1872, December, 3rd: New Junior School for Strelley

Strelley, December 3rd 1872

I have to take John to his new school today as he is starting the new school in Strelley village built by the squire.


The new Strelley School- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

As I was crossing from the School to the reading room I got chatting to Albert Clay. He told me a place where you could go to be by yourself or with a friend, this made me very curious.

I am told the new school looks very dark inside but am informed it is a vast improvement on what was available before.


Interior of Strelley School- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.


School Master’s House- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

The Masters house adjoins the School building.


Article originally published by Peter Woodward of My Broxtowe Hundred Journal Website. 

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1850, April, 16th: A rest day and walk through the Squires fields at Strelley

Strelley, April 16th 1850

It is Sunday and a day of rest. The day is ideal for photography. Taking my trusty camera and saddling my horse, off I go looking on my photographic adventure. 


The Squires House- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

While walking I meet the woodsman George Garment. We got chatting about the families who lived at the Manor and had been Lords of the Manor of Strelley.

We came to the conclusion that in the past 900 years there had only been two occupants of the hall the Strelley’s and the Edge’s.


The Squires House- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

Nine members of the Strelley Family have been made Knights of the shire.

The Edge family has had its share of official appointment’s, Alderman, Town Clerk and Lord Mayor.


View from the Church gate- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

This picture was taken while I was talking to the vicar, at the front gate of the church, just after morning service.


Article originally published by Peter Woodward of My Broxtowe Hundred Journal Website. 

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1844, Strelley, 1st: The new infants school for Strelley village

Strelley, May 9th 1840

A beautiful morning the birds are singing and the sun is bright. A day out with the wife and the camera.


Before the construction of the Infants School- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

While walking through the village this morning there seems to be a lot of activity around Grange cottage. On asking the workers what they were doing they replied building a school.


After the building was finished- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

The Grange Cottage use to be the servants house for the Grange which was the large Building next door.


Grange Cottage as it is To day- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

Here we see the cottage in summer in all its glory. With floral attributes everywhere, even to the lovely wisteria with blooms like bunches of grapes.



Article originally published by Peter Woodward of My Broxtowe Hundred Journal Website. 

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1831, March 10th,: Thomas shows of his breed of Pointers

Strelley, March 10th 1831

Early one morning in spring Mr Edge ask me to take his favourite dog “Nelson” out for some exercise through the fields. His time would be taken up by some gentlemen who wanted to purchase some of his puppies from his well known strain.


Liver and White “Nelson”

Thomas Edge (b 1788-d 1844) was well known in the canine circles, his breed of Gun Dog “The Pointer” was of renown all over Britian. One of the characteristics of the Edge strain was that all the progeny were liver, white and ticked. Many of them being endowed with golden or bronze shading on the cheeks.

The liver was a very deep brown, and the fleck in the white were sharp. Other colours like lemon and white and Black and White were unknown at this stud or any descendents of the Edge Bloodline. ” Mr Edge had his breed for about forty-two years. Those who held to the breed as contemporaries with him and after his death in 1843, got stock in there kennels that very much resembled the original Spanish Pointer.


Liver & White Pointer

On October 1st 1844, there was another epoch-making sale at the death of Mr Thomas Webb Edge of Strelley Hall. The bloodline being near identical with the Hopton breed. Mr Edge was closely connected with Mr Gell, Mr Hurt, Mr Holden and George Moore, all of whom were Pointer lovers and would figure in each others pedigrees. Lords Henry and George Bentinck refreshed there kennel by the acquisition of the famous five year old stud dog “Rake” and two brace of puppies. With these Lord Henry achieved remarkable results.

Taken from (The Kennel Gazette March 1885).

Article originally published by Peter Woodward of My Broxtowe Hundred Journal Website. 

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1830, September 15th: Thomas Woodwards Walk Through Strelley Village

Strelley, September 15th 1830

Thomas and I with my future wife Mary (Bostock) were walking through the local villages this lovely Autumn day.  We started at home in Trowell and had a leisurly walk to Cossall then on to the northern end of the large Strelley Estate where Thomas (Woodward) used to live.  As we passed Strelley park farm, we find Samual Richards and his family.  It has been said by two local people that Strelley park farm supplied milk to Nuthall Temple to clean the white marble!  Also living in old cottages that are ajacent to the farm was Samual Kirk, John Severn and Thomas Ellis.  These people usually worked on the farm as labourers.  These cottages you can see on the map date to 1830. Shown is a row of cottages or some sort of dwellings not far from the farmhouse.  A woman called Grace Soar lived here.  She was probably the aunt of Samual Richards.  Was she a spinster or the widow of Edward Soar?


One of the Estate Farms- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

According to an ex  collier from Ilkeston which is not far away and well within walking distance, this old collier has worked in all the local pits.  He said that “Ilkeston, Strelley are Cossall were all part of the same linked complex”.

Early mining in the Strelley and Babbington areas were done by Barber / Walker, who used to own Robbinetts Farm, but by 1807 their leases had ran out.  By 1830 a new company called Wakefield & Company owned by Thomas North, owned the mine aadjacentto Park Farm.  It was called Strelley pit.  They were also prominent in Babbington and Cinderhill.  These are all places where most of the menfolk worked.


End, Middle, Nether cottages- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

Travelling on meeting parishioners between Spring Wood and Oak Wood we meet Job Severn, the farmer of Turkey Field farm. This used to have a pit next to it called Turkey pit.   Stephen Blighton (Oldmoor farm) next to Oak Wood, and near to Oldmoor there is John Hopkin.

Now walking towards Kimberley we are now on the north east side of Spring Wood, said to be an old part of Sherwood Forest, when it stretched and covered most of Nottinghamshire.  On the east side of Spring Wood we find John Martin, Mrs White and Matthew Watkinson.  As we continue down the east side of Spring Wood there are more dwellings occupied by Isaac Day, Thomas Pearson, Robert Widdowson, Charles Watkinson and Joseph Chambers.

As we are passing the Estate Farm called Home Close Farm we meet Mark Audinwood who farms this land for the Squire.  Next is Quarry House which is the estate managers house.


Motts Corner- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

Traveling further down the road we meet more residents.  There are several to meet, all living in separate cottages.  John Raynor living in Raynor Close, Nicolas Raynor, Thomas Taylor (who was the miller), James Oakes (farmer) and James Passey.

In Strelley Hall we find the Squire Thomas Webb Edge and his family.  Across the road in the Parsonage (Rectory Farm) the son of the Squire, the Rev John Webb Edge and family.  We walk on to meet William Atkinson, Mary Stevenson, Richard Roulston, William Blunstone (farmer), John Webster, William Lacey, John Woodhouse (farmer).


Quarry House and pond- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

William Dodsley (curate at the church), Martin Kirk, Mary Charlton, William Faulconbridge (who went on to be the postmaster of the village), William Stevens, Vincent or Violet Kird, William Oldershaw, (landlord of Broard Oak also farmer), Thomas Harriman, Ruth Raynor, Robert Kirk, Samual Stevenson and Ann Stevenson.  Last but not least we meet John Sisson and brother Samual Sisson.  As we look through the surnames there are three that have been in the parish for many years, i.e: Raynor, Stevenson and Kirk.  The name Raynor (Reyner) seems to have been the longest recorded name in the village. The first mention of the name being in the parish registers in the 16th century.


Golder House- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

On leaving Strelley to return home we took the Old Coach Road to Wollaton by Catstone Hill Farm. We pass the place where they used to dig the sand stone, then taking the old Trowell turnpike back to Trowell, we pass the church of St. Helen and Church Farm to home.

Over the span of 400 years in Strelley village it has not altered. Rules laid down by the Edge family had to be adhered to. In recent years there has been a agreement issued by Broxtowe Borough Council that keeps the building and altering it down to a bare minimum.


Article originally published by Peter Woodward of My Broxtowe Hundred Journal Website. 


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1689, Warwickshire: The start of the Edge family Dinesty

Ralph Edge 1689–1766

Ralph Edge, son of Richard Conway and Rebecca Buxton, was born on 24 August 1689 in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. He was baptised on 5 September 1689 in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. He died on 26 October 1766 in Strelley, Nottinghamshire and was buried on 30 October 1766 in Strelley, Nottinghamshire.

Ralph married Elizabeth Wright, daughter of Peter Wright and Ruth More, on 5 August 1714 in St Mary’s Church, Nottingham,. Elizabeth was baptised on 29 March 1693 in St Mary’s Church, Nottingham. She died on 18 Feb 1715 in Strelley, Nottinghamshire  and was buried on 21 February 1715 in Strelley, Nottinghamshire.

Ralph next married Jane Saunders. Jane was born in January 1695. He died on 25 September 1754 in Strelley, Nottinghamshire, and was buried on 29 September 1754 in Strelley, Nottinghamshire.

Jane Saunders, daughter of William Saunders and Living, was born in January 1695, died on 25 Septemver 1754 in Strelley, Nottinghamshire. She was buried on 29 September 1754 in Strelley, Nottinghamshire.


i. Mary Edge (died before 1727)Margaret Edge (born on 8 Jun 1722 in Strelley, NTT
- died on 26 Dec 1771 in Sherborne, WAR)
Jane Edge (born on 31 Jan 1725 in Strelley, NTT)

. Mary Edge (born on 29 Apr 1727 in Strelley, NTT)


Article originally published by Peter Woodward of My Broxtowe Hundred Journal Website. 

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A November Custom For whom the bell tolls..Newark’s Gopher Ringing

by Ross Parish 

At the beginning of November I was privileged to both listen in and witness the last ringing of the Gopher ringing in 2014. Anyone who has lived in Newark and or those who have been in the town at dusk in October and early November on a Sunday evening will have heard the peel of Mary Magdalene’s church…but I wonder how many would have known why.

Newark is not unique in having an established annual ringing, often called ‘lost in the dark’ bells. In this case they are wrung from the twelfth Sunday before Christmas and then six Sundays after at between 5 and 6 pm.

At Newark it is called the Ringing the Gopher Bells. It has been broadcast on national radio in 1936 and featured on School’s Radio in the 1980s. The name is a curious one. It is believed to derive from a Dutch or Flemish merchant some say engineer. The story relates that he was crossing the marshes around Kelham, which at this time of year were well known for the mists which swirled around the Trent. As a consequence he became lost and strayed from the same route…and soon his horse fell into the marshes and began to get stuck. Fearing that his fate would either be the same or else murdered by robbers, he prayed for help. Then across the mists he heard the muffled sounds of Newark Parish church and his deliverance. Hearing the bells ringing for Evensong enabled him to find his direction and he arrived in Newark safe and relieved. Local tradition states that he provided money for the annual ringing before Evensong ever since.

The date and original benefactor have been disputed over time as any physical evidence has been lost. There are no papers, no benefactor board. We are unclear where it was money or land he gave. However, it was known that Flemish merchants did live in the town and research in Belgium has revealed evidence of the possible benefactor. Interestingly for although there has for over 60 years been an annual bell ringers’ feast which has toasted Gopher the meal again is not directly linked to the bequest.

In the History of Newark by Cornelius Brown does indeed mention names and trading associations in the city and notes the importance of Flanders as a trade route, often in exporting wool to Ghent and Bruge.

Indeed, research by Brenda Pask in Bruges has revealed a document recording the presence of a Janne Goffrays, an Englishman trading in Bruges in 1371 with Flemish merchants. Although, the fact he was an Englishman may be at odds to the story his location, name and associations suggest he may be the founder.  His trading association is not known and he may have been an engineer involved in dykes. More importantly the date is plausible because it is known that there was a spire which could hold a peel of such bells at that date. But perhaps we shall never know.

Apparently, with the exception of the Second World War when all bells were silenced, it has been rung ever since the mid Nineteenth Century and probably ever since the late 1300s but again there are no clear records. It is easy to understand why this tradition continues if the present team are anything like previous – a dedicated group of seven enthusiasts who really enjoy and appreciate the opportunity. Organised by Mr John Raithby, the son of the Captain from the 1936 broadcast, a tradition within a tradition perhaps, his enthusiasm and pride is clearly evident.  They certainly are put through their paces and watching was tiring enough. Mind you I would add it did look quite enjoyable and good for keeping fit – so if you do want to loose a few pounds get trim and preserve heritage they would love to hear from you – they do have bells free to ring! Then as Evensong arrived the bells were let down tied up and the final cross chalked on the board…over for another year. 


Photo Credit: RB Parish


Photo Credit: RB Parish


Photo Credit: RB Parish


Many thanks to Mr. David Owen-Wilson and Mr. John Raithby and his team

Extracted and amended from the forthcoming book

A Nottinghamshire calendar by R.B. Parish

Why not follow:


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