Election of officers and members of Council at the Thoroton Society's AGM held on 29th April 2017

The following were elected:-

The following members of Council were re-elected for a further three year term:- Mark Dorrington, Richard Gaunt, David Knight, Hannah Nicholson and Peter Smith.


Four exceptional building projects were celebrated on Friday 25th November in an Award Ceremony in the Minster Centre, Southwell, after the launch of an illustrated presentation on the Nottinghamshire Building Preservation Trust now available to organisations seeking a speaker.

The much-coveted Harry Johnson Restoration Award certificates were presented by Cllr Maureen Stockwood, Chairman of the Nottinghamshire Building Preservation Trust, to Laura Wardell and Andrew Hill, owners of the winner, Turncroft Farm, Edingley. A Commended Restoration Award won by The HopBarn, Southwell, was presented to owners Mary and Stuart Poole.

Certificates in the New Build category were presented to Keith Barton, representing the winner, Wrights Place Development, Keyworth, and to designer Martin Hubbard for the commended buildings, the Babworth Trust Almshouses, Upton, built by Tom Brogan.

The Awards, for the best restoration and the best new building in an historic Nottinghamshire setting, are sponsored jointly by the Nottinghamshire Building Preservation Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England in recognition of the part played by the late Harry Johnson in his work for both organisations. From his architect’s practice at Wadworth Hall, Harry advised both Charities on conservation matters and on his death in 1988 the two organisations decided to create an Award in his name which would continue his passion for "vernacular buildings" and the preservation of traditional building methods. The integration of new buildings into existing settlements was important to him and his ideals have encouraged the expansion of the Awards to include isolated buildings in rural settings.

Turncroft Farm, empty and deteriorating for 15 years, was rescued from dereliction by Laura Wardell and Andrew Hill. Newark Architect Bernard Martin advised and, with building work by Chris Healy, also of Newark, the new owners have converted and added to the buildings to create the home of their dreams.

The HopBarn, Southwell, a redundant farm equipment store, is now a music and creative performance centre run by its owners, Mary and Stuart Poole, who acknowledge the importance to the project of the support and expertise of their neighbour, Colin Jewitt. The increasingly popular annual Southwell Music Festival is held every summer in its stunning interior.

Awards in the New Build category require entries to acknowledge and complement the existing vernacular architecture. In taking an informed stand against inappropriate use of a derelict site in Keyworth, the volunteer Keyworth Conservation Area Advisory Group have been hugely

influential in the creation of Wrights Place -a modest development of homes for local people built by William Davis Homes with the help of architects, Stephen George and Partners.

The new semi-detached bungalows for elderly individuals and couples with parish connections were entered by Upton Parish Council. Built by the Babthorpe Trust, and adding to two existing such buildings elsewhere in Upton, these bungalows received a Commendation in this category. Three future dwellings are planned on this site. The careful choice of traditional forms and materials, by designer Martin Hubbard Associates Ltd and builder Tom Brogan, using brick, natural slate, timber bays and porches, provides an attractive setting for residents.

Cllr Maureen Stockwood presents certificates to the Award winners
Cllr Maureen Stockwood presents certificates to the Award winners: (from left) to Mr Andrew Hill, Turncroft Farm; to Mr and Mrs Stuart Poole, the HopBarn, Southwell; to Keith Barton, Keyworth Conservation area Advisory Group; to Mr Martin Hubbard, Babthorpe Trust.


Newark Air Museum, a registered charity, is based at the former Winthorpe Airfield, just outside Newark. Post code NG24 2NY for satnav users. The museum trustees have advertised the following events for 2017 and Thoroton members are invited to visit.

4 March, 2017 – Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble Table Top Sale
48 sellers’ tables all hosted inside Display Hangar 2 amongst the aircraft at the museum site in eastern Nottinghamshire. {Special discount admission rates apply, open to everyone to attend.}

20 & 21 May, 2017 – Hastings & Shackleton 40th Anniversary Weekend
Two-day event to commemorate 40 years since these iconic aircraft arrived at the museum; this will also involve the Lincolnshire’s Lancaster Association. {Normal admission rates apply}

17 & 18 June, 2017 – Cockpit-Fest & Aeroboot
This annual gathering provides the perfect opportunity for the public to view a diverse range of visiting aircraft cockpits {Normal admission rates apply}

12 & 13 August, 2017 – 1940s Weekend
A follow-up event from the successful 2015 Victory Days weekend, with an American focus to reflect their operations from RAF Balderton. Normal admission rates apply.

14 October, 2017 – Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble aviation & avionic sale
48 sellers’ tables all hosted inside Display Hangar 2 amongst the aircraft at the museum site in eastern Nottinghamshire. {Special discount admission rates apply, open to everyone to attend.}


The current exhibition at the Weston Gallery highlights some of the extreme weather events which the people of Nottinghamshire and surrounding counties have experienced over the past 400 years.

Archives and rare books held by Manuscripts and Special Collections at The University of Nottingham reveal stories of freezing temperatures, floods, droughts, hurricane force winds, heatwaves and strange atmospheric happenings. As well as causing destruction and disruption of daily life, extremes of temperature could encourage people to go out and have fun. Diaries, photographs and documents recall skating on the frozen River Trent, swimming in rivers, and bathing at the well-remembered Highfields Lido.

The exhibition also pays tribute to the local heroes who dedicated themselves to keeping detailed records of the weather and whose observations contributed to the development of the science of meteorology. A weather notebook kept by Edward Joseph Lowe at Highfield House (now part of the Nottingham University Park campus) in the 1860s has been borrowed from the National Meteorological Office Library and Archive. Other exhibits relate to Arnold Tinn, contributor to the Nottingham Evening Post weather column, and to the staff of the Department of Geography who maintained a weather station on the University campus until 1981. Many of the printed works in the exhibition are from the collection of Edward Mellish of Hodsock Priory, who became President of the Royal Meteorological Society in 1909-10.

Visitors are invited to share their own weather memories. What extremes of weather do you recall? How do you remember weather events? Are these memories linked to key places or life events?

The exhibition has been jointly curated by Professor Georgina Endfield and Dr Lucy Veale from the School of Geography, and Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham. It has been produced as part of a broader research project looking at the history of extreme weather events in the UK, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Two events relating to the exhibition are scheduled to take place in March. Both are free, but places are limited so please book in advance with the Box Office on 0115 846 7777 or online.

‘From Sorcery to Super Computers: The Story of Weather as Told Through a Selection of Treasures from The National Meteorological Archive’

Tuesday 07 March, 1pm-2pm, Djanogly Theatre

The National Meteorological Archive holds materials ranging from a 12th century illuminated manuscript of a work by the patron saint of Natural Sciences to the tender for the first Met Office Super Computer. Using a selection of unique treasures from the archive, this talk by Catherine Ross aims to present a brief overview of developments in meteorology from the work of the Aristotle to the dawn of the computing age.

‘The Storm Officer: Wild Stories and Songs of Extreme Weather’, written by Matt Black Friday 17 March 1.30pm-2.45pm Djanogly Theatre

Inspired by the extreme weather database (TEMPEST), The Storm Officer is a rich journey, and an entertainment, which weaves together story, songs, strange characters, a thousand years of extreme weather and real experiences from the Cumbrian floods of December 2015. More information: ibition.aspx


The ‘Friends’ was established in 1977, and is now celebrating its fortieth year, to provide support to the City Council’s museums and galleries in raising funds to help purchase new items for the collections, assist in volunteer projects and work at events.

There is a regular programme of talks, visits to galleries and historic sites and all members receive a quarterly newsletter. Our programme from March 2017 is as follows. Until July lectures are held in Studio 1 at Nottingham Castle, 2 pm prompt.

18 March Evelyn Gibbs & St. Martin’s Church, Bilborough - Hilary Wheat
22 April No Surrender! Women’s Suffrage in Nottinghamshire - Rowena Edlin-White 
13 May Half day outing to Eyam Museum & Eyam Hall - Derbyshire
20 May Samuel Bourne, Nottingham Photographer and Artist - Geoff Blackwell
17 June Recent Excavations at Nottingham Castle - Trent & Peak Archaeology
15 July Day outing to Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire
22 July George Africanus - Suella Postles

No meeting in August

NOTE: From September, meetings will be held at the Malt Cross, St. James Street, Nottingham.

23 September Isaac Newton, Part 2 - Alan Lievesley
21 October Bendigo - Bendigo Memorial Fund
18 November Pub Signs - Tina Lee
16 December History of the Christmas Card - Steph Mastoris
20 January Octavia Hill - Claire Lyons
17 February Annual General Meeting (members only)

Non-members are welcome at meetings on payment of an additional charge of £2 (normal entry charge to The Castle applies) and also on our outings.

For further information tel. 0115 9221734

For membership enquiries tel. 0115 9283688


Nottingham’s hidden gem welcomes you!

Did you know that the birthplace of the founder of The Salvation Army, William Booth, is right here in Nottingham and that it is open to the public? The William Booth Birthplace Museum is one of Nottingham’s hidden gems and offers visitors an interesting combination of historic house and museum. Step back in time and see William’s birth house much as it would have appeared in the late 1820s, when the Booth family lived in the house and Booth’s father, Samuel, made a living as a property speculator. Visit the Grade II listed Georgian house and independent museum and learn about William’s early life in Nottingham and the influences that would shape him to become Nottingham’s most famous preacher and social welfare reformer. Discover the local lad who would go on to affect millions of people - and change lives -through his work founding an organisation currently active in 128 countries.

The William Booth Birthplace Museum is open by appointment, generally Tuesday-Thursday, 10am-4pm (and at other times for special events). The museum also welcomes groups and group bookings can sometimes include refreshments and a stop at the church where William was christened and attended Sunday school – St Stephen’s Church, Sneinton. Please telephone or email the Museum Curator for more information and for appointments. Free entry; donations kindly welcomed.

The William Booth Birthplace Museum
14 Notintone Place, Sneinton, Nottingham, NG2 4QG
Telephone: 0115 979 3464

On-street parking nearby (restrictions may apply). Bus route 43 stops outside the museum on Sneinton Road (Windmill Lane stop).

Julie Obermeyer, Museum Officer and Curator


We are sad to inform members of the deaths of three long-standing members of the Society – Stan Greatorex, Jean Nicholson and Derek Little. Our thoughts are with their families.


Derek Little, who died on the 29th November 2016 aged 81, was well known to many Thoroton members. He and his wife, Ceril, regularly attended lectures and excursions. They led excursions to Ilkeston, Beauvale and Greasley, and in 2015, along with Val Henstock, took one along the Pilgrim Fathers’ Trail in north Nottinghamshire.

Derek was born in Nottingham on the 16th March 1935, the first child of Agnes and George Edward Little. Two brothers were born: Richard in 1937 and Malcolm in 1941. In vain their mother hoped for a daughter.

Derek went to Nottingham High School. He was not happy there and always said that being subjected to an English public school education made him a socialist all his life. One good thing came out of Derek’s time at the High School. He became life-long friends with Brian, who was eventually able to give him the job he enjoyed most of his several different occupations.

On leaving school aged 17, Derek went to work for the Boots Company, first as a dispenser, then a shop assistant and latterly in the Standards Office at Beeston. National Service intervened in the years 1954-56. Derek was in the Medical Corps, which he always spoke of as a happy time, once basic training was over. Then in 1970 his old school friend Brian was able to offer him a job as a salesman in his family’s firm, which was part-owned with another family. A very sociable person, Derek loved visiting his customers for that firm, which sold picture frame mouldings to art galleries, gift shops, and artists themselves, both amateur and professional. He spent 20 happy years there.

Prior to this, Derek had met and married Ceril in 1967. A daughter, Victoria, known as Vickie, was born in 1980 and they were looking forward to celebrating their Golden Wedding in 2017.

In the 1980s and 1991, Derek suffered several heart attacks, the last one being serious. A heart transplant followed in 1994 at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, which was very successful. For over 20 years Derek enjoyed good general health, despite the occasional ups and downs of a transplant patient’s life, but he could no longer play badminton regularly with many members of St Mary’s congregation, as he had done before the attacks.

He and Ceril, and in earlier years, Vickie, enjoyed life to the full. Both Derek and Ceril had taken early retirement in 1991 and devoted their time to each other, other family members, their house and garden, St Mary’s church and Ilkeston Twin Towns Association (of which Derek was briefly chairman in the late 1980s). Both were members of the Nottingham Civic Society and Derek served regularly in the Society’s shop in Nottingham Castle Gate during the 1990s.

Until recently, Derek and Ceril enjoyed holidays in Britain and frequently in France, where they visited old friends of Ceril. Derek also became a member of the Board of Trustees of Erewash Museum, which gave him great pleasure. This full, varied and mostly happy life ended after a year of intermittent illness. His final few weeks were spent in the Royal Derby Hospital, where he was attended with exemplary care.

Keith Goodman


It is with sadness that we report the death of member Jean Nicholson who died on Thursday 29th December. As per her wish, she had a private family burial on Tuesday 17th January.

Jean Pond was born on the 27th March 1931 at Everton, near Retford in north Nottinghamshire. After attending Retford High School, she came to Nottingham in 1949 to work in the Boots antibiotic research department. It was at Boots that she met Joe Nicholson and the two married on the 6th September 1952. A year later they moved to live in Lambley where they stayed for the rest of their married life.

Between 1960 and 1962 Jean retrained as a biology teacher, later teaching at Manvers Pierrepont School. In 1972 Jean joined the Thoroton Society, before being invited to sit on the Council of the Society and later becoming Programme Secretary from 1993 to 2004.

Jean continued to be interested in local history after she retired from teaching in 1986. After completing the

Certificate of Local History she gained an MA in Local and Regional History from the University of Nottingham in 1993. Jean wrote a number of articles for the Thoroton Transactions as well as contributing to the Southwell and Nottingham Church History Project. In 2010 she published a book on the history of Trinity Hospital, West Retford: A Godly Inheritance: The History of the Hospital of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, West Retford and of the Denman Family.

Joe died in 2003 whilst Jean continued to remain part of the Thoroton Society as well as giving talks to local history groups around the county. Her last Thoroton meeting was the 2016 AGM.

Hannah Nicholson