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

Hoskins Landscapes of England

The BBC Landscapes of England series is now available on DVD

First broadcast on BBC Two in 1976, Hoskins travels from Cornwall to Northumberland – and everywhere in between – exploring and explaining the origins of the country’s extraordinary landscapes. 

Professor W.G. Hoskins’ 1955 book The Making of The English Landscape examined the human influence on England’s landscapes at a regional level. These two series became a visual accompaniment to his ground-breaking work.

Series 1 

Hoskins explores the heaths, valleys and villages of Dorset and provides fascinating insights on the history of the relationships between the landscapes and the people. He ventures further afield to explore the Lake District, Norfolk, Kent and Staffordshire. Lastly, he explores countryside near Banbury highlighting why it has been untouched for over a century.

Series 2 

It opens with the tourist’s dream that is Cornwall and how the granite, sea and fiercely independent people have combined to shape the regions landscapes. Later in the series he explores the Lake District, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Northumberland and Breckland. His final port of call is his home county of Devon, where he reminisces about the locations that first ignited his passion.

Directed and produced by BAFTA winner Peter Jones (The Trials of Life)

Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship 2020

The Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship, in conjunction with Nottinghamshire County Council, is looking for an ambitious and driven individual to research and bring back to Nottinghamshire stories about the lives and legacies of the Nottinghamshire Pilgrims as part of the Mayflower 2020 campaign.

The campaign commemorates 400 years since the Mayflower Pilgrims sailed to America, with many settlers aboard the ship hailing from Nottinghamshire. In the hope of bringing a fresh perspective to the Mayflower project we are looking for applicants who are inquisitive, resourceful and can identify new perspectives.

Extensive knowledge of the Pilgrims is not a pre-requisite to applying. We welcome applications from heritage professionals, journalists, academics, story tellers and creative individuals. The deadline for applications is 3rd January 2020 with interviews scheduled for the evenings of 9th and 23rd January 2020 at County Hall, West Bridgford.

The Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship is a Nottinghamshire based charity, established in 1946 in honour of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the contribution he made to ending WWII. The object of the scholarship is to promote further education, particularly of the history and way of life of the American people, with a view to building stronger links between Nottinghamshire and the US.

In 2020 we are providing the opportunity for a unique four week Mayflower scholarship in conjunction with Nottinghamshire County Council. The project will entail researching the life stories and legacies of some of the pilgrims who left Nottinghamshire on the Mayflower, bound for New England. The successful applicant will arrange to meet with descendants of these original settlers on the East Coast of the USA as well as with non-descendants and members of the Wampanoag tribe and will be expected to feed back their findings to the people of Nottinghamshire upon their return. The Mayflower Scholar will be awarded a scholarship of up to £2,000 plus the cost of a return flight to Boston. Further support may be available to individuals upon their return to the UK to ensure unique ways of effectively feeding back their findings. The successful applicant will be assigned a mentor to help them plan their trip, as well as being introduced to various County experts on the Pilgrims and being briefed on the history of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

This is a wonderful opportunity for self-development, to learn about a major part of Nottinghamshire and US history, to develop contacts within the US and to become a leading authority on the Mayflower Pilgrims.

We will be holding drop-in sessions for prospective applicants at Blend Café in Sneinton Market on Saturday mornings in November from 10am to 12 noon. Further details, including fascinating history and links to external websites, are available on our website
or by contacting us directly at

News from Nottingham Books

The Bookcase has launched its Christmas promotion featuring books available with a Nottinghamshire flavour – many recently published and some old favourites. In addition, there are also some special offers available online only.

Recently Published

50 Gems of Nottinghamshire by Dave Mooney looks at the history and heritage of the county’s most iconic places. The author explores the many places that make Nottinghamshire so special, including natural features, buildings, annual celebrations and events unique to the county together with places of historical interest, all beautifully illustrated with coloured photographs. Paperback £14.99

Edwardian Nottinghamshire  by Brian Lund contains an amazing selection of picture postcards featuring Nottingham and South Nottinghamshire from a series published between 1904 and 1908, with up-to-date comparative photographs. Paperback, £11.95

The Historic and Heritage Trees of Sherwood Forest by Ian Rotherham is intended as a testament to the heritage of wonderful old trees surviving today in Sherwood Forest, and also an attempt to answer some questions concerning these enigmatic giants – how did they get to be that way and was it nature or human management that shaped them?  Also included are wonderful pictures of Sherwood’s trees, past and present, some never published before. Paperback £25. Our Price £20

Oxton, Nottinghamshire. A History by Robert Cooper. This history of Oxton was originally intended to form part of the history of Nottinghamshire in the Victoria County History series, but has now been published as a “one off”. Broad subjects covered are land ownership, economic history, social history, local government and religious history. Paperback £9.99

The Mansfield and Pinxon Railway by John Vanags tells the background story of this railway, a bold early venture in heavy goods transportation, built across a terrain where a canal would have been impractical, at a time when the most cost effective motive power for a railway was the horse.  Paperback £4.50 

The Mansfield Railway by Robert Western looks at another railway that is no more. The Mansfield Railway came into being thanks to some determined local individuals and opened in 1916.  Its prime purpose was to carry coal from the east Nottinghamshire coalfield, but it was also on the route for the “fast fish” trains from Grimsby to London. In addition it connected the coalfield towns with seaside resorts enabling holidays and day trips for the mining communities.  As services were cut, the railway gradually became a truncated line serving only the colleries and with the demise of the coal industry, the end was inevitable. Paperback £17.95

Old Favourites

Nottinghamshire Quirky and Unusual by Andrew Beardmore is a “travel” book containing conventional facts about Nottinghamshire – maps, key industries, population, famous people, a history from the Stone Age – along with a section titled Quirky Nottinghamshire devoted to bizarre happenings and strange events, and all sorts of other extraordinary facts and figures about 50 or so different places with numerous illustrations. Hardcover £19.99

John Henry Spree’s Nottinghamshire by Alan Spree is a collection of images of Nottingham and the surrounding area of Nottinghamshire from around the Edwardian era to the start of the 1930s by one photographer, John Henry Spree.  These photographs show many of the well-known landmarks of the area, but also reveal how much these places and the life of their inhabitants have changed in the last century. Paperback, £14.99

Lost Tramways, Nottingham by Peter Waller documents Nottingham’s two traditional electric tramway operations, that of the corporation and that of the Notts & Derby company, which were dominant for the first 25 years of the  20th century. This guide provides fascinating visual insight into the city at the time of operation through a range of archive photography, much of which is appearing in print for the first time. Hardcover £8.99

In Byron’s Wake by Miranda Seymour describes the turbulent lives of Lord Byron’s wife, Annabella Milbanke and his only legitimate child, Ada Lovelace and is a masterful portrait of two remarkable women, showing how, even long after Byron’s death, he still continued to shape their lives and reputations. Paperback, £12.99

Special Offers

Lost Nottingham in Colourby Ian Rotherham captures the city in its various incarnations from the late 17th century to the latter half of the 19th century using historic photos, paintings and postcards. Paperback, £15.99 Special Offer £14

Central England Signal Boxes by Dafydd Whyles is a record of the signal boxes of Central England in existence before the start of Network Rail’s major re-signalling programme. Every signal box mentioned is described in detail and illustrated by colour photographs. Lines covered include the Nottingham to Newark line, Worksop to Nottingham and Nottingham to Grantham. Paperback, £14.99 Special Offer £12

Nottinghamshire Place Names by Anthony Poulton-Smith. This dictionary of Nottinghamshire place names examines their origins and meanings.  It includes not only towns, villages and hamlets, but also rivers, streams, hills, fields and woods, as well as streets buildings and pubs. Paperback, £12.99 Special Offer £10

Robin Hood by Jim Bradbury claims to be the real story of the English outlaw, exploring both myth and fact from the present day back to the medieval period.  Paperback, 14.99 Special Offer £10

Nottingham by Ian Rotherham and Christine Handley. This  history, illustrated with unique images from the archives of Historic England,  provides a nostalgic look at Nottingham’s past and highlights the special character of some of its most important historic sites. Paperback, £14.99 Special Offer £12

Nottinghamshire’s Lost Railways by Neil Burgess. The fate of Nottinghamshire’s railway network was closely linked to the rise and fall of the coal industry. This book describes twenty closed lines and many more closed stations, the text being profusely illustrated with period photographs. Paperback, £16 Special Offer £14

Nottingham City Transport Buses: From Daimler to Scania by Daryl Hempsall gives an overview of the buses used by Nottingham City Transport since the 1980s, looking in particular at the development of the “Nottingham Standard” type bus and its impact on modern day vehicles.  The book includes personal memories and anecdotes from the men who drove them, along with numerous diagrams, illustrations and photographs. Hardcover, £19.95  Special Offer £15

All these books can of course be ordered online at where you will find many more interesting local books to browse through.