WOLLATON HISTORICAL & CONSERVATION SOCIETY
The Spring edition of Wollaton Historical is now avalable. Free for members of the Society, the publication retails at £2 per copy and will be available at the Dovecote Museum along with other publications.
Extracts from earlier newsletters: (Please note that reproduction of this information is not permitted without permission).
CHILDREN IN WOLLATON IN THE 1840s
THE CHILDREN’S EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION 1843
THE CHILDREN’S EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION 1843
Because of the public concern in the 1840s about the use of child labour, particularly in the mining industry, the Government in 1843 appointed Commissioners to enquire into the “moral and physical condition of the young persons and children” so employed. Evidence was taken not only from those responsible for the management of the individual mines, but also the local vicar and some miners. Amazingly, one of those miners to give evidence to the Commission we have now discovered was James Davis, Ron Cruxon’s great grandfather!
The Colliery was then located, just to the south of Balloon Houses, on the Nottingham Canal (at what is now the junction of Grangewood Road and Latimer Drive). The Manager was then Henry Taylor (see above and Spring Newsletter). His evidence was that “the pit is 100 yards deep, the headway 3ft 6 in and the bank 150 yards. They employ five under 13 and 12 under 18 – the youngest being 12. They go down at seven to half past eight, an hour is allowed for dinner. He thinks that boys of 12 could not do the work necessary at the pit and that 12 hours is quite long enough for man or boy to be underground. He has worked for Lord Middleton for 35 years and his Lordship has never allowed very young boys or females to be employed.”
James Davis (who then lived in the Square with his family) stated: “He is 27 years old and has worked in pits since he was eight: he first opened and shut the door for a month for 1s. per day(see illustration below). He helped to wagon (see above, waggons are drawn by a man and the boy pushes behind). When he was 15 he came to Wollaton and had 2s. 6d. per day, but it was much harder. He then holed and had 3s 9d. The youngest in the pit is 10 or 11. There is not good ventilation; he never uses the Davy lamp. The pit is always tried by a man going down with a naked candle. They allow four men or six boys to go down at once. It is not an unpleasant heat, excepting when the black damp is coming. Nearly two years since two men were killed by a fall; not aware of any other accident. He believes that the pits might properly be worked by children above 12, but parents are mostly glad to send them before then, his brother went before he was 7, it was his own doing; he does not know that it did him any harm. Some of the children do not know a letter; some can read a little; some attend Sunday schools, but many do not; He thinks it is due to the neglect of the parent.”
Evidence was also taken from William Mather who said that he “was rather more than nine when he first worked in a pit,” Joseph Pedley, who was 12, and John Levern. “12 years old; they work from half past six until eight o’clock (all have about a mile to walk to the pit); they are obliged to work at night every five weeks, for a week, but then they do nothing during the day.”
Charles Chouler, Lord Middleton’s Agent, stated that “there is no sick fund, but in case of serious accident, Lord Middleton allows 2s 6d a week at least, and finds medical aid.”
One can only hope that James Davis was to receive such help when he received the injuries that paralysed him in an accident at the pit over 35 years later.
To us today, it is quite amazing that none of the people giving evidence thought that children should not be sent down the pit at all! However, 1s. a day was quite a very substantial sum, bearing in mind that an adult farm labourer would earn about 12s a week and the rent on a cottage was £2. 10s. a year! No wonder parents wanted to get their children down the mine as early as possible!
The Commission was also required to consider the moral condition of the children, which would include their education, or lack of it. So we read that: “William Mather learns to read and write, reads the Testament and is in small hand. Before he worked in the pit attended the free school. Joseph Pedley reads in the Testament, but does not write. He has been at Sunday school since he was five: Mather and Pedley do not go to play, but are glad to go to bed, - Levern likes a bit of play: does not know his letters.”
The Commission refers to the “free school that is open to 15 children from Wollaton, 10 from Trowell and 5 from Cossall. They used not to allow children who did not attend regularly to remain in the school, but within these few months the master has rather relaxed, and if there is a vacancy teaches Lord Middleton’s collier children on the days they are not employed in the pit”
We know more of this free school from a rather flowery article in the Nottingham Mercury, three years later, in 1846: “There is a free school founded by the munificence of the noble proprietors of Wollaton Hall for the education of those children whose opportunities allow them to devote a longer time to their studies. Children of all the different classes of society in the village together; farmers, cottagers, labours, colliers, all send their children to the same foundation for instruction, and all sit as one family side by side, without any distinction other than what merit confers; and as all are obliged to attend equally clean and neat in their persons and apparel and all are equally restrained in the use of vulgar and offensive language. About 20 children from Wollaton attend the free school, which is situated mid-way between the three villages, so as to be convenient for all” Unfortunately the site of this school is not shown on any map, but we suspect it shared the premises of the Workhouse on Trowell Moor, just beyond Balloon Houses (see photo and 1835 map above).
The other school, the Day School, met in the barn of The Admiral Rodney (see below).
It then had 80 pupils from 3 to 11 years “and there were two or three somewhat older, who served in the capacity of monitors”. The reporter was much impressed; “by the excellent preceptress, through whose zeal and unremitting industry in the discharge of her duties, it has seldom been my good fortune to witness, as on my visit to the schoolroom at Wollaton, for a school-house there is not yet, though it is impossible but that the excellent clergyman, whose exertions, I understand, the present school is mainly owing for its establishment, can allow his good work to rest where it does not, or that Lord Middleton should be satisfied to have so excellent an institution carried on in the old Banqueting Room of an inn. There is likewise a Sunday School attached to this establishment for the benefit of those children who have been necessitated, through the circumstances of their families or otherwise, to be removed from the day school.”
Despite this prompting, it would be nearly nineteen years before Lord Middleton would finally build the new school on Bramcote Lane (left) which opened in 1865 and was extended in 1894.
THE ARBOUR OAK
By Graham Piearce
The most notable tree in Wollaton Park is the magnificent oak that stands atop Arbour Hill, near Beeston Lodge. It is a hugely impressive, pollard specimen with heavy, level limbs that give a spread of 40 metres. The flared bole has a girth approaching 7 metres as measured around its distinct waist. The best estimate of its age puts it at just over 550 years, so it began life as an acorn in the 1460s and substantially predates the building of Wollaton Hall, completed in 1588. It would then have already been a noteworthy landscape feature, enjoying an exchange of views with the Hall. This has long been interrupted by tree planting on the north side, now mostly coniferous species introduced from the mid-19th century, possibly to provide a dark, evergreen backdrop to the Arbour Oak.
It is interesting botanically because it is not a true species, but rather a hybrid between our two native oaks, the locally most familiar and common English or Pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur) and the Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea), of which a few examples can be seen elsewhere in the park. It is technically named Quercus x rosacea, though our tree is regarded as having most features closest to those of Q. petraea. It regularly produces male catkins in the spring, but in my experience it does not bear acorns, probably because of its hybrid nature.
It is officially listed by the Tree Register of the British Isles as a Champion tree, being an exceptional specimen and the largest of its hybrid kind in Nottinghamshire. It is sometimes loosely referred to as a veteran tree, being bigger and older than usual and so has special historical, aesthetic, cultural and biological significance.
The Arbour Oak is currently in robust health and has clearly enjoyed little interference over its long life, but recent plantings of an odd miscellany of deciduous trees on the southern hillside are now rapidly encroaching. Those competing trees include some large species such as limes, Sweet Chestnut, beech and other oaks, several of which will before long completely overshadow the Arbour Oak. Other, curiously chosen, smaller-growing species there include Norway Maple, Swedish Whitebeam and Indian Horse Chestnut. Already what used to be a delightful glimpse of our treasured tree from a bus travelling along the A52 has practically disappeared. Some judicious thinning would help to ensure the Arbour Oak retains its splendour for many more centuries yet.
The Hidden Cottages on Trowell Road
Trowell Road runs from Balloon Wood for nearly a mile to Doctor’s Corner, where it joins Russell Drive. Anyone driving along the road, or walking for that matter, could be forgiven for not realising that on its full length there are no less than eleven surviving 18th century cottages, because many of them are set well back from the road and, as a result, are very difficult to see, others have been rendered to disguise their historic features.
Over the years members of the Society have been trying to identify and photograph these cottages and to see what, if anything, remains of the original fabric. We have now been able to see the interior and the rear of a number of these cottages and so to appreciate their size, and what it must have been like to live in them. We are also fortunate to have other documents and in particular the Rent Book for 1863 . This means we can now identify who lived in each cottage and so give you an idea of what their lives may have been like.
Eleven cottages were all built by the Wollaton Estate under the direction of Lord Middleton’s Agent. They appear to be brick built, no doubt using local bricks made in the Estate brickyard. They were mostly intended for agricultural labourers or for miners at the colliery, which was then located to the west of Balloon Wood. As such they were very small, with usually only two small bedrooms, with sloping ceilings. None, of course, had running water (even in 1925), but they all had access to a well nearby and had a cinder closet in an outbuilding.
Each cottage was allocated by the Agent, but some were let to local farmers and employers and so were effectively “tied”. The term of the tenancy ran for a year from Lady Day (25th March). If you lost your job you lost your home as well. There was a strict policy of not letting cottages to miners, unless it was one of the “tied” cottages, or unless the family already lived in the Village, or were able to pull strings, particularly with the Rector, who was during most of the 19th century related to Lord Middleton! Unfortunately it has not been possible to date the cottages because many of them have now been rendered, so the brickwork has been covered. Since nearly all the timber used was pine (a soft wood), it is not possible to use dendrocronology. So it is necessary to look elsewhere for dating purposes.
We know that in the 18th century the Middleton Estate were building new cottages, including those off Woodyard Lane, called “New York” now. So it is necessary to look elsewhere for dating purposes. We know that in the 18th century the Middleton Estate were building new cottages, including those off Woodyard Lane, called “New York” (now demolished). These are referred to in the 1787 local census. The number of households in the Village did not increase greatly between then and the 1841 Census, so it is a fair conclusion to draw that the cottages on Trowell Road were built some time in the mid 18th century.
MOSS COTTAGE - HARRY BLAND
Harry’s father bought Moss Cottage, 338 Trowell Road, in 1925 and Harry lived there all his life, except when he was in the forces in India during WWII. His daughter Pamela, who now lives in Oxfordshire with her family, kindly showed me around his cottage. It solved a mystery about the bricked up doorway, referred to in the last newsletter. We know that sometime before 1848 James Taylor the Colliery Agent (or manager) moved in and, presumably to make it a suitable residence for him the two cottages had been knocked together. A new front doorway was built between the two former doors which became windows and the second staircase was removed to form a hall and extra bedroom. It just shows how important it is to examine the interior of these cottages to establish their history.
WALLED GARDEN AT WOLLATON PARK
We should like to thank Alan Gardner, who originally brought this project to the Committee’s attention in 2012. Please see the Walled Garden Restoration drop-down menu for latest images.
POPULAR EXHIBITIONS AT THE DOVECOTE MUSEUM
Daryle’s costumes and in-depth knowledge about aspects of Tudor life and local history keeps visitors well entertained. The map display is again of great interest. The guided walks are popular and some visitors come along just for the walk.
GREEN FLAG AWARD
The garden at the Dovecote has been transformed this year from pretty ordinary to something very special, thanks to over £160 worth of vouchers from the “Green Flag Award” and the “It’s Your Neighbourhood Scheme”. The new diversity of plants is attracting more butterflies and pollinators to the garden and the FW initials in the lawn create long grass which is perfect habitat for insects and beetles. You can imagine how much work it took digging out the snowberry from the front border before the new plants went in! For this and for all the maintenance this year we can be very grateful to Andrew, Keith and Ralph for being the backbone of the gardening team and to everyone else who has got their hands dirty to make the garden so attractive and helped keep it maintained. There are more berries on the holly than we recall in previous years and these will provide an important food source for birds, particularly Redwings and Blackbirds.
We are delighted to have been awarded a Green Flag award again this year and your committee decided we needed a flagpole from which to fly it.
This was purchased and installed by Ian Mackerell. We fly the flag with great pride.
ITS YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD
In early August, we the welcomed the RHS Britain in Bloom assessor for this year’s “It’s Your Neighbourhood” assessment. She was full of admiration for the garden. As a result the garden achieved a Level 4 "Thriving" award.
In principle, we are happy for any organisation or group within our community to use the garden by arrangement and at no charge. You could have a table top sale for your funds, or a charity, or just to encourage new members. Bring your tables, bring your wares, and we will open the museum too. At the same time we can put on tea and cake and make a bit of money for the Dovecote funds. If your group might be interested in this, or you know of one that could be, let us know and we can discuss it. But, please, strictly no commercial business.
AN APPEAL FOR VOLUNTEERS
Volunteering gives you the chance to:· be part of a friendly and dedicated team· meet people from all walks of life· share skills and gain new ones· have fun and enjoy new experiences. As the Society becomes much more “hands on”, in the sense that more members are getting involved in our various projects, we would encourage more of you to join in. A number are helping at the Walled Garden, some clearing the undergrowth, others doing guided tours.
Several help at the Dovecote, which is a special place, and a large part of what makes it so is the fantastic team of volunteers, who dedicate their time, skills and passion to helping a terrific cause. No two days are the same – there are always new experiences to be had, new facts to learn and new friends to be made. Volunteers can play an invaluable role behind the scenes too. Caring for our collection, minor repairs and maintenance, gardening, publicity, fund raising, there are many things to get involved with. Volunteers bring a huge variety of skills that are so important in helping us.
We also need more volunteers to serve on the Committee or to assist in various tasks, such as delivering the Newsletter. So please VOLUNTEER!
A VISIT TO MIDDLETON HALL and ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH
The tranquil, historic atmosphere of Middleton Hall & Gardens was very welcome on 25th July 2019 when 16 WHaCS members enjoyed a very interesting tour around Middleton Hall and gardens, on what turned out to be the hottest day on record! This was the Societies second visit, the last being in 2016.
The Hall had been in the possession of the Willoughby’s since the 1500s. After Wollaton Hall had been damaged by fire in 1643, and subsequently locked up, it was to be the home of, the famous naturalist, Francis Willughby, and also his friend and former tutor John Ray. Francis tragically died in 1672 aged only 36, before he had finished any of the works which bear his name. (See article below). He left Ray £60 pa to complete his work and tutr his three infant children.
The Hall and gardens are now run by Middleton Hall Trust, a charitable trust established in 1980 by a group of intrepid volunteers who were determined to save the Hall, which was at the time in a ruinous state after 20 years of neglect. The Hall is kept open to the public by the Trust’s volunteers and a small number of staff. In March 2019 the Trust were fortunate to receive a National Lottery grant of £135,500.
They also have a Walled Garden, though only a quarter the size of our garden in Wollaton. Here again, the volunteers have cleared and replanted the whole garden, which was a blaze of colour. It just shows what can be achieved by volunteers and what we might do here in our Walled Garden.
The Hall is approximately a mile from the village and church of St John the Baptist.. In the chancel the whole of one wall is covered by the massive black and white Willoughby Monument. It was installed at the end of the 17th century and is of great architectural importance. It is over 5 meters high and was so large that the north chancel window had to be blocked up to accommodate it. The monument was erected by Francis Willughby’s son, Thomas, who, in 1710 became the First Lord Middleton. Despite the fact that he was now living in the newly restored Wollaton Hall, he no doubt chose the name Middleton, having been born in there and also in tribute to his famous father. Other members of his family are also commemorated on the memorial.
WHY WAS WILLUGHBY SO IMPORTANT?
Willughby and Ray were not the first to write a book on birds, but they were the first to bring to their research the spirit of objective enquiry, characteristic to this new scientific age. Previous books had simply listed birds some of which were entirely mythological and had never actually existed, such as the phoenix and the verminous bird, or tuputa, a bird whose flesh was said to be composed entirely of tiny writhing worms!
So, they decided to start afresh, seeing and describing every species for themselves, and, crucially, doing so in a careful standardised way. As far as possible, these descriptions were based on direct examination, typically of freshly shot specimens, there being no other way to get a close look at most birds in the days before field glasses. The aim of their Ornithology was to accurately name and describe all known bird species, and – a crucial innovation – a systematic attempt to comprehend the ordering principles of the divine creation, by arranging them in a classificatory system that was based on observation and logic.
This classification was entirely new and was based first on anatomy and second of habitat and habit: so Book I was “Of Birds in general”, Book II covered “Land-Fowl”, and Book III was “Of Water-Fowl”. Beyond these, a system of mostly anatomical criteria – size, beak shape, feet and claws- was used to sort birds into smaller and smaller groups. At the start of each book the classification was presented as a branching table, intending to aid identification. So the reader would be able to direct himself to the appropriate chapter to identify a particular bird.
The Ornithology is a very large book, it was never intended as a field guide, but its template – identification of natural species through detailed descriptions and accurate illustrations - remains standard to this day. It was published four years after Francis Willughby’s death from pleurisy in 1672 at the age of 36, Ray having organized the extensive papers into publishable form. (Ray later went on to publish the “History of Fishes” in 1686 and finally, under his own name, the “History of Insects” in 1710.)
Sadly, this remarkable man, despite his ground-breaking ornithological achievements and his discovery and description of numerous species, has no bird named after him, nor does he receive the appropriate recognition in his family home, the Natural History Museum at Wollaton Hall.(Adapted from an article by Francis Gooding)
WOLLATON PARK WALLED GARDEN
CAN YOU HELP?
Thanks to all who have already helped. To those who would like to help please come and join one of the workdays. You can bring your own cutters or you will be provided with tools. You will be covered by the Council’s insurance. On Thursdays we are supported by the Wollaton Park Team who look after the Park.
Regular work days are on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9.30. Meet at the Communities Car Park first left off the entrance to Mr Man’s car park, and you will be given a car parking permit. All will be allocated tasks within their capabilities!
We also need guides for the Tours in the Summer. Can you help?
In February we had a Volunteer Week and people from all over the country came to help, whilst others just came to look at this amazing area. One of them was so impressed that he reached into his pocket and produced a large donation in cash! We need a lot more people like Mr Bob Elkin from Nailstone! Thank you.
Part of the Wollaton Park transformation project involves the formal garden immediately to the south of the Hall. It is sometimes called Cassandra’s garden since she was responsible for setting it out. Cassandra was the daughter of Sir Francis Willoughby, the famous naturalist who had died in 1672 at Middleton Hall, when she was just a baby. In 1686 her brother Francis came of age and came to Wollaton to claim his inheritance. The following year he invited Cassandra, then 17, to join him at Wollaton. They then set about restoring the fire damaged Hall which had lain abandoned for 44 years. They also revived and enlarged the gardens. Cassandra became the housekeeper to Francis, and after he died at the age of 20, to her younger brother Thomas who succeeded him and in 1712 was created the first Lord Middleton.
The Formal Garden is shown on this picture, by Jan Siberechts in 1697, with the circular pond and fountain in the centre. The fountain was still working into the 1990s before the lead piping was stolen. Since then it has been rebuilt. Unfortunately it leaks and for the last 20 years has remained empty and unsightly.
The scheme is to repair it, replace the fountain and reinstate the formal pathway layout with two addition pathways to the east and west. A project the Society is happy to support. These east and west pathways were probably removed in the 19th century to make maintenance easier. The original green areas would probably have been camomile lawns that did not need cutting, or grass, that would have had to be cut by hand. With the invention of the cylinder mower in the middle of the 19th century larger formal lawns could be maintained more easily.
This was achieved by using a horse drawn mower, which would not have been suitable for small areas of grass, and I suspect that was when the east and west paths were removed. In Old Nottingham Remembered by K. Taylor, I found this account and, in our archive, I found this picture to go with it!
“The grass cutting machine, although called simply ‘the mower’, was a horse-drawn contraption which mowed a yard’s width and had razor-sharp cutter blades. The professional name for this necessary piece of equipment was called ‘The Greens Machine’ since it had been designed by someone of that name.
Attached to the front was a box which collected all the cut grass and any tufts that were missed were trimmed down by a second set of blades which were positioned so that the cut grass blades were immediately heaped into the box at the rear.
When both mowing boxes were full, the grass was either dumped into the hollow of a tree or taken by wheelbarrow to a piece of spare land alongside the courtyard filter beds.
There were two men working The Greens Machine; one guiding the machine at the rear, the other gently leading a blinkered estate horse by the bridle, along and across each section of lawn as it needed to be mown.
Accompanying the two men was a boy, known as ‘the side man’. His job was to walk in front of the horse pulling The Greens Machine and pick up any twigs or stones that may have been scattered upon the turf. Before mowing commenced, the horse’s feet were each fitted into a baggy type of boot which was strapped around the hocks. To put such a boot onto the horse’s foot, the man had only to gently tap one leg and it would lift back the hoof in readiness for strapping. All four feet were booted in this manner to prevent the prints of horse shoes becoming engraved upon the turf. Another of the side men’s duties was to have a can or bucket of water standing in a nearby patch of shrubbery for, if the horse urinated on the turf, water would have to be thrown upon the spot otherwise large brown patches would appear because the urine had not scaled quickly into the ground. Towards the end of a working day, the men would sweep the gravel wall with besoms (witch’s broom), clean and oil their tools and utensils; then cart all the cuttings and debris in wheelbarrows to the rubbish heap.”
We have had two gardening sessions at the Dovecote, one in November and another at the end of February, when about a dozen members turned up to dig out the weeds and the snowberry which had almost taken over the whole garden.
We have also planted £160 of new plants. These were paid for by our winnings, £100 from Green Flag award and £60 from the RHS “It’s Your Neighbourhood scheme.” Hopefully the garden will look at its best this summer and we may also add to our winnings!
Having analysed visitor numbers and activity in 2018, it has been agreed that we open on April 28th for Radio Nottingham Big Day Out, then on 2nd Sunday of each month, being May 12th, June 9th, July 14th, August 11th (WI Market), and September 8th (Heritage Weekend). We have decided not to open on Open Churches Weekend or the Wollaton Festival due to very low visitor numbers in the last two years for these events. This year the theme will be the “Maps of Wollaton” which was so successful in 2017 and Darryl Greaves will also once again kindly display some of her Tudor costumes.
Five bird nesting boxes have been donated and these are now in place as you can see from the photograph. In the meantime many members and visitors will not have seen the garden in springtime so here are two photos taken on 20th March.
A very special Birthday Celebration July 2018
It is not often that one celebrates the 200th anniversary of someone's birth. Perhaps it occurs with Kings and Queens, but this was a celebration of the birth of Elizabeth Chambers a "lace mender" who was born in Wollaton in 1818, just 3 years after the Battle of Waterloo. Since then the family has continued to live in Wollaton and her great grandson Ron Cruxon was born here and has lived here all his life. Ron at 95 is also our oldest member and so the Society decided to commemorate this long connection with Wollaton with a special celebration at the Dovecote. We also invited members of Ron’s family and some other “senior” members who were near or over 90 to join us on what turned out to be a beautiful Sunday in July.
Ron addressed his fellow guests and kept us enthralled for nearly 20 minutes, outlining his family history and his recollections of Wollaton in the 1920s. This is part of what he said:
"It was only a village then, there were only 80 or so cottages all of them tied to estate workers of Lord Middleton. The postal address was simply “Wollaton" as everyone knew each other, and in any event my uncle was the postman!
My great grandfather James Davis (see next article) was a collier until he was paralysed as a result of an accident in the pit. My grandfather was originally a farm labourer, each time they moved farm they had to move cottages, which is why they had so many different cottages. Each cottage was tied to a certain job.
In later years my grandfather worked down the pit. My mother was born in Wollaton in 1890. She entered domestic service as was customary and in 1913 was working as a laundry maid at Chatsworth for the Duke of Devonshire. It was there she met my Father who was the "boots". He was also in the Territorial Army and in 1913, after a training camp in Nottingham, at Clifton Pastures, he was called up and sent to Palestine. By 1917 the Army was that short of infantry that they called for volunteers for France. Volunteers were told they would be given 10 days leave, so my Dad came to Wollaton where he lodged with my Grandparents. On the first morning home my Father and Mother walked to St Leonard's Church at 8.30 in the morning and got married by the Rector, the Rev. Russell!
What was Wollaton like in 1922 when I was born? It was part of Basford Rural District Council, outside the City boundary. There were no cars only horse and cart, or a horse drawn carriage if you lived at the Hall. Drinking water was drawn from wells. Water for all other purposes was rain that ran off the roofs and was caught in tubs. Lighting was by paraffin lamps or candles. There were no street lights.
In 1920 a cottage on the Main Road (Trowell Road) came empty and from the Estate Office my Father learnt that this was let to the Landlady at The Admiral Rodney. My Father went to see Mrs Hogkinson at the Rodney. Can I have your empty cottage? Yes, ‘course you can, but you will have to work for me! So Mum and Dad moved into the cottage (which survives to this day and it was here Ron was born, only a few hundred metres from where he now lives!)
Dad worked at the Rodney, brewing the beer.
The first Co-op Shop came to Wollaton in 1918 and became No 5 Branch of the Stapleford and Sandiacre Co-op Society.” (The shops awning can be seen behind the cart in the picture. The shop moved in 1925 to new premises opposite the Rodney’s car park. Ron worked for the Co-op all his life, apart from when he was in the Army during the Second Would War, as a Gunner, fighting from Normandy, through France and Belgium, into Germany.)
He continued: “The Doctor lived in Stapleford and came by pony and trap to the first surgery which was held in the coal house at the King's Head at the top of Colliers Row (now Bridge Road). Before patients came the coal was taken out and the place whitewashed! Dr Kingsbury paid one of the Allen boys 3d to hold his pony whilst surgery was held."
It was a most enjoyable afternoon. Special thanks to Ron who is a mine of information. He and our fellow quests exchanged recollections and sometimes argued, such as who was the teacher at the school in 1935. Ron invariably came up with the right answer! Not bad at 95!
One of the guests who would have been invited was another 95 year old Harry Bland