21 November 2016
Wollaton Hall and Park
Tim Preston with Bramcote History Group’s deputy Chairperson Hillary Brian before his talk. We had an audience of 50 despite the torrential rain tha evening.
Tim explained the history of the Bugge family, and its transition into the Willoughbys and the Middletons. Sir Francis Willoughby (d 1596) completed the building of Wollaton Hall in 1588 using stone transported from Ancaster as his wagons returned from taking coal to the coast.
The estate was bought by Nottingham Corporation (as was) in 1925, and in the modern era the house is a museum and the park is a wonderful place for leisure, festivals outdoor cinema, etc.
5 December 2016
Social Evening with Buffet
16 January 2017
A (Very) Short History of Pantomime
Ann (on the left in the photo with Hillary Brian) told us how English pantomime started in the Covent Garden theatre erected by John Rich in 1731–2. Rich was a dancer and mime artist who imported the story of Harlequin & Columbine, her father Ancient, and the Clown, from the Continent. Rich’s shows were so successful that Garrick copied the format for Drury Lane, using famous performers of the day including Grimaldi (the third of that name). Over the years the use of ‘stars’ was further copied at other theatres and this led to a style of show in the late 19th century that we would recognise as ‘pantomime’. In the 20th century tv and pop stars became the principal cast members, except at our own wonderful Playhouse, where the repertoire cast are always such good pantomime characters.
20 February 2017
“Terror from the Skies” January 1916: The Night the Zeppelins Came
The research that went into Stephen’s talk is very impressive. He had discovered the Flag number of each of the NINE Zeppelins that bombed the Midlands on that January night, and knew the names of their Captains and first officers, and had their photographs. Similarly, he had found the names and had photos of the local people killed in the bombing of the Stanton and the Bennerley works and of the local school. He even had up-to-date photos of the craters in the field where a poor cow was killed (“Let’s call her Daisy” says Stephen). An amazing presentation.
20 March 2017
Squires, Saints and Sinners. (The Personalities Who Have Peppered Our Past)
Val Bird and the Research Group
There were 78 members and visitors in the audience for the Research Group’s annual talk, presented this year by Val Bird, seen here with BHG Chair Glynis Knightsbridge.
Val took us from the origins of Bramcote as a manor to the present day, from Henry Hanley who acquired the estate at the dissolution of the monasteries, to the Enfields, via the Sherwin-Gregorys.
Saints included Jimmy Hamilton Brown, the vicar for many years, and Roy Williamson who went on to be Bishop of Bradford.
There were few ‘sinners’, but notably there was champion terrier called Dusky Reine, who’s prize money was used to build two cottages in the village
24 April 2017
Boots During WW1
15 May 2017
Remembering Trolley Buses, Back-enders and Clippies
19 June 2017
Framework Knitting and the Ruddington Museum
17 July 2017
Art and History:
Hidden Treasures at St Martin’s Bilborough
St Martin’s Church, Bilborough’s only surviving medieval building, was built on a piece of high ground between around 1350 and 1400. In those days Bilborough was just a small rural village, and this church was big enough to accommodate everyone who lived nearby.
During World War II the artist Evelyn Gibbs painted a mural depicting the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel told Mary she would bear God’s son. In the 20th century Bilborough grew rapidly and after the War the medieval church became too small for everyone to worship. A modern extension was built in 1972 covering up the barrel vault roof and the Evelyn Gibbs paintings but thankfully the church was lovingly restored between 2010 and 2014. St Martin’s is a now Grade 2* listed building, because it is important to the nation.
The project manager for the Hidden Treasures project is Hilary Wheat, who gave the fabulous talk on the 17th July 2017.