Black Boy Hotel exhibition

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Demolished in 1970 after Littlewoods bought the hotel in 1964, the hotel was designed by Watson Fothergill and opened in 1897.
People testify to how beautiful and splendid it was with the slightest prompt.
An exhibition is on at Nottingham’s Industrial Museum at Wollaton Hall until the end of August and the highlight is a special model of the building as it was in the ’60s.
Displays tell the history of the hotel, including it being named after King Charles II, who had long black hair.

Selma and Pentrich

I missed Selma on its release (and have only just seen it on BBC 2 tv).  The film brings some stunning moments from the past to life – of government spying & brutality, of racism, of fear, of defiance.
Some controversy over the portrayal of President Johnson’s politics and actions – a shame the film couldn’t be more positive about him.
Still the big story – people denied political rights, people putting themselves at some risk from government sides and brutality.
Similar to the Hampden clubs / Luddites of 200 years ago who started marches on London, including the one from the industrial villages in Derbyshire such as Pentrich, who marched 200 years ago this June.
There would have been the same discussions over the problems life presents, how they have no power to get things changed, and how the actions they might be taking will be dangerous.  Even discussions when they’d realised they were being spied upon.
There are limits to the parallels.  Unlike the Southern Christrian Leadership Confrence, the rebels from 200 years ago were not non-violent, although their weapons were basic and not significant enough to make them do anything but run when they saw government forces ahead.
There are books and plays on the movements of the day – but not films.  Just don’t give such a movie to Mel Gibson.

International Women’s Day – 2017

C6aU6gDXQAEYVNOA tweet from Nottingham Library Services to tell us of Nottingham City’s first woman Councillor – Caroline Harper, whose obituary in the Nottingham Evening Post has been found from the online newspaper archive.
The tweet – ‘“Nottingham’s Pioneer Woman” who died in 1937: first female City Cllr, first female , first female Magistrate
I know the current residents of the house in Lucknow Avenue and they report –
“Surprisingly, we had not heard of the lady.
“An earlier resident here was the popular Town Clerk from 1912 to 1937 Sir William John Board OBE and his family; and

I have some info on him (was he known as Bill Board?).
“He died in 1946 and Lady Board in 1947, both aged 77.
“The City Engineer Brown, whose works included the Victoria Embankment and Wilford Bridge, lived next door.”
More anon.

Meanwhile, should not leave this topic without mentioning the first woman leader of the city council – Betty Higgins.

The Dilettante Society published an article on Nottingham suffragette Helen Watts via Left Lion.

17202721_954766740280_5698338505358977230_nMeanwhile, Gedling Borough Councillor Roxanne Ellis was part of a launch of a quilt commemorating the 598 women killed between 2009 and 2015, which was unveiled at the Houses of Parliament.
(From memory), one of the victims was from my home village, Hanwoodbank (in Salop).

Professor Peter Mansfield

Advances in technology can improve our lives.
Can improve our city.
Can make our city.
Give our city an identty.

The mechanisation of the production of lace (including lace curtains 170 years ago, John Livesay, 1846), here in Nottingham, gave us wealth and an identity.

The printing press – meant the Tales of Robin Hood are now and forever will be about Nottingham.

These centuries old tales remain today.
But for what else will Nottingham become known for?

Beyond mass production of pure and available medicines,
Beyond Ibuprofen,
Body scanning, the technology that allows us to see into the body without invading the body.
That first image of its inventor’s abdomen.
A wonder that would have been impossible to envisage at the time of Jesse Boot in 1877, or even Stewart Adams in 1961.

Professor Peter Mansfield was buried today.
His drive, knowledge and skill created something that allows our lives to be extended and improved.
And it happened here in Nottingham.
And just maybe we’ll be known as much for that as lace in 170 years time, 140 years time, or even 56 years time.

It is why, as a city, we should be so grateful as we acknowledge his life and achievements.

Nottingham Through the Ages DVD

nottingham-through-the-ages-51g2mw1sb1l Some interesting clips, including the Lace manufacturing machines and the Royal Ordnance Factory in The Meadows.
From a 2008 video, still available on the internet, although I got it from a bucket shop for £2.50 a while ago. There’s always value from watching another version of Nottingham’s history.
The video changes gear halfway through as it switches from talking heads and narration to a compilation of clips from movietone style films of royal visits to Nottingham and sporting events.

Vibrant.  Queen of Midlands; named after Snot, no-one knows why name was changed! [Yeah we, do.] Just above water meadows! River Trent has been a route for trade since Iron Age.  Sandstone cliff, above flood level, Sherwood Forest for supply of timber and game. Danes in 867, despite King from Wessex trying to push them out, for one hundred years.  Danelaw.  Gates everywhere and means street.  Commanding spot – William the Conqueror builds a castle.  227 houses.  Divided city – great wall until 1713.  2 boroughs elected own Sheriff until 1835.  Robin Hood – prob just a simple folk tale.  Major Oak of Edwinstowe.   Robin Hood  name does occur in court records, but stories start and are embellished.  Statue and plaques.  Olde Trip to Nottingham, with caves use of that era.  Brewhouse Yard.  Booze healthier than the water.  Mortimer’s Hole.  Bumped of Edward II.  Queen Isabella.  Spent a lot of time at castle.  Edward III sent supporters to capture them.  Then people lived in caves.  Ter-woo-wah ker-bow.   Crude tanning.  Bunter sandstone, easily dug into. Place of caves.  Over 400 known cave systems.  Guilds – fletcher meat, fisher fish, xxx fur (check).  River Leen.Lister dyers.  Wool merchant Thurland. 16 22 August 1642.  Standard Hill. Townspeople when he went and Nottingham was for Parliament with renewed fortifications.  After war, city forefathers decided to demolish castle.  Duke of Newcastle wanted a modern palace.  1831 – set fire and gutted.  Stayed as a shell. Duke compensated by Parliament, but deliberated left.  Renovated and now a museum.  a pleasant town.  Most impressive palace is Wollaton Hall, Elizabethan and paid for by coal.  1588, same year as armada.  House around a hall.  7 miles brick wall, 7 men took 7 years.  Small town until industrial revolution, fuelled by nearby coal and 1796 canal with Derby and managed river Trent – canal made a tremendous difference.  1 ton pulled by 4 horses instead of 50 tons by 1 horse. Local invention of Nottingham frame in 1589, but not properly used until Heathcoat and then Levers for mass production.  Lace.  Steam powered 130 factories in the Lace Market.  Boom.  Big urban growth and then slums developed.  From 10,000 to 89,000.  Frequent riots. Demand for stockings dropped at same time of 3 years of poor harvests.  Luddites with another secret leader.  Luddites developed into Chartists.  October 8th.  Cholera in 1840.  New waterworks.  Enclosure Act for new housing.  William Booth acted cos of the witnessed poverty.  Late 19th century – Raleigh, Boots, pure and cheap, Player tobacco factory in Broadmarsh selling fags in packets.  City in 1897 250,000 people.  Goose Fair.  Changed from original sales of goods, stocking up for the winter.  Cheese riots.   Trains.  Event moved cis of trams and cars.  Great War. 11,000 killed.  Zeppelin attack.  Albert Ball VC, national hero, shot down 43 planes.  Then bleakness of depression – 1 in 10 out of work.  Low wages.  Firms attracted by perception of supply of skilled workforce.  1929 – The Council House.  WWII – 228 air raids with 200 killed on one night.  Royal Ordnance Factory in The Meadows built 3.7 anti-aircraft guns.  Movietone films that picked up on royal visits, including trade fair, modern Calverton colliery, Holme sluices, Royal agricultural show at Wollaton Park, checking out lace.  Race riots, but first black JP and Sheriff.  Garfield Sobers and Viv Anderson  Sporting achievements with grounds all close to each other.  County. Trent Bridge.  Ashes test.  Boxing (Reg King).  Forest and European Cups.  Brian Clough.  Holme Pierrepoint.  Nottingham racecourse.  Lively city – arts and entertainment.  Theatre Royal, royal centre, playhouse, Arena (Panthers ).  Victoria and Broadmarsh shopping centres – 4th best shopping in 2008.  Paul Smith. Great social scene.  Future is good.  Finish on Millennium fireworks.

Church (Rock) Cemetery

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HUGE crosses, stone angels standing blind and silent, weathered markers for the rich and famous, the poor and downtrodden … ” – Nottingham Post.
Rock Cemetery has to be my favorite Cemetery of all. Its combination of its history, the fantastic graves, obelisks, plaques and busts. This is all combined with its sandstone cave setting.” – Nottingham Hidden History Team.
A cemetery laid out by Edwin Patchitt for the Church Cemetery Company and opened in 1856.” – Historic England.
Visited in bright, low, midday Winter sunshine.