Friday, 30 September 2011

News - Precious Crimean War medals come back home (Barnsley)

A UNIQUE collection of medals honouring the heroism of the last surviving officer of the Charge of the Light Brigade is to find a new home in a South Yorkshire museum.

Tony Kent, a former RAF reconnaissance pilot who moved to the United States in 1946, had considered keeping his great grandfather’s military decorations and personal papers in Virginia.

But fearing the collection of Crimean medals might eventually be split up and sold to US collectors, he has returned to England to hand them over to his ancestor’s regimental museum, Cannon Hall in Barnsley.
Tony’s great-grandfather Captain Percy Shawe-Smith was a lieutenant and acting adjutant in the 13 Light Dragoons, which took part in the infamous charge in 1854.

Shawe-Smith’s regiment suffered devastating casualties but his job was to keep his dragoons moving forward.

He was the only one to bring his original horse back and he was on parade the next day. Only 20 members of the 13 Light Dragoons emerged from the Valley of Death.

There were not enough survivors to sustain the regiment, which was disbanded.

Mr Kent, now in his 80s, said: “I feel very proud to have handed the medals over and I know my great grandfather would be very happy to have everything back home.”


News - Memorabilia gift to museum sheds light on war hero Collie

COLLIE Sallmayer was the sort of officer his men would die for.

Just after the end of the First World War one of his soldiers, Sherwood Foresters Lance Corporal J Freeman, of 15 Wordsworth Road, West Bridgford, wrote to Sallmayer at the regimental barracks in Kilworth Camp, County Cork.

"I am proud of having served with you and, also the platoon, would go through fire and water for you. Perhaps you already know that, Sir."

LCpl Freeman was probably referring to a day of bitter fighting on the San Sisto Ridge in northern Italy when 2nd Lieutenant Coleman Leonard James Maurice Sallmayer of the 1/8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters won the Military Cross.

The Foresters were holding a 1,000m line against a massed attack by the Austrian army.

Casualties were heavy, officers falling at the head of their troops. Sallmayer was the only one left to command a hard-pressed company of men. Under heavy fire, he organised an orderly withdrawal, never leaving his men ... even though he was in agony, his leg having been splintered by shrapnel from an exploding shell.

It was during the same battle that Foresters senior officer, Lt Colonel Charles Hudson, won the Victoria Cross.

This week, more than 90 years after Sallmayer's heroism saved the company, the medal he won that day was handed over to the Sherwood Foresters museum. It came with a few pieces of the shrapnel that was embedded in his leg, all part of a remarkable collection of memorabilia passed on by his family.

Collie Sallmayer's Military Cross is all the more valuable to the Sherwood Foresters museum, housed in Nottingham Castle, because he won it twice.

In the final weeks of the war, having been returned to active duty after the wounds suffered at San Sisto Ridge, Sallmayer was leading an attack in northern France to take ground the Germans had held since 1914.

They put up fierce resistance, heavy machine-gun fire forcing the attack to waver. Sallmayer rallied his troops and urged them forward until they had reached and captured their objective. He was later awarded a bar to his MC.

Now his medals and letters, including the one from a grateful L Cpl Freeman, together with a silver-plated knife, fork and spoon stamped with the Foresters' badge, have been handed to the museum.

The articles had been passed down to cousins Colleen Howells, stepdaughter of Lt Sallmayer, and Elizabeth Rees who decided that now was the right time for them to go to the museum.

Colleen's mother Daisy married Coleman (Collie) Sallmayer in 1938, just a few months before he died of TB. Daisy then remarried and had Colleen.

When Daisy passed away Coleman Sallmayer's effects were split between Colleen and her cousin Elizabeth Rees. As both are suffering from failing health, they have chosen to donate the items to the museum.They were delivered from Mrs Howell's home in Wales by family friend William O'Brien who explained: "Colleen is not in good health and she felt the collection should be given to the museum to ensure its safety. She feels it is the most appropriate place.

"They are very proud of their association with Collie Sallmayer and the Sherwood Foresters."

The items were received by Cindy Baines, curator and assistant regimental secretary, and museum trustee Cliff Housley, who said: "It is an absolutely wonderful collection. To have so many items from one man is fantastic."

Documents will be preserved and the medals will go on show.

Sallmayer's home was in the heart of London's Mayfair.

"He had studied in Heidelberg before the war and later was a teacher. He was a true academic," said Mr O'Brien.

Event - Local History Fair (Creswell Crags)

The 2nd annual Local History Fair will be held this year at Creswell Crags Visitors Centre. Parking is free and a shuttle bus will operate between the car park at Lafarge to the centre.  Over 20 local societies will be there with artifacts and exhibitions on our local history.

The Event starts at 10.30

Event - Steamy celebrations at hamlet (Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet Museum)

Families and steam enthusiasts will be able to enjoy more than just hot air this weekend when Sheffield’s Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet Museum hosts its annual Steam Gathering.

The two-day celebration of all things steam will feature a collection of steam-powered machines including steam rollers, traction engines, and road locomotives.

Niki Connolly, events and marketing officer at Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, said: “Thousands of visitors are expected over the weekend and we hope families and steam enthusiasts from Sheffield and beyond will come and join us in the celebrations.”

Miniature steam engine The Kelham Island Flyer – usually housed at Kelham Island Museum – will make a guest appearance when the hamlet comes to life with the sights, sounds and smells of a working steam engine.

There will also be living history characters in costume, demonstrations of forging, iron smelting, arts and crafts, plus live music.

A MUSEUM which commemorates soldiers who served in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) Museum will be officially re-opened tomorrow after a major refurbishment.

Brigadier Roger Preston, chairman of the KOYLI trustees will unveil the £230,000 revamp at 11.30am.

The museum, which is based in Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery on Chequer Road, charts the history of the famous Yorkshire regiment whose success at the decisive Battle of Minden in 1759 is honoured on Yorkshire Day each year.

Visitors can follow the origin of the Regiment to its amalgamation with the Rifles, find out why people joined the Regiment, what life was like for the families of the soldiers and just what the First World War Tommy had to endure in the reconstructed trench section.

New features of the museum include interactive displays and audio listening posts, where visitors can listen to diary extracts from the Officers and soldiers of the KOYLI, as well as new displays including items from the World Cultures collection, such as silks and other objects from India, to give visitors more insight into the experiences of the regiment.

The recently completed re-design was paid for with a grant of £204,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and donations from the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Trustees and the Friends of Doncaster Museums.

The KOYLI Museum has free admission and is open Monday to Saturday 10am until 5pm.

Event - Master Cutler gets to see a real Bramah (Sheffield)

Master Cutler, Professor Bill Speirs, saw how old and new can be merged successfully when he officially opened an exhibition celebrating 200 years of scissor making by hand in Sheffield.

The Cutting Edges exhibition is housed in Butcher Works, a former Little Mesters factory in the Cultural Industries Quarter, where scissors, blades, tools and cutlery were once made by William Butcher, who was Master Cutler in 1845.

Prof Speirs also got the chance to inspect another link with the Cutlers’ Company that he represents, when he saw one of the few remaining WCs designed by Joseph Bramah, the 18th century South Yorkshire inventor, whose descendant, John Bramah, was Master Cutler in 2002.

Similar closets are still working in Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s home on the Isle of Wight.

Opening the exhibition, the Master Cutler emphasised the importance of learning from what has gone before.

“This is a very special place linking the past and the present,” said Prof Speirs.

“This site also houses Freeman College, which works with students with special learning needs, and the Academy of Makers which is made up of artists and craftspeople who not only produce some wonderful things but who also run workshops and classes for the students.

“So this is not just a museum. It is part of our heritage, nurturing not only manual skills but also the desire to work which is essential for the growth and future development of the city.”

Among those attending the opening ceremony was Cutlers’ Company Freeman Philip Wright, grandson of the founder of Ernest Wright and Son, the last surviving scissor maker in Sheffield.

Mr Wright recalled working in the factory in the 1960s, when the weight of the machinery in the grinding workshops, on the upper levels, was so great that arched ceilings of fireproof brick up to one metre thick were needed to prevent the building from collapsing.

Joseph Bramah was born at Wentworth in 1748 and was credited with patents for a number of inventions, including the flushing toilet, beer pump, the unpickable Bramah lock, rotary engines, fire engines, machine tools and a press for printing and numbering bank notes.

He also developed a hydraulic printing press, which was used for making Ordnance Survey maps and was first installed in the Tower of London in 1806.

The press was moved from London to the Kelham Island Industrial Museum in Sheffield and restored several years ago with help from the Bramah family.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Article - Leger week rail disaster (Doncaster)

LEGER Week 1887 was in its third day. It had been, as usual, a good week for the borough’s tradesmen and its 25,000 inhabitants. A good week too for the caterers who rented the booths on the Town Moor. The popular local brews flowed without ceasing and the vendors of hot pies and fried onions did a roaring trade.

Good too for the day trippers from all corners of South Yorkshire, from North Nottinghamshire and across the Pennines. The hoteliers and countless licensed victuallers who ringed Donny market place and all who, by tradition, let their entire houses for visitors, they too were counting the profits.

It was also a the busiest week for the sugar boilers, the butterscotch men, the toffee apple dippers, the sellers of Grantham gingerbread.

Business in the borough – sometimes known as Sleepy Hollow for most of the year – was brisk. Shops in elegant and fashionable Hallgate and High Street stocked the latest fancy goods unobtainable at any other time. Toffs and swells, beggarmen and thieves, all were in town in Leger Week.

A good week too for the gamblers, the slick three-card tricksters, the bookies, the breeders of thoroughbreds, gathered for the greatest bloodstock sales in the world. A safe time for the sharp fellows, the snakeoil doctors, who attracted the gullible and dazzled to deceive.

Nobody minded much except the vicar who, by custom, raged from the pulpit of St George’s about the immorality and drunkenness – he didn’t like to mention prostitutes, the tarts – who regularly came into town at that time.

The extremely rich and the dirt poor; the aristocracy and the unwashed masses mingled with the Romanies whose vardos camped on the free course. Wives were happy to have their palms crossed with silver, dark ladies happy to tell fortunes to blushing maidens.

The gypsies having ripped up sprigs of heather off the moor tied them with coloured ribbon and sold them to mugs for luck.

Hard men stood bare-chested outside the boxing booths, challenging any young fellow to fight three rounds.

All walks of life were brought together by an event that rivalled Derby Day, the National and any other crowd-pulling money-making entertainment. Steam boats, swing boats, roundabouts, galloping horses; the lot. Something for every age.

Their love of the turf united them; the sights and sounds and smells that distinguished them brought them together.

It is difficult today for readers to appreciate just how important a successful Leger Week was as a showcase for a little country town on the Great North Road.

On that station platform at Hexthorpe, used because Doncaster station was too busy with Leger traffic, a mile or so from the town centre there stood just one train belonging to the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire company, the MS and L. It was hissing steam waiting just two more minutes for the whistle to be off, while ticket business was completed. (A ticket inspector could not move coach to coach as they were non-corridor.)

Then, just after midday few people might have heard, from far off, the familiar sound of an approaching locomotive as it emerged from a deep cutting in the limestone. It was due in at about 15 minutes past.

One of the ticket men thought it sounded rather loud, perhaps rather too close for comfort. Then, almost too late he realised to his horror that it was on the same track and never going to stop in time. It burst onto the scene.

“I could tell it wasn’t going to stop by its speed” he remembered. Shouting to all around him: “Run for your lives!” he leaped over the platform railings and tumbled onto the grass below.

Winded, and at first motionless, he was unable to rise up because of a sharp pain in his back. When at the third attempt he got on his feet, he witnessed a scene from hell.

The unstoppable, an express from Liverpool to Hull had come up at full speed and dashed into the back of the most vulnerable.

The scene, described as a woodyard with coaches telescoped and ripped to matchwood, was pure carnage.

“The screams and cries of the wounded were awful... some were thrown into a mass of bodies and so badly injured they could not be extricated until parts of the locomotive were removed.”

Lord and Lady Auckland offered to adopt a baby found in the wreckage unhurt. It was believed that its parents were dead, but within a few hours the three were united.

The boiler of the Manchester train was lifted from the framework and went partly through the rear of the Midlands van before hitting the last coach.

Nineteen on the Midland excursion had died at the scene, five later died in Doncaster Infirmary 50 were injured, some very badly. Some were decapitated, some disembowelled. These were only the initial totals; the final numbers were 25 dead and 66 injured.

A local man, Dr Hills, was at the scene almost immediately and a dozen or more doctors followed as the injured were taken by horse-drawn transport to the Infirmary in Whitaker Street.

“Every assistance was at hand and there was no loss of time attending to the dead and dying,” wrote one reporter.

But of course that infirmary, although equipped with the most modern equipment, could not cope. All the beds in hotels and boarding houses were full of race week visitors, but they required little persuasion to vacate them. The nearby Reindeer Hotel became a second infirmary.

People living nearby in Young Street, Cartwright Street and Society Street offered still more beds and bedrooms.

All the dead had been identified within 24 hours and taken to Sheffield, Mr Watson the Bentinck Street undertaker providing shells for the corpses.

Two days later, a Sunday, large numbers went to the scene of the accident but the coaches were covered in tarpaulin and the line cleared for normal working.

The train driver, a man with 29 years experience on the footplate and regarded as one of the safest and most experienced operators did not escape without injury. To his credit he was quick to acknowledge he had never seen the red flags which would have caused him to slow down. His fireman said he had seen them. Railworkers offered varying excuses.

At the inquest both driver and fireman were declared negligent, but much later, when they appeared before a court they were exonerated. It was revealed they were not the only persons negligent that fateful afternoon.

The tragedy came at a time when the movement of rail passengers during Race Week had reached its peak. Hundreds of trains, tens of thousands of passengers all wanted to be in one place at the same time for four successive days. It required a superhuman effort from the numerous companies running in and out of Doncaster.

They had not only to unload passengers, but to park the trains in miles of sidings, burning huge quantities of coal and taking on water, to be ready for the return journey facing the right direction.

There were no telephones, no portable radios, just pocket watches and a timetable. The result was described as a miracle of organisation.

The Gazette Editor wrote: “Our house of joy has become the house of mourning. Never before has a race meeting closed with the sound of weeping and the cries of anguish from the lips of the wounded. We may search the record of railway accidents in vain to find its parallel.”

Events - Friends of Wincobank Hill for October (Sheffield)

Saturday 1st
Industrial Heritage and Climate Change event - Grenoside

Sunday 2nd 2-4 pm
Litter Pick on the Hill with North Team Ranger Graham Lester (+ cutting back/opening up viewpoints, removing self-sets, etc) - winter felling & clearance began on Tuesday this week

Thursday, 6th 6.30 for 7 pm
Time to Talk (Wendy Booth) - at the Chapel
1st to 9th October - 11-3 pm

8th October at 11-3 pm
Wincobank Day at Upper Wincobank Chapel with local history)

Saturday 8th
West Yorkshire Community Heritage Forum at Castleford (request details if interested)

Saturday 22nd 11-3 pm 
"From Brook to Blade" Open Day - Shepherd Wheel, Endcliffe Park

Sunday 30th October
Little Horrors" Halloween Activities with Graham Lester near Bluebell Road entrance (would like to talk to some members re final format for this)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

News - Nick sees pupils’ prehistoric project (Millhouses)

SHEFFIELD Hallam MP Nick Clegg was given an insight into a prehistoric project at a city school which has seen the creation of a replica Iron Age round house.

The Lib Dem leader was at St Wilfrid’s RC Primary in Millhouses to officially open the house, constructed with the help of volunteers from Heeley City Farm and Sheffield University.

The round house is already being used by youngsters as an outdoor classroom for their environmental studies - although currently lighting is an issue as the structure has no windows!

“We’re looking at installing small solar-powered lights so the atmosphere of the round house is maintained,” said headteacher Barbara Jarrett.

“The work was only just completed before Nick arrived but he was very impressed with what he saw - he said they didn’t do things like this when he was at school.”

The Deputy Prime Minster also saw smelting work with a craftsman creating an iron hinge for the house’s door.

“It’s been a brilliant project and we are expanding our environmental work with our refurbished school pond and a forest school project,” Barbara added.

Every child in the school was involved in the building work - getting messy creating daub for the walls from clay, straw, water and sand.

The mixture was later spread on the woven willow walls by hand, with help from university archaeology students.

The building work began last February and tied in with classroom work on the whole Iron Age era.

Pupils also worked with heritage officers from Heeley City Farm and university lecturers on a host of activities, including handling genuine archaeological artefacts.

Youngsters also visited the Iron Age hill fort at Wincobank and harvested materials for the construction work.

Sheffield University lecturer Dr Roger Doonan said: “The pupils really enjoyed the project as it was fun but also formed part of an important research project with the work of the pupils contributing to our understanding of life in the Iron Age.

“Their enthusiasm and interest was incredibly impressive and I was asked questions by nine-year-old pupils which would not have been out of place at a professional conference.”


News - Grant award helps museum expansion (Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet)

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet has received a National Lottery grant to fund preparatory work towards a £900,000 project aiming to ‘transform’ the museum.

Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, which runs the site, off Abbeydale Road South, has been awarded £47,200 to help develop the plans, which involve creating a learning centre for educational visits, restoration of water wheels and construction of new workshops for use by modern-day metalworkers.

The trust is to apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund again later this year for the balance of the funding to make the scheme a reality.

Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust said the work would ‘transform’ the museum.

Trust chairman Alex Pettifer said: “We’re delighted the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support, it is a truly significant success for the trust.

“Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet is a place of outstanding historical significance and it is important that we continue to preserve the site.

“Sheffield will be a much better place for the protection of the historical and industrial heritage of the city and how it helped place Sheffield on the world map.”

Fiona Spiers, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber, added: “Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet provides a great insight into the industrial heritage that is synonymous with the local area. “We are pleased to give initial support to this worthwhile project.”

The museum incorporates numerous 18th and 19th century listed buildings and is listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

News - £100,000 for museum (Newark)

A grant of £100,000 is set to be given to a project to convert the Old Magnus Buildings into a Civil War museum.

The grant would come from the remaining money to be allocated from the now defunct group of local authorities and organisations known as the Nottinghamshire Partnership.

There is £375,600 left to spend on community projects in Newark and Sherwood.

The grant to the £4.4m Old Magnus Buildings scheme, of which it is hoped £2.8m will come from the Heritage Lottery Fund, has been suggested by the district council.

Angel Awards - Attraction makes awards shortlist (Bestwood)

A NOTTS attraction has been shortlisted for a heritage award.

The Bestwood Winding Engine House – the last remaining part of the old Bestwood Colliery which closed in the late 1960s – is one of 16 projects nationwide to be nominated in the Best Rescue of an Industrial Building or Site category of the English Heritage Angel Awards.

It has also been accredited under the Places of Interest Quality Assurance Scheme.

The award was officially handed over last week by the Chairman of Notts County Council councillor Keith Walker and the cabinet member for culture and community, councillor John Cottee.

Mr Cottee said the engine house provided "a fascinating insight into Nottinghamshire's mining heritage" and was "fully deserving of these accolades".

He said: "Both the accreditation and award nomination are testament to the hard work, dedication and knowledge of the volunteers at the Engine House who make visitors' experience so interesting.

"It's with great pride that I have seen Winding Engine House transformed from a derelict site to the impressive, fascinating insight into local history that it is today."

The Engine House is a community run tourist attraction in Bestwood Country Park, which is managed by local volunteers, supported by Notts County Council Park Rangers.

News - £175k for repairs to eroded castle (Newark)

NEWARK Castle is to undergo urgent repair work costing £175,000.

Small pieces of stone have been falling from the castle and a recent structural survey found it was suffering from erosion.

Part of the 12th century building has been fenced off to protect people from falling masonry.

Newark and Sherwood District Council, who are responsible for the upkeep of the building, has allocated £130,000 towards the repairs.

The remaining £45,000 will come from a heritage grant.

The survey also found that the castle will require future repair work costing more than £500,000 over the next five years.

The council carried out extensive work to restore the castle between 1979 and 1994 at a total cost of more than £1 million.

Most of this money came from English Heritage, but it has warned it would not be able to guarantee a grant due to Government cuts.

The historic castle was partly destroyed during the English Civil War, though many parts of the original Norman structure have survived.

Event - 'Americans' on their way (Beeston)

THE Yanks are coming – and they will be arriving at Beeston Marina in a Second World War landing craft.

A living history group called GI 44-45, which portrays GIs of the Second World War, will be recreating some of the sights and sounds of 70 years ago.

Formed in 2006, the group has featured in newspapers and magazines and National Geographic's TV series Generals at War.

They will be at the marina on Saturday from 12.30pm.

Member Sam Harris, of Long Eaton, has arranged for people to travel in the LCI – Landing Craft Infantry.

To gain some understanding of how the GIs felt in the craft the group will be wearing the uniforms, and carrying the equipment, of the US 4th Infantry Division otherwise known as the Ivy Division.

During the build-up to the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944, men of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment were based in Wollaton Park.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Event - Kirkby Hardwick Open Day

The excavation at Kirkby Hardwick (taking place 3rd to 14th October) will be open to members of the public on Saturday 15th October, between 10am and 4pm.
Visitors will have the opportunity to take guided tours of the site and to see some of the finds.  The local history group will also be recording memories that people may have of the house from before it was demolished in 1966.
Come along and find out about the excavation of this fascinating piece of archaeology, offering an insight into a multi-phase high status building, which was once one of the finest Tudor buildings in Nottinghamshire.
Kirkby Hardwick is located between Sutton in Ashfield, and Kirkby in Ashfield, off the B6021, Low Moor Road.  Parking is at Sutton Parkway Railway Station, and the site will be signpost from there.
If you are interested in volunteering for the excavation, there are very few spaces left.  The excavation runs from 3rd to 14th October, NOT including weekends.  If you want more information get in touch.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

News - Determined to honour miners (Ollerton)

Calls have been made for plans to erect a miners’ memorial in Ollerton to move forward.

A site for the memorial, at the old mine entrance near the Tesco roundabout off Forest Road, has been identified.

However, the land is owned by Tesco and talks over siting the memorial there have stalled.

Residents attended a meeting of Ollerton and Boughton Town Council to voice their disappointment that the project was being delayed.

The Mayor of Ollerton, Mrs Abbie Truswell, said: “Members of the public are very disappointed that this seems to have been lost track of.

“Although the mine is no longer there, the community spirit is and we still want something to recognise the miners.

“Tesco doesn’t seem to realise how strongly people feel about it.”

The council agreed to submit a planning application for the memorial to Newark and Sherwood District Council to try to force some movement on the issue.

The chairman of the memorial committee, Mrs Irene Miller, said the roundabout site was the ideal location for a memorial and that a resolution was needed.

“Hopefully we can try and get over this because it has gone on too long,” she said.

“We have been in negotiations with Tesco and hopefully we can get it resolved.”

She said the possibility of renting the land from the supermarket for a peppercorn rate had been looked at, but talks seemed to have hit a dead end.

“The mine closed in 1994 so it really is time we had something there,” she said.

“We have dragged our heels over this for long enough. That road was what we called Pit End Lane and opened out on to the colliery site.

“The consensus of everybody in Ollerton is that it would be the ideal place for a memorial. Two elderly miners have given donations towards it and we want it to be done so they can see it.

“Some local contractors have offered their services for free as well so it needs to be done.”

A design for the memorial, featuring the names of miners who died working at the colliery, has been drawn up. It features a mining wheel with a red brick backdrop.

Tesco corporate affairs manager Mr Jonathan Simpson said: “We are certainly in talks about this and are happy to meet with representatives of the group to discuss it with them.

“If this is land that does not cause any problems in terms of access we will be very happy for a memorial to go there.”

Mr Simpson said there were a number of groups across Nottinghamshire in discussion with him about memorials, and that he would be happy to talk personally to representatives of the Ollerton group if they contacted Tesco.

News - Castle in need of £1/2m repairs (Newark)

About £175,000 is to be spent on urgent repairs to Newark Castle.

A report by an expert building conservation company has identified high priority repairs that are needed on the walls of the 12th Century monument.

Two areas of the castle gardens have been fenced off to protect the public from risk of falling stones.

Newark and Sherwood District Council, which is responsible for the castle, has decided to allocate £130,000 towards the repairs. The rest of the money will come from a heritage grant via the Landfill Communities Fund.

Further repairs have been identified that are less urgent. Some will be carried out within two years and others within five years, depending on their priority.

The total cost of all the repairs required is about £1/2m.

The district council’s cabinet member with responsibility for the castle, Mrs Nora Armstrong, said: “We can’t do anything other than look after this wonderful asset.

“It just can’t be allowed to deteriorate.”

The council leader, Mr Tony Roberts, said it was an important part of the history of the district.

He said it was a concern that over the years it was evident that plants had started growing in the mortar at the top of the walls. He said regular yearly inspections were needed.

The castle was partially destroyed at the end of the Civil War siege of Newark in 1646, exposing soft blue lias stone, which has been refaced in some areas but not others.

Areas of the riverside curtain wall and gatehouse tower have been particularly affected by weathering, resulting in small pieces of stone frequently falling to the ground.

The district council carried out extensive restoration work costing nearly £1m between 1979 and 1994.

The majority of the money for that work came from English Heritage, which is now considering whether to increase the risk status of the castle from low to medium.

This would open up the possibility of the castle receiving a grant, although restrictions in funding due to the Government’s spending review mean it would not be guaranteed.

News - Not forgotten: brave men of Narrow Marsh who gave lives

The rescue of a First World War memorial means the sacrifice of men from Narrow Marsh will never be forgotten.

LIKE millions of adventurous young men, Christopher Lawson and his nephew Christopher Watchorn answered the call to arms and left their home in Narrow Marsh for the Western Front.

Private Lawson, 28, joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers while Private Watchorn, only 17, signed up with the Northumberland Fusiliers.

In the midst of the horror that was the battle of the Somme, on July 7, 1916, young Watchorn went over the top... and was never seen again.

Somewhere in that sea of mud, he was cut down and his remains were lost in the morass. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, one name among more than 72,000 with no known grave.

His uncle fought on, until the closing weeks of the war, before he was wounded in northern France and taken to a casualty clearing station in the village of Bailleulval and there, on September 2, 1918, he died of his wounds.

The loss of those two brave men was mourned back home in Narrow Marsh, local people determined their sacrifice would not be forgotten. They were among more than 270 Narrow Marsh men who went off to war.

In her grief, Rose Connor, mother of Christopher Watchorn and sister of Christopher Lawson, decided to honour all of Narrow Marsh's heroes by erecting a memorial outside the Loggerheads public house, where she was the landlady.

And there it stood, together with a two foot crucifix, over the decades as the rest of Narrow Marsh disappeared.

But the constant battering by wind and rain eventually rendered unreadable the soldiers' names carved into the commemorative plaque and so, in the late 1990s, licensee Mick Walton decided to restore the memorial and began tracking down the names of around 270 local men who went off to war.

In 1998, the refurbished plaque was unveiled by Irene Abbott, granddaughter of Rose Connor, and re-dedicated by Father George Woodall, of St Patrick's, in The Meadows.

At the time, landlord Mr Walton, himself an ex-soldier, said: "All those lads killed in World War One were killed for us. It was only fitting that this shrine was restored as a tribute."

But in recent months, with the Loggerheads changing hands and, at one stage, becoming a Chinese restaurant, he became anxious for the plaque's safety.

And when the pub finally closed, Mr Walton, 67, realised it was time to act, before the memorial was lost forever.

Together with Steve Beeton, 51, the grandson of Private Lawson, he rescued the plaque and crucifix. Then came the vital task of finding a new, fitting home for the memorial.

The two men agreed that St Mary's in the Lace Market, the parish church for the old district of Narrow Marsh, would be the ideal location. An application to the Diocese of Southwell has been successful and during the Remembrance Day service which begins at 11am on November 11 in St Mary's Church, the plaque and crucifix will be unveiled.

Mr Walton contacted the Post after Sue Bell, secretary of the Sherwood Foresters Malayan Veterans Association, made an appeal in Bygones for information on the whereabouts of the memorial.

"We were a bit surprised to see the story that it was missing... it has been in safe hands," said Mr Walton.

Now, their rescue act will get its final reward when the memorial is unveiled at its new site.

"It will be a proud moment," said Mr Walton. "It means it will now have a home for ever."

Mr Beeton said: "My father was very proud of coming from Narrow Marsh and he made me promise to keep the plaque safe.

"I feel I am carrying on Christopher Lawson and Dad's memory, and all the other Narrow Marsh men who died."

News - Father of Council House listed in national archive (Thomas Cecil Howitt)

A HUCKNALL-BORN architect who designed some of Nottingham's most celebrated buildings has been included in a national historical database.

Information about the life of Thomas Cecil Howitt will be featured in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Mr Howitt designed the iconic Council House in Old Market Square, Nottingham Trent University's Newton building and the former Raleigh headquarters.

He is also renowned for designing the YMCA building in Shakespeare Street, Staythorpe Power Station and the Home Ales building in Mansfield Road, Daybrook.

His entry was written by architectural historian Doctor Elain Harwood, who said Howitt's influence on the city was vast.

She said: "He is the great Nottingham architect of the 20th Century and someone the city should rightly be proud of.

"One just needs to look around Nottingham and you can see his wonderful designs.

"The other thing that sets him apart was his range of influences and styles, from homes in the 1920s through to the fantastic Newton building in the 1960s."

The Oxford DNB, which is online and available free in libraries, features famous individuals as well as 400 entries on historical groups.

Mr Howitt began his career designing telephone exchanges and shops for Boots before the First World War.

He later joined the Nottingham city engineer's department and helped develop new housing estates in the north and west of the city to tackle a shortage of houses.

In 1923 Mr Howitt proposed a replacement for the old 18th century Corn Exchange which would become the Council House. Work started in 1927 and the building was opened by the Prince of Wales two years later.

Howitt died in 1968 at a home he designed in Orston, east Notts.

Article - Mystery motoring men (Finningley)

A sale notice in the Doncaster Chronicle of June 17, 1881, the Finningley Estate was described as “a most compact and important landed investment of Freehold tenure consisting of about 2, 418 acres.

“The land lies almost entirely in a ring fence, is fertile in its character, chiefly arable, with several closes of pasture, interspersed with thriving plantations affording excellent cover for game and recognised also as one of the best partridge manors in the district...The annual income amounts to about £2,277.”

On August 21, 1903 the Doncaster Gazette noted: “For sale by private contract (in consequence of the decease of George Spofforth Lister Esq JP the late owner) The Finningley Estate.”

Details were also given about the house: “The residence contains on the ground floor, entrance hallway, bay-windowed dining room, drawing room, with small recess leading into a small conservatory, morning room, billiard room, study, housekeper’s room, butler’s pantry, butler’s bedroom, servants’ hall, kitchen and scullery, store rooms, with dairy and boot house outside, etc. There are 20 bed and dressing rooms, stabling for 14 horses, coach houses and well appointed out-offices”.

Later the Estate was owned by the Parker Rhodes family until the death of John Parker Rhodes in 1943.

John Parker-Rhodes’ obituary in the Doncaster Chronicle of January 7, 1943 noted the following: “[He] died at Honeywick Hill,Castle Carey, Somerset last Friday. He was the only surviving son of the late Frederick Parker-Rhodes, at one time senior partner in the firm of Parker-Rhodes Cockburn and Co, solicitors of Rotherham, who lived for some years at Finningley Park. Mr Parker-Rhodes, who was educated at Uppingham and Penbroke College Cambridge, was a keen sportsman and a Fellow of the Royal Zoological Society.”

Two months later, the Finningley Park Estate, comprising over 1,505 acres, was sold for £45,000. Starting at £15,000 and rising in bids of £1,000 and later £500, the Estate was sold by auction as one lot, at the Woolpack Hotel, Doncaster to W Elmhirst of Rotherham for £45,000. The latter bought for a client. The 1,505 acres included three farms, Finningley Park Hall and other lots. Six hundred acres of the estate, sold in the previous July, had made £30,000.

Pevsner (1959) noted: “The Georgian house of three bays and two and a half storeys now overlooks a desert of sand and gravel digging.”

Finningley Hall was later demolished.

Hamilton Lodge, a villa-type residence set back from Carr House Road, was built by a Captain Robson c 1856, to the designs of BS Brundell and Tom Penrice, who were brothers-in-law. Later, Brundell was involved with the designs for the recently demolished General Infirmary & Dispensary/Education Offices in Princegate.

Perhaps the lodge’s most noted occupant was AO Edwards and it is tempting to suggest that he is one of the men pictured in the car outside the house in the photograph here. If any reader can confirm or deny this, I would love to hear from them.

AO Edwards developed the Wheatley Estate in the 1920s and later went to America where he was engaged upon the creation of a 220-acre estate at Palm Beach Shores, with the luxury Inlet Court Hotel as the centrepiece.

Hamilton Lodge was purchased by the Corporation in 1924 from AO Edwards, as noted in the Gazette of May 9, 1924: “The Doncaster Town Council on Wednesday confirmed minutes relating to the purchase of Hamilton Lodge near Race Common for use by the Public Health Department as a maternity home. These stated that Mr AO Edwards had accepted £4,500 for the house and grounds subject to the minerals of a lower depth than 700 yards being reserved. The Council agreed that a contract be entered into with Mr Edwards for the purchase of the premises on these terms.”

HR Wormald recorded: “[Hamilton Lodge was] developed by the corporation as a maternity home at a cost between 1925 and 1928 of £6,805, also taken over by the National Health Service, has become redundant to the service by the opening of the new maternity wing, in 1971, at the Royal Infirmary and is now used as a club for hospital service employees in all the Doncaster hospitals.”

Many Doncastrians, including myself, were born in Hamilton Lodge and the interior view here will bring fond memories for many readers.

Rossington Bridge House continued to be used as an inn until 1850 when the licence was not renewed.

Tom Bradley in The Old Coaching Days in Yorkshire (1889) gives some details about the house during the coaching era: “A few of the coaches were horsed from the Rossington Bridge Inn, and the stages they worked were from Rossington Bridge to Barnby Moor on the one hand and Red House on the other.”

From 1850, the property has remained primarily a private house. One of its noted tenants during the 20th century was PH Beales, consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon at Doncaster Infirmary. Just before the Second World War, brewers Whitworth, Son & Nephew proposed to return the site to a pub. On May 11, 1939 the Doncaster Chronicle reported: “Farm buildings at Rossington Bridge, at the junction of Sheep Bridge Lane and the Great North Road, are to be demolished and in their place is to be erected a new hotel.”

The pub was never built but during the 1990s, Rossington Bridge House became the Hare and Tortoise pub.