Beeston in 1951: At Your Service

by Joe Earp 

Looking at the Beeston and Stapleford Urban District Official Guide for 1951, Beeston had a varied and interesting service on offer to it’s local citizens. Looking through the various amenities which were available to the Beestonian of 1951 makes for an interesting read. Broxtowe District Council was formed on 1 April, 1974, following the amalgamation of the former Beeston and Stapleford Urban District council, part of the Basford Rural District Council and Eastwood Urban District Council. In 1977 the Council was granted Borough status and the first Mayor was elected.

In this article we look back at what services were provided. For the sake of convenience the various services have been listed alphabetical. The names and services appear exactly as they did in the 1951 Guide:

Civic Restaurants

Because of the undoubted demand for a Civic Restaurant at Beeston, in 1948 the Council built a restaurant at Station Road. This restaurant, which was erected on a site of 3,355 square yards, was completed at a cost of £17, 095 and was officially opened on the 20th April 1949. The seating accommodation for the restaurant was 250 and small steel tubular furniture, including tables for four persons, were added to the restaurant’s appearance.

Numerous functions were held in the restaurant. The restaurant offered midday meals, afternoon teas and refreshments during the evenings when private functions were held. In addition it was noted that any hot or cold meals of any description could be prepared and served by the restaurant staff.

Civic Restaurant Beeston 1951

Civic Restaurant, Beeston, 1951- Photo Credit: Nottingham Hidden History Team.

Education

There were four Secondary Modern Schools and nineteen Primary Schools, housing 6,500 pupils. Four schools had been built since the Second World War including, Bramcote Hills Secondary Modern Boy’s School, Stapleford Primary School, Beeston Trent Vale Primary School and Chilwell College House Primary School.

Finance

The rate levied for the financial year ending 31st March 1951 was 18/4 in the £, this being 1s. 8d. In the £ less than the average rate for urban districts throughout the country. The greater portion of this rate (12s) was collected by the Urban District Council as the rating authority and was paid over to the County Council to meet the expenses on services carried out by the body.

The services administered by the County Council included Education, Libraries, Local Health Services, Care of Deprived Children, Town and Country Planning, Fire Brigade and Road Repair and Maintenance.

Health Services

The National Health Service Act of 1946 provided every man, woman and child, whatever their financial circumstances, medical, dental and nursing care. There were three Maternity and Child Welfare Clinics, one of each in Chilwell, Beeston and Stapleford. There were two Day Nurseries

one of each in Beeston and Stapleford., where provision was made for the care of children under the age of five.

There were six District Nurses operating in the district. Four were appointed by the Beeston Nursing Association, one by the Chilwell, Attenborough and Toton Nursing Association and one by the Stapleford Nursing Association. There was a Rheumatism Clinic held in the Chilwell Memorial Hall each Wednesday and Saturday afternoon in the months of October to May. Other services included Home Help, Vaccination and Immunisation and Sanitary Inspection.

Libraries

The library then as it is today is based on Foster Avenue in Beeston. The Adult Lending Library was open daily, 9.30am to 7.30pm, except Thursdays which was 9.30 to 1pm. The Children’s Library was open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 1.pm to 6.30pm, Thursday and Saturday, 9.30am to 1pm, Friday 1pm to 7pm. During school holidays the Children’s library was open longer.

The library offered a collection of reference books such as Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Atlases and other reference books. Students were allowed special facilities and the number of books they were allowed to borrow at any one time was not restricted. Classes and groups of students could be supplied with collections of books, and sets of plays for reading or production by amateur dramatic societies. Single copies of musical scores for a wide range of solo instruments and vocal and orchestral works were available for loan.

Beeston Library 1951

Beeston Library 1951- Photo Credit: Nottingham Hidden History Team.

Beeston Library 1951 Interior

Beeston Library 1951 Interior- Photo Credit: Nottingham Hidden History Team.

Public Utility Services

Electricity was supplied by the East Midlands Electricity Board. Gas was supplied by the East Midlands Gas Board. Water was supplied by Nottingham Corporation.

Transport

Beeston was served by the London Midland Region Line between Nottingham and Derby. It was a frequent service, the journey to Nottingham taking ten minutes and to Derby about half an hour.

Beeston was linked with Nottingham by buses operated by Nottingham City Transport. Local services were operated by Barton Transport Ltd, Motor Coach Proprietors, The Garage, Chilwell. The company offered services to Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Loughborough, Coalville, Swadlincote, Melton Mowbray, Skegness, Llandudno, Great Yarmouth and many smaller towns. The Company also organised private hire and motor coach tours starting from Great Britain, extending as far as France, Italy, Germany and Scandinavia.

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About nottinghamhiddenhistoryteam

Originally formed in 1965 to try to save or at least record before destruction the cave sites continually discovered during the major redevelopment of the City that took place in Nottingham in the 1960′s. Almost every day new sites were unearthed and destroyed before anyone was notified; last thing they wanted was someone telling them to stop what they were doing; TIME is MONEY. The word HIDDEN in the Team’s title is because a lot of what was being invisibly lost in the redevelopment was our early history in the caves, they are under most, if now all, of Nottingham. In the 80’s and 90’s the Team conducted with the help of Dr Robert Morrell and Syd Henley, research and work on Nottingham’s history, folklore and local archaeology. The Team published quarterly magazines on their findings. The Team lapsed for a few years after the death of Paul Nix who was the team leader for thirty plus years. The Team has reformed and is now back working on Nottingham local history. On this blog you will find a series of history, folklore and archaeological related articles and information. Most of the material published will be specifically related to Nottingham/shire local history.
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