Thursday, 29 November 2012

Event - Memories of war at country estate (Brodsworth)

HISTORIC Brodsworth Hall is set to step back in time to the dark days of the Second World War with a new exhibition.

And visitors are being urged to share their wartime memories to capture a snapshot of life at the country estate between 1939 and 1945.

To stir local memories, a series of reminiscence sessions will be held next month featuring an actress playing the part of wartime house maid Mollie Hindle, a real life employee at Brodsworth during the era.

In the 1940s, Brodsworth and many of its estate buildings were taken over by soldiers, initially from the 44th Home Counties Infantry Division, and then the Royal Artillery, all part of the larger 1 Corps.

It was from these troops that Mollie came to find her future husband, Walter Nicholls.

Walter was billeted in the stable block at Brodsworth where Mollie and her family lived, as her father was the estate foreman.

The couple married in 1942 at Brodsworth Church, just before Walter’s section moved away.

After the war they settled in Kent, but their two daughters, Janet and Celia, spent most of their school holidays at Brodsworth staying with their grandparents who were still living in the stables.

After many years living in Kent, Janet returned to live in the Brodsworth area in the 1970s - and she returned to the hall to meet the actress playing Mollie.

She said: “I think it’s excellent that this project will allow people with memories of Brodsworth Hall during the war to share them to become part of this fascinating exhibition.

“Meeting the actress that will play my mother as part of the reminiscence sessions was very moving, and I’m sure she’ll do a great job of telling my mother’s tale and encouraging others to share their stories too.”

The memories captured at the reminiscence sessions will be used to form an exhibition, as part of a project named Duty Calls: The Country House in Time of War, which goes on display next year largely thanks to a £99,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Caroline Carr-Whitworth, curator of Brodsworth Hall, said: “Brodsworth was significantly affected by both world wars, but particularly during World War II when the hall and its estate were used by the military as billets.

“This had an enormous impact on all of its occupants from the owners to the people working on the estate’s farms and nearby villages such as Marr, Pickburn and Hampole.

“We have a wide range of source materials already – from estate and personal archives from the early 20th century, to oral histories recorded by those who remember the house through the years, but we are hoping we can uncover many more through these reminiscence sessions, and people contacting us.”

A session will be held at Woodlands Library on December 12 with a further session at Brodsworth Hall on December 14.

Places on the December 14 session must be booked in advance by emailing, or calling David Alcock on 01482 318961.


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Events - Priories Historical Society Talks 2013 (Worksop)

All 2013 talks will be held at 7.30pm at the BCVS Old Abbey School building next to the Priory Church, Priorswell Road, Worksop, S80 2BU. Entrance is still only £3 (or £2 for members) Free tea/coffee and biscuits are provided at each meeting. Membership remains the same at only £5 per year. The meetings are on the first Thursday of each month.

February 7th – TBA

March 7th – Local Finds and Their Preservation
Sam Glasswell from the Bassetlaw Museum in Retford comes to talk about what has been found in our local area and the techniques used to keep them in good condition.

April 4th – Lady Arbella Stewart – The Queen That Never Was
A fascinating talk by David Templeman from the Manor House in Sheffield on Lady Arbella Stewart, Englands ‘lost queen’. Follow her life, the plot to overthrow James I and her final days in the Tower of London.

May 2nd - Raymoth Lane Excavation
Pam Cook talks to the society about the last large scale excavation to take place in Worksop. Discover the Romano-British history of the area around Gateford and what discoveries were made during the dig in 2003 and 2004. (Due to the expected attendance levels this will be a ticket only event).

June 6th – Great Houses and Halls
An illustrated talk by Pat McLaughlin, one of the areas greatest experts on churches and mansions. Come and discover the facts on our local areas surviving and long gone large houses, who owned them and some interesting facts.

July 4th - TBA talk by Ian Morgan

August 1st /September 5th/October 3rd /November 7th /December 5th TBA

Petition - Save the Grade II Listed Edwardian wing of Jessop Hospital for Women (Sheffield)

Sheffield City Council will very soon make the decision on whether the University can demolish this nationally important building as part of their plans to build a new Faculty of Engineering building.

The decision will be based on whether the need for the new building outweighs the legal protection given to the listed building. The National Planning Policy Framework states that substantial harm to or loss of a grade II listed building should only be for an "exceptional reason".
If you wish to oppose the application to protect part of Sheffield's nationally important heritage please do one or more of the following as soon as possible:

Object at the council's online planning service,

email the planning committee councillors,

email your councillor,

email Paul Blomfield (MP for Sheffield Central),

email the University's Vice Chancellor.

Links are below.


Objections must be made on the following grounds (please feel free to use one or more of these, and amend in your own words if you have time):

I object to the University's plans to demolish the Grade II Listed Edwardian wing of Jessop Hospital in order to build a new Engineering Faculty building.

The Jessop Edwardian wing is a nationally important building which is an integral part of the early development of the Jessop hospital, being designed by the same architect who built the Victorian wing to complement his earlier building.

I believe that the need for the new University's Engineering building is not exceptional enough to warrant the demolition of this Listed Edwardian building. Clearly a new Engineering building can be built without demolition of the Listed hospital building.

The University has done a great job of renovating the Victorian wing of the hospital and can do the same with the Edwardian wing, while still constructing a new Engineering building. The two are not mutually incompatable.

The proposed new building does not fit sympathetically with the surrounding Victorian and Edwardian area of the city comprising the Victorian wing of the Jessop Hospital, St George's Church and the Sir Frederick Mappin Building - all listed buildings.


If you contact the University's Vice Chancellor, you may wish to add the following:

The University's reputation and standing in the city will be severely diminished if it goes ahead with plans to demolish the Edwardian wing of the Jessop hospital, where tens of thousands of Sheffielders were born over 100 years.

The council's online planning service:

The planning committee councillors:

Cllr Alan Law (Chair) -

Cllr David Baker -

Cllr Richard Crowther -

Cllr Tony Downing -

Cllr Jayne Dunn -

Cllr Ibrar Hussain-

Cllr Peter Price -

Cllr Janice Sidebottom -

Cllr Diana Stimley -


Find your councillor:

Paul Blomfield:


University Vice Chancellor (Keith Burkinshaw)   Via SCHF

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

News - Village bid makes history (Killamarsh)

A SHEFFIELD community group is celebrating after becoming one of the first in the country to win a new grant.

Killamarsh Heritage Society scooped £3,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s All Our Stories scheme to record and celebrate the village’s history.

Ian Beck, society vice-chairman, said: “We can’t wait to get started.

“We love where we live and know there is so much to discover about our past.

“We are really excited about telling other people our findings, sharing our heritage and history with them.”

The group will record residents’ memories of living in Killamarsh over the years - from its origin, through the time when it had three coal mines to the present day – to produce both a book and digital history.

All Our Stories launched this year in support of BBC Two show The Great British Story and aims to involve everyone in their heritage.

Hundreds of groups were successful in the first round of grants.

Emma Sayer, head of the lottery fund in the East Midlands, said the Killamarsh project would see people “embark on a real journey of discovery”.


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Article - Horses for Courses (Doncaster)

Steadman’s founder John Graham Steadman was born in Mattersey in 1850 and, after a short spell as the landlord of Thorne’s Red Bear, he came to Doncaster in 1875. 

He established himself as a horse-breaker in Silver Street, where he gradually built up a well-stocked livery stable, eventually moving to larger premises in Highfield Road. 

At one time he had around 50 horses and these were hired out by the hour or by the day. 

In 1887 he started the first horse-bus service in Doncaster, from Station road to Hyde Park and Avenue Road.
He was a familiar figure on the box of his four-in-hand, and made a speciality of drives to the Dukeries and other spots of interest. 

An advertisement, placed in the Doncaster Gazette Directory of 1908, shows the different rigs that were available for hire – dog carts, landaus, hansoms, coaches and four-in-hands. 

With the arrival of the petrol engine, the four-in-hand days rapidly became a memory, but John Steadman kept abreast of the times. 

New premises were acquired in Cleveland Street in 1904, providing accommodation for both horses and equipage and motor vehicles.
The stables were built on the first floor, and horses were led up a ramp ‘to go to bed.’ 

Also during the Edwardian period a couple of motor charabancs were purchased. Allegedly, these were the first of their kind in Doncaster and they ran excursions to Woodlands, which was considered in those days to be one of the town’s best picnic areas. 

John Graham died in 1922 and from this time his two sons, John and Arthur, took control. 

The Undertaker’s Journal for that year reported: “The garage space at Cleveland Street is completely covered by glass. There is accommodation for 100 cars, a mighty consideration for race week. 

Motor-coach and funeral hearse building are also undertaken, as also funeral management to and from all parts of the country. No-one can do this better than the Doncaster firm.”

Gradually, the number of horses was reduced in favour of motor vehicles. In 1934, the last three hearses, eight coaches and four horses were sold by public auction. 

The passing of this era was then marked by the beginning of a new one, as motorised funeral corteges and taxi cabs became a feature of the firm. 

The Cleveland Street premises underwent many improvements over the years, providing additional offices and chapels-of-rest. Also, the fleet of hearses and taxis continually changed to provide the latest models and greatest comfort. 

In 1962, the business transferred to Balby Road, having outgrown the town-centre property. 

Steadman’s traditional role as a taxi firm ended in 1984, though the involvement with weddings and funeral continued. 

John Graham’s grandson, Gordon, sold the company in 1987 to Hodgson Holdings. This latter company subsequently merged with the French Company Pompes Fenebres General and Kenyons of London. 

n In John Butler’s obituary published in the Doncaster Evening Post of January 16, 1981 it was stated that the 89-year-old had taken a risk, when aged 21, starting a small ironmongery shop at 9 Silver Street.

His gamble paid off and soon the shop was too small and he moved a short distance down the street into a larger shop. 

The shop was closed on January 15, 1981 while eight of the 12 members of staff attended his funeral in Bridlington. 

He began as an apprentice ironmonger at an old shop called Charles Bros in Baxter Gate, and allegedly believed in good old-fashioned personal service. 

His good friend, managing director Roy Smithson, who had worked at the shop for 35 years, said: “He believed in personal service and I will carry on in the same traditional ways.”

Mr Butler’s daughter Barbara, who lived in Florida took over ownership, but Mr Smithson carried on the running of the shop. 

Mr Butler, whose wife Helen had died about 10 years before, had retired to Bridlington about 20 years earlier. 

At first he came to Doncaster on the train twice a week to cast an eye over the running of the shop and later motored over to the shop each week. 

Mr Butler lived in Town Moor Avenue before he moved to Bridlington. 

Butlers were always respected for their vast and varied stock where customers could buy almost everything.
John Butler could not resist a bargain. What the Butler saw the Butler would buy, provided the price was right, and he would tour sales and Government auctions, particularly of ex-war department items. 

Often he would buy huge quantities which would then remain in their original packaging, stacked from floor to ceiling in a bewildering catacomb of rooms, some still clothed in the stippled wallpaper of their original domestic days.


Personal Retort to Robert Ilett!!!

Firstly may I state that there was no Battle of Worksop. Contemporary records refer to an ‘encounter’ and a ‘skirmish’ when the Yorkist vanguard met up with a Lancastrian patrol in the days before The Battle of Wakefield. The description as a battle seems to arise from a hyperbolic description by a member of a local history society a few years ago. The clash took place in December 1460 when Richard of Gloucester, the future King Richard III was eight years old and so it was plainly not possible for him to have ‘fought the battle of Worksop’ as stated by the MP in your last edition.

Worksop Guardian

I'd like to point out the following facts to Mr Ilett:
1) The name Battle of Worksop has been used in several books prior to the article I wrote so I did not come up with that name

2) I'm not hyperbolic, a little eccentric maybe 

3) there is no definitive number of dead for the 'battle' so it cannot be proved whether it was a skimish or full on bloodbath, there is only one surviving contemporary account only gives it a brief mention and doesn't give numbers. No-one knows where the bodies were buried/dumped. If the encounter was so small it is unlikely it would have even been mentioned as encounters were commonplace and hardly worth mentioning. Other accounts may have been destroyed either in the revenge carried out by the Lancastrians (such as the Croyland Chronicles) or during the reformation when many books were burnt.

4) Other historians agree this encounter may have had a significant affect on the Battle of Wakefield. 

Perhaps Mr Ilett should concentrate on his cases rather than belittling myself and other people who regard Worksop's history as actually being important!

Dave Cook

Friday, 16 November 2012

Event - Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England (Sheffield)

We think of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I as a golden age but what was it actually like to live then? If you could travel to London in the 1590s, where would you stay, what would you eat and wear? Would you have a sense of it being a glorious age, and if so, how would that glory sit alongside the poverty, diseases and violence?

Ian Mortimer answers the key questions that a traveller to Elizabethan England would ask applying the groundbreaking approach he pioneered in his bestselling Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England.

Dr Ian Mortimer is an award winning author and historian. He also writes historical fiction, published under his middle names James Forrester.

Price £7.50/£5.50 24th November 11.00 at the Showroom as part of the Off the Shelf event.


Thursday, 15 November 2012

News - How ground movement is changing landscapes (Nottinghamshire)

new surveying technique developed at The University of Nottingham is giving geologists their first detailed picture of how ground movement associated with historical mining is changing the face of our landscape.

The new development by engineers at the University has revealed a more complete map of subsidence and uplift caused by the settlement of old mines in the East Midlands and other areas of the country and has shown that small movements in the landscape are bound by natural fault lines and mining blocks.

It appears to support concerns that movement associated with historical mining is continuing far longer than previously anticipated.

How the research was done
The research has been led by Dr Andrew Sowter in the University’s Department of Civil Engineering. He said: "This method allows us to measure patterns of slow millimetre-scale movement across large regions of the landscape and, in the UK, almost everywhere we look is dominated by our industrial past. Large tracts of our land, including parts of our cities, towns and infrastructure as well as agricultural and woodland areas, are steadily creeping upwards over mines that were closed decades ago."

The new development builds on existing technology that allows engineers to use satellite radar technology to measure points on the landscape over a length of time to assess whether they are moving up (uplifting) or sinking down (subsiding).

A complete picture
Previously, this has relied on using fixed, unchanging objects like buildings that can be accurately re-measured and compared against previous measurements time after time. However, the technique has not been practical for use in the rural landscape meaning that geologists could only get half the picture.

Now, Dr Sowter has developed a technique called the Intermittent Small Baseline Subset (ISBAS) method which adapts the same technology and extends it to rural areas by taking stacks of these radar images and identifying those more transient points in the rural landscape against which changes over time are able to be measured.

The technique is now being used by the British Geological Survey (BGS), based in Keyworth in Nottinghamshire, which is the world’s oldest national geological survey providing expert services and impartial advice on all areas of geosciences for both the public and private sectors.

Principal geologist at the BGS Poul Strange said: “This new technique is going to allow us to refine our geological maps. Previously when surveying rural areas we were almost guessing and the final result was more of an interpretation. Now we are able to produce maps that far more accurately reflect what is happening with the geology below the surface and enable us to predict any potential risks posed by ground movement.

“Rural areas are particularly important because we need to know what is happening with the geology there and how movement or natural fault lines may affect future developments such as new housing or high speed rail links.”

Bounce back effect
The technique will assist BGS in the work it is doing looking at potential ground movement in former mining areas of South Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire where most mines closed no later than the early 90s.

The BGS has so far recorded geological evidence that movement in areas where deep coal mining has been in operation historically actually continues for up to 11 years, far more than any previous estimate such as the six-year limit set by the Subsidence Act of 1991.

They believe the problem may be caused by ground water, which would have been pumped out while the mines were open, seeping back into the disused pits and causing a ‘bounce back’ effect on the surrounding landscape. However, they estimate that this uplift is only likely to offer around a 4% recovery on where the landscape would have been before mining began.

In particular, they have been using the new technique to explore the rural areas surrounding locations like Swadlincote in Derbyshire and Oakthorpe near Measham in Leicestershire which have a long-standing history of problems with mining-related subsidence.

Seismic activity
They are able to see how this movement is interacting with natural fault lines, which could potentially cause other seismic activity such as the Market Rasen earthquake of 2008, which measured 5.2 on the Richter Scale and was felt as far away as Wales, Scotland and London.

The research could also be of vital significance in assessing future issues with subsidence and uplift connected with other types of activity such as fracking, where geological shale rocks are drilled and injected with fluid to encourage them to fracture and release natural gases.

Dr Sowter has previously spent time working at The University of Nottingham China Ningbo, where his research centred on China’s ‘sinking cities’ problem, where some of the country’s most densely populated communities, such as Shanghai, are sinking under the weight of towering skyscrapers.

Funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the work aimed to develop techniques to help Chinese authorities identify with far greater accuracy which areas are moving and by how much.

(EurekAlert, November 2012)


Website - Sheffield Community Heritage Forum

Sheffield Community Heritage Forum have now set up their own blogsite for the latest developments in the local history around Sheffield.  They will also be posting important news and events on the blogsite in addition to photos of Sheffield’s fantastic heritage community.

 They meet quarterly and meetings are open to everyone and anyone interested in finding out more about the heritage activity happening in Sheffield and its surroundings.

If you are not already a member of the mailing list, please contact to begin receiving all information and updates on events and projects happening in Sheffield’s cultural and heritage environment. You can also send your own promotional or informative material to the address from where it will be circulated amongst members.

To contribute blog posts or photos to the site, please don’t hesitate to contact the administrator on the email above.

Blogsite at

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Book - Sheffield’s Shocking Past: The Twentieth Century

A BOOK has been released about shocking incidents from Sheffield’s past.

It is called Sheffield’s Shocking Past: The Twentieth Century, and was written by local historians Chris Hobbs and Matthew Bell.

It is the follow up to a similar tome by the pair which focused on the Victorian period.

Included are tales about a killer cat from Millhouses, death by scalding at Heeley Baths, and the city’s earliest motor accidents.

Chris, 58, of Crookes, said: “It’s a bit ghastly but there seems to be a real appetite for this kind of thing.”

Matthew, 50, of Heeley, added: “People are fascinated by a little historic death and disaster.”

Here The Diary presents some of the best - or should that be worst? - extracts...

Hillsborough crush, 1934:
The record attendance at Hillsborough was on February 17 1934 for Wednesday’s FA Cup tie against Manchester City. But tragedy struck when a fan was crushed to death in the Leppings Lane end.

The Manchester Guardian reported five of George Hill’s ribs were broken. It said: “The inquest jury said more crush-barriers ought to be erected at the ground. A mounted policeman who had several years experience said he had never seen a crowd behave in such a manner. Several people near the railings were screaming for assistance.”

The city’s first motor tragedy, 1907:

Three people died in Sheffield’s first motor accident on August 25, 1907.

The Manchester Guardian reported: “A terrible accident occurred in Manchester Road, near Sheffield. A motor charabanc, conveying a party organised by the proprietor of a Sheffield hotel, was returning from Derbyshire, and all went well until Moscar Top was reached. of the wheels caught a telegraph pole. The char-a-banc was swung around into a stone wall with a fearful impact and overturned.”

The dead were five-year-old William Ernest Harrison, the son of a stoker at Sheffield Corporation; Benjamin Handley, 33, a bricklayer of Boston Street; and Hugh Fearn, 37, a clerk of Abbeydale Road.

Death by Cat, 1904:
Domestic butler William Ranger, of Millhouses Lane, was 63 when, in March 1904, he was scratched on his arm by his Persian cat.

The Manchester Guardian reported: “A few days afterwards there was severe pain and swelling near the elbow, and a doctor was summoned. A month after the accident the doctor found the patient livid and struggling for breath. There was no improvement after that time and he died.”

The book, published by city firm ACM Retro on November 14, is available for pre-order from The Star.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Community Archaeology - Graveyard Surveys - Cromwell

Nottinghamshire County Councils Community Archaeology team have organised another graveyard survey at Cromwell. They will be out at the graveyard between 10 am and 2.30 pm, on the 19th and 20th November. 

For those of you who haven't done graveyard survey before, it involves recording the text on gravestones, as well as their condition. It's very satisfying, and is really great information to help people who are researching their family history.

Toilets are available in the neighbouring village, inside Norwell church. There's also a coffee shop in Cromwell itself at the services by the A1. Some people like to bring a camping stool or blanket to sit on while recording the stones.

For further information please call the team on Tel: 0115 9696 525/Mob: 07917 212 554  or visit the website at

Friday, 9 November 2012

Website - New Histories (Sheffield)

It's amazing what you can find when looking for random new snippets on the internet, I found the New Histories online journal via an Amerian news article

The themes are mostly interanational but as it's led by students at the University of Sheffield it becomes local enough to get a mention on here.

Dave Cook

Thursday, 8 November 2012

News - Community welcomes new Robin Hood attraction (Edwinstowe)

COMMUNITY leaders have welcomed plans to develop a new £13m visitor centre in Sherwood Forest.

Chad revealed last week that the £13m tourist attraction, based on the legend of Robin Hood, will be completed by 2015 subject to planning permission.

The planned 40-acre ‘Discover Robin Hood’ visitor attraction will include a medieval fortress, dungeons and a maze with talking trees.

John Peck, who is Newark & Sherwood district councillor for Edwinstowe, also welcomed the plan.

“It’s very exciting news for Edwinstowe. As the gateway village to Sherwood Forest, tourism is very important to the local economy and the prosperity of our High Street,” he said.

“I want to make sure Edwinstowe gains some real benefits from this development.

“I understand there will be up to 100 jobs created and I will be seeking assurances that the majority will go to local people and that local tradespeople will be used where possible.

“There will also be important issues to address to reassure Edwinstowe residents and I will be asking for early discussions about how to manage the increased traffic and minimise disruption to residents living next to the new attraction.”

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust said the forest will benefit from the new attraction being developed away from sensitive areas of the iconic landscape.

Wildlife Trust chief executive John Everitt said: “We’re delighted that the council and Discovery Attractions will be bringing investment to provide a 21st century attraction.

“It’s crucial that facilities are developed sensitively alongside the National Nature Reserve to help preserve the fragile wildlife of Sherwood Forest.”


News - Memorial builders (Edlington)

WORK is under way on a memorial garden being built to remember the 133 men who died working at a Doncaster colliery.

The Yorkshire Main Commemorative Trust has started work on the garden in memory of those killed working at the pit, in Edlington, between 1909 and 1985.

Chairman of the Yorkshire Main Commemorative Trust, Frank Arrowsmith, said: “This garden and the Yorkshire Main memorial wall have been a two-and-a-half year labour of love.”

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint and Edlington ward Coun Phil Cole joined trust members to see work on the £30,000 plaque and arch scheme get under way.


Monday, 5 November 2012

Event - Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars History Project Launch

Friday, 30th November 2012, 7:30 – 9:00pm.
Ruskin Hall, Walkley Community Centre, 7a Fir Street, Walkley.

Enjoy a glass of wine or fruit juice and some snacks while finding out about a new exciting Walkley history project.

You can see the archive of the Walkley Action Group, set up by local people to save Walkley from the bulldozers. Highlights include the maps showing the phases of demolition, how Walkley would have looked like after tower block redevelopment and of every house in Walkley colour-coded for its condition.

You can visit the Club’s WW1 memorial windows in the snooker club.

We will give a short introduction about the project.

Two exciting speakers are now confirmed for the launch!

Geoff Green, a leading light of the 1960s’ Walkley Action Group will introduce the work of the Group in campaigning against the slum clearance plans.

Narendra Bajaria was the council planning officer who led the Walkley Improvements Scheme during the 1970s which led to Walkley houses being ‘saved’ and ‘modernised’.

Each will talk for about 5 minutes about their work in the Walkley clearance and improvements scheme.

There are plenty of ways to gfet involved. You can sign-up for:

1) Being kept up to date about the project.
2) To volunteer to be an Oral History Interviewer, with training provided.
3) To volunteer to be a Local History Researcher, with training provided.
4) To have your memories of Walkley in the 1960s and 1970s recorded.

Walkley Community Centre is managing this exciting three-year history project, beginning in November 2012.

The project will:

1) Research the lives of Walkley people before they went to fight in World War 1 and preserve the memorials of fallen members of the Walkley Liberal Reform Club.
2) Explore the council plans to demolish Walkley in the 1960s and 70s.
3) Make public the Walkley Action Group archive in the Walkley Commnunity Centre.
4) Record memories of Walkley during the 1960s and 70s.
5) Find out what Fir St was like in 1908 when the Walkley Liberal Reform Club was built.

We hope the project will lead to the establishment of a Walkley History Society, who will use the Community Centre as its base.

For further information please contact Bill Bevan, 0114 2345411,, or visit

The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund


News - Mining memorial bid gets cash boost (Hucknall)

A BIG cash boost was given this week for a memorial to miners who died working at pits in Hucknall and the surrounding area.

Hucknall members of Ashfield District Council agreed to make a total grant of £2,400 for the highly-praised project, which has been backed by the Dispatch.

The decision was made at a meeting of Hucknall Area Committee.

The proposal is to record the names of the pitmen who lost their lives. As part of the scheme, memorial stones owuld be placed on the site of the iconic miners’ statue on Station Road, Hucknall.

The campaign was started by former miner Barrie Lewis, of Hucknall, whose father, Lawrence (34), was killed in an accident at the former Hucknall ‘Top Pit’ on Christmas Eve 1960, and has received full backing from the Dispatch.

A suggestion is for the memorial to be backed by a book featuring the names of those killed at the two Hucknall Collieries or Linby, Bestwood, Newstead and Annesley Pits.

On Friday and Saturday, November 9 and 10, Barrie will sit at a table in Hucknall Library to meet members of the public and raise awareness about the campaign.

“I hope people will take advantage of this opportunity to find out more about what the project is all about,” he said.

Area committee chairman Coun Jim Grundy (Lab) said he hoped the grant would act as a catalyst to attract further funds for the scheme.

A total of £9,000 or £10,000 is needed and donations so far received include £500 from the grant-making Nottinghamshire Community Foundation.

Barrie said he hoped the work would be completed in time for the proposed memorial to be unveiled at a ceremony next summer.

A report to the committee stated that publicity in the Dispatch had shown ‘considerable support’ for the project. The work will be carried out by a stonemason and other contractors.

Research into the names of miners to be remembered had been a painstaking task carried out at such locations as libraries and archive offices, the report added.


Event - Southwell Iron Age Day

Southwell Archaeology will be hosting an Iron Age Day on Saturday 17th November at the Old Courthouse, Southwell, 10am – 3pm.

The morning will be spent discussing the aims and objectives of the new Burgage Earthworks project and will include:

Introduction to the Project: Southwell Archaeology chairman John Lock will discuss the main threads of the project and how this exciting new ‘hands-on’ archaeology project will pan out over the next year or so.

Documents Research: Southwell Archaeology committee member Ellis Morgan, who will be leading the archival research and map work of the project, will discuss his plans for the coming months to research the early history of the Burgage. He will also be recruiting interested people who want to be involved in this research.

Archaeology Training & Fieldwork: Matt Beresford, of MBArchaeology, will be outlining the practical archaeology aspect of the project and providing dates for training days in surveying, excavation and finds analysis. He will also provide an overview of the archaeological aims of the project.

In the afternoon, a workshop will be held looking at the British Iron Age with an aim to provide those attending with a basic introduction to the period and how Southwell fits into the wider landscape.

This is an exciting new project for Southwell Archaeology and a great opportunity for the local community to be involved in finding out more about the early origins of Southwell.

Southwell Archaeology are always looking for new members. If you are interested in joining the group or being part of the project, contact or


News - Rare ‘vampire’ skeleton unearthed in Nottinghamshire (Southwell)

A 1400-year-old ‘vampire’ skeleton with metal spikes through its shoulders, heart and ankles, has been discovered in Britain, a new report has claimed.

The skeleton dating from 550-700 AD found buried in the ancient minster town of Southwell, Nottinghamshire has shed light on rare ‘vampire’ burials in Britain.

Long dismissed as myth and legend, the vampire is associated with spooky stories, the Daily Mail reported.

It is believed to be a “deviant burial”, where people considered the ‘dangerous dead’, such as vampires, were interred to prevent them rising from their graves to plague the living.

Only a handful of such burials have been unearthed in the UK till now.

The discovery is detailed in a new report by Matthew Beresford, of Southwell Archaeology.

The skeleton was found by archaeologist Charles Daniels during the original investigation of the site in Church Street, which revealed Roman remains.

Beresford said when Daniels found the skeleton he jokingly checked for fangs.

“Throughout the Anglo-Saxon period the punishment of being buried in water-logged ground, face down, decapitated, staked or otherwise was reserved for thieves, murderers or traitors or later for those deviants who did not conform to societies rules: adulterers, disrupters of the peace, the unpious or oath breaker,” said Beresford.

“Which of these the Southwell deviant was we will never know,” he said.

Beresford believes the remains may still be buried on the site where they originally lay because Daniels was unable to remove the body from the ground.

John Lock, chairman of Southwell Archaeology, said the body was one of a handful of such burials to be found in the UK.

“A lot of people are interested in it but quite where it takes us I don’t know because this was found in the 1950s and now we don’t know where the remains are,” Lock said.

The discovery comes five months after archaeologists found remains from a third grave in central Bulgaria linked to the practise, the report said.

The skeleton was tied to the ground with four iron clamps, while burning ambers were placed on top of his grave.