23 February 2012

The Nottinghamshire Historian, No.88 (Spring/Summer 2012)

The latest edition of The Nottinghamshire Historian journal has arrived and contains the following articles:
  • The leather industry in Nottingham with particular reference to Turney Brothers’ Leather Works, Trent Bridge
  • Commemoration of the 1817 Pentrich Rising
  • The Nellie Greenhill Memorial Prize
The issue also includes a wide range of news items, book reviews and list of local history lectures in the county. Further information on the journal and the Nottinghamshire Local History Association is available on the website.

Event: 'New windows on our past: recent archaeological discoveries in Nottinghamshire', 31 March 2012

The Nottinghamshire Local History Association has organised a day-school on Saturday 31 March devoted to recent archaeological work in the county. The programe includes:
  • 12 years of excavation on the Romano-British site at Besthorpe Quarry in the Trent valley
  • Archaeology under the A46: results of the initial assessment
  • Roman remains at Southwell
  • Community excavation of Kirkby Hardwick manor house
The event will take place at the Village Hall, Ravenshead between 10 and 4.15.

Fee £6.50 for members of the NLHA, £7.50 for non-members.
Please contact David Anderson, 35 Sycamore Road, East Leake, Loughborough LE12 6PP or telephone 01623 870515, to secure your place or for more information. Attendance is possible without booking, although it is helpful to the Association to know how many are attending.

New book: 'Awsworth through time' by Bryan Maloney

Amberley Publishing have recently published another attractive book in their 'Through Time' series. Awsworth is a little known village on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border about 6 miles north-west of Nottingham. Glass was made here in the late 17th century and mining was the principal occupation of its inhabitants by the late 19th century. The Nottingham Canal was constructed around the village in the 1790s and two monumental railway viaducts were built nearby to carry lines across the Erewash valley in the 1870s: the brick-built '40 Bridges' was sadly demolished in 1973 but the impressive iron-built Bennerley Viaduct still stands.

The author, Bryan Maloney, has assembled a fine selection of images to show how the village and its people have changed over the last 120 years. What is striking is just how much of the industrial past has vanished from the area: much of Nottingham Canal in the area was removed as part of open-cast coal mining or to make way for roads, the chemical works and Bennerley ironworks have long since vanished, the railway network torn up and the mines closed. 

Rather than just provide an endless succession of photographs of streets and buildings Bryan has wisely opted to give equal weight to the human dimension so there are many photographs of village events, sporting teams, school classes and local characters. I was particularly struck by the photograph of Don Brown which shows him seemingly leaping to his doom from the 40 Bridges railway viaduct (he was, in fact, jumping onto the earth embankment at the western end of the viaduct). The sepia image of the Awsworth Bicycle Club, gathered in an orderly fashion outside The Gate pub in the early 1900s is another favourite.

Bryan should be commended for making this collection available to the wider public as many of the photographs are from private sources and have not been seen before. I should admit a personal interest here as I had a minor role in helping to prepare the photographs for publication and it is rewarding to see how well they look on the page despite the poor quality of some of the originals.

It is a splendid collection of images with very informative captions.

4 February 2012

2 February 2012

English Civil War museum planned for Newark

Newark and Sherwood District Council has agreed to submit a bid for £3m to the Heritage Lottery Fund to establish a "national Civil War museum" in Newark. The plan is to use the Old Magnus Buildings (which ironically used to house the town's museum until a few years ago) on Appleton Gate to accommodate the new museum.