News for Autumn 2012

An unexpected treasure

The Park in 1849.
The Park in 1849.

The painting shown, The Park 1849, is by William Henry Pig(g)ott (c1810-1901) and Edward Price (1800-1885) and has come up for auction by Mellors and Kirk. The painting was retrieved by the brother of the vendor from a skip when the Borough Club was demolished c1971 prior to the redevelopment of the site.

The painting is of significant interest as a prime example of the recording of points in time before photography became widespread. On the left hand edge is Newcastle Terrace sweeping round the houses by P. F. Robinson on Park Terrace; no. 15-17 being prominent. The land drops away below Newcastle Terrace, the presence of sheep, shepherd and sheepdog emphasise the rural charms of the hollow of the Park. The 4th Duke of Newcastle was still alive, but within five years the Nottingham architect, T. C. Hine, appointed by the 5th Duke in January 1854 to oversee the development of this prime location, would cut into those slopes to set out Newcastle Drive and subsequently erect some of the first houses within the Park.

With the eye of faith it is just possible to make out below the boundary wall of 15-17 Park Terrace signs of the initial attempt to construct the Park Tunnel which was in 1844 and abruptly abandoned until resumed and completed by Hine some 10 years later.

On the horizon centre right are the buildings of the Park Barracks. Here, in rotation, the crack regiments of the British Army were based, a useful source of help in times of civil unrest. A well known engraving shows the Scots Greys parading in Nottingham’s Market Place prior to their departure to the Crimea in 1854. On the right hand edge, Derby Terrace, possibly Waltons and early Park houses can be seen.

The Borough Club on King Street, was founded in 1893 and, following an architectural competition and some delay, the original winner, G. E. Statham, died suddenly and their new home was designed in a Northern German Renaissance style by G. S. Doughty. It opened on 24 May 1895 and, from the start, had no political attachments; it was simply a club for business and professional men, which included prominent citizens of the day.

The Borough Club purchased the Nottingham and Notts Constitutional Club on Market Street in 1958 and moved there on amalgamation allowing the demolition of the King Street building. Then in 1968 the Borough Club merged with the Reform Club on Victoria Street, which definitely had Liberal roots. Sometime thereafter this combined club of around 900 members moved on, vacating the Victoria Street building.
When the Borough Club left Market Street, a sale of the contents of the property included 28 pictures by the Nottingham artist, T. W. Hammond.

Ken Brand

Sir Andrew Buchanan

Sir Andrew Buchanan, Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire since 1991, retired on 21 July 2012, his 75th birthday.

Sir Andrew has been a much loved and greatly respected figure during his 21 years in office, tirelessly travelling the county from his home at Hodsock Priory, and keeping in touch with numerous organisations as well as undertaking his royal duties. His final royal event was the visit of the Queen, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, during the Diamond jubilee celebrations in June 2012.

Sir Andrew spoke about his work at the Thoroton Society Annual Lunch in 2012.

Sir Andrew and Lady Belinda were the guests of honour at a Service of Thanksgiving in Southwell Minster on 3 July, to which I was invited as Chairman of the Thoroton Society. In a number of moving tributes, the extraordinary range of Sir Andrew’s activities were recounted, and a personal message from the Prince of Wales was read. Sir Andrew will be much missed as he retires from public duty to return to his farming.

Sir Andrew is succeeded by Sir John Peace, a businessman and banker.

John Beckett


The Grade 2 listed Manor House is at the north-east corner of Bingham market place. The architecture is unique within a wide area. Research by Bingham Heritage Trails Association suggests that the building dates from at least the early 1700s and was the premises of a successful plumber, John Bradshaw.

The building is boarded up and has been unoccupied for about 15 years. Many Bingham people are seriously concerned about its future.

An open meeting to generate ideas for future use will be held at The Old Court House in Bingham at 7.30 pm on Wednesday, 5 September. It is hoped to set up a small group of concerned residents, BHTA, the local authorities and interested professionals to develop sustainable plans for after-use prior to making an application for funds for purchase and restoration.

Geoff Ashton

Exhibition: Balls, Boots and Players

Celebrating 500 Years of Nottingham High School in its Community

At the Weston gallery, University Park, Nottingham and curated by Nottingham High School in collaboration with Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Nottingham. From Friday, 28 September 2012 to Sunday, 13 January 2013.

Four years after a young and enlightened Henry Vlll came to the throne, a wealthy Nottingham widow championed a cause which resonates in classrooms, sports fields, boardrooms and corridors of power even to this day. With royal permission, her donations of land and property, and the promise of support from the good people of Nottingham, Dame Agnes Mellers founded a school ‘evermore to endure’ for the teaching and instruction of boys in good manners and literature.

This exhibition explores the relationship between Nottingham High School and its community, illustrated through the lives of the people who belong to it. Drawing on the school’s own archives and from collections at the University of Nottingham, the display shows how the early efforts to organise education in a small market town helped lay the foundations for a great city driven by learning.

The story touches on the lace industry, international sport, military service, public service and migration. It demonstrates the intelligence and commitment of the men and women who dedicated their lives to the education of local boys, and whose influence spanned lifetimes. It encompasses the climate of change that blew a Nottingham miner’s son through education to become the most controversial writer of the twentieth century and a watch-maker’s son to become Chancellor of the Exchequer.

A series of talks will be held to accompany the exhibition. Places are limited so please book in advance with the Box Office on 0115-846-7777.

10 October, 1 to 2 pm Engineering Science Learning Centre, A09, University Park.

Mr. Mark Whitmore, Director of Collections and Research at the Imperial War Museum, will explore
the life and work of the distinguished water engineer and former Nottingham High School pupil,
Thomas Hawksley. ‘Pure and Constant’ was the motto of the Nottingham Waterworks company
where, from its inception in 1830, Hawksley was engineer.

9 November, 1 to 2 pm. Trent Building, Great Hall, University Park

An opportunity to hear Nottingham High School’s best known living old boy, Ken Clarke QC, MP talk
about his life as a school boy in Nottingham and, amongst other things, arguably the most successful
career in modern British politics.

13 November, 1 to 2 pm. Trent Building, Great Hall, University Park.

Former Nottingham High School pupil and talented sportsman, Mr. Tony Palfreman, will share his
passion for sport in Nottinghamshire. Tony will take us on a tour from the school playing fields at
Valley Road to Nottinghamshire FC and end up at Trent Bridge where he is now Chairman of the
Nottinghamshire Cricket Board.

4 December, 1 to 2 pm. Engineering and Science Learning Centre, A09, University Park.

The BBC’s Pakistan correspondent and Old Nottinghamian, Aleem Maqbool, will introduce us to his world – the life and work of a journalist in an area which is home to some of the earliest human settlements and where two of the world’s major religions meet.


It is with much sadness that we record the recent death of BARRY ALEXANDER. Barry was a stalwart of the Diocesan Church History project, writing the entry for the church at Gotham. He was a member of East Leake Local History Society and later of Gotham Local History Society. He was a member of the Latin group lead by Maureen Lillie to which my wife Jackie also belongs.

Barry was fun to be with and I spent several very happy times as we travelled to The Borthwick Institute in York when it was in the medieval building before its move to the York University campus, as well as to other archive establishments.

In his early 70s Barry moved to live in Poland to be closer to his Polish wife’s family but he remained in contact by email and Christmas cards and letters. Shortly after moving to Poland Barry’s wife was involved in a nasty car accident and Barry was very distressed by her injuries although she eventually made a good recovery. I recall him also telling me that he was learning to speak Polish from his brother-in-law as they took the latter’s dogs for a morning walk in the forest close to Barry’s new home and, at the same time, the brother-in-law was learning English from Barry. One wonders what the dogs made of the mixed sounds coming from the two men.

Barry will always be remembered by those of us who were privileged to call him friend.

Our sympathies are expressed to Barry’s wife and extended family.

Howard Fisher

We are also sad to record the death of Clive Barton and Mrs. Kingbell. Mrs. Kingbell was aged 93 years and a life member of the society. Our sympathies are extended to their families at a time of great sadness.

We are pleased to welcome the following new members and hope their membership provides them with much pleasure and fulfillment:
Richard Brackenbury; Clive Cartwright; Michael Cobb; F. Coldham Robert and Margaret Cooper; Karen Davies; Dr. Paul Elliot; Mrs. S. and Miss K. Wilson; Judith Wright.

Institutional Membership: Proquest Humanities Index, USA and Massman Internationale Buchhandlung GmbH, Germany.



The meeting on 17 November takes place at 1400 in the archive office in Nottingham.

MEMBERS’ DOCUMENTS TO TELL A STORY. Members bring along a document to discuss with the
COST: £5.00 to include refreshments and a raffle ticket.


As from 2 July 2012 British Waterways ceased to exist and was replaced by the Canal & Waterways Trust. For more information about this new organisation visit their web site at:


This is a group of three people who are based in Keyworth and who have done a great deal of work in the Keyworth area using metal detectors in a very responsible manner. Their discoveries are always written up in a proper scientific manner and they have excellent contacts with the British Museum, the Museum of London and other local museums.

Their latest work and publication relates to an extensive field survey in Plumtree which, in addition to the actual field work is accompanied by extensive paper archive research. The field was used by the Plumtree community to celebrate the coronation of King George V on 27 June 1911. The finds include many contemporary and other coins, livery button, .303 bullet, Bovril medallion, costume jewelry, lead spindle whorl amongst many other items fully listed in the report.

The Molekats, who also bill themselves as South Nottinghamshire Field Detectives, are an excellent example of what amateur detectorists and researches can add to local knowledge. It is good to be able to comment on such local activities.


This collection of aerial photographs is being conserved and digitized by English Heritage and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments for Scotland and Wales.

The website went live on 26 June 2012 with 16,000 images. The full Aerofilms collection has over a million images, many from the early days of aviation made by ex-WW1 pilots from low altitudes which was a dangerous flying technique. Many are on glass plates which require careful conservation.

There are unidentified images and the public is being asked to contribute by identifying there wherever possible.

The web site is at:


The very popular Saturday Seminar series commences for its third year on 13 October 2012. Held in the History Department at Lenton Grove on the University of Nottingham campus and commencing at 10.30 am the series will follow the same format as in the first two years because it has proved to be so popular with attendees.

From 10.00 am coffee/tea and biscuits are served at a cost of 50p to early arrivers whilst the cost of the lectures are £5.00 which includes refreshments at the mid-way break.

There is usually a book stall for browsing and purchases at very cheap prices and the subject matter of the books available is very diverse and countrywide.

The programme up to December 2012 is:-



8 December: CLARE PICKERSGILL, CURATOR, NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY MUSEUM, will talk about the conservation and curatorial issues involved in creating the University’s recently opened museum, and there will then be a privileged visit to the museum.

No booking for these seminars is required – just attend on the day. They all coincide with Thoroton Society lectures in the afternoons, enabling a full day of enjoyment to be experienced.


The events programme for the Archives is now available from October 2012 to March 2013.
The Lunchtime Talks series is focused on the theme of ‘Architecture’; all talks are held in the Archive offices and commence at 1.00 pm on Wednesdays. Cost is £4.00 per talk and booking through the Archives is essential.

The titles are:

31 October: From Gothic to Art Deco: Nottinghamshire Architecture in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries.
14 November: Thomas Cecil Howitt: Architect of Nottingham.
28 November: Architecture and Community: The Making of Forest Fields.
12 December: Understanding Nottinghamshire’s Churches.

On Friday 14 December a selection of festive readings from diaries is to be given at 2.30 pm. Cost is £5.00 including tea and mince pie. Booking essential.

The Wednesday Workshop series continues at £4.00 each, again booking is essential. Times are 2.30 pm.
17 October: Parish records
21 November: Southwell Minster Archives (note start time is 2.45 pm)
16 January: Sources for the Civil War in Nottinghamshire.

Archive Skills Workshops are also available at £4.00 with essential booking:

12 October: The Old Streets of Nottingham
16 November: Wikipedia Workshop.

For full details of these and other events contact the Archives.


There are special events to be held at various libraries including Angel Row, Aspley, Bilborough, Sherwood, Clifton, Bulwell and Basford. Some of these look very interesting and relevant to Local Historians, for example:

Saturday, 8 September at Central Library: Survival of Victorian Nottingham, 2.15 pm, free entry.
Thursday, 20 September at Sherwood Library: A Victorian Time Capsule, 10.00 am, free entry.
Thursday, 4 October at Clifton Library: The Laxton Court Leet and Jury, 10.30 am, free entry.
Tuesday, 9 October at Basford Library: Laxton – England’s Last Open Field Farming Village, 10.30 am, free entry.
Thursday, 18 October at Sherwood Library: Picture the Past, 10 am, free entry.
Thursdays 1 and 15 November at Clifton (10.30 am) and Sherwood (10 am) Libraries respectively: Sir Ralph Epperstone – The Medieval Physician, free entry.
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 at Central Library: Building and Place Workshop, 10 am to 4 pm, £15.00.

These are only a selection of what is being offered; for full details contact local libraries or visit the website of the Library and Information Service.