1814: The Thirteen Week Frost

Looking about for a seasonal piece of A4 history we came across this little gem from A Nottinghamshire Christmas compiled by John Hudson.

1898 Mansfield Road - not quite 1814 but as close as we could find

On Christmas Eve 1813 a freeze gripped Nottingham. Temperatures were recorded as low as minus 17 degrees centigrade on New Year’s Eve. The River Trent froze solid as did the Nottingham Canal. One wag is reported to have carved a double pigsty in the Market Square   and populated it with two live pigs. The simple pleasures that passed of entertainment in the Jane Austin era!

According to the UK Weatherworld website this 13 week period is the fourth coldest period in British weather ever recorded and we are hopefully not likely to see its like again.

“Winter 1813-14: 4th coldest on record, the CET for 21st December 1813- 20th March 1814 is -0.3C”

On this merciful note we wish you all of the greetings for the season
Alan & the Area 4 History Team

Sources: http://www.ukweatherworld.co.uk/forum/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=6127&posts=8&mid=390863
A Nottinghamshire Christmas compiled by John Hudson


December 12, 2008 at 4:37 pm 1 comment

Carrington Police Station 1932


Photo: Paul Woodward

Carrington Police Station in 1932. Against the post, just behind the motorcyclist, is PC Ollie Wigg who later retired as Inspector. (Note the tram-lines on Mansfield Road) – Area 4 History team will endeavour to take a contemporary shot corresponding to this sterling photo by Paul Woodward. Looking at the image it seems very much a case of what goes around comes around, tram lines, ticket issuing road authority on motorcycles….

This image and caption is taken from http://www.nottscops.co.uk/ – a website dedicated to photographic nostalgia for police in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Also from this site, although not strictly speaking Area 4, is this little downloadable pdf document entitled “Things Worth Knowing” – Definitions ofLegal Terms and Other Matter that every Policeman ought to know. This pamphlet was issued to police and is worth a glimpse just for the fantastic definition of “Indictment”. Download “Things Worth Knowing” here.

December 3, 2008 at 2:47 pm 1 comment

Pop Quiz Time

For regular (and not so regular) readers of this blog here is a quiz that has been sent in by Nottingham’s own Skills Exchange. The following questions were taken from a much longer entertainment devised as part of their recent “Pot Luck Supper” event. More details here: http://skills2exchange.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/pot-luck-supper/
Have a go – there are no prizes as this is just for fun.

  1. What did the “Frog and Onion “Pub on Berridge Road used to be called?
    a: The Forest Fielder
    b: The Jolly Fireman
    c: The Carlton
  2. How many years has ASDA been in Hyson Green?
    a: 10 years
    b: 18 years
    c: 15 years
  3. Which famous sauce was invented in Nottingham?
    a: Salad Cream
    b: HP Sauce
    c: Heinz Tomato Ketchup
  4. What used to be on the site of the Boulevard Gardens (corner of Gregory Blvd and Radford Road) ?
    a: Nottingham’s first cinema
    b: A Blacksmiths Shop
    c: Nottingham’s first Chip Shop

October 28, 2008 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment

Hyson Green – what’s in a name?

On October 19th 1330 Edward the 3rd walked down what is now Radford Road with a squad of men-at-arms on his way to arrest Roger Mortimer who was hiding out at Nottingham Castle. At that time Hyson Green was sandy scrubland dotted with gorse bushes. The whole area was part of the then Sherwood Forest waste, an unwooded hinterland before the forest proper began.

Scroll forward 484 years to 1814 and the area has settled down with the name High Sands, as opposed to the low sands of Radford. Around this time the area also paraded under the name Ison. This play on High Sands was enhanced by a Mr. John Pepper built two houses and named them Ison Green. By 1824 Mr. Pepper had established a popular tea garden and bowling green and had opened “The Cricket Players” pub. Mr. Peppers mini empire is reported as being a public resort. Soon after that the area switched from High Sands and Ison to become the slightly more upmarket Hyson Green.

Sources: Old Nottingham Suburbs by R.Mellors pub 1914

October 22, 2008 at 11:26 am 3 comments

Hyson Green Flats

Tony posted the comment below but is so meaty I thought I’d pop it as an item on its own. Cheers Tony.

The Hyson Green flats replaced some of the most awful slums in Nottingham. I remember the the old streets in the 1950’s were dreadful rows of filth, degradation and deprivation. Rats could be seen running around in broad daylight. However, the Hyson Green flats were just one of many attempts to improve the lives of those who lived in slums. There were also the Basford flats and the Balloon Wood flats. ALL of these housing developments had short lives and had to be destroyed due to the immense trouble they caused. The occupants were then moved to nicer areas with gardens and pleasant surroundings. I lived in one of the areas that took in these ex-flats migrants. It soon became quite obvious that it was not always the buildings that had created the problems, but the people who lived in them. Very soon these migrants from the flats were destroying the lovely areas to which they had been moved. (I am not saying that ALL of the people were like that; There are always decent people who get caught up in the system) But there were so many of these people who left their gardens untended and filled with them with rubbish and scrap cars etc., played loud music, let their offspring congregate in noisy gangs and generally had no regard for their neighbours. I knew several very nice people who lived in the Hyson Green flats, including ones from my own family, but it was “other residents” who made the place uninhabitable.

It is obvious that buildings can have a strong affect on our general feeling and well-being and people should not be herded into soul less concrete labyrinths. It is difficult to comprehend how anyone could have believed that the concrete jungle (Colditz, as it was often called), would be conducive to good social welfare, but it is ultimately the people that determine what an area will be like, not the buildings. Unfortunately the design of the flats and it’s numerous warrens, lent itself to abuse and gave easy opportunity for the growth of criminal activity, with its own unique problems for efficient policing.

October 20, 2008 at 7:57 am Leave a comment

Goose Fair is now rubbish

This just in from Nottgirl of Nottingham.

According to local writer Al Needham, Goose Fair is now rubbish. He laments the vanishing of “mad stuff that you wouldn’t see anywhere else.” These include Gordon the Gnome who sat on a plastic toadstool and gave you magic beans all for 50p, or Scotland’s tallest man. He also talks about the loss of the boxing booth where the people who took part ”just wanted to have a scrap in front of their mates. You’d get some outstandingly barbaric entertainment for the price of a candy floss.” Or the vanishing of Mousetown which consisted of “a load of mice running about in a manky model village.”

According to Al, these attractions have been replaced with nothing more than a cheap Alton Towers. To read his full article follow this link. Link to BBC artical by Al Needham

October 16, 2008 at 9:35 am 2 comments

Caught on the job!

Whilst photographing The Two Silver Bells item we snapped this image of Counsellor Tony Marshall (Lib Dem) ringing the bells for the fun of it!


Little did we know that he was also armed with a camera and snapped us back. Below is a rare shot of the Area 4 History team in action.

(Photo credits – top: George the Quizmaster – bottom: Tony Marshall)

October 14, 2008 at 9:46 am 1 comment

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