News for Winter 2005

Mr Neville Hoskins (1925-2005)

Mr Neville Hoskins (1925-2005)

On behalf of Council, I regret to announce that Mr Neville Hoskins, President of the Thoroton Society, died on New Year's Eve 2005, his 80th birthday. Neville joined the Society around 1960, having previously been active in the Peverel Archaeological Group. He had been a member of Council since 1977, and President since the AGM in 2001. He was also active in the Nottingham Civic Society, which he joined in 1985, the Nottinghamshire Building Preservation Society, the Nottinghamshire Local History Association, and many other groups. He was a long standing member of the Southwell Diocesan Advisory Committee, and a director of Bromley House Library. He will be much missed at Thoroton lectures, at the Annual General Meeting and the Annual Lunch.

We extend our condolences at this sad time to Ann Hoskins, and to Neville's son David, who is a member of Thoroton Council, and daughter Sarah.

Neville's funeral will take place at Bramcote Crematorium, on 11 January 2006, at 1 p.m. Members of the Society are invited to attend.

Almost everyone in the Society knows Neville, and the officers thought it right that we should circulate the membership with this information in advance of the first lecture of 2006, which is at the new venue, the Nottingham Mechanics, on 14 January at 2.45 p.m. A full obituary will appear at a later date.

In Brief

The Blue Plaque Scheme, which will be well known to anyone who walks through London, is gradually being extended to cover the rest of England, and was rolled out in the East Midlands this year. English Heritage is looking to commemorate local people of national or inter-national importance, in their local context, and aims to work in partnership with local and regional groups. For further information regarding the Scheme, and the criteria for English Heritage plaques, see Thoroton Society's website at this address: uk/Thoroton_ Society/whatsnew/blueplaques.htm.

Dorothy Ritchie and Mandy Hodgson of the Local Studies Library at Angel Row have recently been involved in the reprinting of four 19th-century engravings of Nottingham. These are available for sale in all city libraries, and can also be ordered through Angel Row Library's website at

The prints are available in two sets, each priced £2.50:

Set 1: Nottingham from the North Road, 1813; Wollaton Hall from the River Trent, 1812 Set 2: Nottingham Market Place, 1836; Nottingham Park, 1837.

Mr Trevor Clayton

The officers also wish to record the death on 30 December 2005 of Mr Trevor Clayton, whose wife Sue Clayton will be known to many members through her talks to local history societies and other groups. Trevor Clayton had been working with the officers on a new 'look' for the Society, and his lasting memorial will be the newly designed cover of Transactions when they are published at the 2006 Annual General Meeting. A memorial service will be held at Flintham Church on Monday 9 January at 12.45.

Professor John Beckett, Chairman of the Council

Change of venue for Thoroton Society lectures

With the December 2005 lecture, the Thoroton Society will bring to an end a long association with the YMCA as our lecture venue. The building will be redeveloped during 2006, and the lecture hall will disappear. We will be moving around the corner to the Nottingham Mechanics on North Sherwood Street. Although the Nottingham Mechanics was established in 1837, the current building dates from 2003, and the facilities will, we believe, prove to be excellent for future Thoroton events. We are grateful to our Programme Secretary, Leslie Cram, and to Council members Peter Reddish and Bob Creates for all their hard work in arranging the transfer. Details of our Spring Lecture Programme for next year can be found on page 2 - but remember to go to the NOTTINGHAM MECHANICS (and not to the YMCA), for our usual 2.45pm start. To find the Nottingham Mechanics, imagine you are leaving the YMCA, turn right, walk along to the traffic lights at North Sherwood Street, then turn right, and it is on your left-hand side more or less immediately.


The seemingly never-ending saga of what happens next at Laxton took a turn for the better when the trustees of the Visitors' Centre met with Chris Bourchier, the Crown Estate's Director of Rural Estates, on 21 October 2005. Mr Bourchier assured the trustees that the Crown Estate wished to see the open field system conserved for future generations, and would do what it could to maintain the integrity of the village. As a sign of goodwill on the part of the Crown Estate, he made a generous offer to fund improved disability access to the Visitors' Centre, and asked the village farmers if they would come up with proposals as to how the Crown might help them with their work. Since five of the farmers, and one of the small holders, were at the meeting, they had reason to go away with some reassurance, in what everyone acknowledged were difficult days for agriculture. John Beckett

Electronic resources

Volume 2 of the Victoria County History for Nottinghamshire is now available online. It contains accounts of all the religious houses, friaries and medieval hospitals in the county. Although written in 1910, it still has a good deal of useful information worth consulting - see

The Thoroton Society's own Heritage Gateway continues to receive a good press. Local History News, the newsletter of the British Association for Local History, commented in its Summer 2005 edition that "The Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire maintains and develops the Nottinghamshire Heritage Gateway on its website. The aim is to provide a guide to heritage resources to help researchers, to give access to appropriate websites and introduce relevant sources, and also to publish online an authoritative history of Nottinghamshire. Arranged by Research Pathways - ie topics - the site is clear, easy to navigate, and informative. And it is continually growing as more material is added. Ideally websites like this should be available throughout the country": check it out at

The future of Sherwood

The future of Sherwood was the theme of a one-day conference held on 20 September at Thoresby Riding School, and organized by the Sherwood Advisory Group and Nottinghamshire County Council. Paddy Tipping, MP, gave the keynote address, followed by presentations from key players, including members of the Forestry Commission, English Nature, East Midlands Regional Assembly and Notts. County Council. Delegates included representatives of these bodies plus the National Trust, CPRE, local history societies, and the Thoroton Society.

The conference looked at the protection and management over the next 50 years of various characteristic Sherwood habitats, which by 2055 should, it is hoped, cover at least 95% of their 1835 range (as illustrated by George Sanderson's map).

Although a good deal of the conference concentrated on the natural environment, the proposed Regional Park status for the Sherwood area has implications for the future protection of what was once a medieval Royal forest, with tourism, education and recreational opportunities all being set to increase.

The ultimate aim is to ensure that Sherwood Forest's unique heritage is conserved and enhanced for the benefit of everyone, before it is passed on safely for the pleasure and inspiration of future generations. Philip Jones


Derbyshire County Council's Record Office is the archive office for the county of Derbyshire, city of Derby and the diocese of Derby, holding four miles of original documents. It is legally appointed to hold and make available to the public archives of all types - official, ecclesiastical, business, family, society, school, hospital, industrial, etc - of Derbyshire origin, from the Middle Ages to the present.

The Search Room is open free of charge to members of the public who have registered as users, at the following times: 9.30am-4.45pm Monday to Friday; 9am-12.30pm one Saturday each month (please contact for specific dates). If you wish to look at microform material, you will need to book a reader in advance; email or tel 01629 585347. Check out their website at