As the new hub of Nottingham College is being designed for the Narrowmarsh, I have claimed how this was a kind of “education coming home” as Sussex Street hosted the first Operatives’ Library in the city in the 19th Century in the Rencliffe Arms.
It’s possible that my melodramatic claim for it being the first working class library in the world may not be sustainable.
Our Local Studies Library reports – “According to “The Operatives Libraries of Nottingham: A radical community’s own initiative” by Peter Hoare which has been my main source of information there were at least 12 operative libraries mainly based in public houses in working class areas. … Operative[s] libraries were formed partly to enable the working class to access books on political and religious matters that were not available through other types of libraries.
Please find attached a scan from Peter Hoare’s work. It would suggest that the first operative library was based in the Rancliffe Arms in Sussex Street and was founded in August 1835 by W. Brooksbank . The reference to John Blackner is interesting as we hold copies of his “History of Nottingham” from 1815 in the library.”
Note, planning permission has been granted for a new highway linking Cliff Road and Canal Street at the site of Popham Court, Popham Street (16/00090/PFUL3).
The development will result in the construction of a new street that will need to be formally named by the Council. The road in question is unofficially referred to as ‘New Popham Street’ as it will be built to replace Popham Street ready for the development of the new college on the land that is currently being used as a temporary car park for the Broadmarsh. The construction of the new road is scheduled to be completed in April 2018.
Telling the story of a war that figured so heavily in the news broadcasts of my childhood.
The war kinda feels other worldly in an era in which opposition forces are taken out by drones.
The TV documentary series by WETA-TV and Florintene Films is compelling. You learn so much. (Note, it cost $30 million to make.)
The piece on the memorial was just one of the special pieces.
Ditto, the napalm attack that caught innocent children.
The point blank execution on camera of a Viet Cong agent during the Tet offensive.
A reminder that the North Vietnamese communists could be cruel too.
John Kerry’s testimony on Capitol Hill.
(It’s possible that bits were missed out – e.g. peace initiatives in the early sixties. Possbilby a tad harsh on the new regine given what they followed, and that they were to throw out the Khmer Rouge.)
So much to take in, but just one excerpt especially pertinent to today …
Episode 5 showed John McCain being interviewed by a French journalist having been shot down in Vietnam, ejected too low from a plane out of control, broken 3 limbs and having them reset without painkillers.
In the interview, his voice is trembling. He was interviewed because he was the son of a US General in charge of their military in Europe.
He was beaten up afterwards, because he had not been grateful enough to his captors on film.
Years later, he was to be ridiculed, told heroes don’t let themselves be captured and only recently, mocked cos of the physical symptoms he has as he is fighting cancer.
America, get a grip.
On the centenary of his death, a shop front on Mansfield Road where Herbert Kilpin was born was dedicated to the Nottingham lace worker and footballer who founded AC Milan.
In the evening, a documentary “Lord of Milan” was released.
And from that film it’s clear that AC Milan wear red and black stripes, cos that what Herbert wore when he played for Notts Olympic.
Celebrating the catholic church that had first been built in The Narrowmarsh just by London Road island, and then built anew in The Meadows just off Robin Hood Way, the Bishop attended a special service and blessed a celtic-style cross that had been fashioned out of the fallen lime tress from Queens Walk.
Featured is resident and former work colleague, Mary Brown, and some of her family, her son having made the cross.
Nottingham’s twin city is celebrating the 950th anniversary of its formal beginning.
One concert told the city’s stories, including celebrating the iconic bison that still living in the forests that surround the city.
What would Nottingham’s stories be?
A place of caves; by-passed by the Romans; founded by a Saxon chief; made an important borough by the Vikings; made so important by the castle built by the Normans; a seige of the castle; supporting the crusades, the city symbol and a taste for saffron; the stories of Robin Hood becoming about Nottingham castle at the time of the printing press; deposing of a queen in the castle; Goose Fair; a palace and a garden city, with caves used for brewing; French and Germans fleeing religious persecution bringing knowledge of lace; not supporting the king in the civil war, even if he tried to raise his standard here; resisting Royalist seige of the castle; embracing tolerance post the civil war; the Quakers starting from a protest in St.Mary’s; industrialisation; textiles and lace; wealth in the good times, slums in the bad times, and riots – “Bannertown”; campaigns for proper jobs, proper wages, proper products and the vote; the Pentrich march, burning the palace at the castle, and the Battle of Mapperley Hills; canals and caves for chemical “engineering”; clean water plants; Empire and wealth through lace; railways and national sports and Notts County & Trent Bridge; expanding the city out of its historic boundaries; art school, the art gallery in the castle; becoming a city and the end of the French and Saxon boroughs; quality pharmaceuticals, soap, cigarettes, bicycles; The Great War; the new housing estates to the north and north-west – gardens back and front; the economic depression and the building of The Council House; the Second World War; a blitz and manufacturing anti-aircraft guns; a new deal – jobs, free health care at the point of need, success for all in schools, better housing (Clifton and slum clearance), social security; cold war and threatened total destruction; the commonwealth and immigration; confronting racism; new democratisation of local government, slum clearances and radical transport policies – “zone and collar”; Europe and twinning; Nottingham Forest and Torvill & Dean; loss of confidence in government programmes, making the market king, globalisation, loss of manufacturing and mass unemployment & deprivation; growth in night life, universities and information technology; bdy scanning and bio-technology; a return to investing in health and education; new jobs and new immigration & multi-culturalism; better buses, light rail transit and asking commuters to pay; world economic crash and slum private landlords …
August 1842 —
On The Thursday (18th), 2,000 resolved in the Market Square not to work until the terms of the Charter were met.
On The Tuesday (23rd), a rally of some 5,000 supporters met on Mapperley Hills Common (most probably the area just south of the GMB offices on Woodborough Road for a rally)..
At 3pm, as they ‘sat down for their dinner’, Dragoons brandishing swords (glittering in the bright sunshine) scattered the rally, arrested 400 and marched them into town. 50 were to end up being punished severely.
The actions of the authorities were mocked, a) by the mocking term of “Battle of Mapperley Hills” (cos the ‘battle was so one-sided – soldiers on horseback with weapons) and b) with a very long poem, published a month later.
(Photos of the poem are available – https://www.flickr.com/photos/154928849@N03/sets/72157687876247666)
I’ve made a 4 minute video (sorry, I didn’t appreciate until I got home how much I was grimacing cos I was concentrating on remembering what to say).
A previous video is a bit rough. With thanks to contributors to Wikipedia for the improved understanding and to the Local Studies Library on Angel Row.
Happy Independence Day, India!
Bit disappointed that the focus of 70th anniversary in some BBC programmes is the partition rather than the end of British colonial rule in the Indian sub-continent.
Even if the canals, irrigation, railways and much else was good for the people, those assets were not mobilised to prevent massive famines; self-rule had to happen.
I saw the news coverage and it took one sentence for the story to become about the killings at partition.
It’s as if the story was – these people couldn’t cope without ‘the calming hand of we British’.
I don’t know enough about what happened, but a lot of people died in the famine of 1943, for which more should have been done; and I’m not clear about to what extent we British didn’t play up tensions between different religious groups in the years before.
So for me, the story should have been – ‘we British should have got out cos it was right and cos we got some things terribly wrong.’
One other thought – if people in the ‘south’ of the USA are tearing down statues representing an oppressive and unjust past, just what should we be doing with statues of people like Clive of India?