The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society

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A Brief Synopsis of the Main Articles

Issue No. 31 April 2012 (£1.50)

Front cover of Issue 31 - Lenton TimesGeorge Howitt: Professional Cricketer (5 pages)

Born in Old Lenton in 1843 George Howitt was a professional cricketer who played for Middlesex and Nottinghamshire County Cricket Clubs. At his peak he was considered one of the most 'destructive' bowlers in England. He subsequently became a cricket coach while also umpiring county matches. He died in Nottingham in December 1881. The distressing circumstances surrounding his death, at the comparatively early age of 38, meant the Nottingham coroner was obliged to hold an inquest. We provide readers with the details of the inquest along with his subsequent burial at Lenton. It was only when looking at the newspaper reports of his funeral that we realised that he had been married and had at least one child. A certain amount of detective work then followed as we sought to find out more about this aspect of his life and what eventually happened to his orphaned children.
'The article on George Howitt is excellent' and 'the magazine itself is a model of its kind.' - Peter Wynne Thomas, archivist of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club.

The Goodwin Family and Lenton (3 pages)

Born in South Africa in 1914, and now living in Australia, Harry Goodwin must be the oldest living person to have made contact with Lenton Times. On the outbreak of the First World War Harry's father brought his family back to England so that he could re-enlist in the Army and fight for his King and country. After the war the family settled in Nottingham and Harry's parents acquired Reproduced courtesy of Harry Goodwin.a beer-off on Willoughby Street which they then ran for about twelve years. Harry sent us electronic copies of two photographs of the Goodwins'shop taken in the 1920s which are featured in this issue. The article which accompanies these photos recalls the years Harry spent living in Lenton, time out in South Africa, the return to Nottingham after the Second World War. It ends at the point in 1961 when he and his wife 'Dee' decided to emigrate to Australia. You can learn more about the Goodwins' Australian years elsewhere - as in 2010 Dee published a short memoir of her life entitled Under Strict Supervision: Nursing and Other Memories. A number of copies of this memoir have been deposited with the Local Studies Library at the Nottingham Central Library and are filed on the open shelves at L.98 Goodwin.

Help at Hand: 1st/7th Robin Hoods' Medical Team in the First World War (2 pages)

Stuart Wilson, Gary Wood and James O'Hara aim to publish an updated account of the 1st/7th (Robin Hood) Battalion, the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment) during the 1914-18 War. They are seeking out photographs and stories of individual soldiers who served with the Robin Hoods. By way of illustration, they provide us with an article, based on their researches, which looks at the Medical Section of the Robin Hoods and its main characters up until the Battle of the Somme in July 1916 - one of whom was a Lenton man. For more information about the project check out

A Portrait of the Past (2 pages)

Born in 1936 Alan Key lived at No.5 Alderney Street. As a child his favourite spots to play in were the 'jungle' and off down Trent Lane (now renamed Lenton Lane). The jungle was situated opposite the end of Alderney Street over on the other side of the canal and was Reproduced courtesy of Alan Keys.a ready-made adventure playground where you could climb trees; make dens; and generally mess about to your heart's content. Before the Trent Lane area was earmarked for the Lenton Industrial Estate it consisted of a patchwork of fields, little streams, ponds - big and small, stands of willow along with quite a lot of marshy land. It contained all the ingredients to keep a young boy such as Alan and his friends fully occupied when not at school. On hot days it was always good to head for what Alan knew as the 'mini-dyke' and have a splash and a paddle. Having flowed alongside Chain Lane this particular stream went under Trent Lane and then joined another watercourse which then made its way down to the river Trent. Alan had never come across any photographs showing his beloved mini-dyke and so, a couple of years ago, he was prompted to try and create a picture of what it used to look like. We feature Alan's painting, his memories of times past, plus a 1930 Ordnance Survey map showing the area in question. Anyone who remembers Alan Keys is welcome to email him directly.

Dunkirk School: Life in the Original School Building (1889 - 1968) (6 pages)

The development of Dunkirk, initiated by Frank W. Johnson after he bought Dunkirk Farm in the early 1880s, prompted the Nottingham School Board to start the process of commissioning a new school which would serve this part of Lenton. The Dunkirk Board School for Infants and Juniors finally opened in January 1889. The first ten years saw the school's premises enlarge in size in 1895, the building burn to the ground in 1896, and then be rebuilt again. The story of what went on in the building is told using Council minute books, school logbooks plus the occasional story that appeared in the local newspapers. It comes to end at the point in February 1968 when the teachers and pupils moved into the current school building situated nearby on Marlborough Street.

Dunkirk and Old Lenton: My Childhood Playground Part 2: The Rec, the Canal & Other Watercourses along with Subsequent Developments in the Locality (5 pages)

In Issue No.30 we featured Part 1 of Chris Noble's childhood recollections of Dunkirk and Old Lenton in the 1950s and 60s. This focussed on dens, ponds and trainspotting. Now his concluding section covers such topics as the Old Lenton Recreational Ground, Reproduced courtesy of Glenys Randle.the Beeston Cut, the mini-dyke that ran through Dunkirk and his time at Dunkirk School. It concludes with by considering the changes brought about by the construction of the Clifton Boulevard extension out to Clifton bridge and beyond on his beloved 'playground'.

Dunkirk and Old Lenton Community Centre: A History (2 pages)

When Miss Stonehouse, the new headteacher at Dunkirk School, took up her post in February 1947 she was quite willing to see the building used out of school hours on a regular basis. This led to an inaugural public meeting had been held at the school in December 1947 with a further meeting the following month which resulted in a provisional management committee being established to promote the development of a community association in the Dunkirk and Old Lenton area; this organisation was then formally recognised by the City Council. As a result of this official approval the Community Association could now use the Dunkirk School building on weekday evenings and also at weekends. When the new school building was under construction on Marlborough Street the City Council began to think about what to do with old building. At one point it was envisaged it might be used as a branch library. Other plans involved simply selling off the premises. In the end it was decided to let the Community Association have the use of the whole building which meant it could begin to mount an impressive roster of events throughout the whole day. Recent problems with the building, which were brought about by lead being repeatedly stolen from the roof, have now been addressed and a major refurbishment of the whole building has been carried out by the City Council. This was finished in October 2011 which means that the Community Centre is once again in a position to help serve local needs.

Our Sponsor's Story (1 page)

This outlines what's on offer at the Dunkirk and Old Lenton Community Centre following its recent refurbishment.

Local Listings (1 page)

Battle of the Flames: Nottinghamshire's Fight for Survival in WWII by David Needham published in 2009. Nottingham Then & Now in Colour compiled by Douglas Whitworth published in 2011.

Society Snips (2 pages)

Lenton Times - Issue 31 - Downloadable PDF Version

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