The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society


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A Brief Synopsis of the Main Articles



Issue No. 19 February 2003 (£1.20)


Front cover of Issue 19 - Lenton TimesThe Boer War and Nottingham: Part 2 (8 pages)

Resuming the story after the relief of Mafeking the second half of our article provides the reader with a brief outline of what happened out in South Africa up to the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging in May 1902 which finally brought the war to an end. As with Part 1 our principal aim is to show what impact the war had here in Nottingham. After the British forces took Pretoria, the state capital of the Transvaal, a major celebration was held in Nottingham. In part this was designed to raise funds for the dependants of city-based soldiers and took the form of a parade of decorated floats which wended its way through Nottingham with designated volunteers making a street collection from the watching crowds. Although hostilities still continued some of the volunteer forces began to return to Britain. When men from the Robin Hood Rifles arrived back in Nottingham they were greeted by large crowds of people and feted at various local events. Next to return were the militia men of the 4th Sherwood Foresters. Their reception was rather more muted. This was because large numbers of them had been forced to surrender to the Boers following a surprise attack at Roodeval. The return of men from the South Notts Hussars was suitably upbeat and involved a procession on horseback through the Market Square which is illustrated by two of the photographs which accompany this article. There is a further photograph which shows Earl Roberts presenting medals to local soldiers during his visit to Nottingham. The end of the war came in the run-up to the coronation of King Edward VII so it was decided that a combined programme of activities should be held in Nottingham to celebrate both events. Unfortunately the King's ill-health and subsequent operation meant the coronation had to be postponed. The celebrations still went ahead in the city but not quite in the form originally envisaged.

Quite how many local men were involved in the war and exactly how many of these died as a result of their time out in South Africa are questions raised at the tail end of the article. However, those hoping for exact numbers are destined to be disappointed. The available source material is unclear on these points - even though the figures must have been well-known at the time.


The Boer War - The Lenton Survivors (4 pages)

In Issue No.18 we began our features on the Boer War by recounting the visit of Earl Roberts to Lenton where he unveiled a commemorative window in Holy Trinity Church. The special programme produced for the occasion not only gave the names of those seven Lenton men who had died in the war but also listed a further fifty five local men who had survived the hostilities. Drawing on a range of local source material plus other documents held at the Public Record Office we have managed to construct brief profiles for most of these soldiers.

The names of the seven dead men whose profiles were featured in Issue No.18 are: Bertie HALLATT; Edgar HALLATT; John HAYES *; George KING; Samuel ROBINSON; John Robert ROE; Herbert Joseph WOODFORD.

The survivors detailed in Issue 19 are: John Henry ANNIBAL; John ASHTON; Arthur BEXTON; Thomas BOSTOCK; John BROOKS; James BROWN; George BROWN; Walter COPE; Joseph James CORTHORN; William CROFTS; James DANIEL; A.E. ENSOR *; FLEWITT *; Richard FORMAN; George Henry GARTON; Joseph Robert Harper GILVEAR; Alfred John GRANT; Lewis GRAYSON; G. HAMPSHIRE *; Charles Wilfred HARDWICK; Thomas HART; George HOWES; John Henry HOWITT; J. HOWITT; W. E. JACKSON *; John Walter JARVIS; Arthur George LEVERTON; Joseph LONGLEY; John James MACHIN; Frederick Charles MARSHALL; Arthur MATHESON; PERRONS *; Walter Septimus PRATT; Frederick ROBINSON; George James SADLER; Thomas SADLER; Thomas SHARP; Thomas SHEPHERD; Ephraim SMEDLEY; George SMEDLEY; James SMEDLEY; Frank SMITH*; George J. SMITH; Arthur SNOWDEN; Henry Charles SPENDLOVE; Arthur STEVENS; W.R. STEVENSON *; William TANSLEY; Arthur TREECE; William Ernest TREECE; Walter TWIGGER; William WARDLE; George Albert WARDLE; F. WHEATLEY *; Samuel Thomas WHEEWALL; Arthur George WOOD; Thomas W. WOODFORD.

The upright typeface represents the name as it appeared in the church programme, while the italic typeface is used to indicate where we have added specific first names. The asterisks indicate where we have failed to make a positive identification. We also came across two additional men not included by the church and their names have been added to our list.


Our Sponsor's Story (1 page)

A native of Glasgow, Jim Gray arrived in Nottingham at the age of nineteen and got himself a job working in Hall's Do-It-Yourself shop on Derby Road. Some thirty eight years later he now runs his own business as one of the leading locksmiths in the Nottingham area and sponsor of this issue


Embroidering the Past (5 pages)

For almost seventy five years during the last century the Willoughby Street area was home to an embroidery company. For the first fifty four years it was based on Park Street in premises that had previously housed Lenton's first cinema, an ill-judged venture which only operated for a matter of months. Then with the general clearance of the Willoughby Street area in the early 1960s a move was made to a purpose-built factory unit located at the corner of Prospect Place and Willoughby Street. Although the business was initially started by someone else and in the final years passed into other hands, for most of its existence it was run by the Allen family. Ken Allen, who spent his entire career with the company, provides a potted history of the business, its ups and downs, and recalls the days when 'Made in Britain' was still a commonplace claim.


A Chain Row Childhood (3 pages)

Chain Row was the name given to the section of road that runs from Church Street to Midland Avenue. In the space now occupied by a single bungalow and a garage there used to be a terraced block of eight houses. These properties housed those who couldn't afford anything better. In the 1920s No. 47 was occupied by the Summers family. Dennis Summers, the last surviving member of this family, recalls life at No. 47 and outlines the trials and tribulations of trying to make ends meet when there was little money coming in.


The Fate of the Chain Row Properties (1 page)

The Chain Row properties came down just before the Second World War. It is clear that Sir Albert Ball's original intention was to demolish other neighbouring properties but the 18 semi-detached properties planned for the Chain Row site and the adjacent portion of land never actually came to fruition.


Murder in The Meadows - A Family Row that ended in Tragedy (2 pages)

On 13th June 1924 Thomas Widdowson was arrested for the murder, earlier that day, of his wife, Florence, at their home in The Meadows. Although deeply etched in the memories of immediate members of the family this was not something you readily told all and sundry. As a result it was only by chance that Alex Kocan recently learnt of the tragic circumstances behind the death of his great-grandmother. In order to discover more he was prompted to seek out the newspaper reports of the time. He recalls the tragic events for our readers, reveals the Lenton connection and concludes with an appeal for any further information.


Tales from the Lenton Boundary (2 pages)

In the late 1930s David Newton became a regular attender at the Gregory Ground where Lenton United held their home cricket fixtures. As a young lad he was allowed to sit in the score box and work the rollers which put up the scores and detailed the number of wickets down, overs completed etc. He recalls some of the cricketers who played for the club and then takes the reader across the Derby Road to 'Lenton Rec' where he was more actively involved in the great game of cricket.




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