20 September 2013

New books on Worksop and East Midlands Canals

Amberley Publishing have sent me copies of two new titles in their attractively produced 'Through Time' series.

'Worksop through time' by Retford author and photographer, Sally Outram, includes a good selection of photographs showing how the town has changed over the past 130 years or so. She also includes images of the country houses in the neighbouring Dukeries, such as Clumber, Welbeck and Rufford.

Worksop's history tends to be overlooked so it is good to have reminders of its best built heritage: for example, the early 12th century priory church, the impressive 14th century priory gatehouse, the earthworks of the castle, Worksop Manor Lodge (dating from 1590), the railway station and Albion Mill. Unfortunately, some of the then-and-now images give a sadder impression of Worksop in the early 21st century. For example, the decline of the pub is exemplified by The French Horn on Potter Street, a splendid example of Edwardian exuberance with its distinctive green-glazed tiling and colourful architectural details, which closed in 2007 and now has boarded-up windows. Other photographs record architectural losses in the town, for example, the charming cottage hospital that stood on Memorial Avenue was demolished in 1996 and replaced by an undistinguished Farmfoods store and the fine Victorian Priorwell Brewery was pulled down in 1962; a dull red-brick archway and some office buildings are all that survive.

Ray Shill's contribution to the series is 'East Midlands Canals - Soar, Trent, Derby, Leicester & Nottingham - Through Time'. The author takes a chronological approach to the development of canals in the region and has chosen his images well. Nottinghamshire canals mentioned and illustrated are the Nottingham Canal, the Trent Navigation, the Chesterfield Canal and the Grantham Canal.

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