The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society

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A Brief Synopsis of the Main Articles

Issue No. 23 December 2005 (£1.20)

Front cover of Issue 23 - Lenton TimesEmpire Day and Lenton (4 pages)

Empire Day was largely the brainchild of Reginald Brabazon, the twelfth Earl of Meath, who dedicated his old age to spreading the gospel of empire to the young. First celebrated in 1902, it did not really take off in Nottingham until 1908. Thereafter most years saw the city's schools observe the occasion with special events and these became a regular feature of the school calendar until at least the 1950s. This article explores the thinking behind Empire Day and describes some of the ways it was celebrated in Lenton schools.

Working for the Raleigh (2 pages)

On leaving school Terry Radford went to work for Raleigh in the Sturmey-Archer division assembling and testing three speed gear hubs. At this time in the mid 1950s Raleigh was one of Nottingham's major employers with some 12,000 people engaged on different aspects of bicycle manufacture. Terry worked there for thirty years and he recalls life at Raleigh both on the assembly line and away from it. When he decided to accept a redundancy package in 1986 the workforce had fallen to about 3-4,000. Now the huge factory complex and its remaining workers have gone and all that is left to remind us of its presence here is the former office block on Lenton Boulevard - that and reminiscences such as Terry Radford's.

Last Trolleybus to Lenton (4 pages)

Photograph courtesy of Rod Pearson

The first trolleybuses to appear in Nottingham did so in 1927 replacing the electric tram service that ran out along the Nottingham Road. In the next few years trams made way for trolleybuses on a number of other routes and in 1931 the trolleybus arrived in Lenton. It travelled along Derby Road and whereas the old tram service terminated at Lenton Lodge the new route was extended to include Middleton Boulevard. Known by several different numbers it finally became the No.45 running into the Market Square and on out to Trent Bridge. In the early 1960s the Corporation decided to phase out trolleybuses in favour of motorbuses. The first to go in 1963 was the No.45. To mark the occasion a set of trolleybus enthusiasts hired a Corporation trolleybus to take them along the route the day after the service was formally withdrawn. Among their number was Rod Pearson who took photographs of the trolleybus as it passed through Lenton. Rod's photographs provide much of the illustrative material for this article which details Nottingham's trolleybus service and the Derby Road service in particular.

On the Rec.: The Story of Lenton Recreation Ground (5 pages)

Drawing on information contained within the Public Parks Committee's Minute Books, deposited with Nottinghamshire Archives, the history of the Recreation Ground from its creation in the late 1880s up to the early 1960s has been constructed. The more recent history is also recounted but not in such precise detail as the modern day source material is far less accessible.

On the Rec.: Playing There (1 page)

Over the years the Recreation Ground has provided several different generations of local children with an attractive and safe location in which to play. Stewart Coates recounts his memories of playing on the Rec. in the 1940s and of the occasion when he and sister pitched their tent on the Rec. and made the front page of the local paper. He also recalls the assault course left behind after the American servicemen based in Wollaton Park had departed for Europe and how it became an early form of adventure playground for the youth of the area.

On the Rec.: The Bowling Clubs (2 pages)

Over the years, Lenton Recreation Ground has been home to a number of bowling clubs. While providing the basic details relating to those currently based at the Rec., which include West End and Hillside Bowls Clubs, the majority of this article has been devoted to Lenton Bowling Club.

On the Rec.: Living in the Lodge (2 pages)

Cyril Wing, the park superintendent at Lenton Recreation Ground from 1948 to 1972, died in 2003 but his widow, Iris, is very much alive and still living in Lenton. In this article she looks back at Cyril's time as park superintendent and on their years spent living in the Lodge.

Our Sponsor's Story: Breathing new life in Lenton's 'village green' (2 pages)

This issue is sponsored by Parks and Open Space Development, Nottingham City Council and Stefan Kruczkowski outlines the improvements undertaken at Lenton Recreation Ground during the last year.

Photograph by Stefan Kruczkowski

On the Rec.: Walking the Dog (2 pages)

Annette Fletcher first came to live in Lenton in 1954 but her initial connection with the Recreation Ground really began after the birth of her first son, Christopher, in 1959 when he would be taken to play on the Rec. Later on this association would be renewed when she began to take her son's dog for a walk, which generally included a visit to the park. Still later she acquired her own dog and the daily visits to the Rec. recommenced. She would meet other dog walkers - among them Gwen Leigh and Pat Galvin. They began to co-ordinate their dog-walking so that they always met up on the Rec. and even though Annette and Gwen no longer have a dog to walk their visits to the Rec. continue on a daily basis.

Local Listings (2 pages)

Two recent publications Nottingham Pubs compiled by Douglas Whitworth and A Victorian Lady's Diary 1838-1842: Elizabeth Nutt Harwood of Beeston edited by Margaret Cooper undergo review.

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