Issue No. 35 May 2015 (£1.50)
Although Denis Bull grew up in Bulwell he and his mother would regularly visit his maternal grandparents, Frederick and Harriett Mitchell, who lived at 73 Claude Street, Dunkirk. Frederick Mitchell spent many years working for the Nottingham firm of Blackburn Starling as an electrical engineer. In his spare time Frederick would come up with various inventions of his own. These ranged from a marker buoy which could be launched when a submarine got into trouble to a device for frilling the edges of lace. Denis still has in his possession the toasting fork which was designed to flip the bread over when it was time to toast the other side. In his retirement Frederick Mitchell decided to build a rowing boat in his shed at the back of the house. Denis recalls how this project was brought to a successful conclusion.
The Baptists: Remembrance of World War I (7½ pages)
The Derby Road Baptist Church situated at the corner Upper College Street and Derby Road closed its doors in the late 1960s. The existing congregation came to Lenton and in due course worshipped at the Thomas Helwys Baptist Church, a new building which opened in 1968. Very little from the old Church was preserved. One item that did get saved was the Church's war memorial which recorded the names of the twenty-nine men connected with the Church who lost their lives in the First World War. The memorial was brought to Lenton but never put on display - that is until 2014. Most readers will know of the Lenton War Memorial outside the Captain Ball V.C. Memorial Homes. Some may know of the war memorial from the Lenton Wesleyan Church now in the Derby Road Methodist Church but, until now, relatively few will have been aware of this third war memorial in the Baptist Church. To highlight its re-appearance we focus on the Baptist War Memorial in this issue. We offer profiles of all the men whose names are recorded on it plus a little of the history of the two churches involved in the creation of the new Thomas Helwys Church.
Making the Annals of Pedestrianism: A Lost Opportunity for Lenton (4 pages)
In 1843 James Searles became something of a sporting sensation when, in his home town of Leeds, he successfully undertook the challenge of walking a mile in each successive hour until he had completed 1,000 miles. In 1844 he repeated this exploit at Sheffield and then in August of that year he came to Nottingham in order to do it yet again. The mile-long route chosen was from Nottingham to Old Lenton along the Derby Road. The challenge got underway and huge crowds turned out to watch. Therein lay the problem. Faced with the problem of maintaining law and order with so many people milling about the authorities felt they had no alternative but to make James Searles stop and so the County police moved in. Unable to complete this particular challenge, two weeks later James Searles undertook a different exploit on Nottingham racecourse. This was running five miles while jumping some fifty hurdles within a specified time. The authorities proved to have no objections on this occasion; James Searles won his wager; and then left Nottingham never to return.
After recounting the events in Nottingham our article uncovers what else has come to light about James Searles. We reveal many of the successful exploits in which he was involved. In 1851, after a particularly onerous feat of pedestrianism, James Searles was declared to be the 'Champion of England.' As a result his fame spread around the world and we focus on what subsequently happened when he visited the United States of America in 1854.
James Searles ended his days a resident of Liverpool. The little we know about this phase of his life is also related.
Tom Browne was born in Nottingham but he was not a Lenton man. By the time he had made his name as a cartoonist, illustrator, and painter he had become a permanent resident of Blackheath in London. However, one of his business interests operated, if only for a brief period of time, here in Lenton. This came to light when the reproduction an old Raleigh poster, spotted in a recent publication on the history of the Raleigh bicycle, was revealed to have been designed and printed by 'Tom Browne & Co. Lenton, Nottingham.' The company was destined to have a short-lived association with Lenton and the dramatic cause of their removal elsewhere is revealed in due course.
The Bonser Family and Salisbury House, Lenton (3 pages)
After it was built in the late 1890s No. 277 Derby Road was initially known as 'Salisbury House.' Today it is rather better known as the principal building making up the P & J Hotel complex. Our article focuses on Isaac Bonser, who commissioned Frederick Ball to design a house that would reflect the success he had made of his life. The property would also be large enough to house not only Isaac and his wife, Alice, bt also their four unmarried daughters, and a live-in servant. His story takes in not only Lenton but also Sneinton, Trowell, Wollaton, Radford and Hyson Green. We also learn what happened to his fellow siblings. Although Isaac and his wife both died in the 1920s, Salisbury House would remain home for one or more of the Bonser 'girls' until the beginning of the 1960s. The concluding part of the article offers a brief history of the P & J Hotel taking it up to the present day.
Our Sponsor's Story (1 page)
Issue No.35 is sponsored by the P & J Hotel. In 1998 Anna Grandfield and her husband, John, bought the business from her parents, 'Sonny' and Mary Daly who in turn had acquired the property from 'Paddy' and Joyce Westwood back in 1984. Our article reveals the transformation that both the Dalys and the Grandfields have wrought on the building. It started as twenty five bedrooms and only one bathroom and has now become nineteen bedrooms, with sixteen of them have their own en-suite facilities. In competitive market the P & J Hotel positions itself more in the budget category while offering a homely atmosphere. The hotel is currently up for sale and until a buyer is found for it John and Anna's son, Daniel Grandfield and his partner, Margaret Heron, are now running the business.
Bill Jubb, now ninety years of age, came to live on Willoughby Street, Lenton when he was eleven. He tells us something of the travails his parents underwent both before and after their move here from Sheffield. Bill went to Cottesmore Boys School but on the outbreak of war was evacuated to north Nottinghamshire. Here he and a fellow pupil, Dennis Swabey, lived on a farm and attended the village school at Scofton. After the Easter break of 1940 Bill returned home as he was now eligible to leave school. Having already told us about the part-time jobs he undertook in the Lenton area while still a schoolboy Bill goes on to relate the jobs he had before he deciding to join the Royal Navy. He became an airframe mechanic in the Fleet Air Arm and spent the latter part of the war in Scotland. When he was demobbed he had quite a lot of paid leave owing to him, so before seeking a job in civvy street he helped his mother redecorate their home, No.1 Willoughby Street. He then repeated the process over at the home of his girlfriend's parents in St Ann's. While undertaking this second task he successfully sought Doreen's hand in marriage. In due course Bill got a job working for an electrical contractor and, after a number of years living with his mother at No.1 Willoughby Street, Bill and Doreen were able to move to a new Council house at Clifton - where they still live to this day.
Society Snips (3½ pages)
Lenton Times - Issue 35 - Downloadable PDF Version
Once the payment is confirmed, we will send you details of the download link.
The link will be available online for 2 weeks from the date of notification.