News for Summer 2003

Annual General Meeting

This year's Annual General Meeting, the 106th in the Thoroton Society's history, was held in Epperstone Village Hall on 26 April. More than ninety members attended the event. During the course of the meeting the officers were re-elected, and thanked on behalf of the Society for their hard work over the past year.

Mr Terry Fry stood down from Council and Mr Howard Fisher was elected in his place. Volume 106 of Transactions was distributed to members. The Society's vice-president, Dr Rosalys Coope, was thanked for hosting the event, and members of the Women's Institute for providing a splendid tea. During the tea break, Andy Nicholson, the Society's webmaster, gave a demonstration of the Nottinghamshire Heritage Gateway.

After the Annual General Meeting Colonel James Gunn, who lives in Epperstone and has recently completed a book about the village, gave a talk about its history. After tea he led a walk along the main street to the church. Colonel Gunn, Rosalys Coope, and the Rector, Rev Michael Brock, then talked about the history of the church, and members had a chance to look around the interior and to stroll around the large graveyard.  
Neville Hoskins


Southwell Diocesan Church History Project

Work on this project has recently been proceeding at pace! Take a look at the website to see if your local church yet has an entry: And, if you find there is a gap (!), why not become a volunteer yourself? The editors are Thoroton Society chairman Professor John Beckett and Council member Dr Christopher Brooke. Both understand the problems of writing and compiling a church history, and you will also find a sympathetic ear at the Local Studies Library and the Nottinghamshire Archives.

If you would like to become involved – even if only tentatively – get in touch with Mrs Janice Avery (telephone 0115-9515929; email:, who will be happy to discuss the project with you, send you further information, and welcome you on board.

Lost Churches and Chapels of Nottinghamshire

Almost every village in the county has an Anglican church, and many have one or more chapels, but what survives today is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Before all knowledge of our church and chapel heritage is lost, a project is underway which we hope will end in a Thoroton publication, listing all known churches and chapels in the county on a parish by parish basis.

The project is being co-ordinated by John Beckett and Howard Fisher, with help from Terry Fry, and the intention is to list all churches and chapels, whether surviving as such, or churches and chapels which have been demolished or converted to other uses.

  If you would like to be associated with this project, particularly if you can help with particular communities across the county, please contact Professor John Beckett at the Department of History, University of Nottingham,  University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, or email: All help is welcome.

Local History in Pictures!

There are two new websites which include a great wealth of picture material relating to local history. Locally the site to click on is: This is a Nottinghamshire-Derbyshire joint initiative, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to conserve and make publicly accessible the photographic heritage of the two counties, enabling people to see the richness and diversity of our area's photographic collections. Many of the images are irreplaceable. Digitising protects the originals from wear and tear and enables users all over the world to view the collection via the Internet. You can download the images, and for a fee use them in publications. It is a real mine of pictorial information.

The other site is run by English Heritage at It is described as an online image resource for England’s history and contains about 20,000 photographs. Funded by the New Opportunities Fund, it is part of a long-term goal to provide electronic access to around ten million items from the National Monuments Record. If you need pictures to illustrate your work, or you just want to browse the photographic legacy of our historic past, these are sites well worth visiting.


The Media Archive for Central England (MACE) is the recently established moving image archive for the English Midlands. MACE forms the final part of a network of public sector national and regional moving image archives which collectively care for the UK’s moving image heritage. It is currently housed by the University of Nottingham and is working to establish a new purpose-built facility in the region incorporating viewing facilities and climate-controlled storage.

  MACE is collecting film, videotape and other moving image material which relates in any way to the Midlands. This may show scenes in the Midlands, or it may have been made by organisations or people based in the Midlands. We would like to hear from anyone in the region who has film or video or knows where moving image materials are being kept and may be in danger of neglect or destruction. We are also eager to hear from people with material that tells us more about film-making and exhibition in the region. If you can help please contact:

Media Archive for Central England, Institute of Film Studies, School of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD. Tel: 0115 846 6448 Fax: 0115 951 4270 or email –

Director: James Patterson
Archivist: James Taylor  (website:


Howard Fisher was born near Keighley, West Yorkshire in 1940 and attended Keighley Boys' Grammar School.  On leaving school he joined Martins Bank, and eventually was moved onto Midlands relief staff before working at Market Street and Victoria Street branches in Nottingham.  He left there to join the Cornhill Insurance company, whose office at that time was in Regent Street, Nottingham; and later joined the Nottingham family firm of Banwell & Associates as an accident investigator.  He then managed offices in Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester, before returning to Nottingham to become MD.

Howard retired in December 1999. He holds certificates in Local History and Medieval Studies from the University of Nottingham. His interests - other than Local History - are gardening and photography.  He has been married to Jackie since 1985, and has two daughters from a previous marriage; and also two grandchildren.

Nottinghamshire Heritage Gateway

After the successful preview of the Nottinghamshire Heritage Gateway at Bromley House in March, arrangements are in hand for it to go ‘live’ on a revamped Thoroton website on 7 July.

You will still be able to find the Society’s website at, but the front page will look a little different, and this is partly to accommodate the Gateway. We have made some alterations to the Gateway in response to feedback at the Bromley House preview, but would still welcome comments about content and ‘useability’.

If you would like to contribute a pathway please get in touch with the Gateway researcher Dr Denise Amos at

Joe Nicholson

Many of you will already know that Joe Nicholson died on 1 June. Joe was for a number of years the Society’s lanternist, and always gave tremendous support to Jean, our Programme Secretary. As this newsletter goes to press, we extend our condolences to Jean and to her family.

NEW MEMBERS since the last Newsletter: Mr. & Mrs. R Hawthorn, Dr. S Burch.