Book launches and reviews, Winter 2008

Alfred Bowley, Basford Between the Wars, 1919-39 (Basford and District Local History Society, 2008)

Thoroton Society stalwart, Alf Bowley, has brought together a number of well known local historians, including Geoffrey Oldfield and Terry Fry, to contribute to this book of essays, based largely on oral testimony. Topics covered include education, housing, employment, Basford wakes, health, transport, fashion and clothing, public houses, leisure, cinemas, memorials and churches. It is a good read and it contains some fascinating pictures - look out for the young Alf on p. 63!

Copies are available from Christine Smith, Secretary, 44, Cherry Tree Close, Brinsley, Notts., NG16 5BA - 01773 783009)
John Beckett

Elain Harwood, Nottingham (Pevsner Architectural Guides, Yale University Press, 2008: £9.99)

The first edition of Pevsner's Nottinghamshire appeared as long ago as 1951 (with Cornwall, one of the first two county guides published), and was revised for a second edition in 1979. A full revision of the Nottinghamshire guide would need substantial funding, but since the Pevsner series was taken over by Yale University Press, a new series of city guides, published with the financial support of English Heritage, has been started. Written by Elain Harwood, who works as an historian for EH, the book has an introductory essay on Nottingham's architectural heritage through time, a chapter on the city's 'major buildings' - St. Mary's Church. Nottingham Castle, the Council House, St. Barnabas' Cathedral and Nottingham Playhouse - and then a series of twelve walks (four in the city centre and eight in the outer areas), and three excursions, to Wollaton Hall, Newstead Abbey and Boots. The book has numerous colour illustrations, and each of the walks is accompanied by a clear map showing the route. Ms. Harwood is a local and she knows the territory. The result is a clear guide to Nottingham, and if even Ken Brand, who knows a few things about the city's architecture, has found new information in the book, the rest of us can feel confident that few stones have been left unturned. An ideal Christmas present!
John Beckett