Friends of the Forest

The Inclosure Walk

The Friends of the Forest are dedicated to looking after the Forest Recreation Ground – one of the old Town Commons – and early on we found that the Forest was one portion of the land that Nottingham Corporation had kept, in the redistribution by the Nottingham Inclosure Act of 1845, as Allotted Recreation Ground, 130 acres in all.   This far-sighted action was unique in the whole kingdom where other places were lucky to get one or two acres and most, none at all.

The Town Council of that time, with the Inclosure Commissioners, devised an almost continuous walk round what is today the inner core of the city and which was then the outside of the very restricted town.   Consisting of tree-lined walks with interspersed parks this was not difficult for us to redesign 20 years ago.

We have led a walk through what we named “The Inclosure Walk” every summer since, with talks at intervals on the historical aspects of each spot.   We are now in the process of having signs made and erected for all the significant points on the circuit.   This is to make it into a Town Trail that can easily be followed in either direction by anyone looking for it or stumbling across it.

We expect to have an official opening at 1pm on Sunday 28th June 2020 followed by the five-mile walk, with the usual stops on the way round.   It begins near Wilford Bridge by the Trent and finishes on the Forest by the Inclosure Oak that was planted to mark the Act.    Each walk has been started by a person of significance and we hope that they can all return to take part in the permanent fixing of the trail.  It will be opened by Kate Ashbrook of the Open Spaces Society.   The start can be very conveniently reached from the city centre by the Clifton tram, and at the end, on the Forest, the tram can again take walkers back to the centre.

The Nottingham Open Spaces Forum, a charitable body, is looking after the funds for this, and the video made this year of the Walk can be seen on its website, with an opportunity to donate, if individuals or groups wish to,    We hope to keep a fund for the repair and upkeep of the trail, as this is where such projects may founder after a few years, so we ask for donations with this in mind.  We would love to see you at the opening or coming as a group visit after the opening to follow the trail as a society outing.   If anyone feels like making a donation then that would be very welcome too. A cheque, payable to Nottingham Open Spaces Forum, can be sent to: Martin Willis, 4, Branston Walk, Nottingham, NG5 3ET.   Or you can contribute by the link below with the video.   

The access for the video is:

Contact: June Perry, 30 Thorncliffe Road, Nottingham NG3 5BQ

Telephone 0115 960 9221


Sam Millard

Sam does talks to history groups and and is looking to raise awareness of these talks to a wider audience.

He currently has two subjects:

A History Mystery

A History Mystery. Stories from history but what is the one thing that links them all together? In this talk Sam presents a number of short stories that have a common theme but that common theme isn’t obvious. The audience have to play detective to see, after the revelation of clues, if they can guess the link.

The Rufford Park Poachers

In this Sam recounts the true story of the violent confrontation between poachers and gamekeepers in Rufford Park back in 1851. The story was later recorded from the singing of Joseph Taylor. The song is still performed by folk artists to this day. The presentation examines the reasons for the confrontation and separates legend from actuality, going on to look at who was involved and what happened next. It highlights the social history of early Victorian times and reveals the impact of the Enclosures Acts and the Game Law of 1830.

Sam has given both talks to over thirty audiences throughout Nottinghamshire and beyond. Last year the story was presented to venues in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire. The story has featured on Notts TV and Radio Nottingham as well as being featured in the East Midlands History and Heritage magazine.

For more information contact Sam Millard

Pilgrims and Prophets: 2020 Historical Coach Tours from Retford, Worksop and Gainsborough

4th April: Visit the famous church of St Wulfrum at Grantham with its historic library and hear stories of the bitter row of its altar which ended with a bishop in prison! Also visit the homeland of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, one of the greatest figures in Nottinghamshire history.

23rd May: Mayflower 400 Commemorative Tour, following the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims and how separatism developed in Nottinghamshire’s country churches.

4th July: Visit Ashby de la Zouch, one of the most important puritan centres in the 1500s and 1600s, which has a unique mix of interesting and varied churches. See the memorials of the Hastings family including the famous ‘Methodist Countess’, Selina.

26th September: Visit ancient Yorkshire abbeys and priories at Selby, Snaith and Howden – three of the most interesting churches in England.

All tours cost around or just over £30 each including lunch.

Email us on for full details and to reserve places.

Peaks and Pots: The Life and Work of Felix Oswald

Tue 07 Jan – Sun 29 Mar 2020 at The University of Nottingham Museum : Free

Discover the story of Dr Felix Oswald, the Nottinghamshire Probate Officer, geologist, archaeologist and Roman pottery specialist whose work led to the creation of the University of Nottingham Museum in 1933. This exhibition examines his life, his contribution to archaeology and the history of the university’s Museum. It also brings together previously unseen university collections from both the Museum and Manuscripts and Special Collections Department.

The exhibition is part of Archaeology and Collections in the East Midlands, an exhibition programme that introduces and examines some of the incredible work currently being undertaken throughout the East Midlands by archaeologists, community groups and museums. It also introduces unseen regional collections not usually on display.

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm
Sunday 12noon-4pm
Closed Mondays​

Georgian Delights: Life During the Reign of George IV (1820-1830)

Exhibition at Lakeside Arts: Friday 13 December 2019 – Sunday 29 March 2020 at the Weston Gallery : Free

George IV became King of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover on 29 January 1820. His long apprenticeship for the throne, as Prince of Wales and (after 1811) Prince Regent, made him a colourful and controversial figure. This exhibition, timed to coincide with the bicentenary of George’s accession, examines his life and reign, highlighting the contrasts between the King and his subjects.

The period 1820-1821 was a year of revolutions in Europe and the situation in Britain was hardly less threatening. The government fought to cope with the aftermath of ‘The Peterloo Massacre’ of 1819 and the difficult adjustment to peacetime conditions following the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Barely a month into George IV’s reign, a plot to assassinate the cabinet was uncovered, whilst convention required both a General Election and coronation take place. The King also created a constitutional crisis by his determination to divorce his wife, Caroline, and prevent her from being crowned Queen.

This exhibition has been jointly curated by Dr Richard Gaunt, Associate Professor in History (School of Humanities) and Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham.
Open Tuesday-Friday, 11am-4pm
Saturday & Sunday, 12noon-4pm
Closed on Mondays​

Nottingham Lakeside Arts, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD
Box Office 0115 846 7777

Significant damage to Worksop Library following flood

Full service to resume Summer 2020

Following exceptional rainfall on Thursday 7 November, Worksop Library on Memorial Avenue suffered a devastating flood throughout the 2000sqm building.

Recovery specialists are currently clearing and cleansing the building, whilst the council and its property partnership ARC develop a programme of works to restore the building for use again.

Due to the significant amount of work required to restore the building, it is estimated that it will be next summer when the library and its services will be fully operational again. This is dependent upon the time taken to dry the building out, the extent of required works and how long it takes to get the various services up and running. The building hosts the library service, adult learning, young people’s study programme, community meetings/events, Café, registration service, adult day care and several Inspire and Nottinghamshire County Council office staff.

The building, one of Inspire’s flagship venues, receives over 200,000 visits a year and holds a library stock of 26,000 items, including a large heritage collection. Through the fast work of staff from across Inspire, all the book stock and local heritage items were saved from flood and damp damage and are now stored in safe conditions. Stock is being monitored for relative humidity levels and to ensure no mould is appearing. So far humidity levels are within a permissible range and hopefully indicates the fast action of staff has paid off.

Cllr John Cottee, Chairman of the Communities and Place committee, and also Chair of the Inspire board, said ‘Thank you to staff from across Inspire, the County Council and ARC partnership for their response to the flood.’ He also thanked the local community for their offers of help and reassured them that the building will be restored, and services resumed as soon as possible.

Alternative Provision To help library customers, Balmoral and Carlton In Lindrick community libraries have extended their opening hours (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday – 9am-4pm), with the nearby Aurora Centre also accepting book returns. Inspire and Nottinghamshire County Council are exploring the availability of alternative premises for the library service during Worksop’s closure. The adult learning programme has been relocated to several community venues and the 16-19 study programme is operating from The Crossing. The cultural programme has been suspended, whilst alternative venues are secured.  The ASK Inspire service (01623 677 200) and will continue to provide updated information.

Registration services, including several weddings have been relocated. The office has been temporarily relocated to The Turbine Innovation Centre.  The Day care service is operating from Albion Close.  Contact the Nottinghamshire County Council Customer Service centre on 0300 500 8080 for more information.

Further information can be found at and




The Launceston Examiner, Wednesday 17th September 1845

The Cataraqui, Captain C. W. Finlay, sailed from Liverpool on the 20th April, with 369 emigrants, and a crew, including two doctors, Mr. C. Carpenter and Edward Carpenter (two brothers), of 46 souls. The emigrants were principally from Bedfordshire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire, and Nottinghamshire. About 120 passengers were married with families, and in all seventy-three children. On the night of Sunday the 3rd of August, at seven in the evening, the ship was hove to, and continued laying to until three o’clock on the morning of the 4th. At half past four, it being quite dark and raining hard, blowing a fearful gale, and the sea running mountains high, the ship struck on a reef situate on the west coast of King’s Island, at the entrance of Bass’ Straits. No opportunity had offered for taking an observation to enable the captain to ascertain the ship’s course, for four days prior to the ship striking; and from the dead reckoning kept, it was presumed that the vessel was in 141o 22 east longitude, and 89 17 south, which would make her between 60 or 70 miles from King’s Island. Immediately the ship struck she was sounded, and four feet water was in the hold. The scene of confusion and misery that ensued at this awful period, it is impossible to describe. All the passengers attempted to rush on deck, and many succeeded in doing so, until the ladders were knocked away by the workings of the vessel; when the shrieks from men, women, and children from below were terrific, calling on the watch on deck to assist them. The crew to a man were on deck the moment the ship struck and were instantly employed in handing up the passengers. Up to the time the vessel began breaking up it is supposed that between three and four hundred were got on deck by the extraordinary exertions of the crew. At this time the sea was breaking over the ship on the larboard side, sweeping the decks, every sea taking away more or less of the passengers. About 5 a.m. the ship careened right over on her larboard side, washing away boats, bulwarks, spars, a part of the cuddy, and literally swept the decks. At this critical period the captain gave orders to cut away the masts, hoping the vessel might right to enable the crew to get on deck the passengers left below. The masts were forthwith cut away, and everything done that could, under the circumstances to get the vessel upright, but it was all to no purpose. At this time the passengers below were all drowned, the ship being full of water, and the captain called out to those on deck to cling to that part of the wreck which was then above water, till daylight, hoping that the spars would be of some service in making a breakwater under her lee, and thus enable the survivors to get on shore in the morning. As the day broke, we found the stern of the vessel washed in. and numerous dead bodies floating around the ship-some hanging upon the rocks. Several of the passengers and crew (about two hundred altogether) were still holding on to the vessel-the sea breaking over and every wave washing some of them away. Thus, those who were able, continued to cling to the wreck until about four in the afternoon, when she parted amidships, at the fore part of the main rigging, when immediately some seventy or a hundred were launched into the tumultuous and remorseless waves! The survivors on the deck still, however, continued to exert themselves to recover back all they could; but many of them were dead, although but momentarily immersed. Ridge lines also were stretched along the side of the wreck, to enable them to hold on. The remains of the upper deck now began to break up and wash away. The survivors now began to collect bits of rope, so as to construct a buoy, with the view of floating it on shore, and thus enabling one of the crew to land. This measure would have enabled them to save the lives of at least a hundred; but notwithstanding every effort, the buoy could not be got nearer than twenty yards from the shore, owing to its getting entangled with the sea-weed on the rocks, and there was no one on shore to catch it, and secure it on the sand. The fury of the waves continuing unabated, about five o’clock, the wreck parted by the fore rigging, and so many souls were submerged in the wide waters, that only seventy survivors were left crowded on the forecastle! The buoy rope was then hauled on board to rig lifelines and lash the survivors, who were then clinging to the wreck. Thus, the sea breaking over them, the winds raging, and the rain continuing heavy all night, the poor survivors continued clinging to the vessel’s bow. Numbers died and fell over-board or sank and were drowned at the places where they were lashed. As day broke the following morning, it discovered only about thirty left alive, the survivors almost dead through exhaustion and hanging where they were lashed. The previous evening the quarter boat (the only remaining one) was attempted to be launched, into which the boatswain and doctor (Charles Carpenter) with four of the crew got, but she immediately capsized, and all were drowned. As the morning rose the sea was making a clean breach into the forecastle, the deck of which was rapidly breaking up. About this time whilst numbers were helplessly clinging to the bows and continually dropping off without the possibility of succour, the captain attempted to reach the shore but was unable, and with the assistance of some of those who were able regained the wreck. The lashings of the survivors were now undone in order to give them the last chance of life. Mr. Thomas Guthrie, the chief mate, now on the sprit sail yard, was washed out to the bowsprit; saw the captain and second mate and steward clinging at the bows, with about eighteen or twenty only left alive amid a host of dead bodies on the fragment of the wreck. Mr. Guthrie was driven to a de-tackled part of the wreck, but soon found it was impossible to live with such a sea breaking over, seized a piece of plank under his arm and leaping into the water was carried over the reef, and thus got on shore. He found a passenger who had got ashore during the night, and one of the crew (Robinson) who had got ashore in the morning. John Roberts, a seaman, plunged in when he saw the mate ashore, and partly swimming and partly driven reached the land. Five other seamen followed and got ashore dreadfully exhausted. Almost immediately afterward the vessel totally disappeared. Thus, out of four hundred and twenty-three souls on board, only nine were saved. The names of the saved are Mr. Thomas Guthrie, chief mate; Solomon Brown, emigrant; John Roberts, able seaman; William Jones, ditto; Francis Millan, ditto; John Simpson, ditto; John Robertson, ditto; Peter Johnson, ditto; William Blackstock, apprentice. They had neither food nor drink from the time of the ship striking to the Tuesday afternoon, when they found one small tin of preserved fowl, after eating which, they went and laid down in the bush having got a wet blanket out of the water for their only covering and being almost quite destitute of clothes. The beach was strewed with pieces of the wreck and portions of dead corpses in horrible profusion. After a vain search for water, and being unable to find any more survivors, they slept that night in the bush. The following morning, they found a cask of water ashore, but were unable to get means to make a fire. However, about 9 or 10 o’clock in the forenoon, they observed a smoke, which presuming they were on the mainland (according to the captain’s calculation) imagined it was a fire of the natives. However, they shortly saw a white man approaching them, who turned out to be Mr. David Howie, residing upon the island. It seems Mr. Howie and Oakley, with one black, perceived there was a wreck on the coast through seeing portions of wreck, and most humanely arranged to instantly reconnoitre the whole island, and fortunate, indeed, was it for the poor exhausted and benumbed survivors, to whom he instantly afforded fire and food and con- structed a shed against the weather. As Mr. Howie’s boat was wrecked, there was no possibility of leaving the island. The party therefore constructed a hut, and remained five weeks, during which time they were most hospitably provided for by Mr. Howie and his party, according to their means. The supplies having to be carried 40 miles over a most difficult road. Last Sunday (September 7th) they saw the Midge beating for the island; they immediately signalised her by a fire, and from her received every assistance. The Midge took them off the island with much difficulty by means of Mr. Howie’s whale boat, on Tuesday last, and they arrived in Hobson’s Bay at half past ten this day.

The following is the cargo; 500 tons coal (for Lima); 15 tons slates; 22 hogsheads rum (the Captain’s own); 18 quarter casks wine; 2 casks nails; 500 three-inch deals.

As reported by The Port Phillip Herald, September 13, 1845