Blidworth in old picture postcards

Blidworth in old picture postcards

:   W. Richards
:   Nottinghamshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3355-5
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Blidworth in old picture postcards'

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When an official of Ncwark District Council asked me if I would provide the material for this book I felt quite flattered because , although I was bom in Blidworth and my home has always been here, I felt that some etherfolk were better qualified,

Sorne of the historical information has been culled from a book which was handwritten by Sam Clarke, the village bootmaker , nearly eigh ty years ago. As he was most active during the period covered pictorially in this booklet, 18801930, his memories of Blidworth are invaluable.

The Reverend R.H. Whitworth, who was Vicar of Blidworth from 1865 to 1908, was a prolific writer on all matters concerning the district, and some of the quotations in this book were written by hirn.

Mrs. Ethel Matehert has lived in this parish for nearly all her long and useful life. lam very grateful to her for allowing my tape-recorder into her horne so that her most interesting memories can be preserved, and sorne of them recorded in this booklet.

The help given by folk who Ie nt me photographs to reproduce in this booklet made me feel humbly thankful, particularly Dennis Froggatt who lived in Fishpool for many years and whose enthusiasm for anything concerning his old haunts has remained undimmed,

Without Sid Mintey's expertise in reproducing the photographs, so that I could return the originals to their owners quickly, I would have been unable to get this colleetien together, He made something presentable out of pictures that I thought were toa faded to he of use.

Grateful thanks too to Wilf Wild's son for so kindly giving me permission to quote from his father's book.

Nobody knows how old Blidworth is. In 'Notes on Notts.', edited by Cornelius Brown in 1874, it says that 'some years ago there existed a stone ne ar Lindhurstwhich was probably

a Roman altar. ft was destroyed in an unknown marmer' . The Foulevil Brook which runs from Lindhurst into Rainworth Water was said to be so named because the Romans bathed in it to eure a skin disease called The Fou! Evil.

The Druids would have been foolish not to use the Rock. This alluvial deposit was ideal for their rites.

Sam Clarke wrote: Blidwortn Wood as it was ealled formed part of Sherwood Forest. There are numbers of venerabie aak trees, knarled, hollow and of massive proportions, identical with those in the Dukeries. They must be at least 1,000 years old and there is not the least doubt that Robin and his merry men were welt aequainted with them over 700 years aga. On the south side ofCave Pond there is adepression near the pond head where onee existed a cave hewn out of rock called Robin Hood' s Cave. My father remembered it quite well. It was destroyed about the middle of the last century. Peveril, son ofthe Conqueror, was Earl of Nottingham and tenant in capiti of Haywood Oaks. From that time there is plenty of documentary information about Blideworde in Domesday Book and afterwards.

To end this foreword I cannot do better than quote Sam Clarke again: The following pages do not follow any ordered sequence of events or ideas but are simply bits of history, scraps of information about our old village of Blidworth, the ways and customs of our village folk, the things 1 have heard, also what 1 have observed and experienced. These have been jotted down in spare moments, and if they appear to be a mixed medley and perhaps of little interest to many, yet there may be some who will deign to dip into its pages and be transported into an age long past. If sa I shall be doubly pleased, for it has not been a task but a pleasure of recollection and re-collection.

Will Richards

1. The Reverend R.H. Whitworth, pictured standing in the churchyard in 1890, was Vicar of Blidworth from 1865 to 1908. He was a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Vice- President of the Nottingharnshire Thoraton Society. Sam Clarke wrote that MI. Whitworth was 'an Oxford M.A., a scholar and a gentleman, was very popular with his parishioners and very proud of the church and parish. He might have been Blidworth bom he took such a keen interest in its history and growth'. There is a belief that Will Scarlet (Scadlock) is buried in Blidworth churchyard and this is supported by the Chronicon Herefordience manuscript in which one of the old chaplains of Newstead Priory describes the visit of the Bishop of Hereford to the neighbourhood. The edifice of stones seen here on a footpath is said to be Will's memorial, and is almost on the same spot in a newer layout.

2. The Vicar of Blidworth in 1920 was the Reverend J.T. Paddison and he is pictured here with the choir, the organist, the organ-blower and the sexton. Me. Paddison wanted to marry a girl who lived in Blidworth at that time, and he arranged to establish a living in Australia, then for the girl to travel to join him in Australia where they were to be married. Soon after arrival in that land the girl was reported as being homesick, so she came back home. On the Vicar's right in the picture is John Birch who was sexton for most of his life. The processional cross kept ne ar the choir stalls was bought in his memory. Very early in the year snowdrops would appear along the bottom ofthe wall of the church, and later on primroses grew among the headstones on the other side of the path.

3. The tower of this mill still stands, and can be seen from the road near the church gate. Old folk can remember it working and on clear days have seen Lincoln cathedral from the site. The millers were also bakers; wheat flour was produced but 'in wet harvest the flour was often unsound and made bad bread. It would not rise in the oven'. Frank Whitworth, Vicar Whitworth's son, could throw a cricket bali from the church gate and hit the sails of the tower mill; a feat never known to be equalled. About fifty years ago poultry would aseend the inside steps to roost; owls nested in the top; and pigeons also made it their home. There was a post mill in the field called 'Mill Croft' behind the old Wesleyan School. This mil! was pulled down in 1879 but marks made by the tail can still be found.

4. The gate-posts of the church can be seen ne ar the foot of the large tree. The stone lintel had an inscription on the outside: 'Enter unto His courts with Praise' but when the sandstone became eroded a wooden board was fastened over it saying: 'Enter into His courts with Praise .' The inscription on the inside was: 'Go and sin na more.' The man on the left is looking into Carvell's shop window which displayed sweets, brushes, blacklead for the fire-ranges and many other things, At the end of the grassy gutter ne ar the 'New Inn" was the entrance to the mill yard. Inside the yard was a mounting-block built to aid riders visiting the public house or church or both.

5. Taken probably in 1923 this is a group of scholars ofthe Church School with the Headmaster, Mr. WiUiam Shepherd. Singing was on the syllabus, and some of the songs these children sang were 'The Village Blacksmith' - and they knew well of such a craftsman: 'Robin Adair'; and 'Rolling down to Rio'. Lads with good voices were invited to join the church choir, and soon knew the canticles and many of the psalms off by heart. When they had to sing the anthem: 'What are these that are arrayed in white robes' the choirboys did not mind being chaffed because they wore white surplices: they knew that soon after Whitsunday when it was sung they would be taken to the seaside for the day in Davis and Hope's char-à-banc on the annual choir trip - and other boys would envy them. In the winter the choir was taken to the pantomine in Nottingham.

6. Blidworth Post Office was once on Beek Lane close to where the publie telephone-box is now. The telegraph was first installed in Blidworth Post Office on 28th June 1899. The Post Office on Beek Lane was kept by the Harris family , and one of the sons was later postmaster in the offices on Main Street and Mansfield Road. The postman in uniform brought the letters from Mansfield. He walked by way of Littleworth, Berry Hill, Lyndhurst and Fountain Dale to Blidworth. In the yard behind Grove Farm was a hut in which he rested until it was time to collect the afternoon mail which he carried to Mansfield. He had two pair of boots which he wore on alternate days, and these were made and repaired by Sam Clarke, Blidworth's bootmaker. On the opposite side of the lane from the Post Office was the pinfold surrounded by a stone wall, part ofwhich still stands. Any eattle found straying in the parish were kept in the pinfold.

7. SurgeryLane-so called because until the early 1920s a doctor's surgery was heldonce a week in a room in the bottom house in the lane. Doctor Saunders of Hucknall would make the joumey to Blidworth in bis horse and trap. He wore a deerstalker hat, cape, loud clothes and leggings, and he carried instruments and pills in a Gladstone bag. Purgatives and cough-cures were kept on view in the surgery in large botties. The vil!age loek-up, called The Roundhouse because it was a smal! dome-topped building, once stood on the land in front of the weil. The Parish Constable, an unpaid official elected annually by the church vestry meeting, had the duty of putting drunks and rowdies in The Roundhouse for the night and providing straw for them to lie on. The building was pulled down in 1867.

8. When the village cricket team was first formed it played on the Mil! Croft, but from 1900 matches were played on the big meadow at the bottom of Marriott Lane. The waoden shed on the left housed the aak chest in which the stumps, bats, pads and balts were kept. There was just room in the shed also for an early model of a mowing-machine. When used this machine needed four or five sturdy youths to pull it, besides a man (usually Jack Hayes) pushing behind. The heavy roller had shafts attached but when used on the wicket was neverpulled by a horse - six or seven men propelled it and small boys used to ride in the box over the roller. The creases were marked with whitewash but there was na boundary line - everything had to be run for. Highwater mark for this team was when they disrnissed Calverton (who were fielding men with county-cricket experience) for four runs. Blidworth made five runs without loss. The house in the background is Norwood Hil! Farm from where the writer's rnatemal grandfather and great-grandfather operated a carriers' business.

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