News for Autumn, 2001

The Thoroton Society has an exciting programme of events for the autumn, which you can read about in this edition of the Newsletter. And if you are wondering why we have a picture of a pig on this page, click here for further details! Steph Mastoris and Robert Malcolmson produced a bestseller with their book on The English Pig, which came out in 1998, and you can hear the Nottinghamshire end of the story in our December lecture. Join us as well for the other events over the next few months, and try to pay a visit to the Djanogly Art Gallery at the University of Nottingham Arts Centre for the Trentside exhibition, which will be the subject of our February 2002 lecture.

Saturday 15 September: Visit to Nottingham University Campus: the Millennium Garden and other points of interest, led by Claire Wells. Meet at 2.00pm in visitors’ car park next to Hugh Stewart Hall. The tour will not linger in the Millennium Garden, since Claire wishes to demonstrate other interesting features, for example the vine-leaved maple, and ‘D.H. Lawrence holding a gentian’.

Tuesday 9 October: 7.30pm, The Post House, St James’s Street (formerly The Albany Hotel): The Keith Train Lecture - The East Midlands into the Twenty-first Century by Denis Morrison, Government Office of the East Midlands.

3 November: Annual Luncheon 1pm, Thoresby Hall Hotel. Speaker: Philip Jones.

The following lectures will be at the YMCA, Shakespeare Street, 2.45pm on Saturdays:

Library Service Changes

From 1 October Mrs Joan Bray is moving from her position as Head of Local Studies at the City Library (which also has a remit for the county in library matters), to become Head of Customer Services. For the past 7 years Joan has done a great deal to raise the profile of local studies across the county, and we wish her well for the future. She will continue her work with the Nottinghamshire Living History Archive, and doubtless still be seen at local history functions around the county. Her successor will be Roger Parish, at present Head of the Arts Library.

Southwell Church History Website

Volunteers are still needed to write brief church histories for the Southwell Church History Website. If you can access the internet, take a look at to see what is involved. But you do not actually need to be an accomplished surfer to take part in this project, since the work of compiling a church history does not require the use of a computer. Volunteers are issued with a Briefing Paper which sets out what research is needed, and how to go about it. In other words you can do the whole thing from books - and even submit your finished history in handwritten form if that is what suits you best. If you are interested, ring Rosemary Gatie on 01636 817210 for further details, or speak to our chairman, John Beckett, at a future Thoroton event.

Council for Independent Archaeology: 9th Congress, University of Nottingham, 22-23 September

If you are concerned about the current divide within archaeology between amateur and professional, or perhaps official and unofficial, this is a conference you might like to drop in on, since it is being held in Nottingham. The CIA is particularly concerned that the great British tradition of amateur archaeology is being steamrollered by officialdom at a time when the success of Time Team suggests that interest in archaeology has never been so considerable. Workshops will look at the role of English Heritage, the position of county archaeologists, treasure hunters, lottery funding, and various other current issues, as well as addressing issues raised by the Valetta Convention. For more information about the CIA see and to attend the conference contact Mike Rumbold (tel. 01327-340855, e-mail

Nottinghamshire History Week: May 2002

The Thoroton Society is working with the Nottinghamshire Local History Association to put together a programme of events for the Nottinghamshire History Week in May next year. This has been masterminded by the Historical Association, and it is hoped that individual local history societies will be involved. Look out for more information in forthcoming Newsletters.

Mr Geoffrey Oldfield, M.A.

Members will be delighted to hear that Geoff Oldfield, who served on the Society's Council for twenty-five years until he stepped down at the last AGM, was appointed MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours, for services to Nottinghamshire's Heritage.

Many of you will be aware of Geoff's many books, which have made such an important contribution to the understanding of our county. He has also been a valued member of the Nottingham Civic Society, and a regular lecturer to local and other societies throughout the area.

Flintham Museum

In May museums from twenty-two countries were finalists in the European Museum of the Year 2001, held in Pisa. Flintham was among the thirty-eight museums (members will remember it as one of the venues for the Thoroton Society’s 2000 Roadshows). The Flintham Museum was described by the judges as ‘possibly the smallest museum visited during the 24 years of the Award’s existence’. It did not win a prize, but merited a special paragraph in the judges’ published report. This stated ‘our judges were impressed both by its charm, its regional influence and the professional approach of the volunteers who work tirelessly for it’. The Flintham Museum, Inholms Road, Flintham opens Sundays 2-5pm from April to October, and at other times by appointment (contact 01636 525111 for further details).

Sue Clayton ‘Trentside’: Exhibition

This exhibition of images of the River Trent will be shown at the Djanogly Art Gallery, University of Nottingham, from 29 October to 16 December. Nicholas Alfrey, curator of the exhibition, will be lecturing to the Thoroton Society in February 2002 on The Smug and Silver Trent.

Nottinghamshire Local History Association Saturday, 27 October

The NLHA invites you to dig for history – come and see how fashion in gardening has been as fickle as fashion in clothes over the centuries. The event will take place between 9.45am and 4.15pm at The Village Hall, Lambley. Entrance fee is £6.50 to NLHA members; £7.50 to non-members. To reserve a place, contact David Ross-Ellis, 128 Sandhill Street, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 1SY.

NEW MEMBERS: We welcome the following new members to the Society: Mrs. B.M. Maddison, M.J. Hanson, D.A. Hoskins.