20 November 2017
Our first talk following the 2017 AGM was given by a well liked regular speaker – Peter Hammond. His talk on ‘Albert Ball’, was attended by 50 members and guests. Albert Ball was a local boy who was only 20 when he died in service in the Royal Flying Corp in May 1917 As can be seen on the left, Peter brought along a display of photographs and copies of Albert’s letters. The letters gave an insight into Albert’s growing up, his training as a pilot, and his personality and state of mind once he became a fighter pilot on active service. During his life he was awarded the DSO and two bars, and the Military Cross, and he was awarded the VC after his death.
15 January 2018
Dame Laura Knight
Julia Powell’s talk attracted a very good crowd. She plotted Laura’s career from birth in 1877 in Union Street, Long Eaton, to her death as an acclaimed RA in 1970. Laura (neé Johnson) showed promise as an artist as early as age 12, but her adult skills were developed more fully when in 1907 she went to live in Lamorna Cove in Cornwall with husband Harold Knight, whom she had married in 1903. There she painted idyllic coastal scenes, but her later career had many phases, including paintings of Circus people, gypsies, black women in American, working people and heroes in WWII, portraits of prominent women and ballet, and the Nuremburg Trials. She became a full member of the Royal Academy in 1936.
19 February 2018
Nottingham Town Houses
Pete Smith recently retired after nearly 30 years with English Heritage, first as a Listing Inspector and later as a Senior Architectural Investigator. He now occupies his time as an Independent Architectural Historian and has 3 talks in his portfolio dealing with Nottingham Town Houses in the late 17th and early 18th Century. This was the first in the series, describing Pierrepont House, Newdigate House, Oriental Café, Plumptre House, County House, Morley House, Bromley House and Launder House. Morley House, Bromley House and Launder House are three which survive.
There were 48 members in the audience to hear Glynis Knightsbridge announce that the Group is now expecting to continue, with the offer by Val Bird to stand for the role of Chair at the next AGM.
19 March 2018
Farmers, Cottagers and Paupers.
On a very cold evening in March, 30 bold visitors joined the BHG Committee to hear Ted White’s very well researched talk about the administration of village and Parish life in the late 17th & early 18th centuries. His talk was based on the meticulous records that were kept by a Parish Clerk in Gedling, Richard Sleight. These records were held in the so-called ‘Town Book’, in reality a series of hand-written notebooks with fascinating detail about the three arms of the local administration – the Constable, the Churchwardens, and the Overseers of the Poor.
16 April 2018
From the Middle Ages to World War II: the Archaeology of the Nottingham Castle Site
by Laura Binns
There were 60 guests and members to hear the talk by Laura Binns (seen here with BHG Chair Glenys Knightsbridge). Laura’s first task was to remind us that the building currently on the site is the Ducal Palace, not the Castle. After a short but comprehensive description of the building of the Castle and its history up until the fire which damaged the palace in 1830, Laura went on to describe the recent excavations in the outer bailey area, and then to show us, and indeed allow us to handle, a number of recent ‘finds’.
21 May 2018
Jesse Boot and the Highfields Estate
Professor John Beckett
Professor John Beckett is always welcome at Bramcote History Group, being as he is, Professor of regional History at the University of Nottingham. His meticulously researched talk on the tortuous decision-making process that led Jesse Boot to give the 160 acre Highfields Estate for the building of a campus for University College. The gift also included Highfields House, and was later extended to include the provision of the Trent Building and the Sports Pavilion, both of which still serve the University today.
18 June 2018
Maidens, Murderers and Monsters
In the photo, Anne Featherstone shows BHG Acting Chair Hillary Brian how to achieve ‘the point’, a ritual dramatic stance in the well-loved genre of melodrama in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Melodrama was the standard fare of theatre goers, especially mid week (where possibly music hall was more common at week ends), and the over exaggerated emotional portrayals of the hero, heroine, and villain were well respected acting techniques, loved and demanded by audiences of the day.
16 July 2018
Weatherspoon Pubs in Nottingham
Kurt Hatton returned to Bramcote History Group after his previous talk on Watson Fothergill buildings. His talk this evening described the architecture of most of the Wetherspoon pubs in our area, and explained the enigma of their names. Kurt is the Manager of Wetherspoon’s Red Lion pub in Ripley. For instance, and fascinatingly, the Joseph Else on South Parade in Nottingham is named for the sculpor who made the Lions in front of the Council House.
They were originally named Agamemnon and Menelaous. Another intriguing fact is that every Wetherspoon pub has a unique pattern for its carpet.. And there is the famous story that when Tim Martin founded the company, he took the surname of a teacher at school who had told him he would never amount to anything, and he added the initials J.D. from ‘Boss’ Hogg in The Dukes of Hazzard.