Cllr Mohammed Saghir, the Lord Mayor, and workers from a local cheese shop mark the Great Nottingham Cheese Riots that took place 250 years (and 10 days) ago, and which saw the then Mayor bowled over by a barrel-shaped cheese.
This small event is to be covered by the N Post and Notts TV, and featured the workers rolling cheese at the Mayor. Of course, the history is that the Mayor was on the side of those selling the cheese and it was the would-be customers who had stolen cheese they could no longer afford and then used it as a kind of weapon.
But at least this bit of coverage will remind people that an event took place, when people desperate for their future welfare stood up for themselves.
For the forgiving only, a straight-to-camera one-take commemoration of the Great Cheese Riots that took place in Nottingham 250 YEARS AGO TODAY.
Not authorative, so read it up if you want the true story.
I shot the video in Peck Lane.
A narrow lane, running north-south, just east of Exchange Walk, narrow, not particularly used but with a special place in Nottingham’s radical histreh.
Cos the story is that in this narrow lane, the Mayor of Nottingham was said to be bowled over by a barrel-shaped cheese during the first evening of the Great Cheese Riot of 1766.
This seems to be a cause of some hilarity, although Mayors have for some time been elected representatives. It also seems the Mayor was actually knocked over in the open square, which seems a bit more careless on the part of the Mayor.
Today I think a hundredweight of cheese would cost around £330 (based on £2.25 for 350g of extra mature cheddar from the Co-Op; ‘Measuring Worth’ suggests £1.20 then is the equivalent of £150 today, so either my calculations are wrong (very probable), or perhaps we should be having a riot of our own!)
On Thursday, 2nd October 1766 (first day of Goose Fair, then held in the Market Square) it was costing between £1.20 and £1.80 – judged too high by Nottingham residents who’d seen the cheeses being bought by traders from Lincolnshire.
A riot was started in the evening and cheeses were both stolen and rolled along streets as weapons.
After failing to quell the riot, civil authorities called in cavalry and infantry from Derby. There were disturbances in the Friday evening, and shots were fired into the crowds. It’s not clear how many were hurt, but one man died of his injuries (he appears to have been trying to protect cheese from being stolen – a case of death by ‘friendly fire’). Crowds were dispersed, but went out to Trent Bridge to take from a boat laden with cheese.
There were further disturbances on both the Saturday and the Monday.
My notes are based on the pamphlet written by Nottingham Radical History Group.
Whilst checking out where Nottingham victims of the Battle of Jutland lived, I saw old maps at the Local Studies Library, and was surprised to see what is now London Road island, marked as Red Lion Square. But why?
With the help of library staff today, saw this reference card.
A ridiculous attempt to rename the Narrow Marsh!
But why “Red Lion”? Sounds like a pub.
This 1987 clipping said the location of any pub called the “Red Lion” was unknown.
Staff have now reported that they’d found a reference to the Red Lion Inn, Plumptre Square, in an 1835 Trade Directory; Red Lion Street was named after the Inn, which was later demolished. Even when the Red Lion Square existed, locals prefered to refer to Plumptre Square.
Is the notion of “Southside” just a 21st century version of the “Red Lion area”?
With the exception that some take to the Queens Road and Crocus Street neighbourhood not being referred to as The Meadows, I wonder if Westcroft Meadows might ever come back?
From the top of the cliff, reminder of why the Normans built the castle, the extent o the ground and where King Charles raised his standard; how it oversees the river Trent; but the town was actually started by the Saxons, under King Snot, on the other sandstone outcrop that is now the Lace Market.
Local novelist, Alan Dance talking about his historically based novels at Nottingham Central Library, Angel Row.
Having explored stories of the Luddites and Chartists, based on Narrowmarsh and Banner town, his recent book explores the disaster at the Chilwell shell filling factory.
Congratulations to the Nottingham Post on its full page spread on Nottingham’s history in winning the right to vote.
Now let’s use it.