Bramcote History Research Group
Our aim is to give a new presentation each year about some aspect of Bramcote’s history. In recent years we have looked at the village’s shops and services, schools, churches, specific properties and families, explored census returns and particular events that have affected the village such as WW1 and the sale of the Holden estate in 1919.
We are always pleased to answer enquiries where we can and share the data we have acquired.
Victoria House, Town Street, Bramcote
There has been considerable interest in the re-development of this building which is usually seen from the car park of The White Lion. In response, Val Bird, the group’s chairman, has put together a summary of the property’s history – and would like to thank present and former residents who have contributed to this. If you can add further information, please use the contact facility on this website to do so.
The1847 tithe map of Bramcote shows that Thomas Jackson was the owner and resident of property 129 (Victoria House). He was listed as a Bramcote resident in an 1832 directory so could have been in the house from an earlier date. No house sale advertisement or description of a new building that could be this property has been discovered which means the precise date of construction is not known.
Jackson was also listed as owner of Pinfold House, on the corner of Church Street and Town Street (property 130/131), which was rented to: Joseph Cook and John “Soulvelby/Saxelby?”.
He also rented from John Sherwin Sherwin, Lord of the Manor, a garden (172) — which was opposite Pinfold House).
In the 1841 census, Thomas and Ann Jackson, with 1 female servant, were listed on Town Street. He was described as “independent” i.e. not working for a living.
Ten years later, in the 1851 census, Thomas Jackson, a retired farmer and proprietor, born in Gunthorpe and married to Ann, was still there. Again, there was just one female servant.
Whilst directory entries simply recorded him as Thomas Jackson, gentleman, the church vestry minutes listed him as overseer of highways, an unpaid role that required him to inspect the roads three times a year and organise repairs (from 1832) — and then assistant overseer of the poor, another unpaid role which entailed collecting the agreed poor rate (from 1833) — then churchwarden, responsible for managing parish property and income and representing the views of the parishioners (from 1847) and then constable, maintaining law and order in all spheres of village life (from 1856) so this would imply that he was an active and respected man in the village.
To date, no death registration or will has come to light, either for Thomas or his wife, Ann.
Two men called Thomas Jackson were in Bramcote at this time but their ages are close so they were not father and son and unlikely to have been brothers with the same first name. Both these men were buried in the old churchyard but the owner of Victoria House would seem to be the man who was buried in February 1856, aged 75.
By the1861 census, the property on Village Street (otherwise known as Town Street) was recorded as being vacant.
The Hickling family’s ownership of the house
The main resident, on the 1871 census record, was Elizabeth Singlehurst, a widow and retired publican. Also living in Victoria House were: Sarah E. Hickling,11, granddaughter, Thomas J. Hickling, 9, grandson, Annie l. G. Hickling, granddaughter, a niece and a female servant, aged 16. Mrs Singlehurst and all the Hickling grandchildren are recorded as having been born in Nottingham.
Given her previous occupation, perhaps Elizabeth had come to Bramcote in connection with The White Lion? It seems unlikely, however, as the name Singlehurst does not appear amongst lists of inn keepers for The White Lion.
In the 1881 census, Victoria House had become home to a young family: William Gibbons, 25, his wife, Sarah, 21, and their children: Beatrice,2 and Gertrude, just 6 months old. William’s occupation was “florist”, which might sound surprising for a man in the 1880s but the Gibbons family lived in Bramcote over several decades and established a reputation in Nottinghamshire as market gardeners.
The original nursery site was alongside Ilkeston Road and not far from the flower bed advertising Broxtowe Borough Council at the side of the traffic island.
William would have worked initially with his father, Frederick, but by 1885 he was listed in his own name as a nurseryman and seedsman of Bramcote and by 1891, he and his growing family were living on Ilkeston Road, where the main nursery was sited — as can be seen on the map below.
It was interesting to discover that William’s wife, Sarah Gibbons was originally Sarah Hickling — the house had remained with the Hickling family! In fact this was Sarah’s childhood home — see the 1871 census record above.
According to the 1891 census, the head of the house was Mary Hickling, a widow aged 56, living on her own means. Could this be the mother of the Hickling children living with grandmother Singlehurst as recorded on the 1871 census? Her children were: Thomas, a mineral water manufacturer/employer aged 29 and Alice, a milliner, 19. There was one female servant.
It certainly is the same family as Thomas’s full name is Thomas Singlehurst Hickling! He married in 1892 and at some point appears to have emigrated to Canada.
In the 1901 census record, the surname remained the same but now the head of the house was another widow: Elizabeth Hickling, aged 62, again living on her own means. Her daughter, Sarah, 36, granddaughter Gertrude, 19, and grandson, William, aged 16, and working as a footman, were also resident.
It would seem that Elizabeth Mary’s maiden name was Singlehurst! She had married James Hickling in 1858.
Thus from 1871 until 1901, the house was lived in by various members of the Hickling family.
The Daykin family
Exactly when the Daykin family took up residence at Victoria House cannot be ascertained. In 1901 they were living on Chapel Street
The 1911 census suggests that the house would have been very full. Joseph Daykin and his first wife, Kate, had 8 children, and then, following Kate’s death, Joseph had married Amy in 1907 and they had two daughters so 10 children, aged between 9 months and 18 would have made for a lively household!. In fact, Joseph Daykin fathered 22 children in total, the last being born in 1927.
Joseph, who had moved here from South Yorkshire was recorded in the census return as a “pit deputy”, probably at Trowell Pit. This definition of the role was discovered online:
“Deputies were promoted from amongst experienced miners: from 1911, the role required certification of competence, but gradually changed so that supervision of production was added to safety responsibilities. Deputies carried a yardstick, originally a measuring stick but later adapted to raise a safety lamp to test for gas, and later still to mount a gas testing bulb. Deputies like other officials also carried a relightable version of the standard safety lamp.”
Thus Joseph was regarded as a man who could take on responsibilities but it seems unlikely that his income would have been sufficient for him to buy Victoria House. There is no record of who the landlord was — perhaps the Hickling family still owned the property…?
In turn, all the Daykin children would have attended Bramcote Church of England School and there is an interesting newspaper account of a court case in 1923 in which Mrs Amy Daykin was deemed to have assaulted the village headmaster, Mr Thomas. John George Daykin, aged 8, had been misbehaving at school with a paper aeroplane and the headmaster had “thrashed” him so badly that his mother, on seeing the marks on her son when he returned from school, had been enraged and attacked the teacher. Whilst Mrs Daykin was found guilty and forced to pay a fine, modern day readers of the report might be far more disturbed by the nature of the excessive punishment that had been meted out.
Census returns that can be viewed by the public have to be over 100 years old so we have to wait a little longer for the next full description of the household but the 1939 register shows that the Daykins, with 9 children, had moved to Boundary Crescent, Beeston.
The Woodward Family
Possibly the most well-known owner of Victoria House was Nathan Woodward who took up residence here in the 1930s.
At the time of the 1911 census, he was the tenant landlord of The Sherwin Arms so he would have been a familiar figure to many in the village. He came here after running The Gate Hangs Well in Brewhouse Yard and clearly liked his new setting as, in 1919, he bought the hostelry, its additional buildings and 21 acres of attached farmland for £4,600. It was lot 39 in the sale of the Bramcote and Stapleford estate of Ernest Frank Holden of Bramcote Hills House.
Nathan submitted plans to alter the public house in 1925 and went on to install a skittle alley so he seems to have been intent on building up his business and with this in mind, he wanted to acquire a 7 day licence for the premises. Mrs Kathleen Pearson, wife of Lt. Col. Pearson of The White House, Bramcote, objected to this and organised a petition to prevent consent being given.
Thus it was that the Woodward family moved to Victoria House c 1930/1 and Nathan became the proprietor of The Victoria Social Club, which could be open seven days a week. No images have been found of either the exterior or interior of the house as a club but it has been recorded that large black gates indicated the entrance and within the building there was a main room with a dart board and two little rooms or snugs.
Today the car park to The White Lion occupies the area at the front of Victoria House but this was originally a large front garden reaching down to Town Street.
A few people still recount stories of the club and particularly remember a monkey called Nina that was kept in the front garden. It had been purchased at a London store and gifted to Horace Woodward, the youngest family member.
Nathan Woodward died in 1941 and his family relocated some years later to Hillside Farm, Derby Road. Farming had always been an important occupation for the Woodward family alongside running the club.
The subsequent and more recent ownership of Victoria House lacks clarity. In 1954 Richard Hanson of Hardy and Hanson’s Brewery who had bought, and for a few years probably lived in, Victoria House was considering altering the garden into an extended car park for customers at The White Lion.
Images received from Nick Johnson whose family lived in the house from 1961 to 1984 show the very high wall that used to separate his home from the pub and the extensive garden that remained until the mid-1970s when the car park was finally enlarged. Nick recalled there being a well at the rear of the house along with a set of outside toilets that had been installed at the time of the social club.
Following the recent sale of Victoria House it is being remodelled into two apartments with an extension also providing two apartments.
If you, your family or someone you know has ever lived in Victoria House, please contact the history group so that we can add to this archive. Thank you to those of you who have been in touch already.
Can you help us ?
At a time when so many of us are living in confined circumstances, the research team would be grateful if you could share some of your Bramcote memories or knowledge with us.
Maybe you are glancing through this website because you lived in Bramcote many years ago. Could you share your memories of the village with us? Contact us by EMailing: email@example.com
Perhaps you are one of our members or an occasional visitor to our meetings but have not thought of making a contribution to our data previously. Well, how about telling us all you know about the history of your home — when was it built, what was the neighbourhood like when you first arrived etc. if your property was built prior to 1920, that would be of particular interest but we’re pleased to hear details from more recent decades too. Contact us by EMailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
A time of particular interest is World War Two. We were able to carry out a lot of research about the village during World War One and this culminated in the publication of a book in 2009. Little seems to have been recorded about the families and way of life of those who were living in Bramcote from1939 to1945. Contact us by EMailing: email@example.com