The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society

Castle Boulevard - Lenton


City Centre - Wilford Street to Palatine Street | Palatine Street to Castle Bridge Road | The Rock Chapel of St Mary | George Cartwright - Boat Builder | English Heritage - Aerial Photographs - 1931 | Castle Bridge Road to Lenton Boulevard | From Sampson's Factory to Castle Gardens Estate | From Hicking Pentecost Factory to the Cornerstone Church | The site of the Tin Chapel
Lenton Listener Articles | Memories | Map


Photographs


City Centre - Wilford Street to Palatine Street

Photograph by Geoffrey O. Ogle - 2012

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

This is the Grace Church Nottingham situated at the junction of Wilford Street and Castle Boulevard. Since 2010 it has been based here in a building which initially housed the Nottingham Labour Exchange. In its wikipedia entry the Grace Church is described as reformed and charismatic in its theology and is stated to have a congregation of some 400 people.

This shows the city end of Castle Boulevard as Canal Street and Wilford Street vehicles feed into on the right handside of the photo while those heading into the city centre, on the left, can access Maid Marion Way and Collins Street. The shot is primarily included in order to show the modern day setting for our next photograph.

As part of the City Transport's Jubilee celebrations in November 1947 it put on this horse-drawn bus which would took passengers between the Walter Fountain on Listergate and Abbey Bridge at the other end of Castle Boulevard. Here the bus is just starting to go along past the building shown in the previous modern-day photograph.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Geoffrey O. Ogle - 2008

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

This building on the corner of Castle Boulevard and Castle Road was originally built as offices for the Nottingham Waterworks Company. It now serves as offices/storage area for the museum team responsible for Brewhouse Yard and the Castle Museums.

Directly opposite the grounds of the Brewhouse Yard Museum is New Castle House, now occupied by Gala Coral Group Ltd. Designed by Nottingham architect Frank Broadhead, and originally called Viyella House, the building on the left was built in the early 1930s for William Hollins and Co. who manufactured the fabric called 'Viyella'.

In the latter part of the twentieth century the building underwent a major refurbishment which involved taking down the rear of the building and replacing it with a more modern structure. However all the decorative concrete features on the front of the building, some of which can be seen here in this photograph were retained.

Photograph by Geoffrey O. Ogle - 2012

Photograph by Geoffrey O. Ogle - 2012

The clock that hangs above the main entrance is unusual in that its set of chimes play a different tune each day of the week. To sample one particular tune checkout this recording on 'YouTube'.

This is an undated shot of the original building, which was originally called Viyella House. Looking at the car parked in front of the building the photograph was probably taken in the 1950s.

In this photograph are part of the grounds of Brewhouse Yard with Nottingham's ducal palace (part of Nottingham Castle) positioned at the top of the sandstone outcrop.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

This property is now known as Impact House. It is currently [2013] waiting to be converted into a shop with apartments on the upper floors. In more recent times, until about 2005 it housed the NatWest Bank's regional office and archive.

With New Castle House visible in the background, the building partly visible in the foreground was designed by the Nottingham architect, Watson Fothergill in the 1890s, and originally served as a warehouse for a local paper merchant. More recently it was used as a furniture store for Baker & Plumb, whose shop used to be on Derby Road, near Tollhouse Hill. The warehouse underwent a major refurbishment in the early 1980s a number of different occupants now share the building.

This little shop is currently [2013] unoccupied but most recently had housed an off-licence.

Photograph courtesy of Eric Bayer

Photograph courtesy of Geoffrey O. Ogle

Pickfords Removals would later be found on Castle Boulevard in a building on the other side of the road. This rather wonderful shot shows their earlier base on Castle Boulevard. We have no date for the image but it was probably taken just after the First World War.

This modern day shot is taken at the same point on Castle Boulevard. The ground floors of the two buildings on either side of the entrance have been altered but only the modern window frames on the first floor have been changed. The entrance itself has been filled in with a completely new building.

We included the previous photograph because the building shown in it also pictured in this 1888 line drawing. When Castle Boulevard was originally opened in 1884 it was called Lenton Boulevard and the portion of the Boulevard from Wilford Street to Hungerton Street in Lenton was only given its present name in about 1908/9.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

This photograph is reputed to have been taken in 1883. It shows Nottingham Castle perched on top of the outcrop of rock with the River Leen and associated footpath in the foreground. Once work started on the construction of the new boulevard the Leen had to be rerouted and so was diverted into the canal at what is now Abbey Bridge. The excess water then left the canal once it had reached the overflow point near the locks at Wilford Street. This arrangement prevailed until the 1960s until major construction work on the river saw it rerouted through the Lenton Industrial Estate where it now comes out in the Trent at Wilford.

Much the same view as in the previous photograph but this painting shows the castle, then owned by the Duke of Newcastle, ablaze after being set alight by the Reform Act rioters in 1831.

This particular view appears to have been a very popular one with artists. This particular painting by Edmund John Niemann (1813-1876) shows the castle a derelict building many years after the fire but before Nottingham Corporation acquired it for their Art Gallery. Yet again, in the foreground, is the River Leen. The painting was put up for sale in 2014 and was reproduced on the website of Priory Fine Art Ltd.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

A terrace of late-Victorian properties lines the southern side of Castle Boulevard at this point.

At one time 101 Castle Boulevard had housed a sub-post office. Eventually the Post Office deemed it surplus to requirements and the sub-post office closed in the late 1980s/early 90s (?) Now it is a café appropriately known as Café 101 and it has even received its own write-up on www.tripadvisor.co.uk.

The view captured in this Edwardian picture postcard shows Lenton/Castle Boulevard looking towards the city centre with Nottingham Castle on the skyline. The stanchions supporting the electric wires that supplied power to the trams that used to run along Castle Boulevard are situated in the centre of the road. This was the initial set up but it was later decided they were something of a traffic hazard and so were moved to either side of the road.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Geoffrey O. Ogle - 2012

Much the same view as shown in the last photograph but this one was taken in 2013. Although the Park Estate may have kept its gas lighting, illumination along the boulevard is now courtesy of electric lights.

At the corner of Palatine Street and Castle Boulevard is this building - now converted into apartments. To make way for this development the building was vacated by the building company, William Woodsend Ltd., established in 1837, who had used the building as their headquarters since 1898. In 1911 the company built the William Woodsend Memorial Homes on Derby Road, Lenton in remembrance of the company's founder, William Woodsend. Since moving away from Castle Boulevard William Woodsend Ltd. appear to have gone into voluntary liquidation [2013].


Palatine Street to Castle Bridge Road

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

The old picture postcard, displayed above, shows a vehicular access point into the Park via Fishpond Drive. While pedestrians can still gain entry at this point, these days vehicles have to go on to Peveril Drive before they make their way into the Park.

On the left are some of the larger houses that front on to Castle Boulevard while the office complex just visible on the right is of a more recent vintage.

Turning around and now looking westward along Castle Boulevard - on the right is the building that originally housed G.S. Oscroft and Co. Ltd, motor dealers and repair centre. It now provides a home for three furniture outlets and a car electronics business.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

The eastern wing of the building, part of what is now known as Dominion House, is No.58 Castle Boulevard, houses the Nottingham outlet of And So To Bed which offers a range of luxury beds and bedroom furniture.

The central portion of the building is now home to Nottingham Office Equipment Ltd. With other branches in Derby and Mansfield this company stocks a wide range of new and used office equipment.

Most of the western wing of Dominion House is currently occupied by the Nottingham branch of Hammond Furniture Ltd., which is has branches throughout the country.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

A pair of semi-detached houses situated alongside the footbridge that now provides access to the canal towpath and the retail park constructed on the old railway sidings that once lay beyond the canal. At the time [October 2013] when the photograph was taken the two properties were seeking new occupants.

At the back of the two properties shown in the previous picture is this range of old outbuildings. Until 2012 they housed the workshop and display area of Gatehouse Workshops, a small architectural Reclamation and Restoration yard, which had been in business for 25 years.

Just beyond the access point to the canal towpath is one of the more striking buildings on this stretch of Castle Boulevard.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

The large central clock tower with its copper covered cupola is quite a landmark. It comes as something of a surprise to learn that the building was built merely as a base for the delivery vehicles used by a local bakery. It now houses Ocean Designs whose strap line in Conservatory and Outdoor Living.

This second external view of 167 Castle Boulevard is taken from the customer carpark and shows off the full extent of the clock tower.

Our third view of the building moves inside and shows some of the range of furniture available at Ocean Designs.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph courtesy of Nottingham Local Studies Library

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

The final occupant of the main Dominion House building, the former premises of G.S. Oscroft Ltd., is Car Electronics Nottingham Ltd. seen here in this photograph. This business offers not only car audio equipment but also a range of AppleMac, iPad, iPhone & iPods.

It is quite tricky to pinpoint whereabouts on Castle Boulevard this 1931 photograph was taken. The building on the left is no longer with us. However the buildings on the right just beyond the row of advertising hoardings are still around and the roadside property now houses Zoo Interiors.

Although occupying a separate building Zoo Interiors is also deemed to be part of Dominion House. With a second branch in Derby Zoo Interiors is a recently established business which sources its furniture from all over the world – oak furniture currently comes from Vietnam, the rattan items from China while some of the sofas as made in the UK. In the adjacent unit to Zoo Interiors is the outlet for Laura Ashley, which opened here after the shop on Bridlesmith Gate in the city centre closed down. Beyond Laura Ashley is another local furniture outlet, Frank Knighton Suite Choices which also has a showroom at its manufacturing base in Ilkeston.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Back across the road in purpose-built premises is Multiyork, a furniture company. In this exterior view you see the entrance to the showrooms with the Nottingham Canal just visible on the right.

Our interior shot of the Multiyork showroom reveals some of the furniture available in 2013.

Most of this stretch of Castle Boulevard used to be given over to the motor trade. Still going strong is this National Tyre and Autocare Centre. The vibrant colour scheme used on the exterior of the premises seems a bit over the top but it does ensure that anyone passing by is unlikely to miss it.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Inside the National Tyre and Autocare Centre the colour scheme is more restrained.

Moving further along Castle Boulevard we come to the new apartment complex known as Park Rock. Completed in 2003 this was a development for Braemore Properties designed for them by Nottingham architects, LettsWheeler.

The 38-unit scheme consists of six blocks with courtyards in between which provide passersby with glimpses of the medieval cave complex that lies behind the development. Well received on its completion these buildings have won a number of architectural awards. For more photographs of the development, both interior and exterior shots, check out the architects' website.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

In designing this complex the architects tried to echo something of the Victorian villas already in situ on this stretch of Castle Boulevard. In this photograph you can see one of the original properties alongside the western end of the Park Rock development.

The person who designed the set of semis in the previous photograph is as yet unidentified but we do know who was responsible for the houses next door. These two houses, shown here, were designed by the celebrated Nottingham architect, Watson Fothergill. On the left of these properties is a footpath, which provides pedestrian access to the Park Estate.

Apart from the National Tyre and Autocare Centre mentioned earlier there are other outlets on Castle Boulevard focusing on the needs of the motorist. The one at 66 Castle Boulevard, shown in this photograph is ATS Euromaster which also offers a replacement tyre service along with a range of other products. After this outlet and just visible in the photograph as an orange painted unit, No.76-78 Castle Boulevard currently houses Floors-2-Go, Nottingham which offer Laminate and Hardwood Flooring.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Across on the other side of the road there is a narrow triangle of land alongside the canal. For a while it was used for car parking but recently [2013] work has started on the erection of student accommodation. Our photograph shows the footings for the property under construction.

Moving along Castle Boulevard to No.80 we come to a Majestic Wines warehouse.

Majestic Wines have recently [2013] extended their Castle Boulevard outlet which suggest it must be doing quite well. Here you see an interior shot of the premises.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Lying between Majestic Wines and the Floors-2-Go outlet is another tyre outlet. This one is called Mr Tyre Ltd. and is one of 26 retail fitting stores situated across central England.

Another view of the new student accommodation in the early stages of construction [October 2013].

After Majestic Wines comes the IMO Car Wash which offers attended car washing, vacuum and valeting services.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph courtesy of Lenton Local History Society

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

On the opposite side of Castle Boulevard at 171-177 is the Dollond and Aitchison Opticians which has now been converted into a Boots Opticians outlet.

This photograph taken in 1989 shows what was on the site before the arrival of the opticians outlet. These premises belonged to W. Appleby & Sons, building and joinery contractors. The properties were later demolished.

Next to the Boots Opticians' site are the premises shown here. Initially they were occupied by Eurohire Vehicle Rental (Nottingham) Ltd. However after the closure of the business the premises were put up for sale and are currently [2013] unoccupied.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph courtesy of Ray Teece

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

This photograph shows the junction of Castle Boulevard and Castle Bridge Road. The latter road now provides access to the Castle Marina Retail Park. In order to construct the bridge over the canal it was necessary to demolish the short cul-de-sac of properties that made up Charlton Street. As yet we have no old photographs of Charlton Street.

This is the section of Castle Boulevard at the point where Castle Bridge Road, off to the right, gives access to the Castle Marina site as it looked in 2007. Visible on the left is a portion of the MFI showroom. The photograph was taken by Ray Teece. A showcase of some of Ray's other local photographs can be accessed by clicking on his City of Nottingham website.

This is much the same view as in the previous photograph but we have now moved forward to October 2013. Halfords Autocentre Nottingham (Castle) at 84 Castle Boulevard is present in both photographs but what has now changed is that the MFI buildig has made way for the new Cornerstone Church.


The Rock Chapel of St Mary

Photograph by Colin Harris

Photograph by Colin Harris

Photograph by Colin Harris

In 2002 before construction work began on the Park Rock development Colin Harris took a series of photographs showing what still survived of the Rock Chapel of Chapel of St Mary. These are some of the photographs he took along with more recent shots showing what it looked like after the buildings had been completed.

There is a Lenton Listener article about the history of the Rock Chapel available elsewhere on this website. Click on the link here if you would like to learn more. There have been lots of suggestions as to what the multitude of holes in the rock, shown here, were for but the most convincing one is that they served as a dovecote providing the occupants of the chapel with a source of fresh meat in the winter.

Most of the rock structures making up the chapel complex have collapsed but there are still surviving rooms built into the rock as can be seen in this photograph. During the Second World War they were pressed into service as air-raid shelters for residents of the Park Estate.

Photograph by Colin Harris

Photograph by Colin Harris

Photograph by Colin Harris

In this photograph the cave entrance has been bricked up presumably to prevent them being used as temporary residences.

This route provided access to the higher ground where, at one time, there was a bowling green within The Park - now built on. The bowlers would use one of the caves as their clubhouse.

A general view of the rock face as it looked in 2002.

Photograph by Colin Harris

Photograph by Colin Harris

Photograph by Colin Harris

This photograph shows the extent of the site before work began on the Park Rock apartment complex.

One of the courtyard between the apartment blocks which were designed in part to provide the general public with views of the rock chapel complex.

Another of the courtyards. The developers spent quite a lot of time and effort ensuring that the rock chapel complex was left for posterity in as good a condition as possible.


George Cartwright - Boat Builder

Photograph courtesy of Sue Hutchings

Photograph courtesy of Sue Hutchings

Photograph courtesy of Sue Hutchings

In the 1950s and 60s George E. Cartwright built cabin cruisers on a plot of land alongside the canal on Castle Boulevard. The first of these three photographs, all supplied by his daughter Sue Hutchings, features a finished boat on display at the boat yard. The second shows George Cartwright at work and the third in the sequence is a completed boat about to be launched into the canal. In the last mentioned photograph the Cartwright's house boat can be seen to the left - at one time this would have been the family home for George, his wife and their four children.


English Heritage - Aerial Photographs - 1931

Photograph courtesy of English Heritage - Britain from Above

Photograph courtesy of English Heritage - Britain from Above

Photograph courtesy of English Heritage - Britain from Above

These three images, showing sections of Castle Boulevard and the surrounding area, were taken by Aerofilms in 1931. The photographs come from English Heritage's collection of aerial images covering the period 1919-1953. The website in question is Britain from Above, launched in 2012 by English Heritage and the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Wales, which offers free public access to more than 15,000 aerial photographs. Click here if you would like to check out more of the images on the Britain from Above website.


Castle Bridge Road to Lenton Boulevard

Photograph by Geoffrey O. Ogle - 2008

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 0ctober 2013

The junction of Castle Boulevard and Castle Bridge Road. Castle Bridge Road, going off to the left over the Nottingham Canal, now provides vehicular access from the Boulevard to the marina, to the Castle Marina retail park and to the housing development erected there in the 1980s. Photograph taken in 2008.

Part of the new Cornerstone Church's frontage takes up the right of the photograph while some of the original Castle Boulevard properties line the other side of the road.

The same portion of Castle Boulevard as in the previous photograph but looking back towards the junction with Castle Bridge Road.

Photograph by Edward Dexter - 1975

Photograph by Edward Dexter - 1975

Photograph courtesy of Lenton Local History Society

Charlton Street as it looked in 1975. The Castle Boulevard properties along with all those on Charlton Street itself would be compulsorily purchased by the City Council in order that an access road (Castle Bridge Road) to the new marina development could be created.

Among the properties that were eventually demolished were some of these making up Rose Cottages which lay behind Castle Boulevard and fronted on to the canal. Photograph taken in 1975.

This colour photograph taken by Stanley Wilson in 1979 shows another view of the properties making up Rose Cottages.

Photograph courtesy of Lenton Local History Society

Photograph courtesy of David Ottewell

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 2004

The demolished section of Castle Boulevard included this property known as Rose Cottage, also featured in the previous photograph. In 1979 when the photograph was taken the house was occupied by Tony Apperley, a local inventor, who was well known for an array of useful innovations.

This picture postcard was taken when this stretch of Castle Boulevard was known by its original name 'Lenton Boulevard.' The change to Castle Boulevard took place about 1908, which means the picture postcard must have been taken before this date.

A 2004 shot showing the block of Castle Boulevard properties adjacent to the junction with Chippendale Street. These are some of the houses that feature in the previous picture postcard.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 2004

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 2004

Photograph by Stephen Zaleski

In this photograph also taken in 2004 we have moved further along the Boulevard to the junction with what used to be Marcus Street. With the redevelopment of this corner of Lenton, and the demolition of all the properties on Marcus Street the thoroughfare became incorporated into Alderney Street.

The history of this shop and the one that used to stand on the adjacent corner is detailed in a Now & Then feature that appeared in Lenton Times No.16.

Photographed in the early 1980s the premises of Universal Engineering and the vacant shop next door were both demolished in order to make way for the Castle Gardens development. Rowland's Café survived and became the takeaway pizza outlet shown in the previous photograph.

Photograph by Geoffrey O. Ogle - 2012

Photograph by Stephen Zaleski

Photograph courtesy of Lenton Local History Society

The rather stark exterior of the Castle Gardens complex is shown on the right in the photograph taken in 2012. On the left construction barriers are still in place on what would become the carpark area of the Cornerstone Church. To learn a little more about the history of this site see below.

The junction of Castle Boulevard and Grove Road as it looked in the early 1980s. While the photographer was clearly intent on getting a shot of the Grove Hotel just visible on the left is a portion of the Steada Raywarp factory that also came down to make way for the Castle Gardens development. To learn more about this factory site see below.

This is much the same shot as shown in the previous photograph but this time we can offer a colour version of the scene taken in 1977. Off to the right you can see the continuation of Castle Boulevard with Lenton Primary School just visible at the end of the Boulevard.

Photograph courtesy of Lenton Local History Society

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 2013

Probably taken at the same time as the previous photograph we get another view of the Grove Hotel with the factory complex just visible on the left. The Grove Road property just visible on the right of the photograph would have also been demolished in the 1980s.

When the pub's most recent refurburbishment was undertaken, a brief history of the pub was erected on an exterior wall of the pub. This is it. However there are a couple of errors which need correction. The relevant Beer Act was 1830 and not 1930 and the Grove Hotel was not built on the same site as the Grove Tavern. The site of the original building was much closer to the canal.

Looking along Grove Road from its junction with Castle Boulevard in 2013. The right-hand side still has its original houses lining the street but just visible on the left is another portion of the Castle Gardens housing complex. By now the Grove pub had closed its doors, seemingly for ever, and in 2013 it was still up for sale.

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 2013

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 2014

Photograph by Paul Bexon - 2013

As we approach the junction of Castle Boulevard with Abbey Bridge we see the original junction with Willoughby Street coming in on the right. Of course, nowadays, those travelling along the Boulevard and wishing to access Willoughby Street have to do so via the Abbey Bridge roundabout.

A 2014 view of the Abbey Bridge roundabout. Abbey Bridge which links Castle Boulevard with Abbey Street was built in the late 1920s. Its construction required the demolition of a number of properties that fronted on to Castle Boulevard.

Part of the row of properties on Castle Boulevard between Abbey Bridge and Broadholme Street. Taken in May 2004 the end property used to contained K.B. Insurance Brokers (Nottm.) Ltd. but they had just ceased trading there. The premises are now [2014] occupied by a letting agency

Photograph by Geoffrey O. Ogle - 2012

This is the Lenton end of Castle Boulevard. Off to the right is Sherwin Road. There is also a further section of Sherwin Road off to the left just out of the picture. So you have the unusual situation where the two sides of what appears to be the same road have different names. On the southern side it is Castle Boulevard while the northern side as far at the junction with Willoughby Street is Sherwin Road. The building on the right is purpose-built student housing – to learn what was on the site before it was built – click here.


From Sampson's Factory to Castle Gardens Estate

In the mid 1880s two brothers, Walter and Thomas Sampson, had a huge six-storey factory built at the junction of Castle Boulevard and Grove Road. Their lace business only occupied a couple of floors in the factory so the rest of the space was sublet to other commercial concerns. This building burnt down on 13th January 1902.

About 7 a.m. that day a workman had been using a naked light to 'tie-up' threads on a lace curtain machine belonging to G.H. Holmes located on the ground floor. Some material on his machine caught fire and the flames then spread from one machine to another. Unable to bring the fire under control Mr Holmes' workforce vacated the premises and the fire brigade was summoned.

By 9 a.m. the fire brigade brought the fire under control and soon afterwards all but one of the fire tenders returned to base. The contents of the basement, ground and first floors were a write-off but the rest of the building was relatively unscarred. The remaining fire crew directed water into the basement as the large quantity of Jacquard cards stored there continued to smoulder.

Many of the employees in the remaining parts of the building had returned to work when, at 5.30 p.m., fire suddenly reappeared in the roof of the building. There were still firemen around but their hoses couldn't reach the new source of the conflagration and all they could do was stand and watch as the whole building proceed to burn down.

By the following morning the fire had more or less burnt itself out. These seven photographs show what was left of the building once the fire had done its work.

The full story of the fire, along with an explanation of how the fire came to start up again, can be found in Lenton Times No.12.

Photograph courtesy of Arthur Lane

Photograph courtesy of Ann Swabey

All the businesses previously operating in the building now had to move elsewhere in order to resume operation. Walter Sampson set up as a lace manufacturer out at Ruddington while his brother Thomas chose to retire. The factory site remained derelict until 1912 when the Sampsons commissioned a smaller building to be constructed on the site. On completion this was then occupied by Debenham & Co., blouse manufacturers.

Debenham's continued to occupy the building until the late 1930s when they moved to premises in Hyson Green. The building remained empty until Elastic Yarns/Fine Wires Ltd moved in. This photograph shows the workforce posing for their photograph outside the building in April 1945. It was taken when Sir Stafford Cripps, then a member of the War-time Government, paid a visit to the factory while attending an exhibition being held there featuring local businesses; Cripps is the man on the front row in the centre of the photograph.

Elastic Yarns made elastic webbing, surgical hosiery, corsetry, foundation garments, and knitting and sewing elastic sold under the trade name of 'Gloveen'. This 1960s photograph shows four Elastic Yarns' employees. Their names are given on the larger version of the photograph.

Photograph courtesy of Ann Swabey

Photograph courtesy of Ann Swabey

Photograph courtesy of Chris Richards

Two Elastic Yarn's employees at work in the factory in 1963. More details are given when you click on the photograph.

Another 1963 photograph of Elastic Yarn employees. Click on the photograph for more details. In 1973 Elastic Yarns sold the building but transferred operations to Sandiacre. The new occupants were Steada Raywarp Ltd., textile manufacturers. Shortly afterwards, Steada Raywarp were taken over by Courtaulds. Courtaulds soon decided the Castle Boulevard factory was surplus to requirements and, unable to find new occupants, eventually had the building demolished.

This photograph was taken by Chris Richards in 1981 and shows the building in an advanced state of demolition.

Photograph courtesy of Paul Bexon 2014

Photograph courtesy of Paul Bexon 2014

Photograph courtesy of Paul Bexon 2014

Barratt's, the builders, moved in. They acquired the Steada Raywarp site, bought the adjoining site occupied by Universal Engineering, along with the portions of land on Grove Road, Alderney Street and Marcus Street that had fallen within the City Council's clearance programme.

Barratt's erected the housing complex shown in these three photographs. The complex was designed for them by the local architectural partnership of Cullen, Carter and Hill.

The complex, now known as Castle Gardens, was completed in 1982/3. Alderney Street, which bordered the western portion of the housing complex (shown in this photograph), was extended to link into Marcus Street. Whereupon the name, Marcus Street, disappeared from the map as it became subsumed within Alderney Street.


From Hicking Pentecost Factory to the Cornerstone Church

Photograph courtesy of Lenton Local History Society

Photograph courtesy of John Haywood

Photograph courtesy of Steve Zaleski

Part of the factory complex occupying the northern side of Castle Boulevard on its approach to the junction with Park Road and Willoughby Street as it looked in 1978. At the beginning of the century the factory was occupied by Alfred Cleaver, a bleacher, dyer, lace dresser & finisher. By 1912 Hicking Pentecost had taken over the building and they carried on much the same activities there.

We catch another glimpse of this factory in this 1955 view looking along Marcus Street to its junction with Castle Boulevard. Hicking Pentecost remained the main occupants of the factory for many years. Quite when they moved out is unclear but by the late 1970s the factory has been subdivided into a number of separate units. In the 1980s the whole building was destroyed in major conflagration and the property had to be demolished.

This photograph shows the site, after the demolition of the factory along with some neighbouring properties and before construction work started on the M.F.I. retail furniture complex which then occupied the site.

Photograph courtesy of Paul Bexon 2013

Photograph courtesy of Paul Bexon 2013

The M.F.I. complex consisted of two large buildings. One comprised a showroom which can be seen in this photograph. The other, which stood at the far end of the customers' carpark was a warehouse unit where the selected items would await collection the furniture once they had been paid for.

In 2008 M.F.I. got into financial difficulties and was placed into administration. It ceased trading at the end of the year when the administrators failed to find a potential purchaser for the company. The Nottingham premises were eventually put up for sale but also failed to find a buyer until the Cornerstone Church stepped in. They had the existing buildings demolished and a new church erected on the site. This photograph taken in 2013 shows a portion of the church's extensive car park on the right.

The Cornerstone Church opened the new building on 30th September 2012. For more information about the Cornerstone Church and its activities check out its website.


The site of the Tin Chapel

Photograph from Lenton Listener No. 27

Photograph by Bruce Bradley

Dissatisfied with their premises on Park Street, New Lenton the United Methodist Free Church decided to build a new chapel at the Lenton end of what is now known as Castle Boulevard. Unable to afford a complete brick-built church it commissioned a building which had a brick base but an upper storey made of metal sheeting. This was opened in May 1887. The intention was to build a brick superstructure once funds permitted. Damage to the foundations caused by flooding meant this plan was never carried out. Instead the congregation preferred to move to a new building on Derby Road – the church now situated opposite the Savoy Cinema. The move took place in February 1914. This undated photograph of the old tin chapel was taken after it had ceased to be used as a church.

The old 'tin chapel' was now occupied by John Compton, an organ builder. However a fire in 1920 caused extensive damage to his works and, although the building was subsequently restored, John Compton moved his business elsewhere. Instead the Clement Piano Company moved in and stayed until 1979 whereupon the business moved to premises next to the Radford/Lenton branch library on Lenton Boulevard. This photograph shows Clement Piano's staff in 1956.

Towards the end of Clement's stay in the old tin chapel they had acquired a sub-tenant in the basement in the form of Trent Upholsteries. When Clements moved out Trent Upholsteries took over the whole building using the upstairs area as a show room.

Photograph by Paul Bexon

Photograph courtesy of Trent Upholsteries

Photograph by Paul Bexon

In the late 1980s Trent Upholsteries decided to rebuild the upper storey and this photograph shows the building before that work got under way.

This photo shows the property once the the upper storey had been rebuilt. Trent Upholsteries later moved to alternative premises in Radford and in mid-2002 the entire building was demolished to make way for new student accomodation.

Our final photograph taken in 2004 shows Chapel Place, the new student accommodation, designed to be in keeping with its near neighbours.



Lenton Listener Articles

Articles from 'The Lenton Listener' Magazine


The Story of the Tin Chapel - Issue 27 November to December 1983

The Birth of the Boulevard - Issue 33 March to April 1985

The Rock Chapel of St Mary - Issue 39 April to May 1987



Memories

Trevor Stainforth


Born in Nottingham in 1946 I was brought up in West Bridgford and later on in Radcliffe on Trent. However in 1964 I left for Australia in 1964 along with my parents and have been out in Australia ever since.

In the late 50s my father was the proprietor of the Shell Garage in Castle Boulevard, situated on the site which is now occupied by a set of modern apartment blocks. At the rear of the building was a series of caves. At the immediate rear was a small entrance which was partially covered by a brick wall and which opened out into several chambers. The rock chambers didn't lead anywhere as they had all been bricked up. At the northern or Castle end of the garage was a very large cave entrance and similar sized interior which had various offshoots and again all bricked up so that you could not explore any further - something I would have loved to do! My understanding is that they had previously been used as air raid shelters during the Second World War.

The garage forecourt area and building was some six to eight feet higher than the floor level of the caves and actually had a flight of steps down to the large cave. This was an ideal place for the kennel for our German Shepherd, the resident guard dog when the place was closed. I presume the raised site was to accommodate the fuel tanks and minimise excavations down into the sandstone.

Immediately next door to us on the southern side (the Lenton side) was a caravan sales yard called 'North's Caravans' and their premises retained the natural ground level and therefore from our garage forecourt, you could see across the roofs of the caravans.

In the Lenton Listener article featured in Issue 39, there is a picture of the caravan sales yard under a different ownership and if you look to the right of the photograph, you will see the low wall and parapet of the boundary walls of our garage. That actual corner adjacent to the footpath was a raised garden bed and had a large tower with the shell sign on top. At the other end of the forecourt was a similar sign and low walls led from both sides around to the garage itself which had a wash bay, lube bay, shop, office and toilets. I know this very well as I spent many hours working there as a young boy, especially on school holidays. I also painted those parapets on the walls white, as well as the kerbing at the entrances and around the two bowser islands on many occasions.

I see from the other articles on your website that the caves at the rear of the garage had both a historical and religious history but I wasn't aware of this then.

In one of your old photographs above I can spot Rowland’s Café. My father and I spent many occasions in there having our morning tea, lunch etc. It was a top café and his sausage sandwiches will be remembered forever. Rowland became good friends with my father over the years that we were at the garage. Rowland was also a photographer of some note and from memory, specialised in portrait photos and the like.

I am currently on the look-out for a picture of the garage. Both my parents have now passed away and apart from one cousin up in Scotland, I no longer have any living relatives in Nottingham or for that matter in England. In the late 1950s, a photographer was taking some shots of Castle Boulevard. We approached him to take a photograph of the garage and he agreed to do so. After borrowing our extension ladder and placing it against a light/power pole on the other side of Castle Boulevard, he obtained an elevated shot of the garage which he subsequently delivered to us some time later mounted in a frame. It had my father and myself standing on the forecourt and was displayed on the wall of the office until we left the premises. Unfortunately I have been unable to establish what happened to the photograph after this point.

I always supposed that the photographer was a professional from a studio or local newspaper. I have searched all the Nottingham-based websites but have been unable to find either a copy of this particular photograph or any other showing the garage.

If anyone can help me seek out a photograph of the garage I would be delighted to hear from them.



Geoff Smithson


In the summer of 1963 three friends, all aged about 14, were playing together - Robert Patman, Tony Lamar and myself. We had just crossed the road at the zebra crossing from Gloveen’s Elastic Yarns factory to the bottom of Willoughby Street, when the person walking in front of us dropped a cigarette out of his packet and carried on walking.

It was one of those king size cigarettes which had a long filter on it. We all ran to pick it up I reached down to pick it up. Tony was bigger and stronger than Robert and I and simply pushed me out of the way and took possession of it. He put the cigarette in his mouth and was going to light it when I stopped him. By this time we were outside Mann’s off-licence and I said, “Wait a minute I’ll get some special stuff”.

I went into Mann’s and bought a 2d. tube of lighter fuel in those rubber tubes. I bit the end off the tube and poured it over the cigarette. Tony said, “You have ruined it”. I said, “It’s special stuff!”; Robert also went along with but could not stop laughing. Next Tony put the cigarette into his mouth and I lit it. Puff, a big ball of fire and Tony’s eyes lit up as those he had seen a ghost. Luckily no one got hurt. I can still see his face today, the big surprise and those big eyes.



Sonia Mann


My husband’s great uncle, Alfred Woolley, lived at 309 Castle Boulevard. He owned the row of houses from Abbey Bridge to Broadholme Street having made his money during the Klondike Goldrush. He was also the owner of the Lumley Castle public house at Hyson Green while having other business ventures on the go in Nottingham.

We don’t know quite when Alfred Woolley first came to Castle Boulevard but my husband’s family moved in next door to him in order to care for Alfred during the second half of the 1930s. His hobby was bee keeping although he used to keep the hives elsewhere at Mapperley Plains. He gave talks about beekeeping at Nottingham University (this would be in the 1930s) and my husband, Ronald Mann, who would be then be aged about ten or eleven would go along with him.

My husband’s family lived at 307 Castle Boulevard from 1937 until 1950 and then they moved to Park Road Lenton having bought the corner off licence there. In 1956 they also bought the greengrocery shop next door so they had Nos. 2 and 4 Park Road and the shops were known as Mann’s. My parents-in-law, Albert and Frances Mann, retired in 1965 and then went to live at Gunthorpe.



Julia Pearl - Perth, Western Australia


On the corner of Castle Boulevard and Abbey Bridge was a textile factory known as Gloveens in the 1960s. I think it's the building which was burned down. I used to pass it each day on the 4a or 5a bus route from Dunkirk to the city.

In the early '70s, while Ted Heath was leading the Tories, there was a bus strike during the winter. For some reason the clocks weren't put forward that year either and I would walk to Mundella School (near Trent Bridge) from Beeston Rd, along Abbey St and Abbey Bridge, Castle Boulevard, Arkwright Street and through the Meadows to Mundella. It took about an hour or so. We didn't have a car at the time. It was OK on a normal day but on sport days two bags and a hockey stick were a bit cumbersome. The worst part was setting off in the dark and arriving home in the dark.

In the '70s I would sometimes miss the final bus service at 11.15pm from town and again walk home - a bit dicey especially along by the canal, and past all the petrol stations. As a young twenty-something you're invincible!!



Anonymous Contribution


The old photo of Castle Boulevard shows the house where I used to live, number 221, the last house in the block, next to a shop which was on the corner of Chippendale Street. The iron railings on the low wall were, I believe, removed during the war.

As far as I can tell from the few documents available, my parents moved there in July 1946. It was rented from a firm called "Jas. Holroyd & sons", 15 Wellington Circus. I have no idea whether they were owners or agents. The rent at that time was 12s 1d (60p).

An elderly couple, Mr & Mrs Jackson, lived at 219, he worked at Raleigh. There was a common backyard entered through a gate on Chippendale St, and if I was playing there after school I always got a, not unfriendly, smack on the head from Mr Jackson's Evening Post (or News) as he walked through the yard, I still remember the smell of machine "suds" on his overalls. He picked up the paper from the newsagents "Jackson's" (I don't think they were related) on the corner of Marcus St. on his way home.

220 was a butchers' shop, run by Harry Ledbetter when I was a child, and later by his son John. They lived, I think, in Beeston, or Lenton Abbey. It had been run - perhaps owned - by Mr & Mrs Wakeling from before WWII. When Mr Wakeling retired, probably after the war, they continued to live in the house at the back and let, or leased the shop to Mr Ledbetter.

Mr Wakeling died in the early 1950s, and his wife continued to live there alone; dying, I think, in 1962. I remember her with great affection, a very "proper" lady. Button shoes, one with a built up sole - she had a very pronounced limp - print dresses, buttoned right to the throat, in the summer. Her house was always spotless (they had no children) and smelled of lavender. Over the years I became very familiar with her biscuit barrel!

The other neighbours on that block, next door to Jackson's so number 217, were a family by the name of Martin. Quite a large family I think, but apart from one of the girls of my own age I am unable to remember more. The back yard accessed only the four houses. A painter and decorator ran the shop on the extreme left of the picture I can't recall his name. I don't ever recall seeing anyone enter or leave the place, and it may have been just a showroom or storeroom. He had a large - to my eyes then - shed and office at the end of Chippendale St on the right, through double wooden gates, it backed onto the canal. I remember he had a large pre-war Austin car and a larger, wooden sided trailer to carry his ladders etc.

On the other corner of Chippendale St. was a beer-off, I can only remember the name of the last proprietor before I moved out of the area – Mr Shakespeare. A very nice man. He once introduced me (I was about 10 at the time) to a big well-dressed man who ran a caravan business on Castle Blvd. on the stretch where the road runs alongside the canal, and explained that the gentleman had been a Texas Ranger. You can imagine the effect of that on a young boy!

On the "town" corner of Marcus Street was a grocer's shop run by Mrs Harding. Sugar was weighed into blue paper bags, biscuits bought by the ½ lb. loose. That sort of thing. When sweets came "off ration" in the early 1950s that shop was my favourite.

When I was very small, around 1947 - 1950, I was always frightened and fascinated by the traffic along the Boulevard. I remember lots of military vehicles and indeed tanks using the road (not on transports). They had probably come from the Royal Ordnance Factory. They backfired a lot, and I thought they were firing their guns! There seemed to be a number of livestock wagons as well, I clearly remember the noise of the cattle, the smell, and the effluent.

There was a transport cafe about 100 yards towards the city that was well patronised. Other memories of Castle Blvd. traffic - the British Rail mechanical horses. They were I think Scammed vehicles. A three-wheeled tractor unit pulling various types of trailer. They did local deliveries and these quite large vehicles could turn round in the width of the road.

Across from our house was the factory of Hicking & Pentecost. The main works entrance was roughly opposite Marcus St. and used to house Mr Pentecost's Daimler car when he visited the factory.



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