County Council to explore possibility of buying historic Laxton Estate

Nottinghamshire County Council is weighing up an opportunity to buy the Laxton Village Estate, near Ollerton – the only place in Europe to still operate the medieval traditions of open field farming.

The County Council is leading a project with Nottingham Trent University on a potential bid for the 1,900 acre site with a view to developing its potential as an educational asset, linked to the nearby Brackenhurst Campus which is also operated by the university.

The estate is currently owned by the Crown Estate, which it inherited from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food in 1981 with a Parliamentary undertaking to conserve the asset. It comprises of agricultural land, 10 residential properties, 17 farms, a public house, visitor centre and museum buildings. The farmland and associated houses are leased to 14 tenant farmers.

The Crown Estate has indicated it may be willing to sell the estate and is inviting the submission of non-binding expressions of interest by the end of December with a view to exploring developed, competitive bids in the new year.

Members of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Policy Committee agreed to submit a formal expression of interest at its meeting today (Wednesday 19 December 2018).

Councillor Kay Cutts MBE, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and Chairman of the Policy Committee, said: “The Laxton Estate is a unique heritage asset in Nottinghamshire of national and international significance The Annual Court Leet held each November in the village, with its complicated system of fines for infringing good practice, demonstrates an early form of local democracy.
“We have a responsibility to do everything we can to ensure its status is protected, while its potential is fully developed. Following discussions with Nottingham Trent University and other stakeholders – including tenants of the estate – we believe there is an exciting opportunity to achieve both.

“This is a non-binding expression of interest at this stage, and the ultimate cost will be a significant factor in determining if our ambitions can be realised. However, we hope that a publicly-funded proposition, which respects and retains Laxton’s heritage and the farmers who work the three-field system whilst developing it as an educational asset, will be looked upon favourably by the Crown Estate.”

Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, Professor Edward Peck, said: “While discussions are in the early stages, we are keen to work with Nottinghamshire County Council to help find a viable future for the estate and to help preserve and protect the last remaining medieval farming system of its kind.”

Partnership Opportunities with Nottingham Industrial Museum

Nottingham Industrial Museum is looking to build partnerships with other local community based Clubs and Societies.

If you do not know the Museum, it is located in Wollaton Park and has a wide variety of Historical Artefacts, relating to lace making, transport, and historic engines, including the Basford Beam Engine from 1858. Most of the engines are run on the last weekend of each month.

The museum is interested in co-operating with clubs or societies that could arrange performances, demonstrations or hands-on activities for museum visitors, as well as static displays. The museum could jointly publicise the events and provide you with indoor and/or outdoor space, the hope is that this would raise public awareness of both parties.

The museum would also be interested in hearing from any groups or individuals who would like to carry out research on the exhibits, or help to operate and maintain them.

The museum is currently planning their events Calendar for 2019 and has nothing booked for the 1st weekend of each month, so this would be the ideal time. However, if this is not convenient then the museum can be flexible.

If you are interested, please reply to Peter Griffin in the first instance

Best wishes for a Happy New Year,

Peter Griffin, Technical Director, Nottingham Industrial Museum, Wollaton Hall and Deer Park, Nottingham, NG8 2AE

Registered Charity Number: 1167388

Registered Company Number: 09679802

Nottinghamshire County Council Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) Capital Fund

There will be two information sessions on the 10th and 11th January 2019 about the Nottinghamshire County Council Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) Capital Fund which will be taking place in the North and South of the county.

You can find out more about the LIS Capital Fund here:

These sessions are open to heritage and tourism groups, including those who may be considering a response to the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to the United States. Nottinghamshire has a close association to this historic event. Therefore, applications for capital projects that commemorate this significant anniversary and that help to promote community engagement are particularly welcome.

Eligible organisations can apply for one-off capital grants, ranging from a minimum of £1,000 up to a maximum of £50,000.

To book a place at the event in the North of the County on 10th January 2019 follow this link:

To book a place at the session in the South of the County on 11th January 2019 follow this link:

New Website for Haggs Farm Preservation Society

D.H. Lawrence found in Haggs Farm, Underwood, Nottinghamshire, the people who lived there and the surrounding countryside, his “first incentive to write”. The farm and the Chambers family who resided there at the turn of the century provided the models for Miriam’s farm and family in Sons and Lovers,  (the Miriam  Leivers character being closely based on that of Jessie Chambers) and inspired his first novel The White Peacock, as well as many of his early poems and short stories.

The Haggs Farm Preservation Society was formed in March 1986 to encourage the preservation  of the farm buildings and to reinforce the vital importance of Haggs Farm to the early formative years of D.H. Lawrence’s development as an internationally renowned writer.

Arnot Hill Auxiliary Hospital: A New Book by Bob Massey

The story of Arnold’s World War One hospital – Snippets from History Vol 6 by BOB MASSEY –  £4.95

Available from NG Magazines, Studio 3 Mapperley, Floralands Catfoot Lane, MSR News Arnold, The Bookcase Lowdham and Five Leaves Bookshop Nottingham.

Officially launched on 24th November 2018 at Bob’s presentation for Arnold Local History Group’s Great War commemoration event at Arnold Library. To mark the 100th anniversary of the Great War Arnold Local History Group present an exhibition from Saturday 3rd to Friday 30th November in the exhibition space in Arnold library.

New website of Nottingham photos

Nottingham in 1751 – looking from West Bridgford.

A new website hosting thousands of Nottingham photographs will be launched from 1 November 2018, one hundred years after the city’s photographic collection was established.

The Picture Nottingham site at builds on the success of its predecessor, Picture the Past, and will enable visitors to view thousands of images capturing our rich social heritage ranging over 200 years.

Images include some of the oldest Nottingham photographs from the 1850s, taken by Samuel Bourne, as well as many local pictures, engravings and sketches dating from the 1700s onwards.

Nottingham Local Studies Library has a significant photograph and image collection which began in 1918 when an appeal was sent out by the library to the Nottingham public for photographs of the local area. The response was excellent and many valuable photographs were presented, and so began the collection which now contains tens of thousands of images of local people, places and events.

Nottingham Local Studies staff welcome sharing often unique images and photographs with the public but this has to be balanced with the need to care and conserve those resources for future generations.  Digitisation of photographs resolves that dilemma, enabling everyone to view them while ensuring that handling of the originals is kept to a minimum.

Staff said: “Here at Nottingham Local Studies Library, we continue to collect photographs – if you have images which you wish to donate to our collection you can do so on Picture Nottingham.  We especially welcome photographs of views of local areas showing buildings, people, customs, activities and industry, both past and present.”

Picture Nottingham offers the opportunity to purchase quality prints as well as other merchandise overlaid with images from the website.  For more visit the website at

Derby and Derbyshire photographs will continue to be hosted on Picture the Past

Nottinghamshire photographs are available at

Sylva: ‘To slowly trace the forest’s shady scene’

Exhibition opening Thursday 13 December 2018, 5-7pm Weston Gallery, Lakeside Arts. Join us for the opening of Manuscripts and Special Collections’ latest exhibition, Sylva: ‘To slowly trace the forest’s shady scene’.

The exhibition will be on view at the Weston Gallery, Lakeside Arts from Friday 14th December 2018 – Sunday 7th April 2019

Foresters and felons, poets and poachers, discover the unusual tales of Nottinghamshire’s woodlands and the people who have worked, lived and been inspired by them in Manuscripts and Special Collections latest exhibition, Sylva: ‘To slowly trace the forest’s shady scene’.

Ancient Woodlands: Thursday 31 January 2019, 1-2pm Djanogly Theatre, Lakeside Arts.

Woodland history is an important tool in nature conservation. The leading forest ecologist and historian Dr George Peterken will discuss how historical maps and records were used to construct the Ancient Woodland Inventory, which identifies and records information about woods that are believed to have been in existence since at least 1600. He shows how history facilitates woodland management decisions and generates public interest and support for woods and forests.

Exhibition tour: Thursday 31 January 2019, 2.30 – 3.30 pm Weston Gallery, Lakeside Arts

Join the exhibition curator, Professor Charles Watkins, for a guided walk through of the exhibition and learn about the stories behind the items on display.

The Sherwood Forest Trust – Past, Present and Future: Thursday 21 February 2019, 1-2pm Djanogly Theatre, Lakeside Arts

The world’s most famous heritage forest, legendary stomping ground of Robin Hood, a magnet for tourists since Victorian times – Sherwood Forest is special. The Sherwood Forest Trust exists to champion the conservation, preservation and celebration of this ancient forest. Dr Patrick Candler, Chief Executive of the Trust, will talk about how the Trust was formed, the range of works that have been done in the past, where they are at the moment and plans for the future.

The Changing Nature of Sherwood Forest: Thursday 21 March 2019, 1-2pm Djanogly Theatre, Lakeside Arts

How has Sherwood forest been represented and understood over the last 400 years? Professor Charles Watkins of the University of Nottingham examines the diverse ways that artists, poets, novelists and naturalists have valued the forest.


The National Justice Museum Commemorates the Centenary of WW1 with a Special Evening of Stories by the Acclaimed Performers the Woolly Tellers

Reflecting on conflicts from 1918 to the present day, David Brookes and Mick Whysall, who write and perform as The Woolly Tellers, present a new show ‘Voices’ at the National Justice Museum on the eve of Armistice Day.  Featuring tales of those in uniform and the civilians on the home front, The Woolly Tellers interpret stories, tales and anecdotes with humanity and humour.

One of their tales explores the courage and tenacity of the Canary Girls at the National Shell Filling Factory at Chilwell.  Nicknamed Canaries because the TNT dyed their skin yellow and turned their hair green, the workers witnessed one of the deadliest explosions of WWI, where 134 were killed, and yet returned to work the following day. Tragically WWI was not to be ‘the war to end all wars’ and the evening explores many other narratives, telling tales of the brave fire watchers and air raid wardens of WW2, and the human cost of more recent conflicts.

David Brookes and Mick Whysall are both experienced storytellers and joined forces as The Woolly Tellers after performing with the Story Tellers of Nottingham. Each with a distinctive style and delivery they have captivated audiences in Nottingham and beyond.

Voices: The Woolly Tellers

7.30pm Saturday 10 November


To book: 0115 9520555 or

National Justice Museum, High Pavement, Nottingham, NG1 1HN

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Soldiers, Sailors and Nurses Memorial

by Dan Lucas

The memorial, including the nurses homes, was conceived as a memorial to all of the war dead from Nottingham, in the region of 14,000 people, and followed a campaign by ex-servicemen in 1919 to have a ‘useful’ memorial. Of course it is one of several memorials in the City.

The memorial bronzes being restored now refer to the homes above, which came into NHS ownership in 1948, and were finally sold on closure of the General Hospital site in the 1990s.

More information at

Following closure of the site by the NHS, the memorial bronzes were not restored when the building was converted to apartments, so they have looked rather neglected in recent years.

Working jointly with the owners, The Park Conservation Trust sought funding to carry out restoration work in time for the centenary of the 1918 armistice, in November.

Restoration work has been funded by:

  • War Memorials Trust (the charity distributing government funds to mark the centenary of World War One)
  • The Park Conservation Trust
  • Royal Standard House & City Point (RSH) resident owners
  • Nottingham Civic Society

More information about the memorial is available here:

Restoration work is scheduled to be complete by late October (and the area around the plaques is already completed), in time for the Armistice centenary date.

There has been some local press coverage of the work:

With the restoration work drawing to a close, the Park Trust and the owners have turned to thinking about how the restoration can be marked, and the memorial’s significance drawn to wider attention given the obvious historical significance for the City and County.

Radcliffe WW1 Group Armistice Centenary

Radcliffe WW1 Group invites you to their events commemorating the end of the First World War.

POPPY TRAIL: View fourteen wreaths commemorating Radcliffe men who lost their lives in WW1.
Displayed in Radcliffe Oct 15-Nov 12.

Pick up a Poppy Trail pamphlet from Grange Hall, the library or Pen2Paper.

Join our guided walks from Oct 17-Nov 10
Tel 0115 9332685 to book.

Follow the trail online using our interactive map at

TALKS: ‘Radcliffe 1918: what happened next ?
November 1st 7.30 pm at Grange Hall.
Tickets £2 on the door.
The talk will also be given at the U3A meeting on Nov 1st.

EXHIBITION: Twelve posters exploring the impact of
WW1 and its aftermath on Radcliffe.

View posters at:

  • The Grange Nov 1-7
  • St Mary’s Church Nov 8-11
  • Radcliffe library Nov 12-26.

For more information
phone Marion Caunt 0115 9332685