The author has selected well and there are many fascinating shots full of human interest. For example, there is an interior shot of Bowskill's newsagents on Chapelgate from 1933. The shop was still around until the early 1980s and I remember it as a claustrophobic, labyrinthine place. Billy Bowskill established an adventure playground in the back garden and I'm sure you could still see crumbling remnants of it from the adjacent car park in the 1970s.
|Refreshment Room staff at Retford GNR station, c.1910. Photo courtesy of Bassetlaw Museum/Amberley Publishing.|
The images are accompanied by informative captions, though I did notice a couple of minor errors. Castle Hill Wood to the north of Grove is described as having featured "a castle on a mound" (page 55): the earthworks have not been conclusively identified as those of a castle and have instead been interpreted as a hill fort, a hunting lodge, a civil war earthwork and a Roman fort so take your pick! The caption for the hotel depicted on page 82 reads "Howards Community Hotel" whereas it clearly says "Howard's Commercial Hotel" in the photograph. The website addresses on the Acknowledgements page should have been checked: the link for my Nottinghamshire History website is incorrect and several other URLs are mis-spelled.
Minor issues aside, this is an excellent selection of photographs of past and present Retford and would make a delightful Xmas present for any Old Retfordians you might know!
Nottinghamshire appears briefly in Chapter Two of the book with nine photographs of trains roaring over the Muskham Water Troughs (just to the north of Newark) and four images of locomotives parked in sidings at Retford.
Further information is available on the Fonthill Media website.