved rather than being summarily replaced: I hope David Needham and his Fire Service colleagues will agree.
Much has been said recently about the “Blitz Spirit” and how it has been revived during the Covid emergency. There have certainly been similarities in the way communities have been supporting each other, but nothing more outstanding than the way in which the NHS, its staff and volunteers have courageously battled with the same determination and courage that the emergency workers of World War II fought the Battle of the Flames.
The Field Detectives are currently researching the history of RAF Langar airfield. They hope to provide a unique insight into the life of a Second World War airfield, which captures 207 squadron’s arrival from RAF Bottesford in September 1942, through to their departure to RAF Spilsby in October 1943.
Initial investigations had focused on Wednesday 25 November 1942, when five aircraft of 207 Squadron flew out of RAF Langar, each tasked with separate missions. The Field Detectives are attempting to piece together the day from the remaining fragments of written materials, eyewitness accounts and the results of our field surveys. It is a process that relies heavily on teamwork, collaboration and trust, which is slowly beginning to shed light on the shadows of a day from almost eighty years ago.
It has been a steep learning curve. When The Field Detectives first began looking into the life of Langar airfield c.1942-1943, the focus became fixed on the crews of those lost Lancaster’s, but now we have come to realise that every one of those aircraft was part of a much bigger human relationship to the airfield itself.
Each loss would have had a significant emotional impact on a wide range of airfield personnel. At this stage of the investigation, The Field Detectives are learning that those involved at the Station Sick Quarters would have had a strong emotional attachment to the crews who flew those aircraft.
After discovering the crash site of Ray Hannan’s Avro Lancaster last year (2020), The Field Detectives learnt sadly that Flight Sergeant John Kennerleigh Barnett Lee was the only one of R5694’s eight crew members who survived the crash. Tragically, he died the following day. His grave marker at St. Mary’s Churchyard in Bottesford gives his date of death as 26 November 1942, the day after the crash.
This then led to learnimg more about the Station Sick Quarters and the roles of the people who worked there. Ken would have suffered terribly after the crash, and the emotional impact of that suffering would have had a profound effect on whoever was there at the time.
Although The Field Detectives have identified the sick quarters’ location, nothing is knpwnabout the medical staff who worked there.The story of the women who served at RAF Langar as part of 207 Squadron is sadly missing.The story of nursing at Nottinghamshire airfields during WWII is an important story to tell .Can you help?
Ian Clarke is an alumni of the University of Nottingham who has lived in Nottingham since his graduation in the early 80s. After he retired in September 2019 he choose to spend time looking at the system formed by the environment and geography of North Nottinghamshire, and the politics of the crown, state and people of the region using the systems thinking skills he had developed during his career.
He set his time bounds from the start of the population of the county to the start of the industrial revolution with the intention of getting into the detail of those events that shaped both the county and our country. From a very early point in his research it became clear to him that the Nottinghamshire landscape of today is nothing like the landscape of the quite recent past and he paid a particular attention to the role of Nottinghamshire in providing one of only two viable routes between the north and south of the country for long periods of history.
Before he started his research he had little knowledge of the conflicts that shaped our country but he has come to understand how many of these have depended upon the route of the ‘Kings Great Way’ through Nottinghamshire for the transit of forces to areas of conflict, within and without, the borders of the county.
During his research ge gas discovered a number of topics which could be of interest for further investigation but has taken them as far as he can without help. He is now looking for help from anyone interested in discussing any of the following topics to gain further insights which could help share the conclusions he has reached over the past 18 months and prove or disprove his hypotheses.
The role of the string of Iron Age hill forts running from Burton Joyce through to Edingley Camp
The Roman advance through North Nottinghamshire including the farnsfield fortress and associated road.
The emergence of Nottinghamshire as a no-man’s land in the immediate post roman period, similar to the Scottish Borders during the period of the border reivers
The conflict between Edwin and Æthelfrith and formation of Northumbria
A potential case for the site of the battle of Brunnanburh in North Nottinghamshire
The role of the Cistercian monks of Rufford abbey in the defence of the north south frontier
At some stage in the near future he aims to publish a completed 86,000 word text containing 32 Illustrations covering the above and many more topics involving the people of Nottinghamshire. This is mainly written for popular interest with the aim of engaging other budding and amateur historians in their own investigations of our past