News for Winter 2003


Members of the society were saddened to hear in August of the sudden death of John Fox. John had been a member for some years and was elected to the Thoroton Society Council in 1992.

Alan John Fox was born in Somerset in 1935, and after taking his MA degree at St John's College, Cambridge he taught in Africa. On returning to England he held a number of administrative posts in education before coming to Nottinghamshire as Director of Education to the County Council. He retired in 1992, having visited every local authority school in the county. Subsequently John led a busy life as a magistrate and a member of education tribunals, as well as book binding, gardening, and looking after his vintage car. He was well known for his talks to local history societies and similar bodies, and was joint author of People of Vision, published in 2000 by the Nottingham Council of Churches.

John was noted for his scholarship, his wisdom and clear vision. His modesty and easy going charm will be remembered by all who knew him. His wife Mary, whom he had known since schooldays, children and grandchildren would have been gratified by the congregation of over 400 who attended his funeral - details of which John drew up himself some years ago.

Geoffrey Oldfield

Cover of Nottinghamshire Past publicationNottinghamshire Past

This commemorative volume in honour of Adrian Henstock (see Newsletter No.33) was formally launched at County Hall on Friday l0th October. The Chairman of the County Council, Councillor. Reg Strauther, spoke in appreciation of Adrian's long service to the Archives, and the event was attended by a number of County Councillors as well as numerous friends and colleagues.

The subjects of the ten essays cover over six hundred years of the County's history and were chosen for the new light they were able to shed on a topic, perhaps because new material had become available, or because they explored less well documented aspects of their subject. Most of the contributors were able to be present; and it illustrates the regard and respect with which Adrian is held that these included Alan Cameron (former editor of Transactions) who had travelled down from his Scottish home, and David Crook (former editor of the Record Series) from the National Archive Office at Kew. This was a memorable occasion and a fitting tribute to Adrian.

Neville Hoskins

How does one celebrate Adrian Henstock's professional life and scholarship? The principal merit of Nottinghamshire Past is that, whilst serving something of the capacity of both a collective and individual tribute to the man, the breadth and diversity of its subject reflects the range of interests and influence of Adrian the scholar and historian. Who else could be celebrated through the eyes of a Duke (of Newcastle), 'an officer and an antiquary', the son of a Lincolnshire baronet become Suffragan Bishop of Nottingham and a late seventeenth-century Nottinghamshire 'gentlewoman'? The essays range widely across history, historical geography and archaeology to embrace both Lords of the manor and (in a title that bears no personal reflection on Adrian) The Wages of sin: sex, shame and retribution'. The vivid cast of scenes and characters is set firmly into the social and cultural context of the 'Nottinghamshire past' that they knew, and which Adrian's professional life, fund of good sense and deep scholarship has helped us to know too.

Richard A Gaunt


The Government is in the process of reviewing the whole system for listing of buildings, planning consents and the consultation procedure. Perhaps this is why the number of applications sent to the Society for comment has fluctuated so much over recent months. It seems appropriate to review our involvement and to seek help; members are asked to keep an eye on planning applications published in local papers and posted on buildings themselves; if you feel that the Society could usefully comment either through the C.B.A. or direct to a planning authority, please contact me.

There is also an opportunity for members with a particular interest in historic buildings to become even more involved and active in the consultation process; if you feel that this is something you could usefully do, please get in touch (tel. 0115 978 1816).

Neville Hoskins


Members have responded well to the request for volunteers to help with the Garden Party in Bromley House Garden next year, but there are many ways in which assistance would be appreciated. Some setting up will be needed in the morning, the door must be supervised during the afternoon, and afterwards there will be the inevitable clearing up. The bigger the 'pool' of volunteers the lighter each load and the smoother the day will go. Please contact Peter Reddish if you are willing to help (telephone 0115 9269334 or email: ).

NEW MEMBERS: Mr & Mrs R Hawthorn, Dr S Burch, Mr P Riden, Mr & Mrs B Francis, Miss M Harper-Lee, N Turner, Mr A Woodcock and Ms D Dwyer, Mrs J M Carnill, K Challis, Dr D Amos.