Here are details of our current meetings programme and our newsletter.
Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month, at
The Chilwell Memorial Institute, 129 High Road, Chilwell, Nottingham NG9 4AT
Doors open at 7.15pm and the meetings start at 7.30 pm.
Tea, coffee and biscuits are available at each meeting and Society publications are available to purchase. The hall is equipped with a sound and induction loop system.
The Society arranges public local history displays from time to time including taking part in the Heritage Open Day each year. Future events will be announced on this page.
OUR PROGRAMME OF SPEAKERS
Jul-17 NB Instead of a meeting:- WOLLATON DOVECOTE VISIT
Aug-21 JANINE TANNER NOTTINGHAM ‘S VICTORIA STATION
Sep-18 CHRIS WEIR SECRETS MYSTERIES AND CURIOSITIES OF NOTTINGHAM
Oct-16 AGM Plus JILL OAKLAND - CORDWAINER TO CANADA - A LOCAL BOOTMAKER AND FAMILY
Nov-20 JULIA POWELL DAME LAURA KNIGHT - LONG EATON BORN ARTIST
Dec-18 CHRISTMAS FUDDLE AND QUIZ
AUGUST 2019 NEWSLETTER 35
By Carole White
MAY 15th Meeting:-
NOTTINGHAM CITY HOSPITAL – Speaker - Paul Swift
Paul started his talk by saying, “The road to Baggy, once entered you never came out”. In 1899 a foundation stone was laid for the new workhouse and infirmary on a 64 acre site off Hucknall Road. March 18th 1903 was the official opening of the Bagthorpe Workhouse and Infirmary. By 1909 the word ‘Workhouse’ was dropped following a Royal Commission into the Poor Law and the hospital was then known as The Institute and Infirmary. In 1935 the hospital was re-named The City Hospital.
During the First World War, Bagthorpe Military Hospital, as it became known, received many casualties from the Western Front, via a special railway siding that was located in the hospital grounds. From 1939-45 the hospital received our own wounded soldiers as well as wounded German prisoners of war.
During 1943 the ‘Forces Sweetheart’ Vera Lynn gave an impromptu concert on Lister Two ward. On 11th August 1965 Group Captain Douglas Bader opened the Nottingham School of Physiotherapy.
Further information can be found at www.nottinghamhospitalhistory.co.uk
JUNE 19th Meeting:-
THE GREAT ESCAPE FROM SUTTON BONINGTON
Speaker – John Beckett
In 1915 at a cost of £30,000 an administration block and Kingston Hall were built at Sutton Bonington campus. In 1916 the War Office was in need of a Prisoner of War Camp to place captured German officers. At the time Britain didn’t realise that prisoners of war had to be held by the country that had captured them.
On the 2nd October 1916 the first prisoners of war were admitted. No work was required of the officers and they were all well treated, but the authorities didn’t quite know what to do with them. Captured German personnel came over from Boulogne by boat then train to the camp but were required to wear their German uniforms at all times. Many of them were getting bored of having nothing to do so began to form clubs in the camp like chess, skittles, football, gardening, and even formed a band and theatre groups. Many had no intentions of escaping as the place was so comfortable, but others just couldn’t wait to get out.
There were two aborted tunnel escapes at Sutton before September 1917 but the authorities let them carry on tunneling, it gave them something to do, until it came to the escape day and the prisoners were caught in the act. On the 25th September 1917 at 1a.m. when a Zeppelin raid over Lincolnshire was taking place, the camp alarm was cut and 22 men made their escape, walking by night and resting by day. Travelling in groups of two or four they each had their own route to go, and mapped out to get to the East coast. One prisoner was captured after three hours at Plumtree, some were found picking blackberries and three were captured at Trent Bridge. Only one officer managed to get back to Germany by scaling the barbed wire.
In October 1919 the buildings were re-opened as the Midland Agricultural and Dairy College. A plaque has now been erected in 2019 commemorating the fact that at one time this lovely building held prisoners of war.
13 th JULY BEESTON CARNIVAL
Our display at Broadgate Recreation Ground during Beeston Carnival featured one of our new picture banners and display boards kindly prepared by our hard working archivist Gill. Without our chairman Jill and our band of volunteers we would not be able to put on displays and exhibitions. They are certainly very welcome and very much appreciated by the Society. Luckily the weather was nice and warm and attracted a lot of visitors.
17th JULY Meeting:- VISIT TO WOLLATON DOVECOTE & ST. LEONARD’S CHURCH
We were made really welcome by Angela Gilbert and her volunteers, who joined us in singing Happy Birthday to Dorothy Reus.
The museum held maps, plans and a room set out as a cottage living room besides Tudor costumes and of course, information about the dovecote. Volunteers spoke to us about the Willoughby family, the running of the dovecote and Wollaton’s history. The dovecote was built c1560 for Sir Francis Willoughby of Wollaton Hall (not the one we know today) to keep the family in fresh meat. It is really large for a dovecote and it accommodated hundreds of birds.
Pigeon holes in the thick, brick walls each have an L-shaped nesting box and there were roosting ledges. Eventually the dovecote fell out of use and was converted to a stable in C1700.
We moved to the church where we were welcomed by Malcolm and Mary Stacey. Mary served refreshments and Malcolm talked about four significant aspects of St Leonard’s, the Smythson memorial, the Willoughby memorials with cadavers, the passage through the tower and the Wollaton Antiphonal. Robert Smythson, ‘architect’ of Wollaton Hall (1588), Longleat and Hardwick Hall, has a grand memorial. He died at Wollaton. Wollaton has two memorials with cadavers, which is unusual. Sir Henry Willoughby’s can be seen through the tracery beneath the memorial to himself and his four wives. The church abuts the road and the tower was originally open at the base to allow processions to pass. The arches were bricked up following the reformation and opened again in 1885. In 1970 they were glazed to form an enclosed porch.
The Wollaton antiphonal, acquired in 1460, is the most lavishly illustrated of the twenty or so still surviving in Britain. Unfortunately, it is one of the least well preserved, having spent centuries hidden in Wollaton Hall. It is now preserved in the Manuscripts and Special Collection at the University of Nottingham. There is a digital copy to access in the church.
(Report by Jill Oaklland)
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
HERITAGE OPEN DAY SATURDAY 14th SEPTEMBER 10-4pm
WILL BE HELD AT BARTONS, CHILWELL ROAD, BEESTON.
BOOKS FOR SALE (see also Publications page)
Julia Powell has a new book published called – MEMORIES OF BREASTON, DRAYCOTT, SAWLEY & LONG-EATON priced £10.00p
Available from The Society and Heaps on Main Street - Long-Eaton.
Carole White has had a re-print of her book – BEESTON RYLANDS REMEMBERED priced £8.00p available from The Society and The Canalside Heritage Centre, Beeston Locks. NG9-1LZ
P.S. We would all like to send our best wishes to Jill our Chairman on her retirement from work. Hope you now find the time to do the things you have always wanted to do