City Treasures Archive 2016-17

Report from Christmas city tour.
On Wednesday 13th December 2017 a party of members from City Treasures group met up in the Nottingham Council House Arcade for a Christmas city tour.

We started with myself pointing out the wonderful display of Christmas decorations as we walked through the arcade, a site not to be missed.

Moving on up Pelham Street and stopping halfway along we admired some beautiful examples of Watson Fothergill architecture. We browsed over the next buildings exterior, The Thurland pub, a lovely example with its original etched windows on the first floor and the frontage is graced with green tiles. This used to be a fine example of a Victorian pub with a Gentleman’s only room sadly this has gone. The owners have restore most of the original decor which we observed inside.

We continued through the Lace Market where we saw work being carried out on one of the oldest buildings in Nottingham then we continued onto St Mary’s church. Inside this historic church I gave a guided tour using a booklet. One of the curators gave us some occasional interaction on factual history. All of the group remarked on how interesting it was, we made a donation and went outside to look further at the exterior.

Next we crossed over the road and entered The Galleries Of Justice where I took the group to a brilliant exhibition covering the Pentrich Revolution Marchers. This turned out to be one of the best displays we had seen, everyone was very impressed with it including the continuous film show.

The group enjoyed our tour and we look forward to having another good year in 2018 discovering more City Treasures together. Len Marsh

Report from Council House Tour
On Wednesday 15th November a group of twenty seven members of City Treasures met in the Nottingham Council House arcade for a guided tour of the Council House, going in the main entrance door we were met by our charming guide, Charmaine.

We were taken around the majority of the rooms of interest and given a talk on how the rooms are used. We were also told the history of a collection of artefacts in several display cabinets.

The wonderful ballroom was viewed from the gallery, also the Market Square and Arcade. We went into the Council Chamber, a masterpiece in design and carved woodwork with soundproof panels filled with bags of seaweed to ensure quiet in the room, and other equipment to monitor the debates and recorded them.

We also met the Sheriff of Nottingham who chatted to members and answered questions they put to him. Also in one of the main offices we were shown some thirteen-century books, the original front door knocker and the set of bells used to open Goose Fair every year. In the passageway outside the room was a selection of original furniture from 1929 when the Council House first opened. It was interesting to learn that the Eastcroft Incinerator on London Road supplies the heating for the building.

Finally at the end of a very interesting talk and tour we were once again joined by the Sherriff for a group photo and I thanked the dignitaries for helping to make our tour a success. All the members enjoyed the tour mainly because its one of Nottingham’s brilliant buildings containing a wealth of history, I would recommend this tour to everyone. Len Marsh

Report from 12th walk – Beauvale Priory

The group enjoyed a guided visit to Beauvale Priory with Ann Whyte. They were given an interesting background of the Whyte family’s involvement and the history of the site. Full report and pictures on the website.

On a cloudy overcast Wednesday 11th October 2017 a group of twenty six members of City Treasures met up at the local historic gatehouse venue of Beauvale Priory for a pre-arranged talk and guided tour by Ann Whyte.

We were given a very interesting background talk of the Whyte family involvement in the present day on going project while sitting in the renovated farm stable containing very old preserved beams and a collection of wall mounted pictures from Durban House Eastwood.

We then all took a stroll outside with our guide Ann who spoke about the pond and how the rain water system filled it. She explained how they converted two cottages into their present day home much admired by our group.

Beauvale Priory was founded in the year 1343 by Nicholas De Cantelupe in honour of the blessed trinity, it was home to a Prior and twelve monks of the Carthusian Order. The history and its religious connections are well documented. It is one of only nine houses in England and designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the buildings have listed status, the remains of the priory church grade 2 plus the Gatehouse and Boundary Wall are separately listed.

D.H.Lawrence wrote a short historical story “A fragment of stained glass” which connected to the ruins of Beauvale Priory.

After a very interesting talk about the lifestyle of the monks we then viewed inside the historic buildings noting how the craftsmen used different timbers and stone to construct the church. After passing through the farm outbuildings we were taken on a lovely walk in the grounds to Tony Whyte’s lakeside bird sanctuary. Here we were told of the local railway that linked to the coal mine close by, both no longer here. This area was so picturesque and peaceful nowadays.

The locality is fortunate in that Ann and Tony Whyte undertook the hard work and dedication to preserve this monastic site with additional help from English Heritage. We all thanked them for the informative tour. Refreshments were then taken in the tearooms after an enjoyable day. Len Marsh

Report from 11th walk – Victoria Embankment & Notts C.C.C. Tour

On Wednesday 13th September 2017 twenty members of City Treasures Group met up in the city centre for the history walk and talk. We caught a number 6 bus to Trent Bridge and alighted by the once old tannery building now converted into modern flats. We crossed over the road to the gateway of the lovely tree lined embankment it was named in honour of Queen Victoria who died in that year,January 1901.

We walked down the right side of the road admiring the views until we arrived at the splendid arch of the remembrance memorial, a talk was given about this structure and its meaning referring to Nottinghamshire people who lost their lives in the two world wars and the Korean war sadly.

In the adjacent memorial gardens stands the statue of Queen Victoria fronted by water fountains in pools, this is also a nice peaceful area to sit.

Moving onto the riverside we walked onto the Grade 2 listed suspension bridge owned by Severn Trent Water. Primarily built to carry water pipes from Wilford Hill reservoir to the Meadows housing area, also to be a footbridge, it is now over 100 years old. After a talk and photos of this engineering wonder we walked back to Trent Bridge once again looking at the marvellous construction and observing the flood levels carved in the stone walls. We then went under the bridge archway into a small park area, we looked across the river at the three famous rowing clubs shadowed by the Nottingham Forest Football ground. Moving on we crossed Trent Bridge on the right side giving us splendid riverside views. Then stopping at the small road island we talked about the two arches of the old original Trent bridge displayed in front of us, and then had a look at County Hall entrance.

It was then time for a lunch break at the TBI also dodging a heavy rain shower.

After this we met our tour guide Keith at the N.C.C. Club ground who took us on a very interesting and factual trip around the ground which is the third largest test cricket ground in the world. Nottingham’s investments have progressed over the years. Trent Bridge- the embankment- N.C.C.C. has given pleasure to many people with stories and history that abound. Len Marsh.

City Treasures group on the suspension bridge

The Arch Memorial

The Suspension Bridge

The Embankment.
The Embankment.

Trent Bridge

Group crossing Trent Bridge
Group crossing Trent Bridge

The old Trent Bridge
The old Trent Bridge

Across the pitch

Q+A End of a brilliant visit

Report from 10th walk – a surprise city tour.

On 25th August 2017 sixteen members met in the Nottingham Council House Arcade for a surprise city tour, due to cancelling the one planned because of student re-test exams.

We set off across the Market Square where we looked up and observed some Watson Fothergill buildings with interesting features. We then went up Market Street and onto the old Guildhall building, which is soon to become a hotel.

Crossing the road we were now facing two of Nottingham Trent Universities largest and oldest buildings by Newton and Arkwright. Walking down the side of these we then turned left onto Shakespeare Street to view the Arkwright entrance with its wonderful stonework etc. Then we turned left again up steps and onto Goldsmith Street where we stopped adjacent to another majestic building, which is the Masonic Hall a true city treasure that we all admired. We crossed over and entered the splendid building and met our guides for a pre-arranged, interesting talk on the freemasons then an internal tour of the magnificent Masonic Hall.

As we came out we crossed back over to the N.T.U. where I gave a talk explaining how the university has invested £90 million in the regeneration of the Two Grade 2 listed buildings by Newton and Arkwright. The university is composed of three colleges and nine schools and it maintains close ties to over 6000 businesses, these include Toyota, Boots, Experian and Rolls Royce. My internal tour of this building was to point out with interest how the architects had linked together both buildings with great skill and design; one main feature of this is the glass-roofed atrium that extends through several storeys of the main building. Everyone enjoyed the tour and gained some new knowledge, also it’s worth pointing out what marvellous education facilities we have in the city of Nottingham. Len Marsh

City tour, Arkwright entrance.
City tour, Arkwright entrance.

City tour, group in Masonic Hall.
City tour, group in Masonic Hall.

City tour, group in the big temple
City tour, group in the big temple

City tour, link to Newton Building NTU
City tour, link to Newton Building NTU

City tour, NTU reception Goldsmith St.
City tour, NTU reception Goldsmith St.


Report from 9th walk

Tour of Highfields & University Parks, Art galleries and Museums

On Tuesday 8th August 2017 eighteen members of the City Treasures Group met up in The Nottingham Council House Arcade and despite the very poor weather conditions outside everyone was quite cheerful and in good spirits. We continued with our trip by catching the tram to the Nottingham University South entrance where we alighted.

We made our way to the first Lakeside Arts Centre, and into the Djanogly Gallery, here we viewed three galleries of modern art paintings and sculptures from the 60’s. The displays were illustrated and cleverly made with different materials.

Then into a smaller exhibition relating to dinosaurs and the stone ages in the Anger visitors centre. Moving on we entered the Archaeological Museum where we found wonderful, encased displays of artefacts, all listed with explanatory posters enclosed, which made it all the more interesting to visit.

Next we walked to the Recital Hall where we quietly entered and took a seat with the audience and listened to a solo artist play a classical piece of music, a good experience for all.

Moving on we crossed to the second Lakeside Arts Centre here we entered an exhibition about India and its culture in the Weston Gallery.

Too wet to continue our tour of the campus park we all decided to end the trip and have a lunch break in the Lakeside cafe, everyone enjoyed our day regardless. Len Marsh.

Report from 8th Walk

Forest Road – Jewish Cemetery- Rock Cemetery

On Wednesday 12th July 2017 twenty members of the group met at the High School tram stop to follow Discovering Nottingham Walk 4, researched by Barbara Wigley. We made a detour at the start to visit The Nottingham Deaf Centre building on Forest Road West, a fine piece of architecture.
Back on track we entered the gate to the granite monument for the fallen in the Boer War. We continued along Forest Road East noting interesting places, Ristes Motor Co and Nottingham High School where we had a pre arranged external tour of the grounds etc. This was different and enjoyed by all. On to North Sherwood Street to the Jewish Cemetery. We were unable to enter due to closure but details of this gem were read out to the group. We then crossed the road to the Rock Cemetery where a talk was given regarding the area and past historical events. We then had a steady stroll around the pathways taking in points of interest such as, the landscape/ caves, tunnels and stone work. This is a Grade II listed cemetery and because of its layout in the old stand stone quarry it made an interesting tour. The group enjoyed the scenery plus the marvellous monuments of angels etc on display.
We entered the Forest off Mansfield Road and I gave a talk relating to Forest Lodge, and the enclosure oak, then the Victorian race course followed by Nottingham Forest.
After undergoing a £5.2 million lottery restoration its easy to see how the sports facilities have benefitted. Also the Forest Pavilion has been refurbished and the group enjoyed a relaxing break at the Homemade Pavilion café at the end of a very different tour showing us some of the city treasures. Len Marsh

Walk 4 at The High School
Walk 4 at The High School

Walk 4 at The Rock Cemetery
Walk 4 at The Rock Cemetery

Report from 7th Walk
The Arboretum, General Cemetery and Park Tunnel

Discover nottm 2 tunnel
The Park Tunnel

discover nottm 2 chinese bell
Chinese Bell The Arboretum

A group of fifteen members met up on 13th June 2017 at the High School tram stop on Waverley Street. We then proceeded down to Arboretum Street and the entrance into the 17 acre Arboretum;
the first public park in Nottingham containing over one thousand specimen trees and shrubs. There are some really beautiful trees to admire in the grounds. However there was a lack of colour from flowers and signs of poor garden maintenance, probably due to council cuts. Despite this we found numerous items of great interest, like the Chinese Bell Tower, canons and the Victorian Circular aviary. On to the statue of Samuel Morley, a famous hosiery manufacturer and great benefactor to Nottingham. We noted that Waverley Lodge gatehouse has recently been renovated and looks impressive but was closed.

Crossing Waverley Street we then looked at the superb architecture of the Waverley Building which now houses the Nottingham School of Art. Moving on to the Terrace Royal, everyone was amazed at the stone masonry and individual carvings on the eight terrace houses now occupied by university admin offices.

Then into the General Cemetery. This 18 acre site is vast with military graves close by the entrance. Following a tarmac path through the graves we made our way onto an interesting wall plaque of
Benjamin Mayo and the story of The Old General. This site is sadly overgrown with weeds and ivy, spoiling what was once a proud burial ground with marvelous stone memorials to people.

A talk was given on the Alms Houses and Canning Circus area and we then proceeded down Derby Road and into the Park Tunnel area. This really amazed most of the group who found it hard to believe it existed. There, photos were taken and the group expressed their thanks for another interesting tour.

Our thanks to member Barbara Wigley for loan of the Walk 1 guide book, information and picture cards.

Regards Len Marsh.

Report from 6th Walk
The Lace Market, Justice Museum
and Debbie Bryan Shop.

Twenty four members of the group met in the Nottingham Council House Arcade on Wednesday 10th May 2017. From there we walked up to Hockley and into the quarter mile square of Nottingham Lace Market. Once regarded as the centre of the world’s lace industry during the British Empire, today it is a national heritage area displaying many fine Victorian four to seven storey red brick building lined streets. With iron railings, old gas lamps and red phone boxes it was an area of salesrooms and warehouses storing, displaying and selling lace.
After a talk in the college square we moved onto Stoney Street to find a large board showing a map of the area, plus another with local famous people illustrated; also large portraits depicting them on the wall of a tall building.
Moving on we faced the famous Adams building now part of the City campus of New College Nottingham, then on our left we passed the new art college. Next came the magnificent Broadway Buildings dating from the 1850s. Some are still used in textiles today. The architecture in this area speaks for itself.
At the end of the street into a small car park with a nice area view and Cliff Road the market boundary below us
Onto High Pavement and a lovely side view of St Mary’s church the stained glass windows and the excellent example of early English Perpendicular architecture.
We then went into the newly refurbished Justice Museum, firstly to watch an introductory film show, then into two free exhibitions where some members stood in the old Bow Street Dock facing a board which displayed photos of famous villains.
Moving onto St Mary’s Gate we saw examples of old and modern styles of sash windows before finally arriving at Debbie Bryans Shop.
We entered and were allowed to browse the interesting artefacts/antiques and lace etc. Here we had a cream tea/homemade scone served on lovely old china, adding to the character of the shop. Debbie then gave us a very interesting talk about the shop, her career and the lace industry; also her royal link in the making of shawls for William and Kate’s children. We observed how very intricate and skillful lace making is, also how very expensive it is today.
Overall we had a very knowledgeable day covering more of Nottingham’s history and it was enjoyed by all.

P1010002lace market walk

Len Marsh

Report from 5th Walk
Mansfield Road/Milton Street area
including the Victoria Station.

On Wednesday April 12th 2017, 23 group members met up in Nottingham Arcade for Walk 2 – Mansfield Road. This was researched and compiled by Discovering Nottingham group member John Beech. We followed his tour from the Victoria Centre up to the top of Mansfield Road, where it converges with Forest Road, then back down the other side to Milton Street, ending at the Old Trinity Square. Here Group member Harry Emsley provided us with a talk on the old T.Bailey Forman building and notes on the Evening Post newspaper.

We arranged a visit to the old Bluecoat School where we saw the main hall and the maze of corridors and rooms; also the new internal school museum being created with very interesting artefacts. We then went into the back garden for a close up view of the two statues of pupils and the clock tower with engraved foundation stone.

Overall there were plenty of things to point out and talk about, also very good information and old photographs in John’s book. The group really enjoyed the tour.

Report from 4th Walk

On the 8th March a group of fifteen U3A members met in the city arcade and were taken on a walk through the city streets, highlighting magnificent old buildings like the Methodist church on Castle Gate. Then we went down Maid Marian Way to Wilford Street where we joined the Nottingham Canal and turned right to run parallel with Castle Boulevard. This gave us different views of the city, castle and close ups of the Inland Revenue buildings. There were other aspects to see like people’s narrow boat homes, some with modern sat- navs and solar heating panels with other interesting bric-a-brac items on the roofs. Continuing on the towpath we came to an interesting family boat builder’s yard. Finally, crossing a bridge over the canal, we came to the Dunkirk area, which was once the scene of many motorcar scrap yards but now reduced to one as an industrial estate has taken over. Next we went under a very low railway bridge and down some narrow streets onto a footpath, which was by a stream, and led us onto University Boulevard. Here we were looking at the old Highfields Lido area now covered by a lovely cafe/art gallery/lecture hall/and museum. Moving on we walked to the main lakeside theatre block, another interesting place with art gallery /lecture hall/weather museum /and a nice cafe with a picture view of the original university Portland building, lake and landscape to peruse over.

The group enjoyed this tour showing us different aspects of Nottingham and also a very pleasant canal walk one of which I would recommend to other members of the Eastwood U3A. My thanks also to new member Roy Moult for his information and tales of this area where he grew up. Report and photos by Len Marsh

Castle view
Castle view

Solar power
Solar power

Barge moorings
Barge mooring

Boat yard
Boat yard

Discovering Nottingham Group 2 by the Nottingham canal

Report from 3rd Walk
Nottingham Castle Tour

Twenty two members of the group assembled in the Nottingham Council House Arcade on Thursday 26th January 2017. From there we walked up Friar Lane to the Castle entrance where we all read the new plans for the forthcoming events. We then made a tour of the grounds following the outer castle walls, passing the Victorian bandstand, then to pay our respects to the weather beaten statue of Captain Albert Ball VC. We continued up the pathways to a vantage point beside the Castle which gave us great viewpoints over the city and surrounding areas, although restricted somewhat by the
misty weather conditions. However, we continued around the east end of the castle before entering the museum.

The group followed a pre-planned route inside and most people were amazed when they saw the displays of artifacts etc. The military museum was impressive, covering WW1 and wars up to the Afganistan conflict. We moved on to the Old Nottingham exhibition, with brilliant displays; then up the stairs past a lovely oil painting of the famous major oak tree and into the art gallery which everyone found very impressive; then the silverware and pottery displays.
We all had a break for lunch in the cafe, a group photo, then a wander back to our own points of interest. There is a lot to see at this museum and we all found it very interesting and enjoyed the tour.

Discovering Nottingham 2 Group
Discovering Nottingham 2 Group

Original Colwick Hall Gates
Original Colwick Hall Gates

Wild Animal Display
Wild Animal Display

Old Original Fireplace
Old Original Fireplace

Report from 2nd Walk
The Council House and Malt Cross

A few members of the group met in the Nottingham City Council House arcade with it’s interesting architecture and displays of lovely Christmas decorations.

Exchange Arcade

Afterwards a tour guide took us on a grand tour of the council chambers. This Nottingham building has a brilliant internal construction. In my opinion the external views don’t do it justice and I would recommend more members to go and see it.

After we went onto St James Street and walked up to The Malt Cross, where we took a break for coffee and cakes. Rebekah Wood the tour guide gave us an in depth talk, including singing folk songs in the theatre. We went down two levels to the caves where another talk took place. Back on St James Street Rebekah explained the historical facts of the Malt Cross building. Everyone enjoyed the tours and I will be visiting these venues again in the New Year for the members who missed it.

Malt Cross Caves

Discovering Nottingham 2 group outside Malt Cross

malt cross
Malt Cross Music Hall

Report from 1st Walk
Green’s Windmill and
William Booth Birthplace Museum, Sneinton

After meeting at the Lace Market tram stop the group were taken on a tour through Hockley then down into Sneinton market place.

From the onset I made it a walk and talk pointing out places of interest etc. We continued up Sneinton Road to the Windmill.

A talk on the history of Greens Mill was followed by an internal climb of four floors to the top of the mill. Here the mechanical gears and working parts were visible and an informative, interesting talk was given on every floor on our descent. On the ground floor both millers were showing us the flour they were producing and explaining how important the sale of their flour is.

Everyone enjoyed the mill, we celebrated with a break for tea and a look in the science museum and outside flower garden.

Next a short walk to William Booth’s Museum and a talk from the curator about the Salvation Army and how the museum was created
by the joining together of three houses, one being Booth’s birthplace. All the rooms carry interesting artefacts of personal items
belonging to the family. Outside in the courtyard a group photograph was taken in front of a splendid statue of William Booth.

Everybody found both venues very interesting and enjoyed the day

Walk Organiser Len Marsh

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