1899, June, 1st: To Strelley, Used New Camera to Get View of Squire and Hall

Strelley, June 1st 1899

Today, with new camera on-board, have to go over to Spring Wood in Strelley to select the trees for felling for the Squire.


Strelley Hall in 1899, as seen from the South- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

While, there took the opportunity to try my new Henry Clay 4 x 5 Regular Camera and get a fine view of Strelley Hall, built in 1860. The Squire, Thomas L. K. Edge, can be seen in his gig going to Nottingham. Towards the church the Groom and gardener can be seen.


Strelley Church in 1899, as seen from the South- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

Another fine view, taken with the new camera, showing the church and a lad on his fathers cart. Returned home for supper and to develop the rest of my exposed plates, a good day.


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

Posted in Nottinghamshire Suburbs, Strelley | Leave a comment

1898, January, 10th: Our Head Woodsman, View of the Cottage and George

Strelley, January 10th 1898

I have just had a story told to me about our head woodsman George Garment. George was born in Wilford in 1860 and used to work on the Strelley Estate. He worked as head Woodsman and while working in Strelley he meet his wife to be May Tyres.


George, Ted Pinchin, Chumy Bradshaw- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

George used to set off every morning to go to work. But the thing about our George was that he used to walk from Wilford to Strelley do his days work then walk back home again.


Mrs Garment Sr, And Mrs Garment Jr- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

George married May Tyres, a Strelley girl that George meet while working for the squire. Working in Strelley, George got to know all the people living in the old cottages. Tom his son can remember his dad pushing him and his brother around in their pram.


Tom and George- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

The above photo was taken in the back of the Woodmans Cottage. Tom (the younger of the two), and George can both be seen holding two of their baby kittens while “patch” looks on.


A secluded place, c 1940- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

Mrs Garment when they lived in the place called “Woodmans Cottage” ran a small shop selling sweets, cigarettes and some groceries. This was one of the only two shops in the village, the other was on the road to Cossall and was ran by Mrs Moss.

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

Posted in Nottinghamshire Suburbs, Strelley | Leave a comment

Nottingham Street Tales: Drury Hill

by Joe Earp

Drury Hill if it had existed today would have most certainly rivalled York’s very own Shambles as one of the most important and picturesque examples of a medieval thoroughfare. However Drury Hill was not to be and despite many protests the ancient thoroughfare was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the entrance to the then new Broad Marsh Shopping Centre.

Drury Hill, with its narrowness and congestion, and its curious haphazard buildings, gives us a good impression of what medieval Nottingham would have looked like. Drury Hill was 4ft 10 inches wide at its narrowest point and signs had to be posted to alert traffic to this hazard. Drury Hill was so narrow that it was said that at its narrowest people from the two adjacent buildings could reach over and join hands.


Drury Hill, Nottingham, circa 1906- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.


Drury Hill, Nottingham, circa 1906. This photo shows how really narrow the thoroughfare was in places- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

Drury Hill was part of the town’s old mediaeval business thoroughfare through Nottingham which, came down Narrow Marsh and passed north along Bridlesmith Gate. Although very steep, the gradient of Drury Hill was comparatively slack when compared with either Long Stairs, Malin Hill or the Hollowstone of its day. To get a good impression of how steep Drury Hill was it is worth going through the entrance of the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre (just off Lower Pavement) and going down the escalator. By going down the escalator you really get feeling of how steep and narrow this medieval thoroughfare actually was. It is however, very hard to picture all of the old medieval buildings which were once there compared to the modern shopping centre.

The old name for Drury Hill was Vault Lane, which became Parkyn Lane. It was probably named after some member of the Parkyn family of Bunny who lived there. It eventually changed its name to Drury Hill in about 1620. The Drury to which the name refers was a certain Alderman Drury, who was something of a figure in Nottingham in the days of King Charles I. He bought the house which faced Low Pavement and which occupied the site of numbers 2 and 4 Low Pavement and under which are enormous rock hewn cellars or vaults with a fascinating history, which gave the name of “Vault” to the Lane.

Drury Hill must have been a very important route in its heyday, for when the town was fortified in Henry II’s. time provision for a gateway, which Thoroton refers to as a postern, was made on the summit.. J Holland Walker (1926) comments “I don’t think that this postern is a postern in the ordinary acceptance of the term as just a mere undefended opening in the wall. It is shown in Speed’s map as a little, square tower through which the road passed and it was probably defended by gates and a portcullis. It appears to have been pulled down in 1735, but a portion of it was left standing, for Deering in 1745, refers to it as being partially standing in his day. It was protected by a gatehouse which was on the site later occupied by the Postern Gate Inn, or the Bull’s Head as it was earlier called. In making alterations to this inn in 1875 a portion of the old gatehouse was exposed and when the inn was pulled down in 1910 a sharp look-out was kept and the ground plan of the ancient building was recovered and details of it were published by Mr. Dobson in 1912. It appears to have been a roughly squared building 17ft. by 19ft”.

To show how ‘ancient’ Drury Hill must have been we found a postcard in our collection which is of Drury Hill, Nottingham, G Hodgson, dated 1904. The picture on the postcard shows ‘Old property at the bottom of Drury Hill, Nottingham, c 1890’s’ (see photo attached). The message on the back of the postcard reads: “How do you like the picture on the other side, looks a bit ancient does it not?”. If Drury Hill was described as looking ancient by someone in 1904, it just shows how old some of the buildings along there must have been!


Drury Hill, Nottingham, G Hodgson, dated 1904- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.


Message on the back of the postcard dated 1904 describing Drury Hill as looking ancient: Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.

We all know what eventually happened to Drury Hill, which was the eventual demolishing of one of Nottingham’s oldest thoroughfares. The demolishing of it caused a lot of anger back in the day, anger which can still be felt today among a lot of local residents and visitors to Nottingham. The only object left today which marks the site of Drury Hill is the original road sign which can still be seen on the wall to the right of the entrance to the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre (see photo). We can only speculate today what Drury Hill would have been like if it was left alone. Perhaps it would have been one of Nottingham’s most popular shopping streets on equal level to the Shambles in York. Or perhaps it could have been incorporated into a living history museum, very similar to something like Beamish in Northumberland?


The only object left today marking where Drury Hill once was- Photo Credit: Joe Earp, Nottingham Hidden History Team.

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A Nottinghamshire calendar – Shrove Tuesday in Nottinghamshire

by Ross Parishshrove-tuesday

Shrove Tuesday, marks the coming of Lent. The day today more often called by its secular name of pancake day. This as I am sure readers are aware was due to the fact that eggs had to be used up for lent. To tell the parishioners this a special bell toll was rung. The ringing of the pancake bell is recorded in a number of locations in the county. This as Lindley (1907) in History of Sutton-in-Ashfield notes that in the Shriving Bell used to be rung on Shrove-Tuesday to call people to confession or more correctly shriven, as of course the name shrove derives from. He notes that by 1837 in Sutton in Ashfield it was a signal for putting the pancakes into the frying pan. In Walesby, when the clerk rang the bell at 11 am. Other places were pancake bells were rung, usually in the middle of the day were Retford, East Bridgford. A pancake bell is still rung at St. Leodargius’s Church, Old Basford and I was told that this was still rung until recently by a 90 year old man. Newark too rings a pancake bell. In Sutton-in –Ashfield, it was rung by the oldest apprentice in the town. However in Woodborough, is one of the few places where the Pancake bell is still rung at 11.am it was traditionally undertaken by the village’s youngest apprentice. For many years it was enclosed in a tower attached to the vicar but today it is in the church. In Woodborough, the ringing of the bell is the sign for a pancake race run undertaken at Roe Lane. However, whether the long tradition of the bell ringing is indication of the race is unclear. Races are recorded in a number of places across the county: such as the Corner House, since 2002 and St Ann’s Nottingham, and Redgate School in Mansfield which was even attended by the town’s Mayor and Newark which have been ran since 1963. In Walesby, the first pancake made was always given to the hens. At East Bridgford, a hill called Pancake hill was used for local festivities. At Woodborough Hotel staff took part in Newark’s first pancake race day in 1963 and now it is a regular feature and clearly not as old as the bell ringing.

Also in Newark, where in the Market place a strange custom is noted:

“In that curious miscellany of popular antiquities, Hone’s Every Day Book, mention is made of a custom which existed on the anniversary of King Charles’ execution, also on Shrove Tuesday. On those days the Market Place presented the appearance of a regular market, but the stalls only contained oranges, which might be raffled for, or, if preferred, purchased.”

This is reported in the Norwell scrapbook which records that it last took place in 1886 when a local policeman quietly told them it was illegal! The account goes on to describe the equipment and method. The balls were made of either wood or glass and had a flattened surface numbered 1 to 26. The ball was dropped down a structure called the chimney, a square shaped tube of wood about 9 inches high with 21/2 inches insides. The ball was rolled on to a flat raised 12 inch square and slightly raised. As the ball came to rest the number uppermost was noted, the highest the winner.

Orange rolling would appear to have occurred in a number of isolated Nottinghamshire locations suggesting a more widespread tradition It was done at Ruddington’s Sharp Hill, along an ancient cart track from Wilford Hill to Rackman’s Bridge, according to an article in the Weekly Guardian 25/2/1939, when they reported it had lately fallen out of usage. It is said that oranges were rolled down turfed slope and that oranges failing to reach the desired point they were pounced upon by the eager contestants and devoured. The orange that rolled the furthest was the winner and:

The winner at its proud owner peeled and ate it without assistance or molestation.”

At East Markham, a gift of an orange was given to school children who would ascend Orange Hill to roll it, but when this custom died out is unclear. At Upton-by-Southwell, children rolled them down Micklebarrow. At Lowdham School, the students got a holiday and the Reverend B. Michaelson gave each scholar an orange (157 of them) and divided 1400 marbles amongst them to play with. Whether the orange was used for rolling is unclear.

As it was a half day holiday it was also the time of year when children brought out their whips and tops, hoops, and other toys after the winter.Hills were popular sites for Shrovetide games:  Gaddick’s Hill Egmanton as a ‘rollicking place’ and East Leake’s Mill Hill, Bothamsall, East Bridgford and Car Colston, and at Hilltop, Eastwood (Bennett, 2000) there was mass skipping. At East Bridgford possibly part of a Shroving, were alms were given for remembrance of the dead, custom was recorded:

“Children there were presented with a traditional bun and newly minted penny for Shrove Tuesday by the revd V. K. Johnson and his wife..”

 Today the rich spread of shrove Tuesday customs in Nottinghamshire is sadly restricted to making them and sometimes racing them!


Woodborough Pancake Race 2015- Photo Credit: RB Parish.


Woodborough Pancake Race 2015- Photo Credit: RB Parish.


Woodborough Pancake Race 2015- Photo Credit: RB Parish.


Woodborough Pancake Race 2015- Photo Credit: RB Parish.

An extract from forthcoming  Customs and ceremonies of Nottinghamshire

Copyright Pixyled Publications.

Posted in Nottinghamshire Traditional Customs and Ceremonies | Leave a comment

U.F.O’s Over Nottinghamshire

by Frank E Earp

U.F.O’s fit in well within the remit of both the folklorist and social historian. When most people come across the term U.F.O’s they autocratically think of extraterrestrial space craft, – flying saucers, – but this should not be the case. The acronym U.F.O., stands for ‘Unidentified, Flying Object’, in other-words, something unidentified seen in the sky. Placing the emphasis on the first word means that U.F.O’s are part of an observable phenomena, whilst the belief of the observer that they are an extraterrestrial craft is a part of a much wider social phenomena.

It is true to say that after further investigation the majority of reported U.F.O. cases, – estimates range from 80 to 95%, – are later found to be observations of some real but conventional object or natural phenomena. The most common of these being aircraft, balloons and astronomical objects like bright stars, planets and meteors, – and on rare occasions, freak weather conditions. A small percentage of cases turn out to be deliberate hoaxes. Until positive proof that extra terrestrial craft are flying in the skies of our World, all we can truly say of the remaining cases is that they remain ‘unidentified’, the rest is speculation.

The acronym U.F.O. was created by the United States Air Force in 1952 to describe sittings of flying disc shaped objects previously referred to as ‘flying saucers’. This spate of sittings began in 1947 when aviator and businessman Kenneth Arnold, reported seeing nine such objects flying in formation over Mount Rainier on 24th June of that year. Arnold’s sighting was widely reported in the media and between 1947 and 1952 there followed many thousands of reports of unidentified flying objects of various shapes and sizes from all over the U.S.A. Certainly there was a general consensus of opinion amongst the general public that these were piloted extraterrestrial craft. Thus was born the modern U.F.O story.

The reported sightings of U.F.O’s. are by no means a modern phenomena. In England the earliest recorded sighting of a U.F.O., – in this case a classic silver disc shaped object, – comes from the 12th century. At Byland, or Begeland Priory in the North Riding of Yorkshire, a flat, round, shining silvery object is said to have flown over the building whilst the prior and monks were eating their meal in the refectorium. This apparently caused “utmost terror”. However, although this case is frequently quoted, there is some dispute over the authenticity of its origin.

In the “first hour of the night” on the 4th Nov. 1322 “a pillar of fire the size of a small boat” was said to have been seen in the sky over Uxbridge. Some 65 years later, something of a ‘U.F.O flap’ (a modern term used to describe a spate of sightings over a period of time), occurred over Leicester and parts of Northamptonshire when between Nov. and Dec. 1387 a revolving burning wheel of fire and long fiery beams of light where seen in the night skies. Although these two cases are frequently quoted as supporting of the existence of extraterrestrial craft, no original source is given to verify the accounts. However, there is one medieval case of the U.F.O. phenomena observed by in-access of 5,000 witnesses, which as far as I’m aware has never been used to support the more fanciful idea of alien craft.

I came across this reference whilst research for an article of what is perhaps the most bloodiest battle ever to take place on English soil. The Battle of Stoke Field, which took place close to the Nottinghamshire village of East Stoke around 13 miles north-east of Nottingham, is generally regarded as being the last battle in ‘The Wars of the Roses’. On the morning of the 16th June 1487, rebel Yorkist forces under the command of John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, had taken-up a position on high ground somewhere to the south-west of the village. Fast approaching them from the direction of Nottingham, was the vanguard of the army of king Henry VII led by the Earl of Oxford. Shortly before the commencement of hostilities, contemporary eye-witness accounts report that ‘unusual lights in the sky’ were seen above the Yorkist army. These were interpreted as ill-omens by the Lancastrian forces and led to a number of desertions. However, words of encouragement from Oxford and other nobles soon restored order.

It is interesting to note that any Lancastrian forces approaching East Stoke from Nottingham would have done so using the old Roman Road, the Fosse Way. From the crossroads at Newton, a straight section of road runs in almost due north-east for 61/2 miles to the crossroads at East Stoke. Using modern computer programs, (Google Earth and Sun-calc), we find that to the approaching Lancastrians on this section of road, the morning sun would have appeared behind and above the Yorkist army. As the strange lights appear to have only been witness by the Lancastrians, could they have been caused by sunlight reflected from the Yorkist armour, bouncing off of low cloud? This would be rather like the effect of using a mirror to reflect light onto a ceiling. This of-course is all speculation on my part, but could this be the explanation behind Nottinghamshire’s first recorded U.F.O case?


Nottinghamshire’s earliest recorded U.F.O. sighting, the Battle of Stoke Field, 16th June 1487. Could the strange lights in the sky seen shortly before the battle, have been the result of a freak natural phenomena

At the end of the W.W. II, (officially around 1947), increased tension and hostility between the former Soviet Union and the Western Allies led by the U.S.A., there began a period in history know as the ‘Cold War’. From the outset of this phony conflict, both sides engaged in an ‘Arms Race’, – an attempt to develop bigger and better nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. By 1959, again, both sides were equally engaged in a ‘Space Race’, – an attempt to be the first to put a ‘man in space’. It is now widely believed that it is no coincidence that the rise of the U.F.O. phenomena in the U.S. precisely parallels these events.

By the early 1950’s the U.F.O. phenomena in the U.S. had gained cult status. Fuelled by Arnold’s sighting of ‘flying saucers’ in June of 1947 and in the following July, – the rumour that an alien craft complete with occupants, had been found to have crash-landed in the desert near the small town of Roswell, New Mexico, – there was a genuine wide-spread belief that the Earth was being visited by extra terrestrial beings. There were two schools of thought regarding these beings; either they were alien invaders intent on conquering our Planet, or a race of super beings, inter galactic policemen attempting to pull us back from the brink of nuclear war and the threat of mutual annihilation. In a case of ‘art mimicking life’ – or in this instance popular belief, – two black and white Si Fi films took-up these themes; ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’, released in 1951, Galactic Policemen, and Earth vs. the Flying Saucers’, released in 1956, hostile invasion.

It wasn’t long before claims of contact with, and later, abductions by such beings began to appear in the media. One of the first of these so-called ‘Contacties’ was Polish/American, George Adamski. After witnessing U.F.O’s for a period of some five years, Adamski claimed to have met and spoken-to a very human looking occupant of a Flying Saucer in the Colorado Desert in 1951. In his book ‘Flying Saucers Have Landed’ published in 1953, Adamski stated that his alien visitor was a Venusian called Orthon, a member of a ‘Space Brotherhood’ who’s mission to Earth was to warn of the dangers posed by nuclear weapons. Adamski went on to turn his encounter into a one-man industry, writing several books and travelling all over the U.S. spreading the message of the Brotherhood to anyone who would listen.

This side of the Atlantic, – another George, – a former London cab driver George King, also claimed to have contact with a Space Brotherhood, a race of Galactic Super Beings. King claimed to have had his first telepathic message in 1954 from one of the beings, yet another Venusian, calling himself, The Cosmic Master Aetherius. King went on to found a pseudo religion called the Aetherius Society. George King died in 1997 aged 79. The Aetherius Society continues to operate as an International organisation.

In Nottingham, a more scientific group of Ufologists were earnestly studying the U.F.O. phenomena. Many of these men had been R.A.F. bomber crew during the War and had been witness to a type of U.F.O. known as ‘Foo-Fighters. These strange balls of red, orange or sometimes white light, first made their reported appearance alongside a squadron of American aircraft in November 1944. From this date onward the crews of Allied aircraft, both American and British witnessed the appearance of Foo-Fighters in both the European and Pacific theatres of war.

It was genuine ambition of one of the founding members of the Nottingham group to persuade George Adamski, starting in Nottingham, to do a lecture tour of the U.K. However, this never came to pass as Adamski died at the age of 74 in 1965.

After working together for several years the Nottingham group broke apart around 1966/67, after the club secretary experienced a more sinister aspect of the U.F.O story. As early as 1947, U.F.O. witness Harold Dahl, reported receiving an intimidating and threatening visit from men dressed in black suits who claimed to be government agents. Throughout the 1950’s and 60’s reports of visits by what became known as Men in Black or M.I.B’s, to both U.F.O. witnesses and Ufologist became more frequent. Popular opinion was that M.I.B’s were either genuine government agents or in some cases actual aliens. The Nottingham club secretary, – a man in his early sixties who had studied the U.F.O. phenomena for a number of years and had amassed a library of books and files, – announced that he had received a visit from M.I.B’s at his home in Wollaton. These two men had told him in no uncertain way that unless he gave up his interest in U.F.O’s, his house would be fire-bombed. Within days of the alleged visit he had sold or given away his entire collection of books, photos and journals and removed every reference to U.F.O’s from his home. Fellow members of the club, even those he had been fiends with for many years, never heard from him again.

My interest in U.F.O’s began around 1965 at the age of 14, when myself and a group of fellow school friends set up our own U.F.O. group after we had all read Adamski’s and other books on the subject. We had limited contact with the established Nottingham group. However, one of its members became a guiding mentor to our little band. We issued our own questionnaires to U.F.O. witnesses and I remember that one of our proudest moments was when we had a completed questionnaire returned from a Policeman who had witnessed a U.F.O. whilst on duty on the North Yorkshire Moors. None of us had a visit from M.I.B’s, however, many of the group experienced on more than one occasion, being followed and photographed with high-powered cameras. This culminated in a very strange event. Our mentor, who lived alone in a ‘prefab’ in Aspley decided to advertise for a lodger to help pay the bills. Within a short time of putting a post card in a shop window a young man in his early twenties answered his advert. Giving his profession as a ‘Civil Servant the young man state that he had business in Nottingham and need temporary accommodation. An agreement was made and the man moved in with nothing more than a single small suitcase. Over a few short weeks of his stay, our mentor stated that he demonstrated a good knowledge of Ufology and asked about both U.F.O. groups. At the end of his stay he asked to see members of our group. At the meeting which followed, he claimed to have been an MI6 field agent, one of a number of operatives dispatched by the Government to investigate the threat to National Security posed by U.F.O. groups. Thankful he announced that we were no threat, packed his bag and we never saw him again.


Classic image of the sinister ‘Men in Black’. In the 1960’s, did M.I.B’s really visit a suburban house in a quiet street in Wollaton?

Having declared that l had been one of the founding members of a U.F.O. group, – all be it at the tender age of 14, – I suspect that many readers will be wanting to ask me; “Have you ever seen a U.F.O.?”. In most cases, the actual meaning of that question is; “Have you ever seen a ‘flying saucer’, (extra terrestrial craft)?”. In the strict meaning of the acronym, I have over the course of my life seen a number of ‘unidentified flying objects’. Can I truly say that any of these were of extra terrestrial origin? All I can say is that in my youth, I believed that some of the sightings were of alien craft. However, it must be remembered that at the time, (mid 1960’s), I and my fellows were avid Ufologist and Britain was in the heat of a ‘U.F.O. flap’ (or wave), centred on the Wiltshire town of Warminster. The media was full of talk of flying saucers and alien craft. This hardly makes me an unbiased reliable witness. By the very nature of things, if I could honestly say that I have seen a flying saucer, that particular sighting would cease to be classified as a U.F.O. I will relate an account of a U.F.O. sighting from the early 1970’s, – when my ‘mind set’ was different, – and allow the reader to answer the question.

On a clear winters evening at around 10 p.m., I was driving my then girl friend (now my wife) home to Chilwell. Our route took us through Bilborough past Strelley village and south along the Coventry Road. For those who do not know the area, this is a semi rural road on the extreme western edge of the City of Nottingham. We had reach the cross-roads at Strelley and were turning onto Coventry Road when both of us saw high in the sky, a moving bright star like object approaching us from the south. Making a modern comparison I would say that it was like observing the International Space Station or other artificial satellite. I stop the car a little way past the crossroads and we both got out the vehicle to get a better look. Almost immediately we saw that there was a second identical object approaching from the north. The two seemed to be on a collision cause, becoming larger and brighter as they approached. Slowly the lights drew together and at a point almost directly above our heads stopped and hung side by side in the sky like two bright stars. We continued to observe them in silence for what must have been 3 or 4 minutes. Suddenly the northern light again began to move. At this stage it became apparent that this object was lower in the sky than its companion, which now seemed even brighter. Moving a little faster than its original approach, it continued south and appeared to pass bellow its still stationary companion, which now shone with the intensity of Venus, (certainly, the brightest object in the sky). After several minutes the moving object was lost to view leaving our attention fixed on the bright object above our heads. It was at this point that something dramatic happened. A small pale blue, star-like light dropped from bellow the bright object. For a few seconds it appeared to free-fall and it shot off at great speed to the west. Seconds later a second identical light dropped and shot off to the east. This was repeated twice more with one light going south and the second north. The bright object now began to move and continued its original course north. The cold night air had gotten to us at this point and we realised that we had been observing the phenomena for over half an hour. Once back in the car we continued our journey back to Chilwell. I got a telling off from my future father-in-law for bringing his daughter home late. We did not tell him the reason why.

The first ever published photograph of a U.F.O. appeared in an 1886 edition of L’Astronomie magazine. The photograph was taken three years earlier on 12th Aug. 1883 by José Banilla, astronomer and director of the Zacatecas, Mexico Observatory. Banilla was observing the Sun’s corona when he spotted what he later described as ‘cricket -shaped’ object passing over the face of the Sun. Over the next 36 hours Banilla and his assistant observed over 400 objects, mainly disc shaped pass across the Sun’s disc. A new study of Banilla’s observations has concluded that he and his companion had witnessed the brake-up of a massive comet passing close to Earth’s orbit.

Since this early example, there are now thousands of what are claimed to be photos of U.F.O’s in circulation. But how-many are of genuine U.F.O’s? What do I mean by this?; It is to be remembered that U.F.O’s are a self-perpetuating and complex phenomena. Once the object in the photo has been identified, it ceases to be a U.F.O. Although it has been around for over 100 years, if we except the new theory that the object on the 1883 photo was a part of a comet, then it is no-longer a U.F.O. photo. The belief in alien visitors is as strong today as it has ever been and a high proportion of images are offered-up by the photographer as photo’s of extraterrestrial craft. We must of course first except the photographer’s word that the photo is genuine, but in doing so we then automatically exclude it from being a U.F.O. photo. However, we then enter a whole new realm with its own consequences for the future of humankind.

A high percentage of U.F.O. photos have been proven to be hoaxes, fakes and practical jokes, – deliberate attempts to exploit the U.F.O. phenomena and obtain money. With film photography it was quite difficult to fake a convincing U.F.O. photo. Now with modern digital photography it has become relatively easy. There is even an ‘app’ which allows anyone to place a classic flying saucer image in the sky of any photo’s taken on a digital camera or phone. When we take into account all of these factors, only a small percentage remain as photos of ‘unidentified flying objects’.

Some photos are what might be termed ‘accidental’ U.F.O. photos. These are photo’s where the object has not been directly observed by the photographer or any one else before or after the photo was taken and has only become apparent on the resulting image. A number of this kind of photos were or are later proven to be the results of ‘camera flare’, faulty film stock or other such photographic anomalies.

It is one of these accidental U.F.O. photos which I have chosen to accompany this article. The photo, which has never been published before, was taken in Wollaton Park around 1965/66, by one of our little group who I will refer to as G. G became the groups official photographer, mainly because of the fact that he was the only one of us who at that time had his own camera and both the expertise and resources to use it. The original image was intended to show a small group of friends enjoying themselves on the Park. It was not until the photo was developed that the strange object (highlighted) became apparent. None of the other photos taken on the same film roll showed any kind of anomaly. The original negative film roll was sent off to the maker, Kodak for analysis. It was concluded that the image was not the result of any fault with either the camera or film and consequently must be of something in the sky (a U.F.O.?). In reproducing this image nothing has been added or changed in any way. The enlargements have only been added to make the image more easily viewed. I will conclude by saying that to this day very few people outside the original U.F.O. group have ever seen this photo and until someone positively identifies the object, the photo is of a genuine U.F.O.


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Wrights Directory of Nottingham: Bulwell, 1854



Wrights 1854 for Bulwell


Page Two 1854 Bulwell


Page Three 1854

 Taken from the Wrights Directory Of Nottingham 1854.

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

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Nottingham Street Tales: Exchange Walk

by Joe Earp

Today Exchange Walk is a busy shopping thoroughfare which daily sees thousands of shoppers walk up and down its route. With its many leading retail shops and outlets it is very surprising to know that the thoroughfare originally was little more than a yard.

Exchange Walk was originally created in 1868. It was originally a yard which went by the name of Gears’ Yard. It was named after a Mr William Gears who occupied it and who was a fishmonger in Nottingham Market Place. It’s name then changed to Farmer’s Yard after Mr James Farmer who established the drapery business upon its western side.

James Farmer with the help of the proprietors of Smith’s Bank set about planning the thoroughfare. Smith’s Bank was located on the Market Square and the original building is still in use as a bank. The bank was originally established in the 1650s by Nottingham man Thomas Smith (1631-99). Thomas Smith was originally a cloth mercer or merchant. By 1658 Smith had acquired business premises in Peck Lane, Nottingham. He is believed to have been England’s first banker outside London.

Farmer and the proprietors of Smith’s Bank quickly saw the potential of the planned thoroughfare, linking St. Peter’s Square to the Market Place. At their joint expense they made Exchange Walk, which was at that time private property.

The name Exchange Walk comes from The Exchange Building which was built between 1724 and 1726 replacing a shambles of buildings on the same site. It cost £2,400 at the time and comprised a four-storey, eleven bay frontage 123 feet (37 m) long. The architect was Marmaduke Pennell. The Exchange Building was demolished in the late 1920’s and was replaced by the Nottingham Council House. There is a shopping mall which is also called The Exchange which forms part of the present Council House building. The Exchange was Nottingham’s first ‘modern’ shopping centre. It was opened on 22nd May 1929 by the Prince of Wales, who later became Edward VIII.

Farmer and the authorities of Smith’s Bank planned to make Exchange Walk into a major shopping thoroughfare which would have rivalled some of the city’s other major shopping streets. However the plans for Exchange Walk were rejected by the town. The planners of Exchange Walk were reported to have been greatly shocked at the rejection. It was their aim to create a main thoroughfare which would have been suitable for vehicles.

However perhaps it is a positive thing that Exchange Walk did not develop into a much bigger shopping lane. The thoroughfare carries a large amount of pedestrian traffic today and thus relieves the traffic along Wheeler Gate. Perhaps more importantly it saves hours of valuable time in acting as a short cut to the Square rather than being diverted up Wheeler Gate and Bridlesmith Gate.


A view looking towards Exchange Walk standing from St Peter’s Square, Nottingham, circa 1950s- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.


Exchange Walk, Nottingham, c 1950- Photo Credit: The Paul Nix Collection.


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