Online Adult Education Programme at The University of Nottingham

In response to the coronavirus emergency, the University of Nottingham has organised an Adult Education programme of over thirty one-hour online sessions on a range of topics, commencing on Tuesday 21 April.

Some sessions are related to the epidemic, some are more general.

There is no fee

Details are at:

These sessions are intended to be of interest especially to the communities of Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands.

Registration is already open for the first three sessions – registration for the remainder will be open after Easter.

A Message from our new Chairman

Hello everyone.  I am writing to introduce myself as the new Chairman of Nottinghamshire Local History Association. You may already know that John Parker is resigning on 28th March 2020, after a long and very busy spell as Chairman. He has worked tirelessly to promote Local History in Nottinghamshire, and will be a hard act to follow – I shall try my best.

I have been a member of NLHA for more years than I care to remember, since studying Local and Regional History at the University of Nottingham, where I obtained my MA in 2007. I am interested in many aspects of local history, particularly social and agricultural history. My MA dissertation was about the rise and fall of the Grimsby fishing industry, which continues to fascinate me. I am currently working on a book about the mediaeval priories of Nottinghamshire and on my memoirs.

Whilst a committee member (now Trustee) of NLHA I have been involved in organising day schools and other events.  I particularly enjoyed a ‘Hands on History’ day at a local school, where we introduced 14-year olds to the delights of the Archives, archaeology, and family history.  I am particularly keen on getting youngsters involved.  I think local history can give them a sense of belonging and pride in their heritage, and I hope to find a way to progress that.     

I am keen to continue the long history of NLHA, supporting and representing local historians and Societies, holding day schools, producing our Half-yearly magazine ‘The Historian’, and our monthly email Newsletter. Suggestions are most welcome, and I hope to see you at our next day school – unfortunately due to the present crisis we do not know when that will be.  We will keep everyone informed via the Newsletter and our website.

Best wishes to you all, keep safe

Jenny Sissons MA      (formerly Page)

Nottinghamshire Settlers by Rob Smith

Following the Southwell Settlers book which NLHA supported a few years ago, Rob Smith has now completed his book covering the full story of the Nottinghamshire 1820 Settlers in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

This is the bicentennial year and, in view of contributions to the commemorations freely given by others, Rob has decided to make the book available as a free of charge PDF.

This is an extensive book so Rob has included a detailed table of contents and index. The search facilities within the PDF reader are also useful to find specific content.

Download a PDF copy here


28th March 2020 at Ravenshead

As you know we were planning to hold our Spring 2020 Day School and annual general meeting at Ravenshead on Saturday 28th March however with the issues surrounding Coronavirus and particularly the risks concerning older attendees we have taken the decision to postpone this meeting with a view to hopefully holding it in October on the same subject of ‘Religious Separatism and Radicalism’. We find ourselves in exceptional circumstances as far as local history meetings are concerned but our first priority is always the well-being and safety of our members and attendees at our events and we have taken this decision with that view at the forefront of our thinking.

We will reschedule the annual general meeting as soon as we can but in the meantime the current trustees (Jennifer Sissons, Judith Mills, David Anderson, James Wright and Chris Weir) will remain in office and be joined by two new co-opted trustees (Sarah Seaton and Bob Massey). It is still my intention to retire as Chairman and trustee at the end of March along with Nick Hayes, Jeremy Lodge and Robert Mee. I remain confident in the ability of the trustees to manage the business of the committee and provide support to individual historians and local history groups as we have in the past.

Please check the website and our FaceBook page for further information particularly for local history society meetings that were advertised in the newsletter but have now been cancelled or postponed.

Thank you for your support.

John Parker – Chairman

The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain

The Redress of the Past is a major Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project examining historical pageants in twentieth-century Britain. In July 2019, it was awarded a year of follow-on funding for Impact and Public Engagement. This funding supports a programme of events, exhibitions and other activities.

The project has now published a pageants database, and would be really interested to hear what you think about the database. Thoughts, comments, suggestions for amendments and corrections all much appreciated—as it will be updatied for many years to come. Please email about the database on

More information at

Women’s History Network – Community History Prize 2020

Celebrating Women’s History

£500 prize – Submission deadline 31st May 2020

This annual prize of £500 is awarded to the team behind a Community History Project by, about, or for women in a particular locale or community which has been completed between the 1 January 2019 and 31st May 2020. It has been sponsored by The History Press since 2015.

Last year’s prize was won by the wonderful entry from Glasgow Women’s Library which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act.  Please follow this link to see more about it:

Nominate your own group or someone else’s for the prize.

For information about making your application visit or email

New book explores the turbulent history of the Christian faith in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire

Restless Souls Pilgrim Roots

Miracles * Tragedy * Heroism * Betrayal * Revelation * Corruption

In a story running from the early 7th Century until 1660, Adrian Gray places great and intriguing figures in the context of their times and in an unfolding story of spiritual change, rebellion and sometimes death. You will meet again some well-known figures such as Saint Hugh of Lincoln, Thomas Cranmer the architect of the Church of England, and the mercurial George Fox from Mansfield who formed the Quakers; you will learn more about the first leaders of the Baptist Church and those who became the ‘Mayflower’ Pilgrims, but the text also restores to our attention many more fascinating and often radical figures who have been forgotten over time.

The range of characters stretches from Guthlac, whose supernatural experiences in the Fens became the first English biography, to Elizabeth Hooton, the Nottinghamshire Quaker who travelled the world and escaped death many times. Often, these people were motivated by a quest for a better Faith and Church, leading them from the ‘heresy’ of Lollardism to be champions of the Reformation and ultimately leaders of the Civil War against King Charles I. Many died for their beliefs.

The story also has its fair share of ‘villains’ including corrupt and venal bishops, despotic leaders who sent those who disagreed with them to the stake or the gallows, on both sides of the Atlantic, and one of Elizabethan England’s most sinister torturers.

Hardback, 405pps. RRP £28.00, discounts may apply.

ADRIAN GRAY has an MA in History from Cambridge University and is the author of over twenty books. He is well-known as the historical adviser to Pilgrims & Prophets Christian Heritage Tours and Bassetlaw Christian Heritage, which promote interest in the Christian history of the two counties.

Order from bookshops or usual suppliers, or direct from the publisher:

Wolds News

Bob Trubshaw of the Wolds Historical Organisation (WHO) has uploaded free PDF versions of five booklets written about 20 to 30 years ago by the East Leake historian, David Lazell.  Two are specifically about Stanford Hall and one has ‘Recollections of East Leake and other kindly places nearby’ – and the ‘other kindly places’ include Wymeswold.  Two aren’t especially local but do reveal David’s interest in Rose Fyleman (born in Nottingham) and other writers of fairly stories in the early twentieth century.

All the necessary links are here:

(Bob plans to rescan the two fairy booklets.  But what’s online already is legible, if a little wonky.)

Knitting, Poverty and Water : Arnold in the 1850s

Local historian Bob Massey will be conducting a course on Arnold’s local history at Arnold Library meeting room (access through Arnold Leisure Centre) with sessions on 30th March, 6th and 27th April starting at 7.15pm. There is a charge of £15 for the whole course to cover costs. It lasts 2 hours each session.

If you would like to come on the course please let Bob know as it is dependent on numbers.

You can email Bob Massey at or phone 0115-9263626

First Aeroplane in Lambley about 1918

Christopher Toone wrote: During or shortly after the first world war my grandfather ran out of petrol in his bi-plane whilst flying over the Lambley area and was forced to make an emergency landing. I know that the plane and a group of school children from the village were photographed and I was wondering if anybody has a copy of that photograph that I can borrow. Thank you in advance Christopher Toone

The photo forms part of the Archive of Lambley Historical Historical Society