Book launches and reviews, Summer 2005

New book on Southwell Minster

A new book entitled The Story of Southwell Minster is being published this month. Written by John L Ottey, Canon Emeritus of Southwell, it can be ordered from any bookseller or purchased from the Southwell Minster Shop at price £10.95. The publisher’s details of the book say “this new work incorporates the results of the latest research and relates events at Southwell to the broader picture of England at this time.”  (ISBN 0–9549919–0-7.)

The Wharncliffe Companion to Nottingham. An A to Z of Local History: Abbatoirs to Yeomanry, by Geoffrey Oldfield. Wharncliffe Books, £10.99

Geoffrey Oldfield’s latest book in this series contains many fascinating glimpses into Nottingham’s history. In his usual readable style, Geoffrey deals with 181 different subjects, ranging from those which have merited much serious research – the history of the Castle, for example – to those whose star soared but briefly. One such was the Catering Committee, formed in 1915 to feed evacuees from Lincolnshire driven inland by the German invasion, which requested that those who wished to avail themselves of our hospitality should bring their own knife, fork and spoon!  The book is 182 pages long with 111 illustrations, many of them from the author’s camera. Geoffrey, of course, was made an Honorary Member of the Society in 2001 for his many years of service, and his new book contains many references to Thoroton publications.
Keith Goodman

Stapleford in WW2

Stapleford in World War Two, edited by Barbara M. Brooke, Nigel Brooks and Alan Clayton (Stapleford and District Local History Society, 2005: ISBN 0-9538158-1-1) was launched on 7 May, the eve of VE Day, at the Maycliffe Hall, Stapleford. The book is based on interviews with more than seventy local people, and provides a unique record of the lives of ordinary men, women and children who were caught up in an extraordinary experience. 

Six members of the local society, under Barbara Brooke’s guidance, wrote up the memoirs in a series of chapters, covering everything from wartime policing to transport, food rationing, and the community.  In addition, there are two memoirs of the war.  It is a fascinating collection, launched with appropriate music, and with several members of the society wearing contemporary dress! At 136 pages with 150 illustrations, this book is a snip at £5, or £8 by post from Barbara Brooke, 57 Westerlands, Stapleford, Nottingham, NG9 7JE. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Stapleford and District Local History Society’.                                                
John Beckett