Nottinghamshire: Old Bestwood

Bestwood Colliery Village is a small community in Nottinghamshire that grew around a coal mine. The mine was first sunk in 1875 by the Lancaster family giving the mine its original name of the ‘Lancaster Drift’. To provide for the people coming to work in the mine, the Lancaster’s built sixty-four houses, an Institute, Offices, a school and an Ironworks. Before the colliery the Bestwood area was a peaceful place full of woodland only, with few people living there. There were two mills nearby on the River Lean that housed child workers but very few other people. Up to 2000 men came to work in the mine; many of them came from nearby areas like Arnold and Hucknall. The Colliers Pad, where miners walked to work from Redhill still exists. The winding house that used to lower the men down into the mine still stands. It has a large engine inside which would operate the ‘cage’ lowering miners down below ground. It would also bring the coal to the surface.

The original main street, now called Park Road, looks much the same with rows of miner’s cottages along the street. Small homes that stand back to back with each other. The miners would pay rent to the colliery owners to live in the houses. In the old days there were no buses out of Bestwood. To get to Nottingham a train had to be taken which would take an hour to travel the six miles. The ‘Institute’ is an interesting building. It is now called The Bestwood Hotel but was built as a reading room, a billiard room and a drinking place. Women were not allowed in! It was also used as a morgue following pit accidents.

The children of the village would play games in the surrounding woods. They would go to a favourite place called ‘The Sandholes’ and play ‘whip and top’, hide and seek and rounders. The children would go to Sunday school in the morning and afternoon. On Sunday evening they would go to church too. If they missed church The Reverend Hawthorne would call at their house the next day to find out why! The big treat every year for the children was the visit to Bestwood Lodge. Bestwood Lodge is a large hall which used to be the home of the Duke of St. Albans. Many famous people have visited the Lodge including King Edward VII. Moneyed visitors would come to hunt deer in the Bestwood Estate. Roundabouts and decorated haycarts and wagons would be at the special day. There would be a tea party and music provided by the Bulwell Salvation Army. The people who lived in Bestwood were quite poor and worked very hard. Most of them seemed to have liked living in the village though as there was regular work for the men and the village was surrounded by lovely countryside. Bestwood had most of the things there that people needed and people would not travel outside the village very often. Today parts of Bestwood look are unchanged from those days. There are though lots of new houses making the village much larger. The past is never very far away however in Bestwood Colliery village.

My Memories of Bestwood as a boy

I never lived in Bestwood but as a boy would play long days in the woods with my friends from Redhill and Arnold. We would take the walk up Colliers Pad and play all day in the woods making dens, climbing trees, and collecting chestnuts and conkers. The Game Keeper lived at Alexandra Lodges in the middle of the woods. Whenever he would see us boys he would shoo us off by pointing his shotgun at us! We would run away but always come back the next day!

I remember the first day my friends and I ‘discovered’ Bestwood Colliery Village. We had walked further than usual and saw the small cottages of the village in the distance. Going on to explore we passed the old pit gates, (the mine was still open). The first thing I noticed was a ‘pit pony’ tied up to one of the cottage’s front door knockers! The village looked so different to what we boys knew. We all lived with our families in comparatively new and smart semi-detached houses provided by the council but these little homes looked very odd. They were tiny and the bricks they were built from were blackened by years of standing near the mine.

I loved Bestwood as a boy and still do. It was a huge big playground for we boys and after playing there most of the day we would head home for Redhill in near darkness with the owls in the trees hooting. Once along Colliers Pad we would see the street lights of Redhill beckoning and warm homes and teas to come. Nowadays I still go there but I see very few people enjoying the woods. It’s very quiet. I often wish some of the kids nowadays would have the fun I did there as a youngster as it was a place where dreams were made and friendships bonded. It still looks very similar to when I was a boy and it will always have a special place in my heart.

344 thoughts on “Nottinghamshire: Old Bestwood”

  1. What a lovely piece of descriptive writing. My ancestors came to Nottingham from Scotland and the family grew (by way of marriages). Most of them worked down Bestwood Colliery, one of them even became the “Area President of the NUM” as well as playing in goal for Nottingham Forest!
    When one reads of relatives aged 11 years being described in the national census records as “Miners” it brings it home how fortunate we are today!
    One of my ancestors Archibald Gilbert Hamilton is recorded on the war memorial and in the church by way of a bronze plaque as a victim of the First World War. He was killed when only seventeen years old whilst serving with the Gordan Highlanders.
    It seems odd that before I even started the family history research that we moved from the other side of Nottingham to live very close to Bestwood Colliery Village.
    Your piece about Bestwood as given me some idea of what things were like not too long ago, and of course, a few clues to follow as I had been trying to fine “Main Street” and did not know it was now ‘Park road’!

  2. Hi Don. Thanks for the kind words.

    Some interesting comments there and also one or two comparisons and curious coincidences for me. My family and I too are Scottish and came down here when I was a youngster. My father’s middle name was Archibald, named after his mother’s maiden name in Musselburgh as used to be a Scottish custom. My grandfather also served with the Gordon Highlanders in the First World War. Luckily he came home to his loved ones.

    The next time I’m in the village I shall look up your ancestor and commemorate him in some way. I have always been exceedingly proud of my Grandfather’s past with The Gordons and have the hugest respect for all the men of that great regiment our ancestors served in.

    I’m not sure if you know this, I only found out fairly recently from a good friend who used to teach in the village. On the street leading off opposite the Bestwood Hotel (The Top House), there is some extremely old graffiti carved onto the brickwork – much of it from the WW1 era. if you’ve not seen it you might find it interesting.

    I’ve spent a fair bit of my time around the lovely woods and the village over the years so please drop by if you think I may be able to fill in any gaps for you.

    Thanks again for your comments.


  3. Hello!,
    Interesting stuff about Bestwood. I have strong associations with the place as my grandparents Arthur and Doris Berresford looked after the ‘Clubbie’/Institute/Bestwood Hotel for many years from (I think) the 40’s until the mid 60’s. My Dad, Wilf also worked at the colliery before moving on to Linby and retiring hurt, with ‘the dust’ in the late 60’s. He died in 1976 at the young age of 56, after years of gasping for every breath. That was the less romantic side of the old collier’s lot.

    I was actually raised on Bestwood Estate, away over the fields from the colliery, but have many fond memories of the
    way things were in the 50’s and 60’s. When we first moved to Bestwood Est., I would have been no more than about 2-3 years old. From our road ( Southglade) the view was one of uninterrupted farm land, except that in the distance, we could just make out the old aerial cableway dumping skips of colliery waste onto the slag heaps. Were they called skips? From myc Mum’s bedroom window, I could also see the top of the old chapel. We would visit my grandparents regularly, using a Trent Bus down the side of Bulwell Common and then, if I recall, catching the ‘Mecco’s’ bus at Moorbridge and along to the colliery. I seem to remember an old brick or concrete bus shelter close by the clubby, next to the old pit baths.

    Three times a year, my Dad would take me over the fields and down through the woods to ‘Bestwood Grandma’s’. In the Spring, we would collect Blue Bells. In the early Autumn, we would collect great basketfulls of Blackberries and later, we would collect Chestnuts, if it had been a decent Summer.

    I remember my Dad telling me there were Walnut trees somewhere in the woods, though I never saw them.

    I spent many a happy hour in the Clubby. We weren’t allowed in the bar much when it was open, but at other times we (Me, my sister and brother and cousins)would have great fun exploring the cellars (at least three) and playing the piano in the bar, or throwing darts at things we shouldn’t have.

    If we were very lucky, we’d be sent up the ally between the Clubby and the Baths to the Canteen, to buy ice cream.
    Upstairs in those days were The Club Room, which seemed a bit boring and empty to me… and The Billiard Room, which was huge fun. There was a window with a little bit of a balcony and I remember at one time there being some bunting up there which was something to do with the Coronation of Elizabeth II.

    The Billiard Room was ‘re-developed’ sometime in the late 50’s and became a ‘Palm Lounge’, full of wicker chairs and glass-topped wicker tables and, it has to be said, fairly awful murals, depicting beach scenes. All a bit odd really!

    The view from the upstairs living room in the pub was out over the colliery yard. I spent hours watching the little old steam engines ( I seem to remember more than one) puffing about moving stuff.
    The pub had central heating which ran off a steam pipe which I believe came over from the same boiler which fed the pit baths. It was never cold in there!

    I was always fascinated by the colliery village. It had a sort of warmth about it. The original houses in Park Road always struck me as being much nicer to look at, and probably to live in, than the sort of plain brick terrace normally associated with collieries. The gardens to the rear were huge. I also thought that the area around the Miner’s Welfare and the Bowling Greens was a beautiful and peaceful place on Summer evenings.

    Last time I was there I walked through with my brother from Warren Wood, through ‘The Big Wood’ and out past the old Winding House towards the clubby. A couple of chaps were working in the old engine house and invited us in for a look. They were driving the old engine with an electric motor and I suddenly remembered my Dad taking me in there once when I was very small. I remember walking round the pond, where there were men fishing, and then somehow into the Winding House, where the machinery terrified me. I doubt such things would be allowed nowadays.

    As a slightly older kid, I spent many a happy hour in the woods. For a long time the old lodge was abandoned and derelict. It’s great to see it looking so nice.

    These days, I like to wander in the woods with my brother when I’m visiting. Autumn is nice, when we collect Wood Blewitts, Cepes, Chicken of the Woods, Beefsteak Fungus and other mushroomy delights. I’m pleased that it is now a country park, but in many ways I’d sooner it was back to the old days, when it was a secret and exciting place.

    I could go on…. but it’s late. I may return!

    Colin Berresford

  4. Hello Colin

    Thank you very much for your comments here, very interesting and some lovely memories.

    The Bestwood Hotel was looking a bit sad the last time I passed by there. I’m not sure who runs it these days but a couple of years back a different couple moved in there and seemed to have some plans for the place before leaving for whatever reason. I’m really interested in your comments about the old building there – especially the ‘Palm Lounge’!

    I’ve done all the collecting of bluebells, blackberries and chestnuts that you describe. I haven’t done it in a while but it wasn’t unknown for me to bring back a bag of chestnuts from a walk up there and roast them on the open fire at home. Simple pleasures. I’m not an authority on funghi but plan to be after taking one of the guided walks in Bestwood on the subject one day.

    I guess I’ve lived by Bestwood for around fort years now. From playing as a laddie, climbing trees and making dens, to ‘nicking off’ from Redhill school to practice cross-country running as a youth running for Notts, to an adulthood running and walking in that place I love so much. I’ve even been seen up there at 6.30am after a night shift training for a marathon on the steep hills! Just me and the milkman…

    I agree, I wish they’d left it alone rather than make a ‘country park’. I got used to that idea over the years though because it is in good stewardship from some people that really care about it. Equally it’s still as quiet as ever, I can go there many a day and barely see a single soul – amazing to me when you think that it’s surrounded by Redhill, Arnold, Top Valley, Bestwood, Bulwell, and Hucknall etc.

    I’m sure that you (And Don above) will be pleased to hear this news if you already haven’t:

    Thanks again for your comments, Colin. It’s nice to see that the old place still has a place in your heart. I really enjoyed reading your reminisces.


  5. Thanks Stuart for the information. I will look up the graffiti tomorrow (Sat 19thJan) as we will be taking our three year old grandson to the stables near the winding house, Broad farm Stables?

    With regard to Archibald Hamilton he was with the “Royal Highlanders” (Black Watch) not the “Gordons” as I put in my previous comment. I have to take some photos of houses on Park Road as I had ancestors living at both number 36 and number 40 in the 1900s.
    The Scots on my maternal grandmothers side came here from “Cambusnethan” one woman with her children after her husband died in the Scottish coal mines in the 1860s! A woman of some fortitude no doubt!They first settled at “Quarry Road” in Bulwell before branching out across the old Bestwood Coliery Village.Alexander McLaine Hamilton was just one of them, what a grand name that is.
    Really enjoyed Colins’ contribution, its a long long time since I went fungi hunting or even rabbiting but then again in those days rabbit was a fine addition to the working class table, long before the popularity of a certain “Watership Down” and the Art Garfunkel song “Bright Eyes” my children, both with newly arrived grandchildren would sooner eat live rattle snakes than try a wild rabbit! Like my father used to say “yer dont know youve bin born lad”!

  6. Hi Don

    It’s nice to see how the old place touches yours and Colin’s memories. I hope you have a nice visit up there today.

    Yes I know Broad View Stables and often take a walk or run on the path up there towards the Mill Lakes. On that subject I wonder how much you or Colin are aware of them? They’re very pleasant indeed. I once saw cabinet minister, Ken Clark from West Bridgford, bird watching up there.

    Interesting info about another fine old Scots regiment in The Black Watch. There can’t be too many of their number buried in these parts. I actually know where Cambusnethan is as it’s near Wishaw in Lanarkshire where I have a cousin. A big coal mining area at one time. I know a local landmark in known as ‘The Bing’ which is the Scots word for what people here call a slag heap.

    Ah rabbits! My old fellah would often bring one back from the pub under his jacket after a Saturday lunchtime bartering session with the locals. If it wasn’t rabbits it was blue button mushrooms, mussels, a hare or some other such delicacy.

  7. The graffiti was very interesting Stuart, I wonder why in the whole of the village the local lads and lasses used that wall to carve their names on? Perhaps waiting for fathers from the Public house across the way?

    We discovered Mill Lakes about seven years ago just after we moved to the area, such a tranquil place and yet so close to the housing estates of Hucknall, Bestwood and Bulwell.Its fed by the River Lean and apparently one of the Byrons used to dam the lean to force the Mill owners to pay him for the water they needed to run their water mills!

    One of my ancestors daughters was actually drowned in Mill Lakes at age 10, she being a sister of the unfortunate Archibald Hamilton aforementioned. Many years later her father drowned in Papplewick Dam, a suicide apparently although my grandmother told me he had been known to cut across the dam after a drink at his preffered public house.
    I have often heard the expression “If walls could talk” and I imagine the walls of the old “Colliery Village” would have a tale or two to tell.
    Incidently the Post Office and paper shop( nr the graffiti wall) was started by one of the Hamiltons to supply newspapers and provisions to the miners. It seems the deeper I dig into this village the more closer my links with it become.
    I found some old photographic images of the Bestwood Iron and Coal Company which was a huge industrial concern and to be honest I didnt realise the scale of the industry on this site, it was a huge site and yet now, apart from the “winding house”, a few pit buildings the church and of course the welfare buildings youd be hard put to imagine just what a wart on the landscape it must have been! Still it provided jobs and housing and nature as all but reclaimed the land, well the land that the developers have not taken over for building in recent months at any rate.

  8. Hi there Don

    Glad you enjoyed your visit.

    From reading that graffiti in the past I can’t remember whether some of it was the product of older people such as WWI soldiers. I shall take a look next time I’m passing. I also have an excellent source of info I can ask in a retired lady who used to work at the local school for many years and, like myself, has an interest in the area.

    Such interesting info about the Mill Lakes, The River Lean and the happening at Papplewick, thanks for that. There’s more information about Papplewick here if you haven’t already seen it:

    You’ve actually given me an idea then. It would be quite interesting to trace the course of The Lean by a walk and record it along the way. Even though some of it will be inaccessible these days it would still be a valuable record of the modern-day Lean perhaps. I did this two summers ago with a friend on The Grantham Canal and had a fine time:

    I agree with you about Bestwood Village. The place has an atmosphere that is filled with its past industry and the people’s lives that revolved around that little community. I can recall when the pit still stood there and it almost seems ‘wrong’ when I pop through those gates into the landscaped parkland next to The Bestwood Hotel which used to be the pits gates. It was a small shock to see all the new homes being built there but I guess things move on. I hope things don’t change too much though as I’d like to se it retain it’s links with its colourful past.


  9. I have read with great interest about how people who have connections with the village love it. No one though mentions the Prize Wining Brass Band the Bestwood Black Diamonds’ Band formerly the Bestwood Colliery Band which even before that was linked to the Calverton Colliery Band and called the Bestwood & Calverton Colleries Silver Prize Band, winning many top prizes. We can trace the band back to 1946 after they split with the Calverton Band, but no trace of their history before. We have pictures of the band marching down Park Road in their New unifoms donated by the Colliery and also before that when they wore pit helmets and boiler suits. The band lost their home when the Colliery closed but are still linked to the village by becoming the Welfare Band. if anyone has any pictures of the old band we would love to hear from you. we also have a web site.

  10. Thanks for dropping by and adding some information about the village, Sharon. It sounds like the band has a great history and it’s good to hear that there’s still a link with the village. I shall pop over and have a look at the site.


  11. I visited the wall (in Bestwood Colliery Village) again a week or so ago Stuart to take a few pictures for a Canadian friend who is of the “Hamilton” bloodline.

    Very close to a brick inscribed “The Great War 1914- 1918” was a rather poignant reminder of Archibald Gilbert Hamilton the name “A. Hamilton” was inscribed into the brickwork and I suppose he must have done this before he left to fight for “King & Country” never to return.

    A closer inspection of the older houses on Park road revealed the letters engraved above the houses as “BIC” (intertwined) which, thanks to your site I now know to mean Bestwood Iron and Coal.
    On another house the motif is somewhat different so I will have to photograph it and magnify it on my PC in order to try and decipher it, the mind is willing but the eyes are weak lol! It gives me another opportunity to go and have a ramble around again anyway.

    From the horse riding stables where we take our grandson I have tried, in my minds eye, as it were, to envisage the Bestwood Iron and coal development. It was such a huge concern, truth told, also a bit of a blot on the landscape, but I cannot for the life of me twin the modern day landscape with the older pictures of the scene in its industrial heyday. Maybe I am looking from the wrong vantage point?

  12. That’s great that you found Archibald’s inscription there, Don. It must have been a strange feeling for you at the same time. I have seen that ‘Great War’ wording so will check it out the next time I’m passing.

    Talking of the vantage point from the stables, perhaps the landscaping over the years has changed it beyond your recognition?. A lot of work was done on the spoil heaps behind the winding house for instance. Incidentally some of the planting up there has had mixed fortunes as it’s a fairly inhospitable place for plant life, very windy and thin soil covering the original coal heap.

    The parkland work next to The Bestwood Hotel still suggests the original gates to me though it’s not easy to recall the view beyond them.

    A while back I took a walk or two with a ranger from Alexandra Lodge and gained a greater appreciation of the park. One of the things he pointed out was the black Hebridean sheep now being grazed opposite the stables there.

    Have you ever seen the program of events, Don? Here’s the last one, (the new one is due out). Some quite interesting stuff they do up there:

    Click to access countryparkschristmas.pdf

    PS. I’d be very happy to put any of your photos of Bestwood up here for people to see. I’d be interested in them myself too.

  13. i have a photo of my dad on top of the pit baths at bestwood he was pit bath attendent his name was ken day untill his death in 1977 i have just discoverd your web site and it has brougth some happy memorys back.

  14. Janet

    I’m glad these few words (and also others’ reminisces) bring back happy memories for you. It seems to me that the little place has touched many people’s hearts in some way. That’s certainly indicated too by the amount of people I know have read this piece.

    Please feel free to come back and share any of your own memories of the village. I, and I’m sure others, would be interested to hear them.


    I was walking up at Bestwood a week ago with friends and we took a further look at the graffiti in more detail. I actually saw Archibald Hamilton’s name there which is quite prominent isn’t it.

    In answer to an earlier query of your regarding why people may have gathered in that spot my friend suggested that it was because the ends of the houses are where the chimney breasts of the homes are. This would allow people to keep warmer against the warmth of the bricks of the chimneys.

    On another note, walking through the village, we noticed that practically ALL the ends of the houses at road turnings had graffiti on them – something I’d not noticed before and something you might like to take a look at on another occasion.


  15. Please can you tell me if Bestwood had a train line rinning at the bottom of Arnside close. If so has anyone got any pictures I could look at

  16. Hi Jenny

    I’m not sure about a railway line so close to Arnside Close though I wouldn’t be an uthority on that. Would you perhaps mean the line that ran parallel with Hucknall Road not so far away? Although that lines bridges are no longer there the railway bed is still lthere in the form of a footpath now.

    I’ll have a dig into this one.

  17. Hello again!

    A note for Jenny.
    The whole of the Bestwood/Bulwell area was awash with railway lines when I was a kid in the 50s and 60s.
    (I was raised on Bestwood Est. See my previous comments about Bestwood Village)

    The Leen Valley Railway came up the side of Hucknall Road from the direction of Bulwell and then turned under and along to the south of Arnold Road in the direction of Edwards Lane, on its way to Arnold.
    The old trackway is still clearly visible in the embankment which separates Hucknall Rd. from Bestwood Estate, and from Rise Park etc., further along.
    The Leen Valley line was joined by the London and North Eastern Railway Derbyshire and Staffordshire line, which ran up from Basford, under Park Lane and Hucknall Rd. to run parallel with the Leen Valley.
    In that whole area between City Hospital/Hucknall Rd., Arnold Road and Edwards Lane was a huge complex of sidings. I must admit that this was a bit beyond my normal range as a kid, so I’m going mostly from a book on ‘Railways North of Nottingham’ By Malcolm Castledine (ISBN 1 901945 33 2)

    The main line for the area was the Great Central, which ran to the other side of Hucknall Road from the Leen Valley line. It came up from Nottm. Victoria Station (Now the Vic Centre) through Bagthorpe Junction, Bulwell Common Station and on to the north.

    To be honest, I find it really emotional even remembering this stuff. We used to cross the Leen Valley Line at the end of Southglade Road,where the Gala Bingo is now.. over Hucknall Road onto the common. We’d play cricket or footy or whatever and wait….. We knew the sounds of the big trains which came down the main line… On hearing them we’d leg it across to the big cutting that used to be where Bulwell Common Station was. It’s just a strip of nondescript housing now between St Albans Rd. and the Common We loved it. Big shiny steam engines, drivers who waved and blew whistles, a real sense of something charging in from somewhere distant and moving on to who knew where.. I suppose it was the last gasp of the great romantic age of steam … all gone now.


  18. I would like to know if anyone knows of or remembers the Bestwood Lodge boiler house. I don’t know how long it was there but it was knocked down in the early 80’s. I have 1 photo of it but don’t know how to send it to this site and would love to see more photos if anyone has any. It stud where the fire station is now. Thank you!! Diane

  19. I should really know this, Diane! Around the late seventies/early eighties I used to play football for a team on the adjacent field. I remember ‘something’ being there before the fire station but I can’t remember what!

    What form is your picture in?

  20. Thank you for your reply Stuart,
    The photo I have is stored on my computer I know how to send attachments on emails. But cant see where i can attach here.
    I would love too know if anyone remembers the boiler house. The only people that seem too remember are the ones that worked there at the time. Three of them being my family two of which have now passed away, one being my dad.

    Thank you for your help, Diane

  21. Thanks, Diane.

    I’ll be in touch and send you an email address to send the photograph to. I’ll pop the pic on the article, maybe it will jarr someone’s memory!

  22. Looking forward too see if there is any feed back and if anyone else has anymore pictures. Thank you Diane.

  23. Some great stories here. Thanks for sharing them.

    There is a Friends of Bestwood Country Park group that has been running for nearly 18 months now. We meet roughly every month, usually in the the park’s classroom by the Alexandra Lodge, in Bestwood Lodge Hotel, or in the social club in Bestwood Village. We have a website, and web forum where we regularly share information and photographs about all matters concerning the park:

    Anyone is welcome to contribute and/or come along to the meetings.

    There is a thread on the forum “Memories wanted of life around Bestwood Colliery”, which might be of interest to you and those that have commented.



  24. HI Ben

    Thanks very much for the kind words. I had no idea that such a group existed so that is very good to hear. I have registered on the website and await my confirmation to join in.

    As you may have guessed, Bestwood Country Park has always been close to my heart. I wouldn’t like to think of the amount of time I’ve spent up there since being a youngster. May the old place go from strength to strength.

    Thank you for linking those articles on the Bestwood site. Here’s a further one I wrote some time ago after a walk with a friend through the park:

    Bestwood Country Park, Notts

    Best wishes, Stu

  25. Sorry, but could you be more specific about where the boiler house stood?


  26. Hi Colin – yes, the boiler house would have stood on the opposite side of the road on the right just before turning the left-hand bend into the car park of The Bestwood Lodge. Adjacent to it are sports pitches and where the boiler house stood is now a fire services station. Does that help jog your memory?

  27. Hi
    My husband, Tony Atherton’s, father – Stanley Atherton – was the Manager at Bestwood Colliery around 1929. The family lived at the Sycamores until Tony was about 8 years old. When he (Tony) was a little boy, his father used to take him down the pit – he loved seeing the ponies. He probably has some interesting memories of the time if anyone should have any questions.

  28. Hello, very interesting, my family came don from lancashire to sink Bestwood Village pit and have stayed there ever since, we now have six generations, have lived in the village in several diferent houses,one of them being Old Mill House near the lean entrance and that Gamekeeper that shood you away would have been my great uncle Jess, he lived at Alexandra Lodge with his lovely wife Flo!They were lovely people really! i love the village after living there most of my life, the house my parents live in was built by bmy Great Grandad and has now seen three generations and we have some pics of our ancesters who came to sink the pit and he was a master sinker! Oh and i have seen that wall too! We never get much of a mention as our family was catholic and not on church records, but we were some of the first setlers to Bestwood Village and i feel so at home when back at the folks!


  29. Hello, reading everyones comments brought back many happy memories. My great grandfather came to Bestwood from Stanley in the late 1800’s. Unfortunately he was killed with 14 others at the mine in 1898 and his gravestone is in the cemetry. My father and his brother worked at the pit and I remember visiting the workshops to see my father who was a welder, the blacksmith whose name I cannot remember and Mr Scott. The ground floor of the Pit baths had and entrance with a large open overhang under the building where people waited for the bus. Further up the road just through the pit gate was the pit nurse who would dress the childrens knees if we we injured. Across the road was the Co-operative store where you gave your divi number, ours was 68806. I used to horse ride in Bestwood Wood, my bridle was made by Mr Scott at the pit. I used to ride to Redhill most days after school to meet friends,it was great and not to be missed. We had names for different area, bluebell valley, spooky wood and of course the big swing. Sometimes we went to the Church in the wood and left our horses outside. I hope this helps others to recall their happy memories of Bestwood.

  30. My father worked at the Bestwood Village pit. He grew up in Bestwood but moved to live in Hucknall when he married my mother and would cycle to Bestwood as he still worked at the pit.

    Many is the time we would visit my Granny who lived in the collier houses. Sometimes we would watch all the miners coming up at the end of their shift with their black faces. It was always extremely tidy in the house but old fashioned as you would expect with only Granny living there with lace tablecloths. There was always the sound of a clock ticking as my father spoke with Granny. I only have very vague memories of Granddad who died while I was a youngster.

    Every year at Christmas there would be a party for all the kids in the Miners Welfare with different age groups going on different days. I remember one year seeing The Tornados whose hit Telstar had been in the charts only a few weeks earlier.

    I musy have a drive around the village again one day.

  31. hi stu
    I am hoping you are able to help me i am from bestwood village (54 park road directly opposite clubbie) my grandma was rebecca lakin her partner bill moth and my father was mick lakin. They were quiet a well known family up until bills death in 1996. well where i need help is this in 1949/1950 my dad won a baby competiton in a magazine i thin was called the coal news i have one small picture of this but it is torn it is of him at between 3-6 months old and he is sitting in a tin bath. I have hunted the internet for a long time and tonight i found your site, I would be very grateful if you could help me out with this, and point me in the right direction or if anyone you know in the village or any of your readers have a copy of this photo then that would be great too my dad is 60 now and i would love to be able to get a full copy of this for him thanks

  32. Hello Diane. Thanks for your comments, that’s really interesting stuff. I don’t know directly anyone in the village but I have a good friend who worked in the school there for many years and when I see her I will ask if she can cast any light on your question.

    In the meantime I guess you will have tried contacting The Coal News directly? The other suggestion I might make in the meantime is the nearest local newspaper The Hucknall Dispatch which might be worth a little look:

    Good luck, Diane!

  33. Comment by John Butters/February,14 2010

    Hello Stuart. Coming across your Archive has taken me back in time well over seventy years. My great-uncle, Ben Stocks, worked underground at Bestwood Colliery all his working life. He and Aunt Rose lived in one of the original workman’s houses, two rows backing onto what I believe was called the ‘Gennill’. We visited regularly in my childhood. No flush loos; a dray man with horse and cart came up and opened a small, low door at the back of the lavatory from the street, and emptied the ‘waste’, collected in a bucket, into a large container on his cart. I remember that my older sister, (being a snooty, little, girl)was not impressed by this feature of the house. A treat was to go to Bestwood on Bonfire Night when the Company provided a hugh bonfire on a slope just above the houses. Lovely memories. Uncle Ben was always out shooting rabbits in and around Bestwood woods so, with his straggily moustache and oiled gun under his arm he might have been mistaken for a game-keeper. In old age he had some sort of watchman’s duties and I too,sometimes wandered the pit yard in his care. Growing up, I thought that the proverbial ‘wild horses’ would be unable to drag me to work down Bestwood pit. But in 1947, for continuing study purposes, I did. As a mining trainee I was able to postpone National Service which all males had to complete in those postwar days. After training I worked underground for some months before being transfered, to carry on training on the electrical staff. Working with John Wood, a senior electrician, our work at that time centred on the No 6 Area Offices as well as on domestic properties in the village. We were based in the old Bellis building along with the Saddler’s Shop and frequently had our ‘snap’ with Gus Stout, the senior saddler and a real gentleman, Bill Scott, who made Emma Bullin’s bridles (December 4th, 2009) and the, not so young, junior, Willis Webb. Another Bestwood lad if I remember correctly.
    Bestwood, with the pit, together with National Coal Board’s
    No 6 Area Offices and the Bestwood (Mining) Training Centre, complete with model mine), was by then becoming a
    a busy place, a world away from the sleepy, mining village
    I knew in the 1930’s. Rough, but happy days they were too.

  34. Hello again folks!

    Late last year I started to seriously research my Dad’s side of the family. It’s not too easy as I only have contact really with one person, a cousin who is a son of one of my Dad’s sisters. Everyone else seems to be gone now.

    Anyway, I previously knew that my Dad was born in Bestwood Colliery and that his parents kept the ‘Clubbie’ for many years up to the early 60s, but I knew little else. I have now discovered that my Dad, Wilf, and his Dad Arthur were both born in Bestwood in what is described in the census returns as ‘Main Street’. (Was this an earlier name for Park Road?) Arthur’s Dad John was born at Unstone Green in Chesterfield. John’s Dad was Samuel Berresford (1847 -1898) who seems to have been born in Crich, Derbys. Samuel had about 12 children. Samuel’s wife Sarah survived him and died in 1930. I make it 4 generations all living in the same street form about 1870 ish. They will almost certainly have known others mentioned on here.
    Last September my brother and I went to the cemetery at St Mark’s Church. Although I’ve known Bestwood all by life I had never previously been into the graveyard. We walked in from School lane and as we turned left by some new buildings (garages?)into the grave yard we were immediately met by Samuel’s gravestone. What a wierd feeling that was!. My great, great Grandfather, there all that time!
    Given the number of children Samuel had I was surprised to find not a trace of any other Berresford in the churchyard, but I have been in touch with the Church people and will soon be meeting them to look at what records they have.

    I will let you know what I discover.


  35. Hi Stu
    I wondered if you or any of your contibutants can help me. I found your website whilst trying to research some information on a boyhood memory I have. I was talking to my daughter about what used to be on the site of the Tesco store on Top Valley. I can remember walking to Bestwood Park as a boy across the fields before Top Valley was built but prior to that I have a memory of my Mum taking us blackberry picking along the railway line that runs parallel with Hucknall Road, circa 1965. I have always thought that the army had some kind of establishment there and also a railway building, possibly wagon works? I’m a Bulwell lad but I find all the cooments about the area of Bestwood fascinating, mainly because I live on Rise Park, a place that I also remember before the houses went up. If anyone can help clarify this I would be forever grateful. Good site Stu, well done.

  36. Cheers Tony. You’re set me thinking now and I’ll also ask one or two people I know if they can answer your question. I’m sure someone will come along with the answer!

  37. Tony,

    One of the Bestwood Village Residents who posts on the Friends of Bestwood Country Park Website has done a lot of research on the area, it’s maps, and the railways. He is publishing info and links via the Friends Website (see my post #25 above).

    If you look on
    Put in coords 455400 and 345400 and go to the 1938 map (that’s the latest it has) you’ll see Forest Farm, Bulwell Forest Station and the Wagon Works.



  38. Hi Ben,

    Sincere thanks for the quick response and for the links to the old maps and the Friends Website, very interesting indeed. It appears that I was half right as there is a mention on the maps of wagon works close to where Top Valley Tesco is sited but no mention to confirm my memory of a military connection up there as well. The map is dated 1938 so I suppose there may have been something built to do with the army after that as the war years approached, possibly for the Home Guard ? If anyone can throw any light on that I would be really grateful.

    Many thanks again Ben for your help and thanks again to Stu for you help.

  39. Hello all,
    I am able to add to Tony Brown’s discussion regarding Tesco at Top Valley. Yes, there was Wrigley’s Wagon Works there for many years. My grandfather, Hartley Jackson was an office manager there and my uncles, Len Jackson and Alf Jackson, his sons,both worked there until the works closed not long the Second World War fnished. The entrance to the works was on the right just under the old Great Northern raiway bridge (just below Bulwell Forest Golf Club Pavilion).Carrying on under the bridge led to Arnold Fields and on to Arnold. Footpath only.

    Hartley Jackson was an Air Raid Warden. His concrete bunker was adjacent to the railway crossing at the Bulwell end of St Albans Road. On the night in 1941, when bombs fell on Bulwell Hall Estate he came across to tell us we were on ‘Red Alert’as Anti-Aircraft guns nearer Bestwood Estate from Wrigley’s opened up. Yes, it was an anti-aircraft detachment that was stationed there. Later in the war thingsbecame quieter and we no longer used to hear shrapnel rattling down our roofs when German planes flew over.
    From the horse’s mouth’ on that night when bombs whistled down on Bulwell, grandad assured us that the Germans had nothing against Bulwell Hall Estate. Tt was the GC railway viaduct they were after. And both grandad and my mum and us kiddies both lived in the houses between the LMS crossing and the viaduct!.

    John Butters

  40. Hi John. Thanks for all the info there, that is absolutely fascinating stuff! It’s good to learn about an area that is relatively close to where I live.

  41. Hi Stuart. Me again!

    A response to John Butters re: Wrigleys.

    John I’m not sure if you mean your relatives finished at Wrigley’s before the end of WW2, or that Wrigley’s closed before the end of WW2.

    I can definitely confirm that Wrigley’s worked until well into the 1960s. As a youngster, I was brought up on Southglade Road, Bestwood Est. The Wrigley’s Wagon Works and an associated sand quarry were directly opposite our house, but about half a mile distant, if you see what I mean. They were situated more or less opposite the kid’s play area and Golf House on Bulwell Common.
    We used to play in amongst the various wagons in the sidngs around Wrigleys. Also, on the steep bank which sloped down from Wrigleys to the fields along Southglade. I played around there until at least 1963, when I was 14.

    I have a book by Malcolm Castledine (ISBN 1 901945 33 2 ) entitled ‘Railways North Of Nottingham in the Latter Days of Steam’ It features a photo of a very disheveled looking Patriot Class steam loco No. 45535 at Wrigley’s awaiting breaking for scrap, in Sept 1964.
    Malcolm comments: ‘Wrigley’s yard remained operational, cutting up steam locomotives and old rolling stock until early 1966. It was physically connected to the BR lines until Sunday 6th March 1966 when the former Great Northern signal box at Bulwell Forest was closed and the rail connection severed.’

    Regarding the bombing of the viaduct in Bulwell.
    My Mum (Now 87 and sadly suffering from Alzhiemer’s) lived in Grindon Crescent on Bulwell Hall Est., and went to Springfield School, which as far as I know is still there.
    She told me about the bombing and the viaduct being the target. Incidentally, my Mum’s Dad, Jack Whyman MM., fought in WW1, was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery in the Field and Mentioned in Dispatches. After the war,he worked for many years as a railway signalman. In the late 50s/early 60s, he worked at the crossing with gates at the Junction of St Alban’s Road and Bestwood Road, just up from the Adelphi Cinema. There was also a hosiery finishing works there as I recall, and the terminus of the No. 17 bus.

    Mostly gone now..


  42. P.S ! For Tony Brown.

    Hi Tony.
    I suspect that your military connection refers to the fact that the Territorial Army had possession of Bestwood Lodge for some time. I suspect this was from 1939, when the Dukes of St Albans appear to have lost the estate, up until the establishment of the Country Park. If you drive up to Bestwood Lodge from Arnold Road, there were a lot of houses close to the lodge which were for military personnel.
    It’s funny how these things work. I was raised on Bestwood Est. My Mum came from Bulwell Hall and my Dad from Bestwood Colliery. I knew the woods around the lodge from the 1950s, but I never visited the lodge itself until the 1970s.

    I have a little booklet somewhere about Bestwood (The lodge and estate)which I must dig out. Unfortunately, I’ve lived 100 miles away from Bestwood for the last 40 years, and memory fades.


  43. Hi Colin, thanks for the comments and further info. I went to school in the 1960s’ with a few of the servicemen’s kids from Bestwood Lodge. I had never realised that it was the Territorial Army that used the Lodge, I thought they were regular army people. The kids would be brought down to Arnold every day on an open-backed lorry and the lorry waiting to collect them after school. We thought that was pretty glamorous as youngsters! In those days he drive from Mansfield Road at where Daybrook meets Redhill was a fairly straight, direct one to the Bestwood Lodge. There was a gate at it’s entrance on Mansfield Road (a gatepost is still there). In the 1970s’ homes were built near to it and across what had been ‘the army drive’ as we called it, and the road re-directed through Maidensdale Road I think it’s called

    Those army houses near the Lodge you mention were mostly converted into much larger homes (two would typically be converted into one) and sold off privately.

  44. Hi John and Colin – well, what can I say, brilliant, you both have made a significant contribution to answering my original question on the wagon works and the army connection around the Top Valley area. Sincere thanks to you both. Like you both I have memories of playing in that area during the school holidays and we would go bird spotting in Bestwood Lodge woods at a time when Rise Park was being built in the mid 60’s. It was quite a walk from the Kersall Drive area (just off St Albans Rd) where I lived but as kids it was a real adventure and a proper day out !.

    Your comments on the WW2 years in the area interest me, is there a website/publication where I can find out more on how Bulwell/Bestwood was affected ?

    Thanks again to all involved. Keep up the good work Stu.

  45. I used to work at Bestwood Lodge in the 60’s, the Military at that time was fairly high staus camp, it had a Genral army officer as commander as it was an HEADQUARTERS, then late 60’s early 70’s it lost its headquarter status, then it was run by a a Brigadier I aslo remember they used to have a fox hunt approx once year, I think it was run by the South Notts hunt. Also on the site was the Regimental Pay Office, Their buildings were taken over by the Notts Fire brigade. The Bestwood Lodge it self is now an hotel and at the time I was there, it had about over 100 rooms of varying sizes, a lot of the top floor was for officers bedrooms.I worked there for about 15 years till it closed as military establishment I can still remember the roads where the married quarters were. Pavilion road, Cedar Tree Road, woodchurch road were for the officers, and the other ranks were on Nell Gwynn Crescent,and Robin Hood Road

  46. Thanks for the extra info on Bestwood Lodge, Kenneth. I’m learning a bit more all the time about a place that has been familiar to me for most of my life. I regularly run and walk in Bestwood Country Park and sometimes on a Sunday morning drop into the Lodge for a cup of tea after a walk with friends. I still find it an impressive building. I heard a whisper that the singer Paul Weller enjoys a stay at Bestwood Lodge when he’s in the area. Not sure how true that is.

    I also used to play football on the ground opposite that’s owned by the Fire Service. At one time, local running club, Redhill Road Runners used to hold the start/finish of their ‘Redhill 10k’ on the same field, not sure if they still do. The race was always very popular, attracting runners from quite far afield because of beautiful, scenic Bestwood Park. As anyone who uses it regularly will tell you though it’s not the easiest (flattest) terrain!

    Living in Redhill as I do, my easiest point of access to the park is via Thornton Avenue off Mansfield Road and straight onto Colliers Pad. I also use Lammins Lane beyond the Lea Pool Roundabout and of course Bestwood Lodge Drive.

  47. Hello again,

    Colin B is quite right about the closure of Wrigley’s. I left Bulwell in 1955 and the Works was still in operation then. I remember visiting my family on Bestwood Road in the sixties and at that time Uncle Len was a caretaker at the school on Hucknall Lane between the Adelphi and the Lido. He had left Wrigley’s when work slowed and I remember him telling me they were cutting up ex BR engines at that time. I was intrigued to learn that Colin’s grandfather worked the signal box almost opposite our house. He probably had his hair cut at Croome’s Barber’s Shop, opposite the signalbox. Albert Croome was my great uncle.

    And now for another surprise – for me. I have an oil painting hanging on the wall in my model railway room given me some years ago. It shows a ‘Midland’ Compound heading a train of four ‘BR’ coaches past a beautifully painted Bulwell Forest Signal Box and running towards Bestwood, (highly unlikely). I have just been in the loft to have a look at it again and, surprise, surprise, for aging me; I’d totally forgotten, it shows the railside buildings of Wrigley’s and, through the trees on the other side of the painting, Bulwell Forest Golf Club Pavilion.
    Very appropriate at the time of this Comment to Stuart’s website.

    John Butters.

  48. That’s really lovely stuff, John. It must bring back some grand memories for you. Thanks very much for sharing them.

  49. This is lovely stuff!
    Mr Barlow, I’m now less sure that the Lodge was a TA place. I don’t recall where I got that from, which is why I’ve spent most of the evening searching (unsuccessfully!) for my little booklet on Bestwood.

    Tony B. I know Kersall Drive and surrounding areas well. It was young ladies from that area who first distracted from from trains and aeroplanes! I found the ladies more interesting but even harder to catch!
    Slightly off topic, but still possibly interesting to others. I worked at the Coal Board Labs in Cinderhill for a few years after leaving school. In the summer months I found a lovely route to work by going from home in Southglade Road, over the Leen Valley Railway at the crossing onto Hucknall Road and then over the old Central Railway via St Albans Rd and the down Kersall and Saxondale drives to ? Can’t remember what the main road was called, but I’m talking about where the old Basford Northern station was and the Northern swimming baths.
    From there I could get up onto the old viaduct over the Leen. That was a fascinating walk and would bring me scrambling down to Leonard Street, from where I did a quick left and a right into the labs.

    Back to Wrigley’s (Incidentally, can anybody remember which its was? Wrigley, or Rigley.. I can’t.)

    I’m not sure if they are still there, but until recently, you could still make out the footings of the old Bulwell Forest Ladies Golf House, opposite the main house and right next to where Wrigley’s stood

    Just a few memories of the sort of thing that fascinated us as kids…..

    Most of my world comprised two fields which ran the length of Southglade. Back then, they formed a broad hollow and then sloped up again to meet the bank which descended from Wrigley’s. In the 60s the council decided to use the fields as land fill, with the result that they are now above the level of Southglade Road and built up with the Gala Bingo and a load of unattractive industrial units.
    The fields which used to be full of Skylarks, Burnet Moths, all manner of wild flowers (Scabious, Hearts-ease, Scarlet Pimpernel, Speedwell etc.) are now buried up to about fifty feet below the present level. It breaks my heart.

    At the bottom of Southglade road, more or less between what used to be the Deerstalker pub,(Now a Nursery I think) and the present Sports Centre, was Gervais Goddard’s farm.

    He would regularly drive a small horse drawn trap up Southglade and leave milk churns on Hucknall Road, just over the railway crossing.
    One beautiful Summer morning I heard a tinkling noise and looked out of the front window to see the horse and trap hurtling past towards the farm. By the time I got to our front gate, all there was to be seen was a trail of crates, bottles and churns all down Southglade and I could just make out the horse and trap at the farm gate at the bottom of the street.
    It seems that Farmer Gervais (Jarve.. as we called him) had just arrived at the railway crossing where the Gala is now, when a local train shot by and scared the horse….
    Fortunately, the horse (And Jarve) were uninjured.

    However. As kids, we regularly crossed the Leen Valley line to access Hucknall Road from Southglade. There were a couple of locked farm type gates used by Jarve, but pedestrians crossed freely and without supervision. There was a small house on the Hucknall Road side, with a little indicator on the wall which read ‘Train Approaching’ ‘Train in Section’ etc., though I never worked out exactly what it was supposed to be telling me.
    I was warned about trains and their attendant danger. There as a very strong local tale of a girl who supposedly got her foot caught in the gap under the rail and suffered severe injury as the rail dipped up and down under the weight of a passing train, but I never found out what truth there was in it.

    Finally, there was the plane crash at Bulwell Common. In my understanding, something like a Canberra Bomber was in trouble and after clipping a few chimneys on St Alban’s Road, nose dived into Bulwell Common station, with the loss of all crew. This being in the very early 50s.
    Does anybody have any solid information on this?

    Colin B

  50. P.S. Just found this:

    UK Flight Testing Accidents 1940 – 1971

    Has the following entry

    13 JUNE 1951 CANBERRA B.1(P) VN850

    Mr R.H.B.Peach (Test Pilot), Rolls Royce, Hucknall. Test flight.

    Part of 100 hour intensive flying trials on Avon RA7 engines, the starboard engine fitted with high energy ignition. One hour and 22 minutes after take off the pilot advised that the port engine was out and be was unable to re light.

    He was cleared for a direct approach to the runway. At about 250ft on finals the aircraft was seen to drop the port wing, the nose then went down, the aircraft turned 45 degrees to port and the undercarriage was retracted but the flaps stayed down.

    Climbing slightly and turning slowly to port the aircraft crossed the airfield before dropping the port wing again and the aircraft dived into the St.Alban’s railway sidings at Bulwell Common railway station, Nottingham:

    The speed had been allowed to become too low on the approach by a pilot inexperienced on type (3.15hrs) and he was unable to use the full thrust of the starboard engine to recover the situation.

    It is likely that retraction of the flaps caused the final wing drop and dive. This was the first fatal accident involving a Canberra 1 killed. Cat 5.

    (refs 38, 47, 195 & 360).

    These references are listed as

    38 Canberra – the operational record ISBN 1 – 7183-0619-8

    47 English Electric Aircraft and their predecessors ISBN 0-85177-806-2

    195 R-R Heritage Trust Archives – Courtesy of David Birch

    360 AIB reports various – Contained in PRO AVIA/5 Folders No20 – 38

    My only comment is that for the year of 1951 this accident was the 17th out of a total of 34. How times change.

  51. And more! For John Butters.

    It took a while, but I’ve finally remembered Croome’s Hairdressers. I was trying to remember something along the same row as the old Luke’s shoe shop, where my Mum took me to get shoes. I now remember that Croome’s was on the right as you go down St Alban’s Rd, just short of the signal box and IIR on the corner of St Alban’s and Bestwood Rd. I am struggling to remember if the frontage was mainly in St Alban’s or Bestwood Rd, or if it was a true corner Shop.
    I definitely had my hair cut there a couple of times. I also remember getting it done at the Criterion salon in Bulwell,near a pub. Was it the Three Crowns? Also at another salon further towards the market place on the left.. though I can’t remember the name. Another hairdressers was Osborne’s at the bottom of Park Lane in Basford. Went there a lot for a ninepenny scalping.

  52. Hi All,
    John B, thats a tremendous posting you made about he picture, is there anyway that it could be uploaded onto this website? It would be great for us all to have a look. I think the school you refer to (Uncle Len) was Blenhiem School for Girls of which my elder sister attended in the 60’s. It changed to a Comp in 1970 when it allowed boys to join from Highbury Boys School. I was one of the lucky boys in that year to join and it changed its name to Alderman William Derbyshire. What fun for all of us boys, not sure what the girls thought though ! I was there only a short time as I left school at 15 at Easter 1971. I also remember a Croomes Barber shop, but the one in Bulwell Market Place. I also went to school with a lad called Stuart Croome who lived on Austin Street I think. I think he was related ?

  53. For Colin B – your walk to work to Cinderhill would bring you left out of Kersall Drive or Saxondale Drive onto Highbury Road and towards Vernon Road which began when you would reach Northern Bridge. You probably took a right onto Roderick Street at the junction where Northern Baths are/were which lead to the viaduct. I have memories of playing down that way among the rushes and marshes, a haven for bird spotting. I didn’t know about the plane crash but then again it happened before I was born. Fascinating stuff.

  54. Thanks for that info Tony, and thanks to John Butters, (Sorry, I meant to say this last night but got carried away)for his post about the Midland Compound loco painting. That must be something to see. I only ever recall seeing a Midland Compound at an open day at Derby in the early 60s.
    When engines ran regularly along the Leen Valley line past Wrigley’s I was too young to really know one from t’other, so I have no real idea of what locos actually used the line.


  55. Very interested in Emma Bullin’s comment (31) It has only just occurred to me that it is possible that the reason my Great Grandfather Samuel Berresford died so young in 1898 at 51, may well have something to do with that accident.

    Emma, if you are still watching this site. Do you have any further info?

    Does anyone else?


  56. I’m back again!

    I have a couple of corrections to make. Firstly, my first post in this thread I mentioned how dilapidated and abandoned the old Lodge was for a while. I was actually referring to the old gatehouse,on the track up from Bestwood Colliery which was damaged by fire I think but is now used by the country park rangers and looking splendid.

    Secondly, for K Barlow, Post No. 48. I don’t know where I got the TA reference from, but I have now found my little booklet ‘Bestwood. The Story of an Estate.’ (Audrey Robinson. ISBN 1 870253 00 0 1987 Dalebrook Publications)

    I quote: ‘The Lodge, after the war (WWII) became the East Midland District Army Headquarters….’

    The author goes on to mention the names of some officers. I can add them in later if you like.

    I can suggest another possible Army connection for Tony B.

    Back in the 50s, Southglade Road on the original council Bestwood Est. (Often confused later with Bestwood Park Est.) ended at the entrance to South Glade Farm. This was farmed as I mentioned earlier by Gervaise (Jarve) Goddard.

    To the right from the bottom of Southglade was (still is) Padstow Road. A little beyond, effectively backing onto Padstow, was a steep slope known to one and all as ‘camp’. This sloped steeply up to where Bestwood St Mathew’s Church Hall was, and later the ‘new’ St Matthews Church, built IIR in the late 50s. All this above and behind the former Deerstalker Pub, now a kids nursery. The slope was covered in the old brick footings of what were the wooden huts of a P.O.W. Camp. I believe it housed Italian P.O.Ws.

    Also, if you imagine a line continuing Padstow Road north across the end of Southglade, there was a field boundary. This was roughly where the access for the present Southglade Sports Centre is. Along there was a low bank and halfway up a semi-circular ‘bulge’, which I was told was a position for an Anti Aircraft Gun. There were a few of those steel rods with loops in them, meant for rigging barbed wire, and the remains of an old brick bulding.
    Continuing that line towards Top Valley Farm, there was another similar bulge, but without the brick building.

    Those guns would have looked out over Bulwell and Watnall/Hucknall. I suppose they may have been intended to defend Hucknall Airfield and maybe the Great Central viaduct etc., from air raids. That whole area is now pretty much built up with Rise Park, Top Valley, Warren Hill etc. It’s hard to remember just what a quiet and beautiful part of the world it used to be.

    Colin B

  57. Hello Stuart,
    I’ve just found your website and read most of the correspondence about Bestwood Colliery Village. I’ve never actually been to Bestwood Village but I do have a family connection although this is quite some time ago. Both my Great Grandfather (George Bloor) and my Grandfather (Harry Bloor)lived and worked at Bestwood. Both had previously lived at Bulwell. They moved there in the 1890’s and early 1900’s. According to the 1911 Census, George and his family were living at No.30 Bestwood Colliery – no street name mentioned. Harry and his family had moved on to Crown Farm Colliery in Mansfield by this time. I’m wondering if there any maps from this period which are online ? No-one has yet referred to the fact that Bestwood Village is mentioned in the first pages of D.H.Lawrence’s ” Sons and Lovers”. I’m wondering also if his fictional description matches the real village.
    I said that I had never been to Bestwood but in the 1950’s I was a clerk at the NCB’s East Midland Division Marketing Dept. at Mansfield Woodhouse and the powers that be decided us office wallahs should be given a taste of the “coalface” so to speak and it was Bestwood Colliery were we had our initiation. I can remember weard silence in the roadways and walking part way back up the “drift”.

  58. Hello Michael, thanks for your interesting comments and helping fill in the Bestwood ‘picture’. I’ll need to read up ‘Sons and Lovers’ and tell you how close the depiction is/was. 🙂

    You might find these links interesting:

  59. Hello,
    Hello Colin, I’m sorry but i think you have me mixed up with Margaret who wrote the piece after me sorry, but i have heard your last name so will do some digging with my dad David Bullin see if he knows anything about that.

    Also wanted to add i remember hearing somewhere along the line that the Bestwood Lodge was the headquarters for the Sherwood Foresters don’t know if my grandad Ralph Bullin mentioned this to me at some point and can’t find anything to back it up but just wanted to add that.

    Also i mentioned my great uncle was the game keeper for the lodge grounds and lived at Alexandra Lodge his name was lesley Bailey not Jess that was his brother, gettin confused sorry!

  60. Also we have some wonderfull pics of the winding house must upload then soon, when i have a bit of time!!

  61. Hello Ben,
    I will find this information out for you, my family also owned middle mill (when it was a mill) and some lived at the woodcutters cottage at gaunts hill I think, I shall get my facts staight and get back to you.

  62. Fascinating article and follow-ups. I’m not really a Bestwood person but went to High Pavement school when it was on Gainsford Crescent. During my school days 1959-1964 we would make our winter cross-country run out along Hucknall Road to Top Valley and then back through the fields onto Southglade Road before returning to school. Near the start of the route, at the bottom of the hill, was a narrow arch under the railway embankment that was commonly called ‘Marble Arch’. This allowed pedestrians to go from the Bestwood Estate roads onto Hucknall Road. I first worked at Wm Rigley & Son for a few months in the steelwork shed and was fascinated by the activities in the rolling-stock shed, and the assortment of locos in the yard being dismantled. I was there from August to December 1964 but had to leave because the company was closing down. The General Manager at the time was Mr Smith, and his twin sons had been a few years ahead of me at High Pavement.

  63. Thanks for your interesting contribution Peter. Another piece in the Bestwood story. I’m learning an awful lot about the area here myself.

  64. Peter, I too went to High Pavement, from 1960 to 1965, so we were fellow students for four years. I imagine you will be on the May 1961 school photo, along with me and Fred Shipman, who turned out not to be the greatest ad for the school….
    One Christmas at school, we were shown the ‘School Film’, which was actually a collection of clips covering decades at the Bestwood site and the earlier Forest Fields site. One sequence showed cross country runners going along the field past a gate which used to exist in Southglade Road, a few yards down from my house. By the time I was at the school, the route was different, but I reckon I could still trace it by the lie of the land.
    Marble Arch was one of a total of three brick arches under the Leen Valley Railway which ran along Hucknall Road in the direction of Bulwell, before turning right along Bestwood Road to Bestwood Colliery.
    Marble Arch cut from Andover Road, by the shops, onto Hucknall Road. When I was a kid, in the 1950s, and even into the early 60s, there were still remains of wartime posters on the walls of the arch.

    The next arch ran onto a track we used to call Lovers Lane. It was situated where the road to Bestwood Tesco is now.

    The third ran into where the last set of lights control a right turn into Rise Park, shortly before the cross roads at Bestwood Road. I can’t remember the names of roads now, as they were built after I left Nottm.,but I can always find my way around there just by the lie of the land.

  65. Hello, fellow menmbers of the Southglade Road Old Boys Society.
    How pleasant to read Colin B’s memories of the place where we grew up – his knowledge of the area from so long ago is quite impressive. I seem to recall, Colin, that you lived at number 30-something, up the road from us at 66.
    You probably remember my younger brother Phil better than me.
    I do recall the Canberra crash – I’d gone on my own to the Andover Road shops for the first time alone and my mother was worried sick when I got home. By that time there was a huge column of black smoke rising vertically in the perfectly still air over the common.
    I didn’t know Goddard’s name was Gervais, but I do know we were all scared stiff he’d shoot us if he caught us in his field!
    I remember the Leen Valley Line up to Wrigleys very well. The locos were mostly O4s and WD Austerity 2-8-0s, with an occasional K? 2-6-0 on duty.
    The HP cross country course (both junior and senior versions) entered its last mile at the top right hand corner of Goddard’s field from our viewpoint and proceeded downhill to a gateway directly opposite Padstow Road. We’d climb that, left on to Leybourne Drive and Gainsford Crescent.
    I had my best haircut ever at Osbornes down in Basford – I was in the same year as his lad whose name I can’t remember.
    So there’s a couple of ‘memory-bites’ for you. Hope you’re well in the land of the red rose. I’ve been in Leeds and Wakefield since 1974.

  66. Dave! what a lovely surprise to hear from you after all these years. I remember both you and Phil very well.
    Having been invited into your front room a couple of times, I remember being envious of all the books in your bookshelves.

    I also seem to recall that your Dad had either a car or a motorbike. Both were uncommon possessions in the early-mid 50’s. Somebody down your end of the street had a Sunbeam motorbike with sidecar. Was that your Dad?


  67. Hi Colin. Yes, that was him,but I thought he would have been rid of the Sunbeam (600SV)rather before your memory cells started to function, very early 50s. He replaced it with an Ariel ‘Square Four’ and built his own 2-seater ‘chair’ in that same front room! I suppose I didn’t really appreciate just how talented my dad was during my childhood – he was just a bit eccentric.
    I think Arthur Shilton next door had a BSA Gold Star but I don’t recall if it had a sidecar or not.
    Back to aircraft incidents: I’m sure that Hucknall’s Lightning lost a fuel tank on one occasion – it landed in a garden on Hucknall Road one afternoon, somwhere on the stretch past Bulwell Hall Park. I wonder if anyone else remembers this?
    Brother Phil has recently retired from his osteopathic practice – I’ll pass on your best wishes.

  68. Hello again Dave.

    I saw that! For reasons I can’t recall our junior class from Henry Whipple used to go to a classroom in Padstow occasionally. A friend and I were gazing out of the window and saw what we thought was a bomb dropped from a plane.
    It was in the Nottm. Evening News later. Landed in someone’s back garden in the Hucknall area as I recall.
    I don’t recall the name Shilton. I do recall the following surnames from the street though, starting from he top by the railway crossing, not including everybody and not necessarily in order:


    .. it was a long time ago. 🙂


  69. Hi Colin.

    You may have known the family as Brown (Arthur was stepdad I think) – Clive, Peter, Delia and, much later, John.

    Some missing names: Armstrong, Hitchcock, Carlisle, Crampton, Yours Truly, Brown, Morton, Smith, Churchill, Sunderland (and some people with a yapping Jack Russell at the very end!)


  70. Hi Dave,
    Yep, I knew the Browns. Mrs B was at a family do of ours a number of years ago.

    Obviously, some people moved in and out even back then, but here are a few names with numbers.
    16 Barlow
    24 Hollifield
    26 Chapman, then ?
    28 Chambers
    30 Armstrong
    32 Simms
    34 Abbot. (Pete loved models, Red Indian lore etc)
    36 Barber
    38 Girling Lynne and David. Dad
    40 Me
    42 Gamble, later Dennis and Kathy Beardsley
    44 Sanders
    46 Bramley
    48 Smith
    50 French
    52 Mitchell
    54 Bayliss
    56 Hitchcock
    58 Mee
    60 Carlisle. ‘John turned out to be a decent singer and Slim Whitman impersonator. Stu has a painting firm. My Bro, Phil worked with him till very recently.
    62 Kimberley
    64 You?

    I’m losing track now. As I said. A long time ago.

    Dave, can you remember a couple of big ‘Fetes’ held on Jarve Goddard’s meadow in the very early 50s? At least one of them featured a Pig Roast. Both had stalls and entertainments. I suspect they may have been something to do with getting St Matthew’s Church funded and built, or they may have been to do with the Coronation of QE2.
    Nobody but me seems to remember and I’m saure I didn’t imagine them.

  71. Sorry, I don’t remember such an event at all. ‘Course, we may have been on holiday at the time. All I do remember is the trepidation with which we walked down the lane towards his farmyard and house. As far as I can remember I never crossed swords with him personally but I must have had some inbred fear of the man, who didn’t seem the type to stage fetes, fairs or wakes.
    The meadow you mention is presumably the field adjacent to the lane to his house?



  72. Hi Dave,
    Yes, it was the meadow to the right of the lane as you approached his house. Now largely cut through by Eastglade Road and also built on.
    Nobody seems to remember those events at all but they definitely happened.

    Jarve Goddard wasn’t a bad sort really. I think his patience was sorely tried by the antics of us kids at times.

    Once, we were in his field which was where the Southglade Sports Centre is now. We were pulling up turnips, slicing them,smearing them with fresh blackberries and eating them. Remarkably nice ! He came over the hedge on his great big horse and near frightened us to death, but he didn’t chase us. Just stopped and watched us run!

    My younger brother and his mate were in the same field years later pulling up rows of spuds when he caught them.
    Cost my Dad a few quid and a few pints to placate Jarve in the Deerstalker that night, but no grudge was held.


  73. We seem to be monopolising this website, don’t we! Is there anyone else out there who remembers Southglade (or indeed the whole estate) in the 50s and 60s? Anyone who went to Henry Whipple, the ‘Seniors’ or HP?

  74. Such a beautiful written post. I visited Bestwood about 20 years ago when I was only a teenager and I too, like you, loved it! I was outdoors all day and was enjoying the building and surroundings the whole time I was there. I hope to go back in the future. Thanks so much for the memories.

  75. Thanks for the kind remarks. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit. Of late the pit winding house has been refurbished and opened to the public. well worth a visit!

  76. Best you should change the post name Nottinghamshire: Old Bestwood The Tears of a Clown to something more catching for your webpage you make. I liked the the writing still.

  77. Just come across your site .In the 1980s my husband was given a stone head ,he was told it had come off a farm building at Top Valley.The person who gave it him was a builder for Whimpys, at that time we were living on the Bestwood Park Estate.The head is carved out of the stone but is quite primative , no fancy carvings or anything .We wonderd if anyone could shed any light on farm buildings of the Top Valley area.

  78. Marie,

    If you look back at post number 40, there’s a link to old maps where you can see how the area looked pre-Whimpys! It shows all the old farms of the area: Forest Farm, Southglade Farm, Top Valley Farm, The Home Farm, and Rise Farm.

    Do you have (or could you get) a digital photo of the item? If so, I have some contacts that may be able to help you in the council archeologists department. I’m certainly very interested in it myself.

    Good luck!

  79. HI i lived in the village from 1955 to 66
    i lived at 2 church rd
    which was my nans house
    my grandad Charlie Foster was the cleaner and looked after the offices and the clock .across from the welfare.
    my dad was chauffer for coal board
    here are a few names to conjure with
    smacker smith
    Mr Mayes (post office)
    anyone ive forgot sorry
    i remember the clubby and going to the canteen for a plate of chips and a mug of tea
    chips 1 shilling tea 3p
    i spent most of my youth up in the quarry and woods sometimes camping or riding my motorbike
    the buses were MACKOS running from Piccadily in highbury vale bulwell
    WHY did i duck every time the bus went under the 1st bridge after moorbridge cottages lol
    i left the village in 66 to join the Kings Troop RHA along with Roy Barks.
    mick lakin and colin wilson were my mates
    and have fond memories of standing outside the BATHS on the week before Bonfire night with our guy as the afternoon shift were going to the clubby . Les Bailey who looked after the tennis courts and bowling greens
    used to chase us off loads of timesfrom the lawns.

  80. What memories this bought back to me!I grew up in the village and remember meeting my father after he finished work at the pit.We use to wait in the canteen. I can remember there was also a mortuary at the back of the Bestwood Hotel also.The comments from Jeff Boardman made me smile as some of the names he mentioned of people he remembers still live in the village.
    Very nice to read and look back on. Thankyou.


  81. Colin, May 2010 you asked for further details of my previous entry about the pit accident at Bestwood killing 14 men. I thought my great, great grandfather was involved but now I think he was in a different accident.
    from page 8, Saturday Dec 10th 1898, The Nottingham Daily Express headline FATAL ACCIDENT TO A BESTWOOD MINER. – On Thursday at Bestwood, Mr D. Whittingham held an inquest on the body of Samual Carter (55), of Bestwood, who was killed on Tuesday morning, whilst following his employment as a stallman in the mine at Bestwood, near Hucknall Torkard. – The son of the deceased, William Carter, who had a narrow escape at the time of the accident, described the working place, and stated that his father was preparing to set a prop, when the roof, which was five feet high, and composed of bind, fell, killing him instantly.The accident was caused by a slip, and could not be foreseen. – Verdict.”Accidental death”.

  82. Well have i just had a trip down memory lane .I lived on Raymede Drive as a child approx 1955 – 1965 going first to henry Whipple and then to Padstow .mum used to take us to a pretty ,or so i thought , sandy hole up at Wrigleys ,for picnics and to play in the sand ,bless her it must have been a struggle to push that crate of a pram over that terraine , but we loved it there,happy days. We also used to adventure up the the railway line that went across the top of Farmer goddards field where ther was some huge concrete pipes where we used to play for hours , mum would have had a fit as we werent allowed to go that far from home .The area at the end of Raymede , that when we climed through the railings took us onto the field at the back of st matthews church that had the cncrete bases and you could see where the toilets had been demolished , i have just read with great intrest were a pow camp , i was always told it was something to do with the war , now i know what .We would spend hours here with our jam sarnies and a bottle of water playing “house” ,how easily we were amused .Sundays we were sent to sunday school at st Matthews and were given a couple of pennies for the collection , this was often taken to the Deerstalker and exchanged for some mojos or fruit salad to chew on the way back up to church ,poor mum if only she had known .Later in life i was to spend 20 happy years in Bestwood Village but for today i will leave it there ,other than to say “hello Sue ” .

  83. I have noticed someone is trying to put a list of Bestwood village residents together. I lived there from birth to th eage of seven, 1950 to 1957 at 17 Park Road. At the address was my mother and father, Leonard and Joan Day plus my grandmother, Maria Hughes. My grandfather had died a month before my birth and all I know of him is that he worked in the winding house. When they moved to Bestwood I have no idea. I found this site whilst trying to reseach family history.

  84. Margaret, Many thanks for your response about the 1898 accident.

    As for the one involving 14 men, I have tried in vain on many sites to find more about this.

    The other thing that puzzles me is that nobody seems to have anything about my antecedents, who lived in Park Road pretty much from its construction, until, I guess, the late 1940s, after which my Grandparents had the ‘Clubbie’, up to the 1960s

    Samuel Berresford 1847-1898
    John Berresford son of ^
    Arthur Berresford son of ^
    Wilfed Berresford son of ^1920-1976

    all lived in the village.

    I’m left wondering if there was some great scandal, or feud…

    Thanks again,


  85. To ‘Andrea Pike Nee Wesson’,


    I lived on Southglade from v. early 1950s till I left home in the late ’60s. My Mum was still there ’til very recently, when she went into a home. My sister Pam was at Whipple from about1952 and after at Padstow. I was at Whipple from about ’53/4 until 1959, moving to High Pavement in 1960.
    I would be very surprised if we didn’t all cross paths at some time.
    The sand hole you describe was a sand quarry run by Wrigleys next to their foundry and wagon works. They had a sort of ‘hopper’ which carried soft sandstone up and over for crushing to produce fine sand. It stood pretty much directly opposite my house, which was halfway along Southglade Road.
    I don’t know whether they used the sand for making moulds for the foundry, for sale to builders, or both.
    The big concrete pipes you mention lay neatly stacked on their sides, just beyond the field boundary beyond the first field off Southglade, and the next field which ran on down to ‘Lover’s Lane’. They were actually arc shaped sections of pipes. I always thought they were parts for some sort of basic arched building, but who knows?
    Back in those lovely days, they were a playground, and a great place to catch Common Lizards. They used to just bask on the concrete in the Sun.
    Lover’s Lane was the track ‘behind’ Wrigley’s, (Looking from Bestwood Est.) where Tesco is now, and which ran up to a farm. The ‘Harvester’s’ pub, now also closed, was built where the farm used to be.

    I never thought I’d find myself writing about ‘Byegone Times’ in this way, but they are.
    These days, we are too quick to dispose of the past.

    Best wishes,


  86. Although im only in my 20’s i found this thread to be extremely interesting.

    For a while I have tried to find out as much of the area (specifically Top Valley, where I grew up) as possible.

    Though I know the area is barely 50 years old and was developed just after Rise Park I wanted to know abit more.

    The only thing i had before reading this thread was that the area was commonly referred to as the “old seven fields” but little more. After reading your posts I feel i understand alot more about the place than I did before.

    I went to school at Eastglade primary (knocked down a few years ago) on old farm road where it turns out Top Valley farm was situated. I was always told as a kid the school was built on the site of an old farm (old farm, old farm road… how did i miss that?) so myth confirmed there.

    What i find most intriguing is that according to the oldest maps i can find theres a path\road leading from Forest farm (which would be opposite the old wagon place\Tescos) running to Top Valley farm (Knights close\old farm road), extending to Hazel Hill and onto Home Farm (though the latter 2 connections are no longer there as thats where Ridgeway now exists, instead it runs upto Bestwood Park Drive West) the original route is still there 130, if not longer, years later.

    This path is known locally as “Black Path” (wonder if theres any meaning behind that? Il never know nor lose any sleep over it.)

    So it seems that Top Valley itself was built around Top Valley Farm and its original connections between Bestwood and Hucknall Road.

    Funny what you can learn listening to gibbering old fools banging on bout the good ol days (don’t worry, il be there soon enough old codgers!)

    Would be very interested in seeing pics of the head that was given by the builders. I was born on Bestwood Park Drive, so that to me is a relic!

  87. It just occurred to me that the latter 2 connections to hazel hill and Home Farm are actually still there in a sense.

    Though obviously its all housing now, just looking at the map and where the original path run, it would be possible to take the original route all the way from Forest farm to Top Valley Farm onto Home farm through the houses (via a cut through across ridgeway to hazel hill.) Almost exactly how it was over a century ago.

    Maybe the design of the estate was more influenced by this path than i originally thought as it seems to make allowances for the same route to still exist.

    I remember my old man saying he could remember when “…this was all fields with a road running through it” does anyone know what road he would be referring to?

    I always imagined it would be Bestwood Park Drive and that Top Valley was built around the connection between Rise Park and Beckhampton, but maybe im wrong?

    Was there also a connection between Top Valley Farm and Southglade Farm? What would now be Park View Drive, was there actually a park in that area years ago?

    I find it fascinating that alot of the naming conventions actually follow what was there historically.

    Any info on what was there before it was developed would be greatly appreciated… it seems im in the right place!

  88. I have just seen a message from John Butters re GUS STOUT at Bestwood Colliery. I am researching my STOUT family history, STOUT being my maiden name, and Gus being on my tree. I would very much like any further information about him and indeed any other Stouts that anyhone knows of. Go far I am back to the 1600s when they had farms at Bestwood Park, and there are still Stouts in Bulwell and surrounding area.

    Many thanks

    Rosemary Holmes nee Stout

  89. can anyone help me please, i am trying to locate a family member by the name of samuel lee who worked at rigley’s wagon works hucknal rd bulwell nottingham, i am trying to find out some infomation on that company, does anyone know if the rigley’s wagons works in the derby area was a sister company to the one in nottingham, also when the nottingham company ceased trading did the any of the nottingham workers go to work in the derby depo. many thanks John



  92. Hello – my interest is a bit different. I live on Thornton Avenue and wondered if there’s a name for the path that runs up from the farm track leading to New Farm (at the top of Thornton Ave), starting near a little stream and running up quite a steep path, then in between fields, eventually entering the woods by the stables.

  93. I forgot to say, when I read your comment about Colliers Pad being the route that miners took when walking from Redhill it made me wonder whether this was one of the footpaths that you reach on entering the wood via Thornton Avenue. I Googled ‘Colliers Pad Bestwood’ and although I’d never heard the name before I recognized it instantly from the photos that came up!

  94. Hi Alison, thanks for your comments. Yes, in your first comment that is Colliers Pad that you describe. It is accessed from the the top of your road, Thornton Avenue (or alternatively the path that stretches over the hill from Henry Street off Mansfield Road and meets your path at the gates to New Farm, near the little stream).

  95. Hello!

    I’m still lurking and still wondering if any of our former and present residents of Bestwood Colliery Village remember the Berresford name.?

    There were Berresfords in Park Road from about 1870, for four generations, up to the 1940s, and Berresfords had the clubbie in the 1950s and 1960s.


  96. Hi Colin, I knew Arthur Berresford or Mr and Mrs Berresford as I knew them. I asked my sister who is older than me, the Berresford family we a normal family in Bestwood, no skeletons. The family still lived at the hotel in the 1950’s to my knowledge. There was a small hatch at the entrance which gave access to the bar; where children could buy crisps without going into the pub. My sister thinks that later one of the family may have lived near her on Northolme Ave, Bulwell but she cannot be sure. We lived on Park Road 4 doors from the Hotel.

  97. Hi Margaret and many thanks for your reply.

    It is quite a relief that somebody out of all the village residents actually remembers the Berresfords!

    As above, the first seems to have been Samuel (1847-1898), who must have arrived with the first influx of new employees in the 1860’s/70s. He seems to have brought his family from Chesterfield. He had about 12 children, most of whom I haven’t yet properly traced. Samuel was born in Crich. I’ve been to Crich and there are loads of Berresfords in the church yards. I think it’s going to be difficult to pin Samuel down.
    Samuel’s son John, had a son Arthur, who was the Mr Berresford you knew.

    It was my paternal Grandparents Arthur and Doris Berresford who had the ‘Clubbie’, I spent many a happy hour in that place, as described in my first post.

    Arthur and Doris retired to a bungalow on Moor Rd in the 1960s. Both passed on in the 1970s and my Dad died before his Mum, in 1976.

    My Dad had two sisters. One lived for many years on the Ruffs Estate in Hucknall. I had no contact after 1976, but last I heard, she was in a home.
    The other lived in a number of places over the years, ending up in Bulwell.

    I think there were other relatives of Arthur and Doris knocking around the village in the 50s and 60s. The name Winnie comes to mind.

    There are certainly a lot of Berresfords to trace. I think it will have to wait until I retire.

    Not long now 🙂

    Thanks again.


  98. wow you all have so much interest in bestwood village my children are the 5th generation of my family living in bestwood village and i love the place i also hate the fact that there are so many changes to the village it used to be so quiet.
    im so proud to say im a villager born and bred hee hee

  99. You are indeed very fortunate to have been born in Bestwood. Obviously it is not the place it was, and I suppose things had to change when the mines closed, but a bit of sensitivity might have been nice.

    A couple of examples:

    1.If you go into the grounds of the old folks home, down by the old colliery offices, you will clearly see where the grounds of one building clash with the other. This is just shabby and not at all necessary.

    2. A number of old buildings along Moor Rd heading back to Bulwell are plastered with completely inappropriate signage, again, very shabby.

    3. The whole area around St Marks, the school and the old bowling greens is a mess compared to what it was like in the 50s/60s when I was a kid.

    4. The church grave yard is a mess, with old headstones lying about everywhere and much evidence of vandalism.

    5. There seems to be little in common between the old colliery housing and the newer builds which have just been ‘parachuted’ onto the old colliery yard etc.

    Since I live over 100 miles away and rarely get the chance to visit, I suppose I am in no place to be critical, but it seems to me that a bit of community effort could solve a lot of the problems. For example, you don’t have to be religious, or a churchgoer, to respect your local church and its grounds. Similar applies to the old greens etc. Is there a residents association? Is there any sort of focus for community action and pride in the village and its heritage?

  100. Ooops!

    Just re-read that and it sounds like I am laying all of the blame at the door of the original residents, which I don’t mean to. Clearly, the former NCB, and both local and national govt.have failed in their responsibility to the people of Bestwood. However, experience tells me that unless the villagers pull together, take pride in their heritage and demand assistance, things will get worse.


  101. I lived in the village mid 1970s till 1990s and loved all it was and stood for .The villagers were down to earth and would ,on the main give you anything they could spare , most of us didnt have a lot but would share half of .it with you .
    The Welfare was the heart of the village and the kids had the kind of chilhood we did some 30 years earlier , they could make dens up the field , go conkering in the woods and sledge down the hills in the winter how lucky were they ,most of us cared about each other ,sorted the kids out if they were doing what they shouldnt and you caught them , in short i believe it was the sort of community that is missing today .

  102. H
    Saw your story about Bestwood, from around about the age of 5yrs my dad use to walk us up the pad pass Tommy Hammonds farm, right up to were the hounds were kept, and opposite there were the chestnut trees further down the path, sometimes we would go left towards the army camp at Bestwood Lodge, sometimes straight on pass the next farm the name escapes me, (Lamins Farm) with the woods on the left and further up on the right I seem to remember just open land. I remember when they use to have the Hucknall Airshow we would go thru the part of the village and sit on top of a hill which looked down onto the aerodrome. Great days. When me and my brothers and friends got older we went on our own, and doing all the things like chestnuting, bluebell picking , playing on rope swings, b eing chased off the farmers fields, wonderful times, yet you all seemed to be there as well, but, I never saw many kids or grown ups. I used to live on Henry Street at Redhill and the house I lived in backed onto the pad, so it was out of the backgate. So I walked quite away really but we just went all day,sometimes we would come back via White Hart Lane. I keep saying I am going to show my daughter were I used to hang out, but haven’t yet I must do it and bring back happier times.

    Maggie age 58

  103. For info: The other farm is Top House Farm, still in the Lamin family. The original White Hart inn was replaced some time ago by an awful wooden clad building, the White Hart pub and owned by a chain. This has recently been demolished and the land sold off – probably for new housing.




  104. Some memories of Childhood and early adulthood in Bestwood 1936 to 1960.
    Village school – headmaster Mr Hackman – air-raid shelter in playground. Learning my tables. 1940 – 43. Milk.
    Travel to Nottingham each day by ‘Blue Bus’ (B8) from 1943 – 1951
    Travel to Bulwell and Adelphi cinema by Makemsons buses (known as ‘Mackos’ buses)
    Playing in ‘The Little Woods’ (near the railway bridge) while the ‘Big Woods’ were occupied by army excercises. Tanks rumbling down the roads. Visiting the old vicarage Rev Pugh. Choir boy.
    Playing in/on ‘The Cracker Banks’ (remains of old iron workings), and around the colliery wagons.
    Visiting Mr Sadler’s workshop in the farm on Moor Road. Playing in the field at back of Moor Road and down to the River Leen. Threshing machine in the field. Vegetables etc delivered by horse and cart to houses. Coal delivered by cwt sacks carried shoulder high. Buying fish and chips at the miners’ canteen. Friendly post-office/shop under Mr and Mrs Mayes. Seeing the ‘Annesley Push and Pull’ train make its regular journey. Walking down to ‘The Bone Mill’ (Bales and Wylie) and seeing the sacks of whatever slung up through the trap door. Going over the rail crossing to the No.44 trolley bus ant Basford Hall. Being let into the signal box to watch the signalman working. Hearing the roar of the Rolls Royce facility at Hucknall Aerodrome each morning. Sledging on Bestwood Hill every winter.
    And later at age 16 starting work for the NCB at the laboratory in the pit yard over the railway lines. And cycling most evenings over Bulwell Common to Nottingham Technical College for studies. Playing tennis above The Pavilion where I’d had my wartime orange juice.. And of course there is so much more.
    Mother and Father are both buried in St Mark’s Churchyard, Bestwood.
    My wife and I were married at Emmanuel Church in the woods in 1960.

  105. hi does any one know if the bestwood hotel has sold yet? if anyone does know can you let me know .i would also be interested what it is going to be if it has sold . thanks cheryl x

  106. In a way I’m sad that the Bestwood Hotel has been sold. As above, I spent many a happy hour there in my youth when my Grandparents kept it. On the other hand I’m glad it is being turned into something useful, rather than just flattened.

    On the subject of Bestwood. Can anybody tell me where the original entrance to the Lancaster Drift was located?


  107. I played for many happy hours on South Glade Farm in the 1940s. Remember Mr and Mrs Goddard so well.
    June Hall

  108. Forgot to mention the Italian Prisoner pf war camp in one corner of the farm – does anyone remember it. Also potato picking etc.

  109. Hello June,
    Yes, I remember what was left of the POW Camp from when I moved to Southglade Road in the very early 1950s. Just brick bases and bits of concrete were left. We used to sledge down that hill in snowy weather. At the time, Southglade Road ended just beyond the last two original houses. Before the Deerstalker (Later the Sportsman, now a nursery I think) was built, we used to feed Jarve Goddard’s horses through the fence.

    June, you may be able to help me with this one. I distinctly remember at least two ‘Fete’ type events being held on Jarve’s meadow at the end of Southglade in the early 1950s. nobody else seems to remember them. Whether they were for the Coronation or similar I don’t know. I also have the feeling they may have been in some way connected to the building, or fundraising for St Matthew’s Church, at the top of the hill.
    At least one of these events was a ‘pig roast’. Do you have any recall of this?


  110. Do you have any information on IVY DENE former pit managers house in Bestwood Village

  111. I have no information about ‘Ivy Dene’. ‘The Oaks’ on Moor Road appeared to be the main colliery company house, with ‘The Sycamores’ further down as another company property. ‘The Oaks’ was occupied by Major Bunney during at least part of the ’40s and by Norman Siddall as NCB Area Manager a little later. As a young boy I played in the house and garden of ‘The Oaks’ with the children of both families. Mr Siddall of course later became Chairman of the National Coal Board. I am unsure what use was made of ‘The Sycamores’ at that time although I had believed it was the Colliery Manager’s house.

  112. Thanks for taking the time to come along and offer this information Andrew. With a count of some 120 comments on this thread I hope it is a useful little resource to those who have an interest in Bestwood Village, its people and surrounds.

    My thanks are extended to all who have contributed so far.

  113. Thank you for the information about The Oaks and Sycamores.I believe the manager of the Iron Works lived in the Sycamores which is now empty and unfortunately deteriorating badly.
    Such a shame.
    I live in The Schoolhouse and the previous Headmaster of the school, Alan Parr wrote a book in1987 Called Bestwood the story of a viiage which is still available today.
    Some may find this very interesting.

  114. Hello!,

    I would be very interested in a copy of the book you mention. Can you tell me where I might get one?


  115. Hi, my name is Claire and I work for the Development Company that has bought the Bestwood Hotel on Park Road.
    It is our intention to create quality apartments. We do not intend to change the outside of the Hotel, apart from to spruce it up, hopefully to it’s former glory.
    We are currently undergoing planning permission for the apartments. It is my job to find out some of the history of the building, particularly over the past ten to twenty years, ie: when it ceased to be a hotel, how long it was a public house for, etc. Times and dates would be really useful.
    We would also like to know what the local residents think about this change for the Hotel.

    Many Thanks

  116. Thank you for your comments Claire. It has been sad to see the Bestwood Hotel so neglected for the past while and personally I’d rather see it as apartments than a few other alternative fates that might await it. I hope you get a good response on hat has been a long-running and interesting discussion about the area. You may additionally like to post a similar comment on this forum:

    Best wishes


  117. Sorry its taken so long to answer you about Alan Parr’s book.I have spoken to him and he said unfortunately they are sold out.I do have a copy somewhere but am still looking.
    In answere to Claire about the Bestwood Hotel. Being a member of the Parish Council, people in the village I have spoken to are pleased that something is being done, and it is not being left to deteriorate unlike the once lovely Sycamores on Moor Road.
    Its great to know that the outside will not change.
    I hope to have futher information about Bestwood hotel shortly.

  118. Hi Stu,
    this looks like it proved a very popular article for you.

    For myself, it gave me much pleasure to read, especially the section: ‘My memories of Bestwood as a boy’:

    ‘Once along Colliers Pad we would see the street lights of Redhill beckoning and warm homes and teas to come.’ With a few, simple words you capture a time in your youth so beautifully and visually.

    I’m sure all of us – of a certain age – possess such treasured snapshots from the past within our minds.

    You are an Inspiration and I thank you for this. Christine

  119. Hi Christine. Thanks for those kind words, they mean a lot. From over 400 articles this one was one of the more popular ones in terms of interest with almost 5000 reads. I find that a little astonishing as it’s about a little part of the world that means not that much to people from outwith the district. (I have one story with around 23,00 reads on it but this one is easily the most commented on). I still love Bestwood and I was strolling up there this very week.

    Thanks again, Stu

  120. Thank you so much for your comments about the Bestwood Hotel, any information or village approval will help speed up the planning process. I will keep you all updated.


  121. hi very interesting thread- does anyone know anything about the spinney, when they were built? were they LA and who did they house(if they were LA they seem very different in design than usual)

  122. RE Claire

    I am glad that the Bestwood Hotel is going to be brought back into use. But as an investment, Im not convinced that apartments would be the best way forward. I am sure that your company has done its homework but I would hope you company would consider;
    the amount of apartments and flats already built to cater for younger people wanting to live in the area (Bestwood Village- Millbank Place, as well as Hucknall- 10 minutes walk across the bridge), and the many, many aprtments nearer the city centre for young professionals- I wouldnt be too convinced that this target audience would fill demand for new apartments in Bestwood village.

    also, given the substantial increase in the population of the village over the past decade due to new residential developments, and the lack of community facilities on the doorstep, I would think that a good quality communnity facility like a restaurant would be a better investment, or small hotel/restaurant? have these options been considered?

  123. I agree with Tommy regaring some sort of commercial use for the Bestwood Hotel. As much as its nice to know something is being done, the village really could do with some other community facility and I think that would be a huge investment for your company.

    Apologies if this question has already been answered above, I’ve tried to read as much as I can but as comments go back years I can’t find my answer. Sycamores on Moor Road… what did this used to be? Its a lovely big building and a shame its just sat there, but I’m interested on the history of the place… any info would be great 🙂

  124. I believe The Sycamores along with the Oaks were colliery company houses which were occupied by the managers of the mine.
    If you look at a previous comment by Margaret Atherton on Sept. 3rd. 2009 it tells you about one of the families who lived in The Sycamores

  125. The Sycamores , now was this the mines first aid place , i remember taking my son somewhere on Moor Road when he had hurt his foot and recieved first aid and being suprised how good the facilities were in case of mining accidents , i could be wrong but someone im sure will know .Nice to hear the pub isnt going to be knocked down as it used to be busy and a meet for villagers on a night , we had some great nights !!!

  126. hi to everybody on these pages of bestwood i have only just come across them and i was born on leybourne drive in 1945 and i now live on teviot road and i read with great intrest the stories of henry whipple and padstow schools but no mention of the huts [which was the infant school ]as henry whipple was junior and senior before padstow was built they were situated on gainsford crescent long before the high pavement was built.+we used the community centre on the other side of gainsford crescent as our canteen so we were marched across the road in pairs [holding hands]and hadto stop at the causyto look right look left look right again and listen if it was safe to do so we could cross considering cars were few and far between the only thing to worries us was the no 6 bus from town. the huts were finally demolished with the openning of the newly built padstowso h w then became infants and juniors and the high pavement moved to bestwood from the city centre.does any else remember the huts?

  127. Hi Stu, how are you?

    Not commented here for a while. I was interested in Fred’s comments above.

    Fred. The huts you mention were there throughout my time at High Pavement. (1960-1965)
    We used them as changing huts for sports and also as a ‘tuck shop’. A local bakery/pie shop in Bulwell used to come up in the morning and sell all sorts of stuff. Hot sausage rolls were the favourite!

    I was brought up on Southglade Road, though my Dad was from Bestwood Colliery and his parents had the Bestwood Hotel. We moved to Southglade from Bilborough around 1951/2 and I went to Whipple from around 1953. My late sister Pam, who was a couple of years older than me (born 1947) lived in Leybourne Drive from the 1970’s until her passing in Feb this year. My brother in law is still living there.

    I wish I knew the actual dates we moved etc., but there’s nobody left to ask. My old Mum has lost the plot, Dad died in 1976 and Pam has gone too.

    Interesting that you mention the Community Centre, which was on the Whipple/Padstow side of Gainsford Crs. I recall various church and scout ‘do’s’ there. Also I have a very faint recollection of going there and picking up the concentrated orange juice and stuff we were given as kids just after the war. Was there some sort of medical centre there?
    Is it still there? I must have a look next time I’m home.

    Fred, you are 4 years older than me so I really hope you can help me out with something. Back in the early 1950s, there were a couple of ‘fetes’ held on the meadow at the end of Southglade, which was between the Deerstalker Pub area (before it was built) and Jarve Goddard’s farm house. Do you remember them? One at least featured a pig roast. It is really bugging me as nobody else seems to remember.

    Also, you may remember the various defences and anti aircraft positions on the fields where Southglade Sports Centre is now.
    It all seems such a long time ago now , but they were great days and I loved the area I grew up in.


  128. Hello Stuart! Hope you and all other contributors to this fascinating thread are well.
    For Fred Sheard. Hello Fred! For all I know we may well have passed each other on the streets of Bestwood Estate. I was brought up on Southglade Road from about 1951 until I left home around 1970.
    My late sister Pam who was born 1947, lived on Leybourne Drive for many years until she died earlier this year.
    I went to Henry Whipple from about 1953. The Head of infants was a Miss Townes..or Townley? Not sure now.. Junior Head was Mr Deakin. Other names I recall are Miss Belch and Miss Ogle The school seemed to specialise in odd names!

    From 1960 to 1965 I was at High Pavement and I can definitely confirm that the huts were still there. By that time they were used as changing rooms for sports and also as a ‘tuck shop’. I’m less sure about this, but I think they may have continued to be there for some time after I left Pavement.

    I also remember the Community Centre. I have very faint memories of my Mum taking me along there when I was very small. I’m pretty sure that’s where we got the little medicine bottles of Cod Liver Oil and Concentrated Orange Juice which seem to have been pretty much compulsory back then. I suppose there must have been some sort of government backed ‘health supplement’ programme and the Community Centre used as a clinic. I also remember going to other things later, some of them to do with St Matthew’s Church and/or the scouts, of which I was a member.

    Fred, you’re about 4 years older than me so I hope you may be able to help me. Do you have any memory at all of a couple of ‘fetes’, or similar which were held on Jarve Goddard’s farm meadow at the bottom of Southglade? This is the area where the extension of Southglade (Eastglade?) now runs. Just beyond the former pub, although the events happened before the pub was built. I guess they would have been around 1952-54. Possibly something to do with the coronation of QEII. At least one of these events involved a pig roast. Nobody seems to remember them now and I need to be sure I’m not just imagining them! They could also have had something to do with St Matthews Church as I think Jarve and his wife were involved.

    Thanks for reading this.


  129. Well blow me down!

    I thought I’d posted a comment last night but when I looked this morning, I couldn’t see it. So I posted again and now they’re both there! I must be cracking up!


  130. Hi Colin, hope you’re well. Welcome back and thanks for your comments as always. I hope Fred is able to help you with your query! You maybe checked back for your first comment before I’d had the chance to ‘approve’ it on the system. Anyway, I’ve put both on there. Many thanks.


  131. hi col sorry to hear about your sister pam my wife marlene nee gregory remeberd her very well and was in the same class as her any way the fetes you were on about were in fact to do with the coranation and it was one of jauve godards pigs that was due at the slaughter housebut as there wasnt a lot of food about at the time he decided to hold the pig roast for the whole of bestwood estateand any one else who came it was a first for most of us not only to see a pig being roasted but to actually taste pork we were also told we could pick apples fome his orchard which was nearby the church also played a part but at the time it was st francies church st mathews came later fred

  132. I was the army clerk of works (SSgt Royal Engineers) at Bestwood Lodge 1957/60. I lived with my wife and daughter at 9 Robin Hood Road. I remember 3 very expensive jobs, Renewing the slate and leadwork on the lodge and stable roofs (William Procter of Sheffield); Resurfacing the road from the Lodge to the main road at Arnold, which was farmland all along both sides then (Constable Hart); and filling in a “bottomless” subsidence hole which opened up between the cricket pitch and Robin Hood Road, This took about 3 monyhs and cost a fortune.

  133. Interesting stuff there Dave!
    I recall what we used to call ‘pit cracks’, opening up in the fields around Bestwood back in the 1950s/60s. Some of them were quite scary and I remember one very daring (Stupid?) lad dangling over one on an old Iron bar, pretty much opposite where Southglade Sports Centre is now.

    Stuart. This should link to a photo on Flickr which is of me and my late Sister Pam as kids in 1955. I thought that Fred Sheard and his wife might like to see it.




  134. Interesting stuf this. I was thinking back to my childhood and recalled playing on the old disused world war II army camp site at Bestwood where there were concrete pill boxes with steel doors and bases of buildings where army huts once stood. There were building contractors there at one stage digging a huge hole so big they used explosives to blast the hole out and the tunnels that led away from the bottom of this huge shaft that were to become the sewers for the soon to be built Bestwood Park estate and later Rise Park Estate. I have often wondered where that shaft is situated because now that the whole area is built up there is no sign of it but it has to be there somewhere. It must have been 30 feet across.

    I used to live on the Old Bestwood Estate on Andover Road and went to Henry Whipple Infant school on Gainsford Crescent, later to become the new High Pavement Grammar School. Then I went to the Henry Whipple Junior School on the other side of Gainsford Crescent, above and behind the Community Centre, a cream coloured prefabricated building as I recall where I used to go with Mum for those little bottles, (1/3 of a pint same as the school milk bottles) of concentrated orange juice and cod liver oil capsules, Virol and tins of National Dried Milk for my baby sister.

    When I first started at Henry Whipple Infant School my classroom was a large grey hut and Mrs Taylor was my first teacher. What a lovely lady she was. She was a brilliant start to my education. Henry Whipple Junior School on the other hand was a model school designed by Sir Henry Whipple who wanted modern light and bright classrooms located around a pleasant grassed quadrangle to provide the most conducive location for learning. It was a model that was adopted for most schools of the era and it worked well. It was a very pleasant place to be.

    Later I went to High Pavement across the road and the old grey huts that were once my classroom when I first started school became our changing rooms and “Tuck Shop”. The large soft baps filled with all manner of delights and those famous big hot sausage rolls that had no equal became legendary.

    I used to ride my bicycle all over from riding up to Bulwell Hall Park to look through the fence of Rolls Royce and watch the flying bedstead being put through its paces, little realising then, that this contraption would become the vertical take off Harrier jet one day, to rides up to Clumber Park. I used to ride over the fields off the top of Southglade Road by Wrigley’s wagon works past Goddards Farm or walk there with my friend Gerald Swann as we walked his boxer dog. Sometimes we rode through Bestwood Lodge woods where you could hear but never see the haunting cuckoos, pick bluebells and hear strange rustles in the trees and glades of some animal or other. I am sure I saw a deer there once.

    I clearly remember the Canberra aeroplane crash. I was on Andover Road outside my house when I heard the plane approaching, its engine making strange noises and misfiring then picking up again. He was very very low. So low, a lady on the other side of the road grabbed her baby out of its pram and leapt the hedge into our neighbours garden in terror, hiding behind the hedge. The plane was struggling to climb over the house tops of the estate. I could see every rivet along its side and the pilot struggling with the controls. The pilot just managed to get it over the top of estate and turned for the common. I started to ride my bike to the common and when I got there the plane had come down across Hucknall Road, clipping the chimney stack of a house and knocking it through its roof, then just missed a double decker bus on Hucknall Road and crashed into the railway sidings. Just a few more yards and he would have made the common and a softer landing. He could have ejected and saved himself but he stayed with it, obviously trying so hard to avoid crashing into houses. He must have been very brave. He was killed in the crash.

    I used to frequent Bulwell Common Station and watch “Dicky Dido”, the miners train with its peculiar ridge along the tops of its carriages that used to go up to Annesly Colliery. It was here I used to ask engine drivers if I could come up onto the footplate of the locos and recall doing so on the “Sir Nigel Greasley”, and the famous 126 mph record holder “Mallard” A4 Pacific class 4-6-2 legends amongst others.

    I used to ride right through the estate to Arnold Road, along Oxclose Lane to Arnold then by the White Hart pub up to Bestwood Lodge and through the woods and down the other side into Bestwood Village then back via Moor Bridge and Hucknall Road by the side of the golf course and the Common, then through Marble Arch, (so nicknamed by bus conductors on the 17 bus that ran from Trinity Square to The Adelphi Cinema in Bulwell), up by the shops, (the hardware shop on the left, Marsdens and Wileys off-licence come grocers) onto Andover Road and back home. Wileys off-licence used to sell more beer than a good many pubs getting through several hogs heads each week as well as several barrels, pins and firkins. There used to be queues out of the shop, across the forecourt to the road and a hundred yards down Andover Road at busy times between the adverts on TV, served from the old beer engines via funnels into quart bottles.

    When I was at High Pavement the cross country course went down the cycle track at the side of the school playing fields to Arnold Road opposite the co-op shops, turned right into Andover Road, up the hill and then down the other side past my house where I used to nip in for some Vimto with my friend, then to catch up we had to take short cuts to the check points on Southglade and at Goddards Farm gate and another one at the top of the fields.

  135. They are just some of the most fantastic reminisces, Clive, thanks so much for sharing!

    I’m sure the many other people that visit the comments here will enjoy them as much as I did.

    Thanks again.


  136. Sorry, in my reference to the Canberra crash I meant St. Albans Road not Hucknall Road. The plane came from Hucknall airfield across St. Albans road clipping the chimney stack of a house on St. Albans Rd, missed a bus on St. Albans Road before hitting the sidings. He was obviously on a go around for the airfield and a second attempt to land there but didn’t even make the common half way round with one engine out.

  137. Hello, I am a history student at Nottingham Trent University and I was planning on writing a dissertation about the Bestwood Winding Engine House, I am trying to see what role it played in the first Industrial Revolution and what impact it has now either for local people or for the landscape etc… although I would need some primary source material. Do you, or anyone else interested in this area, know of any archive information I can access. I have been searching through the Nottinghamshire Archive’s online catalogue but have had no luck with finding anything. I would probably need maps of the area and any information surrounding the history of the site and I would possibly like to interview anyone involved with it. I am finding it difficult working out how people know what they know about the area, where does this information come from? This is a new for me and I really want to do well and hopefully help to preserve it further and raise more awareness for younger people. Any help is much appreciated. Thank you.

  138. Hi Holly,

    I am involved with the Friends of Bestwood Country Park:
    Our website forum has had some info posted on the Winding Engine House (WEH), but the experts are the WEH Volunteer Group.
    I think the lead contact is Bob Gow. His contact info is on the WEH website:
    If you haven’t attended one of the WEH open days, then the last one of the season should be this Saturday (as the season runs until end of October – Saturdays only). After that you may have to wait until Easter, which will probably be too late for your dissertation! If you plan to visit, then be sure to call ahead to make sure its open – details are on the contact page.

    Best wishes,


  139. If Holly would like to contact me I can put her in touch with the Winding House Volunteers Group.
    These are men who have spent many years working on the Winding Engine House to bring it back to its former glory.I am sure they can give her all the information she requires.

  140. My husband’s family were involved with Bestwood Colliery in the early 20th Century- my father in law was the Manager from approx. 1926 to 1932 – so I have always taken an interest in the history of the place. I understood that the shaft was sunk in 1872, which would place it later than the second Industrial Revolution!

    There is a very detailed history on the colliery which is easily accessed re Google.

    Sent from my iPhone

  141. Thank you very much to all for answering Holly’s request. It is a great source of satisfaction to me that the subject of Bestwood and it surrounds have been of such interest for discussion since I wrote this little piece.

    Good luck Holly, and thanks to all once more.


  142. Also for Holly,
    I can provide very little by way of authenticated history of Bestwood. However, my paternal Grandparents kept the Bestwood Hotel. My Dad, Grandad, Great Grandad and Great, Great Grandad all lived in Bestwood Colliery and worked in the mine.
    Happy to provide whatever anecdotal evidence I can.
    Good luck with your studies!


  143. Thank you very much for all your help. Marlene I may get back to you in the future when I know exactly what I am looking for. I had already planned on going to the engine house this weekend and I checked that it was open.
    The idea for this came from a volunteer fair that was held at my university, one of the volunteers was looking for help with the site and I spoke extensively with him about the history of it. He really got me thinking about what a great place it is and I then went to see a lecturer about this idea I had and he is really excited about it. So I already have been in touch with the volunteers and they said they would tell me what I needed to know. I will go with a list of questions on Saturday and hopefully make a start.
    Thanks again, much appreciated.

  144. Dear Clive,
    I was referred to this page by Stuart himself over from the Nottstalgia forum. In a nutshell, I am working on a book about the Canberra as told in the words of people who flew or serviced them, and in some cases of eyewitnesses to events like the crash you saw as a child. Your recollection of the incident at Bulwell Common is superb and with your permission I would like to include it in the book. Please let me know if you would be willing to do so – you would be fully credited of course, and I would be really grateful to you.

    Kind regards,
    Steve Beeny

  145. I went to Padstow School (1951/1956) and lived firstly on Leybourne Drive and then on Raymede Drive.
    My recollection of the Canberra crash was that it happened one lunch time as when I went back to school in the afternoon some pupils had pieces of perspex that they had taken from the crash sit.
    In 1956 I went to work at Rolls Royce Hucknall as an apprentice and was told that the Canberra had undergone a major service and that the pilot took the plane up on a test flight,this explains why he was the only one aboard and this was standard procedure for such test flights.This is just one of the many interesting stories i gained during my time at Hucknall.
    Many years later,whilst working at Raleigh Cycles I met an Arthur Ward (he flew Mustangs toward the end of the war) and he told me that the pilot of the Canberra ? Peach was his cousin.

  146. For Clive Bagshaw

    Firstly, greetings to a fellow Old Pavior. ‘Una Voce Concinamus Omnes Paviores’ and all that… 🙂

    Clive, I’m not sure if you’ve seen my posting No.54, above, in which I quoted some pretty authoritative air accident stuff about the Canberra crash. If you’ve not already seen it, you may find it useful.

    To Stuart, and all.

    Ever since I first found Stuart’s original article on Bestwood, I’ve been following this lovely thread. This though, has also combined with my wider reminiscences of my childhood in the area. I recall spending a lot of my childhood ruing the fact that I didn’t live somewhere more exciting. I longed to live somewhere with sea cliffs and beaches, or somewhere in mountains.

    It is only in retrospect that I have fully realised what an amazingly varied and interesting area I grew up in. I was raised on Bestwood Estate. Southglade Road to be precise. Back then Southglade faced onto a shallow valley, comprising fallow land split into two fields. The fields were lined with hedges of Hawthorn, also containing blackberries, wild roses, Elder etc. Substantial oak trees were also dotted around the field boundaries. I cannot hope to count the hours spent in the confines of those two fields. We played cricket, football, hide and seek etc. We scavenged empty paint drums and corrugated sheets from the Wrigley’s Wagon Works embankment, making dens, improvised drum kits and all manner of things which with a bit of imagination became everything from pirate ships to interstellar craft. We built fires, roasted spuds, climbed trees and generally roamed free in ways which seem almost illegal these days.

    I well recall the sound of Skylarks over those fields in the summer, and wild flowers such as Scabius, Heartsease, ‘Birdseye’ (Speedwell), Scarlet Pimpernel and many others were common. Day flying Burnett Moths were often seen.

    At the Bulwell Common end of Southglade, was the Leen Valley Railway, which snaked around to Bestwood Colliery. At the other end, was Jarve Goddard’s Farm, nestling beneath Sunrise Hill. Sunrise Hill was well named. The summer sun rose over it. It set over the Leen Valley, investing Bulwell and surroundings with a romance equaling any Mediterranean vista.

    Over in the distance, across what was then open farmland, could be seen the soil heaps of Bestwood Colliery, with the aerial cableway bringing skipfuls of spoil. Doesn’t sound at all romantic does it? Yet, in context, it was. Also visible was the spire of Emmanuel Church. Back then, an almost isolated chapel. Now, a curiosity on the edge of a modern housing development.

    Moving just a little way beyond those two fields, we could encounter the Great Central Railway mainline at Bulwell Common, in the latter days of steam. Filthy black 9Fs roared through pulling mineral trains. Generally cleaner green ‘Brits’, hauled fish trains through from the east coast, dashing down to Billingsgate. The York-Bournmouth Express, and the ‘Master Cutler’ shot through. Green Arrow, a V2 Class loco of exceptional beauty, was often seen. It now resides in York Railway Museum, awaiting a major repair.

    Sitting on fields where The Ridgeway is now, watching assorted research aircraft flying over Hucknall Airfield, seemed perfectly normal. It certainly never occurred to me that I was witnessing aviation history in the making..

    The whole area was visually exciting. Often, it was far from pretty, but there was just so much happening, and in such variety that in retrospect we were spoiled.

    I always loved the views. All of them. They seemed to evoke a strange mixture of contentment with place and longing for elsewhere. I’ve never resolved that.

    Looking from my Mum’s bedroom window out across the Leen Valley, Bulwell seemed very much at ease with itself…. St Mary’s Church standing just proud of the general build, but somehow ‘of a piece’, and not at all aloof. It embraced, rather than dominated, its surroundings.

    My Dad was born in Bestwood Colliery, as was his Dad. Two other generations went before. On frequent visits to the village, to see my Grandparents who kept the Bestwood Hotel, I was always conscious of a warmth and sense of community, even though I didn’t know a soul in the village save my Grandparents. I get the same feeling when I visit Bestwood now, though I have to admit it is diminished.

    No doubt younger generations are building their own memories on sights and experiences which occupy the same spaces in which I built mine.. My brother and I worked out that we used to play cricket in the same space now occupied by the bar of the Gala Bingo on Southglade Road.

    Does that make it better, or worse?

    We’re all just passing through after all.


  147. Hi Colin, hope you’re well. I just wanted to acknowledge your comments and say thanks very much for them – a terrific read. I’ve not much to add, just to say thank you as always for coming back here and adding this fantastic material.


  148. Hello Stuart,
    Yes, I’m quite well thanks and hoping you are too.
    Thank you for your flattering comments about my input. I’ve always liked writing and like many, I’m still working on my first novel. Will it ever happen? Unlikely. 🙂
    I wrote that last bit on the anniversary of the passing of my dear sister Pam. I wasn’t feeling sad, so much as wistful. I do wistful quite well. I have a fascination with the passing of time and the way that it affects us all. It’s not exactly history, though I like that too. It’s more about looking at places/spaces and trying to understand, or make sense of the changes that occur within them. In fact it’s probably more selfish than that. It’s looking at places where I have been and trying to reconcile them with now. I’ve been thinking about the amount of time I spent with friends in and around Bulwell Common Station. Probably less than half a mile of ground, but what we experienced in a few years was pure magic. I’ll try to post it here soon.


  149. I’d be interested to read that, Colin. I have mixed thoughts about looking back (which I do often). I always find it curious how places can stay much the same, or even change a little but we as the people inhabiting those places come and go.

    Nostalgia can be pleasant and can also bring about a certain yearning too which cannot be met. I read a local writer recently saying on his return to Nottingham after a long time that he was not interested in nostalgia. I found that a bit hard to understand at first but maybe it’s just a protective mechanism, I’m not sure.

    Keep well


  150. Here’s an aerial picture of the Top Valley, Rise Park, Bestwood Country Park area taken in May 1936, looking North.

    Rigley’s Wagon Works can clearly be seen on the left with Forest Farm directly above it. Over to the right, at the very bottom of the picture is the Southglade farmhouse, and three fields above that is Top Valley farm. If you then count four fields further on (so that you’re in the larger of the two lighter coloured fields) and then take one step to the left onto the darker field, you’re where the Rise Park shops now are. The hedgerow at the bottom of this field – starting at the extreme West and running to the East (two fields below the woods) – is the boundary of Rise Farm and this would be where Rise Park Road, Landbank Avenue and the lower part of Bracadale Road now run. The Rise Farm house itself can be seen towards the top left, this is where Haverhill Crescent now is.

  151. Nick – that’s really great – many thanks for sharing it.
    At the very top right, there is a dark patch of woodland with a white dot in it. This is the Old Rectory. To the left of that, just before the first tall chimney is a small cluster of trees. This is the stand of trees around the gate from The Spinney path into Broad Valley/View Paddocks/Stables.

  152. I was reading Margaret Atherton’s comments on September 3rd 2009 about her husbant Tony Living in The Sycamores Bestwood Village till he was 8 years old.
    I am researching information about The Sycamores and wondered if anyone had any earlier information about this house.
    On the 1882 Ordnance Survey map it shows a building called Forge Cottage on the Sycamores site.On the 1900 map the building is called The Sycamores which may mean the cottage was demolished or rebuilt and changed its name to The Sycamores.
    Does the Atherton family have any information before or after they moved out.

  153. Hi Marlene
    Sadly, my husband Tony Atherton died in 2011 and there are now no members of the Atherton family left who could give you any useful information.

    All I know is that it was used for many years as the Managers house for Bestwood Colliery and when the Athertons left it was taken over by the new owner – the son of the then mine owner. If you use the relevant census you can find their name – there could be descendants who can help you!

    I do have a pictures of the house taken in about 1929 somewhere if you would like me to look it out and send it by email!

    I hope you have good luck with your research.

    Margaret Atherton

  154. Hi Margaret, I am very sorry to hear the sad news about your Husband.
    If it’s possible I would love to have a photo of the Sycamores my email s
    Thank you. Marlene

  155. [img][/img]

    Thanks to Nick for the terrific photo of Bestwood from the air. It’s a touch frustrating that it doesn’t quite go down as far as the site of Southglade Rd though, as I’d love to have seen the track that must have gone from Jarv Goddared’s Farm (Southglade) to the old crossing over the Leen Valley line where Gala Bingo is now..

    If I’ve done it correctly, above should be a scan of a map of the area roughly North of Rigleys, which may help people to identify some of the features.


  156. OK, the link works now. Map is basically from Rise Farm up to Bestwood Colliery, showing a slightly ‘cropped’ Park Road. Map is dated 1935 so very similar in time to Nick’s 1936 pic. Very strange to think that my Dad would have almost certainly been somewhere in that area at the time of both map and photo, as he started work in Bestwood Colliery around 1935. My Mum would have been 12-13 and at school. She lived on Grindon Crescent in Bulwell Hall Est. The one bit of that area I’ve never been able to access is the site of the old Ironworks. Does anyone know when it closed? Did the site get buried under colliery spoil?

    Going back to Nick’s picture. At the top are two tall chimneys. The left hand one is I think to do with the ironworks, whilst the right one is for the colliery. What I can’t see is anything significant by way of spoil heaps. The mine had been going for about 63 years at this point, so there must’ve been some somewhere!

    Following Hucknall road down past Rigleys you can see the old bridge which carried the ‘Bestwood Park’ extension railway line across towards Bulwell Common and the Great Central line.
    Further on, the new Moor Bridge is conspicuous by its absence and I think you would have had to turn right along Bestwood Road towards ‘Moorbridge Cottages’, which are clearly visible on both photo and map. You would then turn left and take the old bridge across the Leen, coming out opposite Bulwell Hall Est., bits of which are again on both map and photo. Last time I looked, the track between Moorbridge Cottages and the Traveller’s Camp which was built on the site of the old Bulwell Spring, led to the southern pier of the old Moorbridge, which I believe is still standing. Does anyone know when the new Moorbridge was built? Sometime in the 1930s I think. My Mum always used to tell of how her younger brother Jack got quite agitated about the bridge and one night woke the house in the middle of a nightmare by shouting “Put that bleddy bridge back”.

    Looking again at Nicks pic. Between Rigley’s and Forest Farm a hedge line runs from left to right. This was ‘Lover’s Lane’ It clearly forks and splits by a big tree, going either side of what I think was Top Valley Farm.
    I used to love the spot where it split. The tree was atop a sandy bank and the roots all exposed. I’m pretty certain that this is the area where the Harvester’s pub was built and where there were walkways and a few shops in the depression where Lover’s Lane was.


  157. While I’m in the mood. A pic of me aged around 6 with my late sister Pam. We were shopping for Mum in Andover Road Bestwood Est. in June 1955, around the time our younger brother was born. A chap approached us, asked if he could take our pic and got our address from us. He came around a couple of days later and Mum bought a couple of prints from him. Imagine approaching kids like that now?
    Anyway, I’m still cute, but I have better braces. 🙂


  158. Sue,
    Alan Parr headmaster of the local school for many years wrote a book Bestwood the story of a village,sadly no longer available,but I do have a copy you could borrow.
    Marlene Gee.

  159. I have a small booklet which , if memory serves, is called ‘Bestwood, The Story of an Estate’. I think I bought it in the gift shop at either Nottingham Castle or Wollaton Hall. It mostly focuses on the Lodge etc, but it does mention the history of the colliery. I can’t locate my copy at present but I’ll put up the ISBN when I find it.

  160. a up every body from bestwood village I was brought up I lived at 26 park road and then moved to live with me mamma and granddad stout . when we were kids what fun we had ! up woods. I eventually went down pit but left 1966 and joined the parachute regiment for nine years , I now live at Kirkby in ashfield ,I go for a pint many a night in Bentinck welfare so if any one remembers me (colin smacker smith ) call for a pint and talk about the good times of bestwood

  161. I was born on Highbury Vale Estate and lived there from 1940 to 1959. I too went to High Pavement, both the Forest Fields and Bestwood Estate sites. I missed Harold Shipman but was only a couple of years behind Peter Bowles and John Bird, who I trust enhanced the reputation of the school.

    My mother used to refer to “Shacklock’s Farm”, that I understood was between Bestwood Village and Bestwood Estate. My mum admired Constance Shacklock, the highly regarded contralto. I’ve since read that Shacklock’s Farm was supposed to be in Sherwood but that seems to me to be very improbable!

    My brother, Bill, worked for many years in the offices a Bestwood Pit and played cricket for Bestwood CCC. It seems a pity that none of the contributors have so far mentioned either the cricket and football teams that the colliery once supported. I recall that the cricket team was for many very successful in the Notts Amateur League. I’ve got a number of pewter tankards the Bill won while playing for BCCC and I am hoping to donate them to somewhere suitable. My first thoughts were to try the old Miners’ Welfare Club in the village but I’m struggling to find a means of contact. Can anyone help or have any other suggestions?

    Thanks in advance

  162. Hi Tony, many thanks for your comments and good point about the sports teams.

    I’m not certain about the status of the Miners Welfare these days, I might make another suggestion to you though. At the end of the summer I took in an open day at the winding house and ventured into the old dynamo house next door there where the local Women’s Institute serve refreshments at open periods. In the dynamo house were many mementos of Bestwood pit in particular. These may have been a temporary display but I wonder if it might be somewhere for those trophies to be housed? Failing that, perhaps the local WI could forward a contact for you at the Miners Welfare if that’s still a goer.

    You can find contact details here:


  163. Hi Tony,
    Good to hear from yet another Old Pavior. It was 1960-65 for me, so the only really famous one I coincided with was Fred Shipman. Incidentally, sad to note the passing of John Bird’s close collaborator John Fortune, only yesterday.

    Anyway, to the Bestwood point. Until I read your comment I had not, as far as I recall, heard of Shacklock’s Farm. There is however a Shacklock Close in the Warren Wood development, just off Bewcastle Road. I have a relative who lives there. I hadn’t really thought about why it was so named but I guess it’s pretty obvious now!


    P.S. A happy new year to Stuart and all contributors here.

  164. ay up clive Bagshawe,bet you can’t remember me Paul Scriven,i have a football photo from Whipple days,you a year older than me,i recall being taken out of class for the photo,with MR WALL,others on the photo,trevor Hatton,Cliff H ALLOT,Mick Laing,Les Worrall,Richard Bowler,Ray Weston,Tony Clayton,Brian Lewin,Mick Peach,Bll Bayliss,John Bridgett and Malcolm Unwin.

  165. Helo Paul.,
    Would the Bill Bayliss you mention be the brother of Ray Bayliss? Both from Southglade Rd.?

    Regards, Colin

  166. certainly was Colin,they lived Padstow rd end of Southglade,always remember him,big lad always played with his socks rolled down…….just like to say what a great site,come across it browsing.I also remember many of the names mentioned of Southglade familys,some great memories have been evoked.I was born on Leybourne and lived on Andover until 1967.

  167. oh while i’m on just like to say,ay up to Stan (Fred) Sheard,hope you and Marlene ok,

  168. I was at school with Ray Bayliss (Padstow)
    and lived at one time next door to Cliff Hallat(on Raymede)

  169. sure i know you TERRY, youre name is so familiar,think you a bit older than me,i left Padstow 1960.

  170. Fabulous stuff Gents!s Bill Bayliss and his brother Ray were a good few years older than me. I left Whipple in Summer 1960 and went on the High Pavement. The Bayliss Bros also had a younger bro called Tony, who was more my age. He had the nickname ‘Scob’

    Ray had a butcher’s shop at the Jn. of Hucknall Rd and Perry Rd back in the 60s.

    Back then.. Southglade Rd was opposite two fields. The hedge dividing the fields was pretty much opposite 46/48 Southglade Rd. ( Bramley’s /Smiths)

    One weekend I clearly remember the local lads clearing an area of th field and making a cricket pitch. They ewen made and positioned boundary flags. I think a match was played between Southglade and Leybourne or something like.

    Imagine that now?

  171. On leaving school in 1960 ,i worked for Marsdens on Andover rd, i was their ‘Granville’ and loved it,the old bike was hard work up and down the hills,still remember alot of the families i delivered to all over the estate.

  172. Hello Paul. Yes I remember you well, and some if not most of those other names from the past too. Like you, I also rode one of those carrier bikes delivering orders around the estate. In fact I rode two, one for the Wiley’s Off-licence come grocers, come greengrocers, near to Marsdens and the other for the Co-op butcher on Arnold Road opposite the end of the High Pavement playing fields near to the junction with Andover & Gainsford. I made some good friends on those delivery rounds. There was another shop between Wiley’s and Marsdens but I am darned if I can recall what sort of a shop it was or its name. Any ideas? I have a notion that they may have sold wet fish.

    Living where you did, you may recall the fields where the old ex-army / prisoner of war camp was with its concrete bunkers and steel doors where we used to play and explore before Bestwood Park Estate was built. I remember going up there when they were sinking a huge shaft and digging a large tunnel at the bottom of it for the sewers that were to be used by the new estate under construction. I have never been able to find where that shaft is today. I remember them using explosives down there. Health and safety was not as it is today because I remember going near to the edge and looking down into that shaft. It was massive. Anyone else remember?

    Anyway Paul, I do hope life has been kind to you over the years. Best regards.
    Clive Bagshaw

  173. I left in 1956 and in my year I sat next to Frank Worral who on leaving school went to work at…Marsdens on Andover Road.

  174. Hello clive,nice you remember me,from the school photo over the years ive only bumped into,Tony Clayton,Brian Lewin and Mick Peach,and they were all long ago,oh just come back to me Les Worrall.
    the shop between ‘wileys ‘ and ‘Marsdens’ was a greengrocers i think the name was ‘marlow’ a very nice man and wife team.
    I also recall ‘camp hill’ we called it the ‘dungeons’ also played football up there,very rough pitch pitted with concrete and bricks,health and safety would’nt allow it today.
    Anyway Clive, lifes had its ups and downs (like for most of us) but mostly ups,hope you same ,all the best Paul Scriven.

  175. HI ,Terry,..yes you that bit older than me,were you a blond haired lad in abo’ut the same year as John Derry,Melvin Hayward ,? funny you should mention Frank Worral followed him at Marsdens ,then even stranger in the 70s followed him again to A.B.Gibsons,we both went to work for them in Peterborough,where i succeded him as Sales Manager when he returned to Notts.
    You might remember a couple of other ‘Granvilles’ at Marsdens afore me,Ron Humphries off Andover and Ron Hemsley Raymede close.Without being nosey Terry did you marry a Bestwood girl ? i have a name in mind,
    Regards Paul Scriven

  176. Hello Paul,I was small and brown haired,now I am still small and grey.Lived opposite John Derry on Raymede(his son is manager of Notts County)
    Had an uncle who worked at Gibsons,Earnest Hayden. and I remember the the two Ron’s.
    Married a girl from Boston,lincs and next year we will clock up 50yrs.
    Cheer Terry

  177. Nice one Terry, got a few bits wrong did’nt i, sometimes see John Derry about in Bulwell,two of my sons went to Ellis with Sean…nice to exchange a few memories of some of the old names with you,..take care.Paul.

  178. Paul Terry and Clive. You are I guess around five or so years older than me, so that when I was just starting at High Pavement, you would all have started work. If I ever met you, you will have seemed very much like the ‘big boys’.. 🙂

    As well as the Bayliss’s, who lived at 54 Southglade.. I also remember the Kimberley’s, who lived further down.

    My pals from the street were Reggie Wakefield, John Barlow, Ray Hollifield, Dave Armstrong, Richard Chambers and Gerald Sanders.

    I remember Marsden’s very well. Can’t remember the last time I saw a ‘hand cranked’ bacon slicer, or a cheese wire. Mum used to occasionally send me down there to get half a dozen ‘Fancy Pastries’.

    Regarding Marlow’s grocers. If I recall correctly it was N.L. Marlowe. I was at both Whipple and High Pavement with their youngest son Nigel. We were good friends and used to go train spotting, camping in the peak district etc. We also used to follow the Stock Car Racing at Long Eaton, going there on our pushbikes.
    From the upper back bedroom of the shop it was possible to get out onto a narrow ledge and crawl the length of the shops. We must have been mad…
    The Marlows moved to a nice new house in Carlton in the early 60s.
    Last time I heard from Nigel he was ‘Senior Lecturer in Consumer Psychology’ at one of the London Uni’s. Clever lad.

    You may also remember the upper row of shops. There was a pharmacist in the second shop up and when the old guy moved on, the shop became Wyville’s. The Wyville’s weren’t pharmacists so the shop became something like a mini Boot’s without the prescription service. The Wyville’s came from the Humberstone area of Lincolnshire. I was also good friends with their two sons Bob and Graham. Bob went off to America after High Pavement and made a good career in the motor industry.. something to do with car body coatings. Sadly, Graham informed me a few years back that Bob had come to visit him for Christmas and suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after arriving. Last I heard, Graham was still a musician, working on various tours/ musical shows etc.

    I left High Pavement at 16 in 1965 and messed up pretty much everything I did except for becoming a part of the famous Magic Roundabout Disc Show. We were guilty of running the discos athe 360 Club, Robinson’s Hill, and some at the Carlton Hotel as well as numerous weddings etc. I married a Liverpool girl and have lived on the very edge of Merseyside since 1972. I finally went to uni in the 80’s and got a proper job by qualifying as a Careers Adviser which lasted me almost until retirement. Only almost…. Don’t get me started on politicians.. especially if they are called Michael Gove….

  179. Thanks for that Colin,i remember the Pharmacists/boots type shop but did’nt know the occupants,i remember also the Ladies Hairdressers Pams or Pats?,funny story i recall an American lady taking it over,she came in Marsdens and saw the 3lb lump of Haslet (we usually sold one a day) she asked what it was and could she have a taste,on tasting she said,’thats great gimme the woiks’ i did so the whole lump,feeling chuffed about selling her the whole lot,i told the Manager Mr.Richards thinking he’d be pleased,he went mad saying ‘what about Mrs williams and Mrs Starbuck they always have a quarter on a Tuesday (or whatever day it was) anyway after the rollicking he sent me to the Arnold rd branch to ask Albert Drayton the Manager if we could borrow some of his.
    Happy days, Paul Scriven.

  180. Love that Paul. Told off for getting a sale.. These days, your bosses would have wanted you to sign her up for a Haslet a month for at least 5 years….
    That said. Where was the Arnold Road Marsden’s? All I remember is the co-op almost opposite the top of Andover Road on Arnold Rd.

    It’s a strange coincidence. I was in Nottm over this weekend visiting my aging Mum.
    Before returning to Merseyside I took a bit of a nostalgic drive around some old haunts. I checked up on the old Community Centre on Gainsford Crs. It’s still there, but the old timber building seems to have been replaced by a brick structure.
    I drove down Pavior Drive, which used to be the entrance to my old school, High Pavement. It is very gratifying to see the street names which echo the names of long time head teachers and teachers from that great school. I spotted ‘Blackburn’. He was my house master. Davies, the head for most of my time there, Mardling,. I was never in his class, but he was a ‘rated’ teacher and many others. I think it’s really nice that such people are comemmorated for a few years in street names.

    Went on to have a bit of a mooch around the Kersal Drive/Park Lane area. Lots of change here. Even the old Standard of England pub seems to have gone…

    My niece is a hairdresser and worked for the last occupant of the old hairdressers in the ‘upper’ shops by Marble Arch. Whoever the lady was, she got fed up with the constant break ins/vandalism by the less ‘savoury’ locals and moved elsewhere. All a bit sad.

    Also had another visit to Bestwood Village today and went inside the church for the first time ever. Chatted to a couple of old ladies who were Robinsons and descended from North Eastern folk who they said came to Bestwood Colliery in 1934. They didn’t know the Berresfords, despite us being there from the 1870s .Odd. 🙂


  181. Arnold rd Marsdens was in the block of shops between Carnwood and Langcroft,and the Manager Albert Drayton if i remember right actually lived on Arnold rd,his son Stuart went to HP.
    I went to The Huts prior to HP being built on the same site,the grounds will be forever known to us kids of the 50s from Gainsford and Andover as ‘Back Wall’,the crescent of Gainsford was the perimeter of the grounds and the houses of Gainsford that backed on to it all had a wall built of Bulwell stone,hence Back wall.

  182. Hi Colin I remember living on south glade road very near you actually I lived at no 58 and the mees lived at no 74 I lived at no 58 from 1953 til 1973 when I married to a bulwell lad and moved to bulwell he was killed in 1976 and I then remarried in 1980 and now live on St. Albans road. I have very happy memories of best wood, the fields across the road which was turned into the “tip” in the 60’s. I remember you and your sister Pamela sorry to hear she’s no longer with you. My mum and dad where Eric and Ida Curtis and my sisters dawn and Alison who sadly died aged 52 3years ago my mum died but dad is still going strong and is now 88. I remember Ridleys and the big oak tree that was outside their offices. Thanks for all your memory’s which have re kindled mine mrs janet young once known as Janet curtis

  183. I have read a lot more of these articles this afternoon and what memories I have recalled such as farmer Goddard he really frightened you when he rode up the street on his horse! I remember the old pow camp and st Matthews church the community centre and padstow school. I recall that there were more boys on south glade then girls and I remember David Armstrong, dave Mortimer Ray, tony and bill Baylis there were also Alfie Morris at the top of the street also a lad called joey that was friends with Alfie tony and Stuart Cumberland from the bottom of south glade Stuart lived at no 90. I recently saw Delian brown she lives on the Hempshill vale estate. Colin do you remember the mullissus who where landlords at the deerstalker, the son married Christine French well she in my father in laws sister! By I didn’t know til about 20 years ago what a small world. Kind regards Janet Young nee Curtis

  184. ey up janet,
    Ithink iam a bit older than you (born 1945) and seem to remember more girls than boys on southglade perhaps thats just natural lol,you mention Alfie Morris ,well his sister Josie used to work at marsdens with me about 1962,and i often bump into her in Bulwell and she tells me hes ok,he was pals with my younger brother.
    The Ray you mention would that be ‘Holliewell’ or Hollingwell? funny thing is i bumped into him the other day as well (must get new glasses) 1st time i’d seen him in nearly 50 yrs,he also worked at Marsdens,.
    The only Curtis’es i remember lived on Andover,any relation?

  185. Hi, no I don’t think they are any relation to me. I was born in 1950 on Repton road in bulwell, then moving to Edingley square at Sherwood then moving to Bestwood about 1953. I do recall that Alfie had a sister, but also a bit older than me. I didn’t pal around with a lot of the kids on south glade as there wasn’t many that we’re the same age either a bit older or a bit younger. I remember dave Armstrong very well and I used to walk up to school with him, no cars in them days was there! I remember Denise Churchill, Sheila Smith, Judith and Jane Devaney (still see Jane in Bulwell) Judith Chambers ( she is paediatric doctor at QMC) Delia Brown lives in Bulwell, Colin and Christine French relation by marriage now, Michael Hitchcock and all the Carlisle’s,Pat Bland, I only live across the road now at St Albans road and often walk down Southglade with my grandchildren to the park there. Regards Janet Young nee Curtis

  186. Hello Janet!
    Lovely to hear from you. I do remember your family, but to be honest it’s 45 years + since I left Nottm, and even when I was still there I spent most of my time hanging around in Bulwell from about 1964 on, so memories are a bit ‘fuzzy’. Now I’m not sure if I’m getting confused with another family who may have been called Chaplin, but did your Dad ever work as a Fireman at Hucknall Airfield?

    Remember Dave Armstrong very well. He was one of our gang. Lived at 30 Southglade. Somewhere there’s a photo of him, me, John Barlow, Richard Chambers, Ray Hollifield a birthday party. Dave was a bit younger than me. A year below at High Pavement I think. He joined the police after school but then he dropped out of site.

    Richard Chambers was a classmate of mine at both Whipple and Pavement. I know Judith was into nursing and things. Younger sister Barbara was too I think.

    I was very friendly with Colin French for a while and we spent a lot of time out looking at wildlife, birds, plants etc. He kept a semi tame Jackdaw in an aviary attached to their shed. So if Christine French is your Father in Law’s sister, doesn’t that make Colin your Father in Law? Or am I missing something here?

    Remember the Devneys. They were somehow related to the Gambles who lived next to us at 42 until they moved to Sherwood and were replaced by Dennis and Kathy Beardsley. Dennis re married and moved up Rise Park or somewhere and married another lady, but he passed on from cancer some years ago.

    Remember the Carlisles well. Johnny did a very respectable impression of Slim Whitman which I saw in the ‘Stalker’ in th 70s.
    Which brings me to the Mullises/Mullinses. Can remember them. My brother Phil (five years younger than me) was friends with them and their son and went on hols with them. IIRC, the first landlord of the Stalker (I remember it being built!) was a chap called Ted Hartland. He was famous for winning a car (A Vauxhall) in a competition.

    Also remember Pat Bland. Didn’t she live with her Mum in the ‘sunshine’ house near the bottom of the street?

    Alfie Morris popped up on Friends Reunited a while back. I think he said he was living on Rise Park or similar. The Joey you remember. Would that be Joe Kimberley?

    Thanks for your kind words about Pam. I’m sorry to hear of your losses too. We do miss Pam. She had a hard life, often battling pain and illness, but rarely complained. Her hubby is still living on Leybourne Drive and her three kids are still dotted about in Bestwood, Highbury Vale and Arnold. All doing OK.

    It is really difficult to explain to people who weren’t there, just how nice Southglade was back in the 50s and 60s. Definitely not posh and money was always short, but it was nice. Very little crime and no serious arguments. People just got on, or at worst, avoided each other. 🙂 And all those lovely open fields…..

    Did you know there was a wild rose growing in what used to be the Hawthorn Hedge on the field side of Southglade? It was somewhere up where the Gala Bingo is now.

    It was there throughout my childhood and my brother Phil pointed out to me a couple of years back that it was still there.

    I think it still is… 🙂


  187. Hi Paul, no I had no relations on Bestwood estate only a distant second cousin of my mums who lived on Andover their name was reast. Ray hollifield lives round the corner from me on saxondale and we often see each other around bulwell. Yes you are older than me by five years I was born 1950 so I suppose we missed each over at schools I would just be starting school as you would be in the junior school, we where certainly fit in those days walking up padstow road twice a day as I never stayed for school dinners. I must say I stumbled on this site by accident as I was looking for information on the dukes of St. Albans because on the deeds of my house the then duke of St. Albans sold this plot of land to nottingham city council and this house was built on St. Albans road and is known as a type 77 or the sunshine house. I was born on Repton road lived on Southglade then Latham street (off commercial road in bulwell) then to St. Albans road so I haven’t moved that far. Regards Janet young nee curtis

  188. Hi Colin regarding your comment about Colin and Christine French, Colin and Christine were step brother and step sister to my father in law Len. Mrs French had been married before to a man called something young. Len young is my husbands father. My husband had a grandad that lived on Andover called tom adder ton who frequented the deerstalker. My father worked as green grocer manager for the co-op retiring from there when he was 65 and lives on manly close. Dawn my sister lived on Andover for a number of years but since moved to chilwell . Do you remember the tip when there were rats and the terrible smell, I remember once when John Carlisle was night watchman and he told my mum there was going to be a delivery of wood going to be delivered and a lot of people of the street went at the nighttime with prams and pushchairs to get it by god was we warm that winter no gas fires then!!!!! Regards Janet young nee curtis

  189. TWO HUNDRED AND FOUR comments and the amazing contributions just keep on coming underneath this article. It’s really lovely to see you all catching up on old times together in the area. An education for me too.

    Nice one folks and thanks, as always, for dropping by. It’s appreciated.

    Keep well


  190. Hello again Janet. Thanks for the explanation about the ‘French Connection’ (Sorry. couldn’t resist..) Hope my query didn’t seem too personal. I was just puzzled. If you see Colin, and Christine, please give them my regards. Haven’t seen them for more than 50 years. Funny how you remember things. In the French’s front room they had a record player near the front window. I remember two songs we used to play. Kathy’s Clown by The Everlys, and Blue Bayou by Roy Orbison.

    I bet my Dad would have known Tom Adderton.

    Yes, I certainly remember that tip.
    Some of the things that got thrown on there were amazing though and I’ll bet there were thousands of pounds worth of antiques buried. One day, walking around the edge of it, I found an old green mouldy leather case. Once I figured out how to open it, it turned out to contain a Kodak folding camera. (Pocket Model C) in perfect order. Dated from about 1912. Beautiful thing which I sold a couple of years ago to a collector.

    I remember it being worse in the Summer. Flies everywhere. We used to go up and close all bedroom windows a little while before bedtime, spray fly killer about and then go in and sweep the corpses up before we went to bed!

    I don’t remember the timber consignment, but since my Dad was a miner we rarely went short of coal. We did in ’63 though. There was no shortage of coal but the transport system was paralysed by the snow and ice so they couldn’t move it. Everybody was out in the fields and up Rigleys.. finding anything that would burn.

    From your reply to Paul, I see that you know Ray Hollifield. He was another of our gang. Used to live at 24 Southglade as far as I can work out. I well remember Ray and his Mum and Dad. Sure Ray had a younger brother but his name escapes me.

    Again. Should you see him, please give him my regards.

    Interesting that your house is known as a Sunshine House. There are two in Southglade called the same. One was 28 which the Chambers’ had and the other was where Pat Bland lived. They were so called (I think) because they had a central living room with windows facing out to both the front and the back..

    Regarding the Duke of St Alban’s. I never could work that out. As far as I know, Charles II had a son by Nell Gwynn, who he eventually gave a title to. But why did he give him an estate in Notts and make him Duke of St Alban’s, which is in Herts?

    Best wishes,


  191. Stuart,

    Thanks for your thanks!

    Thing is both Bestwood Colliery and Bestwood Est. were very solid communities back in the day. So much so that many people have been very content to remain, or not stray far. I’ve said previously that were I (God forbid) to find myself alone up here in Merseyside, I would come back to Nottm. like a shot.

    Keep up the good work.


  192. Nell gwynn had two sons by Charles II the eldest one was given the title duke of St. Albans after Nell had complained that his other illegitimate sons by Barbara palmer had titles why hadn’t her sons Charles then said that Nell should ride through the night dropping acorns from her pockets and stop at breakfast all that land would be hers and the title of St. Albans given to her son, this is why the oak trees all the way down hucknall road are so precious to Bestwood I know a few years ago the council wanted to chop them all down to widen hucknall road and make a bus lane but people made a hue and cry about it and quoted the story of Nell Gwynn so it never got done. My house is the one on the bad corner of St. Albans and known as the sunshine house because when the sun is out it seems to be bathed in sunlight as the back is south facing lovely in the summer the living room is cool but the back garden lovely sometimes to hot to sit out there. Hope I’m not boring you with my replies but I really enjoy chatting about Bestwood I also love old bulwell too. Regards Janet

  193. I read in a book about old Bestwood that Nell began that trip from the Guide House on Mansfield Road at Redhill (what became Gadsby’s farmhouse) where she would board. Charles used to tease her about her late rising in the morning and made the challenge so she made this long journey before breakfast. She returned back to Redhill via Papplewick.

  194. Not boring at all Janet,like you i love chatting about old Bestwood and old Bulwell too,i was born and lived on Andover and Leybourne and left in 67,lived down south for 10 years got divorced and came back and married again,since returning ive lived in Basford,Bestwood village and now Hucknall,cant see me moving again,learned my lesson lol.
    Back on the subject of Southglade,i had a drive down Andover and Southglade yesterday and the memories came flooding back of more people that lived there, Julie Oldfield,Susan Brearley,Kathleen Barber,Brenda Smith,Brenda Hopkin (my couson) Sandra Binch,then many many more on Andover and Leybourne alot of them related to me,shant name em all i’d be here all night.
    Oh and someone mentioned Wild Roses near where Gala bingo now stands,and yes they still growing there,anyway bye for now,keep the memories coming Janet.

  195. First of all. Janet, I totally agree with Paul. You are not being boring at all. Keep the memories coming!

    This all started when Stuart wrote the title piece about Bestwood Colliery, but people chipped in from all around the wider area. I have one foot in Bestwood Colliery (Four generations of feet to be honest) but was raised on Bestwood Estate.

    Anyway, I’ve finally found my little booklet about Bestwood

    ‘Bestwood. The Story of an Estate’ by Audrey Robinson. Published by Dalebrook Publications 1987.

    (Dalebrook Publications. 63 Dalebrook Road, Winshill, Burton on Trent. DE15 0AD)

    ISBN 1 870253 00 0

    I think I bought it in either the Castle or Wollaton Hall. Cost £1.

    It tells the story in quite some detail from 1086 up until the post war era and is worth seeking out if interested in the area.

    And Paul, I also remember Julie Oldfield, Susan Brearley and Kathleen Barber, but not so sure about the other names.


  196. EY up Colin,i’ll have to get a copy of that booklet,.Its now 4am and i am getting ready for work (still do a bit) but could’nt resist a quick peep at this site,sad old thing that i am.The wife says i reminis too much but i cant help it Bestwood was such a happy place to grow up and i constantly bump into old friends in Bulwell,only yesterday i bumped into a bloke who used to be my babysitter Donold Starkey’ who lived on Leybourne,and we had to laugh,he said ‘bloody hell i feel old youre nearly 70 and i was your sitter’ hes now 78 and going strong,must be summat about the Bestwood air.
    I probably see you and Janet about but you being young whippersnappers would’nt know you.
    all the best Colin.

  197. Nice to read of all the good comments about Bestwood Estate,I thoroughly enjoyed my time growing up on Leybourne and Raymede.
    Also going to Padstow,the Youth Club and playing cricket for Bestwood Estate,sadly the school has gone and the Estate aint what it used to be.

  198. Hi guys thanks for your kind comments ,I do go on a bit. Anyway a lot of the girls that you mention are a couple of years older than me, so I didn’t tend to pal around with them, my best friend was a girl called Pamela who lived on teviot, but when we left school we didn’t keep in touch, I then started to go around with a girl called Judith Bates who lived on Raymede Close, we both meet two brothers who came from Bulwell and we eventually married them, their names were Alan and Richard Hathersmith. Alan and Judith have been married now for 48 years. I married Richard who was tragically killed in bulwell aged 26, we were only married 3 years. I remember when we were kids on Sunday evenings we all went for a walk, I can remember walking from Southglade all the way to the oxclose pub and never having to cross a road! We never had to lock our doors and every one knew everyone now days if you see your next door neighbours never mind speaking to them it seems a very sad world now, we certainly lived a charmed life we could roam the fields with a packed lunch of dripping sandwiches a few biscuits and a bottle of tap water, my children never had the freedom that my sisters and I had. Regards Janet

  199. Thanks to Paul for kind comments.

    Janet, I also walked over from Southglade to the Oxclose with my parents and late Sis Pam back in the 50s. I’ve just put up a really long comment full of memories and promptly lost it. The curse of the digital age I suppose!

    I was going on at length about the area around Moorbridge. I must do it again when it’s not so late.

    Stay well everyone.


  200. Hi Colin,we called the Moorbridge pond ‘Jelly lake’ on account of all the frog spawn we used to see in it,i still have a scar on my ankle from when i was about 10 after some ‘big brave lads’ shot me with an ‘Air gun’ as i tried to stop them shooting frogs in the pond,as much as they were nicer days there was always the odd asshole,lol.

  201. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could have a reunion for Southglade and surrounding streets I wonder if any one would come, I suppose we all live all over the country now, and it would be fun to see if all our expectations of our lives turned out as we thought. Janet x

  202. Hi Paul,

    I too was shot with an airgun. I was on the bank that ran down from Rigley’s to the Southglade fields. They got me in the arm, but fortunately a thick corduroy jacket saved me and I just got a bruise. It smarted a bit though!
    As for ‘Jelly Lake’. Excellent name. My Dad used to sometimes take me down there fishing for Tadpoles and Tidders. There would also be loads of frogs and big dragonflies. I remember once seeing two chaps floating down the Leen towards Bulwell in a bright yellow rubber dinghy. They went under Moorbridge and disappeared into the thick wooded marshy area that used to be on the Hucknall Lane/Bulwell side between the bridge and Springfields factory. I don’t know if they got to their destination.

    Also, looking down from the bus stop on the bridge over ‘Jelly Lake’ it was pretty common to see one or two old style horse drawn Gypsy Caravans.

    Although I recall seing men in boats clearing weeds out of the Moorbridge lake, it seem that the council soon lost interest and the whole thing was filled in before becoming the Traveller camp it is now. I can live with that, but I can’t forgive the fact that the original Bull Well, which emerged from below a sandstone bank alongside Bestwood Road, was allowed to disappear.

    The earlier bridge was further along towards Bestwood Colliery/Hucknall and basically crossed from Bestwood Road to Hucknall Lane. Last time I looked, the southern pier was still there. If you turn left just before Moorbridge Cottages, there’s a track which now leads to the Traveller Camp. This track ends at the old bridge peir, which is right next to the rail track.

    There is more evidence in the layout of Bulwell Hall Estate. If you look at the map I posted above (bottom left corner) you can see how the houses around the end of Aston Drive are set back in a sort of arc. This is directly opposite where the road over the old bridge joined Hucknall Lane. All the other houses adjacent to Hucknall lane are set close to the road.

    If you go onto Google Maps or similar you can make out the square shape of the old bridge peir.

  203. Hi Janet. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few people turned up. I’m 100 miles away but I would make the journey. That said, I have plenty of relatives in the area still and so accommodation would not be an issue.
    It would be pretty awesome to see all of those people such as the French’s, the Hollifields, Chambers’, and so on.

    I went to a High Pavement Bicentenary celebration in 1988. I went first to the school, and later to a more formal dinner at the Royal. At the school thing I was amazed how many people I recognised after 23 years. One chap, Graham Manser, who used to live somewhere around the top of Andover, had travelled from Girvan in Scotland and many others had come from all over the place.


  204. Very interesting to read all of the above .
    Although the main contributors seem to be a little older than me I do recognise some of the family names and some of the places.
    I spent the first 10 years of my life living in 3 different houses in Bestwood Village , the first was 37? Coronation Rd , not really sure of that number but I do remember we were next door to Mr and Mrs Mercer , I think the Tuckers were either next door or moved our house when we moved to 39 Hill Road between the Kibbles and the Devonshires then we moved to 21 Coronation Road ..why on earth we kept moving I dont know .Finally having to have an exchange to get out of the pithouse as my Dad had left the pit due to an accident in which he hurt his back and having to wear a plaster cast corset for weeks , he eventually hot a hammer and chisel to it, I remember coming home from school and seeing it pieces on a sheet of newspaper in the kitchen.
    Family names I remember are…
    Toplis ..Albert was my bestfriends dad
    Flavells..Les and Lil lived next door to us at 21 coronation road
    Grady ..they livedon the other side door to Grady I think.
    Reardon..they had boxer dogs like we did.
    Saunders..a big family
    Rose…another big family who were nicknamed the Taggies for some reason.
    Cross family ..think they lived in the Spinney and had 13 children or was it 13 incl mum n dad not sure.
    Jackson..chris and Andrew I think were the two sons.
    Marshall…Kieth was guilty of trapping my sisters finger under a wooden plank or tree on the rocking horse and she lost the tip of it ..its still manky now.
    Easom..sandra. cant think of the others names
    Day..Barbara and Janet
    Clark ..who we called Clankies.
    oooh I could go on and on ..
    we loved being in the village .we wouls spend hours in the fields or playing marbles outside bev cartwrights house at the top of Hill Road where the marble hole was .
    Mr and Mrs Allsopp ran the village shop on the main road and ghen therewas the co-op shop too.
    Mr .Bowen was school headmaster .other teachers were Mr Scotney .Mr Humphreys. Miss Finney . Mrs Foster and Mrs Cresswell who lived in the schoolhouse and sold us pears or if you got her on a good day she would let you have the droppings for free.
    The copes lived in the big house on Moor Road at side of the cemetary , they had a son stefan who sadly got killed on his motorbike .I remember twins in the village too who lived in station house ..Ian and his brother. Mc….. Ian got killed by a car outside the schoolgates one sad day.
    Can also remember there being a mushroom farmnext to Allpresses shop .

  205. ooops forgot to say which family I am from…..Webb. my grandparents Arthur and Jane (real name Alice) lived at number 7 The Square . . My dad Derek was the youngest of 7 Webbs …Arthur. Willis..George.Ellen (Nell) Beatrice and Elsie who I think was dads sister but could have been sis in law .if shes sis in law I have missed out one brother or sister but cant for the life of me think who. lol …so many of them who we hardly ever saw.
    We moved away from the village when we had an exchange with the Greens from Heathfield Estate where I lived til I got married in 1977. Went to Padstow School til 1972 .

  206. Welcome to this long running thread, Kim and thanks for your interesting comments. One of the teachers you mention there, Mr. Scotney, I’ve an idea might have taught at a school I went to in Arnold, Church Drive Junior School. That was in the late sixties. Mr. Scotney left there to teach at Derrymount School for special needs children in Arnold if I recall correctly.


  207. The Mr Scotney i knew was a young chap who got married while at the village school.
    He was still there when I left to go to National in Hucknall in 1966
    so your memories of him in Arnold a bit later could mean its the same teacher.
    A lovely man , he lived in Hucknall on Bestwood road .We often used to pass his house when out seeing friends and he always gave us all juice and biscuits and chatted while he cut the grass with his push along mower .
    Funny the things you remember …

  208. to Colin Beresford
    On looking for information on your Grandad Jack Whyman I came across this site but could not find the entry of 29th October 2007 regarding his being awarded the M M . I am your Aunt Elsie and Uncle Stan’s daughter Valerie who used to live in Coventry and would be very interested in why Uncle Jack was awarded his medal. I recognised the photo of you and Pamela although I wasn’t aware that Pamela had died. I was sorry to hear that. Perhaps you could contact me on our web site.

  209. Val! How marvellous to hear from you!

    I’ve been trying to contact my relatives in Coventry for ages. Since I had no contacts/married names for you or Maureen, I’ve been trying to find Keith via Facebook etc., with no success.
    I still recall you coming to stay with us in Nottm for a while way back in the 50s. I have memories of you helping with the dishes, and also making flour and water paste to help me and probably Pam to make something or other.
    Your website isn’t showing.
    Stuart, could you please pass my email address to Val?


  210. Hello again Val, by now you should have my email address as Stuart has kindly agreed to pass it on. Here’s hoping we can re-establish contact between Coventry and Nottm. I’m really looking forward to it.
    In the meantime. Grandad Jack always said he got his medal for ‘Going without me dinner’. I think I was once told that he was ordered to ‘drive’ his horse drawn gun to a more forward firing position. On the way, they were hit by enemy fire and all of the gun crew were killed or injured except Jack. He got them all stretchered off and then used the horses to turn the gun for firing, then got the horses back to safety. He then proceeded to load aim and fire the gun single handedly whilst under enemy fire.
    I still have many photos of Jack and the family. Also Jack’s army discharge papers etc. I’ll get them all to you when you reply.

    I also have photo’s of your wedding!

    Really lookng forward to hearing from you..


  211. For Val Hartwell,

    I found the comment re: Jack Whyman and his Military Medal It’s comment 44 above. Do please email me. There is a lot of catching up to do.


  212. Hello everyone.

    Just popped in here to say that I’ve now established email contact with my long lost cousin Val in Coventry, along with her siblings. It’s really nice and wouldn’t have happened but for Stuart’s site.

    Many, many thanks Stuart, and a Merry Christmas to all from Colin B.

  213. So happy to hear this, Colin. I hope you manage to share many happy and interesting memories. I’d like to wish you and everyone else who reads this a very Merry Christmas.

    Have a lovely time.


  214. Hi a very late reply and attempt to make contact with John Butters in response to post 36.
    I believe I am related to Ben and Rose Stocks. I can remember visiting Ben and Rose on a Sunday morning with my father Albert Croome. By that time they had retired to a church house on Main Street Bulwell near to Bulwell St Mary’s School. Remember their place being very dark with lots of glass cases containing stuffed birds and animals.
    Wondered if you are correct in saying that Ben working at Bestwood pit all his working life as I have clear memories of my father telling me that at one time Ben was a gamekeeper at Bestwood Lodge. Regretfully my father passed away a good few years ago which is doubly sad as my father was probably the only relative that had a clear picture of both his own and my mums family tree.
    I have close ties to Bestwood Village as a number of my family worked at the colliery.
    Anyway hope you can make contact.

  215. Hello Graham Croome. It looks rather formal written like that when replying to an ‘unknown’ member of ones’ extended family. I’m sure Stuart
    wont object if I get personal and say how delighted I am to find my own name appearing in response to my post 36, after an tnterval of several years. Great to hear from you Graham and thankyou. Stuart.
    Getting to the specific point you raise I can confirm that Uncle Ben had complete freedom to roam and shoot on the Bestwood Lodge estate and I remember him speaking to individuals who had wandered away from well-worn footpaths but I cannot recall the term ‘Gamekeeper’ used about him, or him being a paid employee. As a child before the Second World War I remember him taking me tramping through the woods, with me wanting to carry his gun! On one momentous occasion when we were almost back in the Village, at my pleading he placed the barrel over my shoulder and I guess, he holding the stock, allowed me to stagger a few paces with it. Happy memories. In later life he had a ‘pit-top’ watch-mans’ job and I remember him one evening taking me on his round. Later, when I worked underground at Bestwood, one or two older miners gave the impression that he’d been somewhat authoritarian in his days as a ‘butty’. Gamekeeper?
    I hope to hear more from you Graham. Cheers for now.

  216. Have just come across this site from remarks made on Padstow School site,Loved reading all theses remarks and memories from everyone,I lived on Raymede Drive,Padstow end and lived there from 1965 till 1978 when I married and moved to Bestwood Park,In regards to Janet Young,I can remember Dawn and Alison,but unfortunately not you,Ray Hollifield lives on Brisbane Drive,Top Valley and it would be his brother that lives near you.I used to hang around with Gillian Devney and as far as I know her Dad still lives on Southglade.The fields were still at my end of Raymede when I moved there,and I remember playing where the old ruins were.I also remember playing on the park on Southglade where most of the kids off the estate gathered(no trouble though)

  217. Hi Graham, have you a relation of a person called Alan Croome,I remember my late husband Richard Hathersmith mentioning someone called that name. Richard lived on Main Street around 1966 to 1976 also his brothers Alan and Bill. They went to Highbury School. Regards Janet Young (late Hathersmith)

  218. Hi Sue, sorry I don’t remember you, as I think I must be at least five years older than you, I left Padstow School in 1965, but you know my sisters, Dawn is now living in Chilwell, she is now a widow, but as 3 children and 4 grandchildren. Alison died aged 52, 2 years ago leaving a husband and 2 children. I know Gillian Devaney, but I knew Judith and Jane as they were nearer my age, Judith has moved away from the area, but Jane still lives in Bulwell, she married her childhood sweetheart Malcolm Arnold who lived on Leybourne Drive but he died after only being married to Jane for only a few years but they did have one daughter called Joanne. I also remember the ruins on the fields spent many a day playing on them. Bestwood has a bad reputation now but when i lived there I can’t remember any trouble and how safe we were roaming the fields as children, the children of today don’t seem to have the same freedom as we did. Regards Janet Young nee Curtis.

  219. Hi Janet,really sorry to hear about Alison,I’m 56 now and was at padtsow from 69/74 so probably Dawns age but used to see Alison sometimes.I remember Judith and Jane and yes I see Jane in Bulwell,so Tragic about Malcolm.John Arnold was at school same time as Gillian and myself.And it came to me after I wrote the first comment it would be Derek Holliefield that lives near you.I see Ray as he is a friend of my cousins.I can remember a few names from Southglade road as my Auntie,Uncle and Gran lived at 92 opposite the park gates.
    Woodwards.Chambers,Carlisles,Browns,Smiths,Devneys,Sharps,Stanleys.Everyone congregated on the park from all the streets round there,sometimes wonder where they all are now.Will keep looking at this site I find it really interesting.Sue Newcombe(Allen)

  220. Thanks to all for continuing to visit this thread, I’m grateful for your visits, comments and kind words. I don’t say too much but rather sit back observing with pleasure, knowing that a few words written by me have brought so many people together with their cherished memories. I never lived around Bestwood, Redhill was always my home from the time when my family came to Nottingham but my younger days (and plenty of older ones!) have spent many a time in the lovely park near where I live and where you live(d). That’s what we probably all have in common. I hope it never changes too much.

  221. Just like to say ‘Hello!’ to Sue Newcombe and Janet Curtis. I’m sure we must have known eacxh other ‘way back’., though I think you’d be more like the age of my younger brother Phil. Also knew the Devney’s and their relatives the Gambles, who lived next to us at 42 Southglade for years.

    Small world.

    Stay well!


  222. Hi Colin,Thanks for the welcome,yes I do remember Phil he may be a year older than me,but as you say its ‘way back’ I’m 57 this coming June.Can’t say I remember the Gambles eventhought I hung round with Gillian Devney.
    Take care

  223. Hi Colin, I’m 64, I knew both the gambles and the Devaneys, the devaneys more especially Jane as we used to catch the same bus to work (that’s a dirty word for me now as I have retired) regards Janet

  224. Hi does anyone remember the allsopp’s in bestwood village they lived on park rd then the square all worked in the pit even mamma in the canteen Regards Sarah

  225. My family originate from Bestwood village & lived on Park rd-My grandad was a pit worker Cyril Fitchett. my great grandmother had 6 children Ivy & Jeff Read twins- miriam- Hettie-lucy-Jessie.
    Lots more memories

  226. Hello everyone! What an amazing thread to read from the original fabulous post. My family lived at 37 and then 42 hill Road until we moved to Australia in 1965. Like many others I roamed the woods, sledged the hill at the top of our street, played whip and top, soccer, marbles, whizzed a brazier around my head with burning coals dropping out. Anyone remember playing with throwing arrows in Critchelow’s fields? I hope my memory is correct with that name. I had a sister Sue and a Brother Sandy. My parents were Jock and Lil McCreadie. Dad was from Ayr in Scotland. I remember one Christmas building a wall out of snow and snowballing everyone going by. My relatives were the Thurmanns just down the road. I was one of the first kids to pass the 11+ and go to Carlton Le Willows Technical Grammar School in Gedling. I remember Mr Bowen and Miss Finney and Miss Foster. Someone mentioned the pit baths, I met my dad there one day and I thought the baths inside was a deep pool into which all the miners frolicked after their shift. Funny how a child’s mind works. I’ll post more as I remember it.

  227. Thanks for the kind words and your contribution, Marion. Glad you enjoyed reading the article and the incredible thread that people have been kind enough to provide. I’ve learnt a lot about Bestwood over the past few years reading these comments. It’s good to see that you still retain fond memories of the old place. Long may it prosper.

  228. Hi Marion, how are you. I think we went to school together. Do you remember the music teacher at Bestwood, Ken Humphries. I went to Carlton le Willows, we used to get the Midland General B7 or 8 I think to Moorbridge where we caught the school bus. I think Shiela Wasileski caught the bus as well, she was a year older than us and I remember Michael Staley

  229. and I seem to recall the lads from the pit houses (Hill Road and Coronation Road) used to come and raid our bonfire on the Spinney before bonfire night. So we had to stay up all hours to stop them! And Margaret it was the B8, although I went by the 8.30 Mackos to Bulwell because I went to Henry Mellish. Ken Humphreys taught class 1, played the piano and stayed after school to play football with us boys (although I was rubbish at it) even giving us a ride part way home in his VW beetle, and was probably the most inspired and inspiring teacher the village ever had, God bless him.

  230. Hello everybody!

    I’ve just finished another email to my relative Valerie Hartwell in Coventry, who I’d lost contact with but who found me through Stuart’s lovely site. Sadly, we were discussing my Mum’s passing. Mum was almost 92. She was raised in Bobber’s Mill and then Bulwell Hall before marrying my Dad in 1946. Dad was from Bestwood Village and was 4th generation of Berresfords in the village. His Mum and Dad kept the Bestwood Hotel/Clubbie.

    Mum lived for almost 60 years on Southglade Rd, Bestwood Est., before moving into a care home. She passed away Weds 26th August, at Cherryfields Nursing Home. I saw her and held her hand a few hours before she passed. Almost 92 and most of that in good health. A life well lived and I’m looking at the positives, but will stil miss her.

    Post 247 by Margaret Platek… Mention of Sheila Wasilevski. IIRC, I worked with Sheila at the Coal Board Labs at Cinderhill around 1966-1968. I recall her Dad was a miner and there is at least one person of that name in St Mark’s graveyard, Bestwood. How time passes.

    Stay well everyone.


  231. Hi Colin,
    I am really sorry to hear about your mum. Sadly we are at that age now where we seem to experience more and more of our older family members going to meet their maker. It causes one to reflect on our own mortality and how fragile life can be. I shall have reached the milestone of “three score years and ten” in a couple of weeks on 12th Sept and I too have lost my mum and dad, my treasured aunts and uncles and even my beloved wife Margaret passed on five years ago after 48 years together. I can only be grateful for all the wonderful memories of great times we shared together. I am sure you too will come to this point after a term of grieving that we all have to go through in these circumstances. This very column shows how much we treasure those valuable memories of yesteryear that helped to shape our lives.

    My condolences to you and your family.

    Go well and be blessed old friend.

    Best regards

    Clive Bagshaw

  232. Clive, thank you so much for that very thoughtful message. Mercifully, I still have my wife, both of my beautiful daughters and my Grandchildren. I still have a brother, though my dear Sister left us a couple of years ago.

    We are indeed ‘next in the firing line’ and as far as I can tell there is just one surviving member of our parents generation on both my, and my wife’s sides. I’m not too sad about it all as it is just the natural order of things. We’re all given our ‘slot’ and we make of it what we can. We can, I’m sure, all look back with regret and wish things had been different, or we can celebrate and enjoy what we have had. I know which I prefer.

    Another thing occurred to me when my daughter asked me something about funerals. It dawned that our children expect us to have all of the answers, but we just don’t. Wherever we are in life, it is the first time we have been here. We have no map. We find our way as best we can and it is a one way trip. We can fear it, or we can embrace it. I’m up for it. 🙂


  233. just found this page and found my family name mentioned …….spent my first 11 years living in Bestwood Village 19 Coronation Road my name was Lesley Grady my sister Colleen And Rose and Les our mam and dad I can remember families such as the Webb, Flavell, Prior, Catton, Measures, Major, Clayton, Marshall, Devonshire, Bailey, Straw, Mckeowan, Clark. Gelsthorpe, Thurman, Paling, Smith, Tucker,Wilkinson, Saunders, Hislop, Cross, Rose, Oliver, Fell, Suter, Bland, Moon, Hilton, Coughlin, Widdowson, Longley, Green, Jackson, Blackner………have such fond memories of my childhood seems very idyllic looking back. my granddad Ike (Isaac) Limb and my Dad Les worked at the pit, I remember the school being used in a film it was used as a polling station.Catching the Mackos bus to Bulwell and B8 Notts and Hucknall…….Mrs Maggs St Johns Ambulance Cadets and being in Bestwood Black Diamonds Junior Band…we moved in 1970 to Edwinstowe (Which has lots of its own history) only about 18/20 miles away I was devasted it was like moving to the other side of the world……

  234. Hi Margaret at Post 247. I can’t remember you (sorry). I remember Sheila. I remember her dancing in a red dress at the Carlton Le Willows Christmas party. You are right, she was a couple of years older. I remember with love Mr Humphreys and Mr Bowen the headmaster. Did you go to the infants school? I have a memory of Shirley chritchelow (hope that’s the right name) falling off the climbing bars in the playground and breaking her arm. I was “in love” with Michael Gelsthorpe from the Spinney.

  235. Do you know anything of the Reid family in Bestwood my whole family originates from thereThey lived at 9 park rd, it is a long time ago but I thought you may know  somebody who doeskind regardsPam Wood

  236. Marion, you’re thinking of Shirley Critchelow who lived at Broad Valley Farm. Quite the gymnast if I remember. She set up and ran the Broad Valley Riding School. Lesley, the ‘film’ was actually a black and white TV play entitled ‘Stand up, Nigel Barton’ with a young Keith Barron made in 1965, you can still find it on You Tube. The opening scene is set on Park Road with Mackos bus going up to the pit. See how many of the ‘extras’ you recognise in the scene set in the welfare!

  237. Tom, I have watched Stand Up Nigel Barton and saw my Aunty May (Rose Thurman) in the background.

  238. I think I may have to commandeer this column. Whilst I can remember so much of the 50s and 60s in the village, these days I have trouble remembering last week or even yesterday sometimes. Trying to recall whether it was Susan or Marion of the McCreadie girls who was something of a tomboy, preferring football to the normal girlish pursuits.
    Interestingly I have recently come across my Bestwood School Report for class 2, July 1960. Mrs Hutton was the teacher. Classes were held in the pavillion where school dinners were served before the new school classroom and hall were built behind St Marks Church. This seems to be the only report I have so perhaps they were only done once.
    By the way Marion, didn’t the Thurman family move to where Davies’ used to live near to the B8 bus-stop on Moor Road close to the bottom of the Spinney? If I remember the boys were David (who had to go to hospital after eating laburnum seeds) and John? commonly known as killer though heaven knows why.

  239. Tom at 258. I was the tomboy of the family. Haven’t changed a bit. I love riding on our zero term mower and gardening and growing food in Qld Australia. I don’t know Tom where the Thurman family moved to. Shen we came to Australia in 1965 I lost touch with everyone.

  240. hey marion mcreadie (harrington) how I missed your brother sandy when you emigrated ,I was sad for what seemed like months after you had upped and left and thought about him often since. whats he up to now? still in australia ?
    The village was a great place to spend your childhood we had some great times. I remember the igloo wall your dad built but was never allowed anywhere near it. lol.
    Also remember being a bit scared of your dad if he ever shouted at us kids , it must have been his scottish accent. Did he walk round in his vest ?…and trousers of course!
    The thurmans did live at bottom of the spinney and sadly one of them was Involved in a car accident along with john eastap and sadly died im sure it was johnny thurman too .The village lost few of the young lads in accidents ,either car or motorbike , first stefan cope, one of the bull brothers , david biddulph and also john eastap and john thurman , all too young and of course young schoolboy ian mccarthy? just outside the school gates.
    all too sad .
    colleen and lesley grady I remember , we lived next door at number 21 coronation road .me (kim) my sisters susan , lesley vicki and tracey webb and mum and dad Iris and Derek Webb. We were also in the band and the st. johns ambulance brigade with the lovely Mrs. Maggs. maybe that was all that went on in the village for kids to do then.
    We just made up our own entertainment in the fields or playing marbles or in the river leen with an old tinbath, with holes in it.

  241. Kim, hello! My dad was pretty scarey. He did walk around in his vest and trousers. He was a lovely bloke until he drank, which didn’t help my mum. Sadly, our family has been broken up over the years in Australia. Dad and mum died about 20 years ago and Sandy died this year. I hadn’t seen him for quite a few years as he had a pretty traumatic life with drugs and alcohol. I found out through Facebook that he was off the drink and working as a manager in a drug and alcohol facility in Brisbane. He was a very intelligent man who went off the rails. I haven’t seen my sister since my mum died which is sad. She has a daughter and two grandchildren. I have two children, one of whom was adopted as I was an unwed mother. Not a good time! I believe it was David Thurman who died in that accident. I remember the name David Biddulph but can’t put a face to it. I think Susan Webb was in my class at the local primary school. What an idyllic childhood in some respects. Not much money around but the marbles, soccer, cricket etc made it wonderful. It has certainly stirred up my memories reading through some of the posts.

  242. David Biddulph lived at 14 The Spinney, two sisters, Ann (older) and Carol (younger). He was killed in a motorbike accident, in Hucknall l think,aged just 16, would have been 1968 . His mum, Audrey, had a heart attack and died in the Critchelow’s field while out walking the family dog some years later.
    I have been looking at the village on Google maps recently. Hardly recognise some of the places I knew as a lad. Pavier’s? Haulage has disappeared , all the pit buildings, the Co-op (although it’s still a shop), the post office that Mr & Mrs Mayes ran on Park Rd all gone and loads of new housing has appeared.

  243. Does anyone remember the railway that ran on an embankment at the end of Arnside Close? (Or even better have any photos). I lived at 4 Arnside Close from 1958 to 1962 aged 5-9 and remember playing on the grassland between the end of the close and the embankment. Older kids dug down into the sandstone and made a big den where they used to light candles and smoke cigarettes. They wouldn’t let me in though as I was too young.
    I remember hearing the trains going past up on the bank and seeing the steam but you couldn’t see them as there were sidings full of wagons between the bank and the main line. Almost all of the trains stopped in April 1960 because of a tunnel collapse further up the line at Mapperley. A few ran as far as Daybrook goods station.
    We moved to Thackerays Lane, Woodthorpe, in 1962 and I remember seeing the track lifting train on Mansfield Road bridge next to Daybrook station.
    I have loads of Great Central and Great Northern railway photos of Basford, Bulwell and Daybrook, but none at all of the GNR ‘Back Line’ section between Leen Valley Junction (behind the old Co-Op on Arnold Road) and the Edwards Lane bridge. This is the section that ran past Arnside Close. Does anyone have any??

  244. Kim,October 30th-it was my cousin Ian McCreadie who was killed by a drunk driver outside school at the age of about 6. My uncle and auntie Eddie and Mavis lived at Station Masters House in Bestwood with Ian’s brother James. The whole family was devastated,as you can imagine. Eddie died a few years ago,and Mavis moved to Crete. James worked on oil rigs,and moved to Stonehaven . Last time i heard of him he was working off Africa. My dad was a farm labourer at Bottom House Farm until his untimely death in 1990,and we lived at Dukes Cottages,near to the 7 Mile House. Great page,by the way!

  245. Does anyone remember a Stefan Cope who sadly died in a motorcycle accident around 1970? We were quite good mates for a short period when I moved to Hucknall from Gedling in 1966. We both joined the army in ’68 (different regiments) and I learned around 1969/70 that he had died in a motorcycle accident. My parents went to the funeral and life moved on. Although I now live in the States the next time I visit I’d like to place some flowers on the grave should I be able to find it. A google search finds this site but I can’t see Stefan here. I do see a David Biddulph mentioned and certainly I knew of a Biddulph back then. Stefan lived in Bestwood,

  246. Hi Dave, I live next door to the grave yard and Stephan is buried there.I will check the location of the grave and get back to you.

  247. I’m sure he lived in bulwell at the time but I could be wrong, I thought he was buried in bulwell cemetery but I could be thinking of the wrong person.

  248. Dave, I have always been told that he was buried in St Marks Cemetery On School Wal. Mr & Mrs Cope lived in Ivy Dene the house next door to the cemetery, They lived on one side I live on the other.
    I had a walk around the names graves this morning but no joy.
    I will make inquiries around the village to get more positive information.

  249. Marlene – thanks, any help appreciated. Stefan and I were at school together (Hucknall National) and I do remember visiting his house a few times. I was also quite good friends with someone else in the same class who lived in The Spinney – but I can’t remember his name right now. I was told some time back in the mid 70’s that Stefan’s father took it particularly badly (which is understandable of course).

  250. Dave. A little more information about Stefan Cope. The local window cleaner knows his sister and is going to ask where Stefan is buried.

  251. Marlene – thanks for taking the trouble to do that. As it turns out – I am flying over to the UK this Sunday and arriving in Nottingham on Monday. My mother was taken to Kings Mill Hospital a little over a week ago and I’ll be staying in Nottingham and travelling up on the tram to Hucknall to visit the care home (Wood Lane), or getting the bus to Kings Mill if she does not get released from hosp. This will be just about every day.
    My dates are arrive late Monday 6th June and depart back south on Wed June 15th. I will be staying with friends that Wed so I can get my early flight back here from Heathrow on Thursday morning.
    I will have access to the internet during my stay so any info is welcome, but I understand this is short notice.
    Thanks again.

  252. Hello!

    It’s been a while since I posted in here, but I thought some might just remember the subject of my post.

    My ancestors lived in Bestwood almost from the colliery being first opened around 1870 is They lived at various addresses in Park road for many years.

    My Grandparents Arthur and Doris Berresford had the Bestwood Hotel (Clubbie) for years up until the early 1960s. They had three children. My Dad Wilfred, who died in 1976, my Auntie Dorothy who became Radford by marriage and died some years later. Finally my Auntie Marion, who became Johns, and passed way in December 2015. She lived on Ruffs estate Hucknall for most of her life. Long shot, but some may remember her, or even Dorothy and my Dad.

    I’m in Nottm. for a few days week commencing 27th June and will certainly be having a wander around Bestwood Colliery just for nostalgia’s sake.

    Best wishes to all.


  253. Hi, My Mum lived in Alexandra Lodge, Bestwood when she was little as her father looked after the woodland. She was born in 1923 but cant remember how long she lived there. Sadly she cant remember much now but when she thinks of home she always remembers the room over the road as that is where she played. She remembers the main estate owner as Sir Harold Bowden. She has a picture of the lodge that her brother drew years ago. She also remembers the village but I don’t think she went there on her own.

  254. My family were from Bestwood village and Bestwood estate. My mums Jackie Hall was Davies,her mum Joan Davies was carver and her dad Thomas Henry Davies “apparently a large family ” she also has a brother called David Davies . My dads Geoff Hall, his dad was Graham Hall and I believe his dad was Eric Hall , his mum Joyce Hall was catherall his grandparents were Norman and Florence catherall and he had a younger sister called Ann. It’s been lovely reading through all the previous post. Many fond childhood memories of the village.

  255. I remember a Jackie Davies . I used to be good pals with her and on bad weather days when we could not play outside we used to play in the garage at her house , I remember it being full of toys.
    In the village the kids all played together either on the park or by the River Leen in old tin baths or at the top of Hill Road outside the Cartwrights house playing marbles , this was a massive thing in the village , always taken very seriously.
    come to think of it I seem to remember a jackie davies and a jacqueline davey , one lived on moor road and one lived on park road , it was the one on moor road who was my friend.

  256. Well, you have a different format now but we have many generations lived in the village! ‘My great uncle was game keeper! At Alexandra lodge any information please say!

  257. Came upon this site by complete accident and what a gem!
    I lived in the village with my Mum and grandparents until 1977 and our family name was Sansom (my uncle David is mentioned above by Kim!)
    Our story goes back to when the pit was opened and my Great-Great Grandparents (Soloman and Elizabeth) and Great Great Uncle and Aunt (Henry and Charlotte) left Old Tupton and moved to the village. (Prior to becoming miners at Old Tupton the brothers were from a family of farm labourers in Quadring, Lincs.)
    They each lived in one of the brand new houses built for the miners in 1876.
    My GG-Grandparents lived at no 43 Bestwood Colliery which later became 42 Park Road
    I have a copy of the excellent book by Alan Parr and several members of my family are in it.
    My Great Grandfather (also Soloman) was a Pit Deputy and is in the photograph of the lock out
    My Granddad (George) is in the picture of the boys brigade. He was origainally a chauffeur and later a driver when the mine was taken over by the National Coal Board
    My Great Uncle (Walter) is on one of the pics of the football team.
    Like others they moved around the village quite a bit. The house I grew up in was 16 St Albans Road. One of the bigger houses in a group of four – there are two blocks of these either end of the “gennel”. I remember it had a terrifyingly huge cellar!
    My Grandmother moved onto Mayes Rise after the death of my Grandfather. Her neighbours were Les Bailey and his wife, who had moved from the “Arch House” in the woods, which I now know as Alexandra Lodges
    I remember my childhood in the village with lots of happy memories. I remember my Grandparents seemed to know everybody and I recognise some of the names mentioned above – Butler, Stout, Flannagan, Butterworth (lived next door on St Albans Road), Mimmack, Catton, Harris, Stapleton …
    My favourite teacher at the school was Mr Lyons. Memories of Miss Dawes fill me with dread – how/why did that woman become a teacher?!
    Lovely Miss Finney and Mrs Glover and of course Mr Lowe.
    I learnt to ride at Broad valley Stables – now much changed
    I go back and walk my dog over the pit tips and around the woods, now a lovely country park and remember all the keep out signs of my childhood
    I do feel sad at all the new development – how can the school cope with numbers of children? There doesn’t seem to be the infrastructure to cope with so many homes
    Interested to read of the lady who lives in the Old School House – as a child I dreamed of living there 🙂
    I have moved several times and now live in Calverton. Another old village with much character …… and much new development as Gedling Council fills it’s quotas here
    Much to read on your site – off to look at Southwell next – my daughter is at Minster School

  258. Thank you for the kind words and especially for the great account of living in the village, Linda. Some very interesting detail that I’m sure others following these comments will register with. I actually still after all these years struggle to think of the area as ‘Bestwood Country Park’. For me, living in Redhill, it will always simply be ‘up Bestwood’. Fond memories and still a place I love to spend time in.

  259. After reading your memories of Bestwood Colliery I write to say I remember all your family members , Well the ones in my lifetime, I am 71 yrs now. My family were named Young. We lived close to you and your Mum and Grandparents. We lived at 22 The Square.
    I can remember you being born I think. I do remember Rita Walter and David very well. I married and moved to Hucknall where I still live. My husband came to live in Bestwood at 39 Park Road when he was 11. Family name Siddons. I visit the Cemetery as my Mum and Dads ashes arew buried in the Garden of Rest. We read the headstones and are amazed as we know them all.

  260. Hello Marion. A Mrs Young does sound familiar. My Mum, who is 70 this year, lives in Arnold now. Walter has lived in Australia for approx 30 years after leaving the Regiment in Hereford. David is living in Bulwell. My Grandparents ashes are buried in the cemetery too. I will send a link for this page to my Mum, I’m sure she would be really interested.

  261. Hello Linda. Thank you for your reply. I am 72 in July . I was a couple of years older than your Mum. Lovely family. I also remember your Mums cousin Maureen who lived in the village who aged with me. Maureen lived with your G Grandparents. Nice to hear of Walter and David again. And of where your Mum is now.

  262. Hello Marion. Maureen lives in Saxilby Lincs. She and Mum have always been very close and still see much of each other.

  263. A up I lived in village up to 1965 when I left an joined army.I had many memories of goin up woods we a bottle of water an a cheese sarnie all we had rate good days i used to be called smacker

  264. I currently live at 26 Park road and I had been told various stories by our old neighbour Owen, who passed a few years ago. I wonder if anybody has any history of no 26 and the goings on of a one Dr Copley (not his real name) who apparently (according to old neighbours) performed certain medical procedures on young ladies that found themselves in the family way to relieve them of their burden. Not sure whether its true or not but the story goes it was during ww2 which saw many a young airman walk our path with a young woman in tow.
    Would love top find out if this was actually true and whether our now kitchen was used in this way.

  265. I have recently discovered that the village school is scheduled for an upgrade in the future, presumably due to the substantial increase in numbers of pupils as the village has been growing in recent years. It is with dismay that I have discovered any archived material/records were thrown away at some stage and I would urge everyone who submits to this site to include any reminiscences of their schooldays in the village that they can recall. Whilst it is currently unclear what the upgrade will entail (demolition of the existing building?) I hope to have the opportunity of visiting before a slice of history possibly disappears.

  266. Hi,
    The first Headmaster of Hawthorne school was William English Robinson 1883-1921 He lived in Linby. He called a meeting with the board of governors as he wanted a house built next to the school. He sacked a teacher ( a young Mr Hind) whose wages were £26 a year and said he would teach the class himself and would pay the £26 for rent, and so the Schoolhouse was built.
    He was followed by Mr Hackman 1921-1948
    Mr Bowen 1948-1972.
    Mr Wild1972-1980.
    Mr A Parr 1980-2007.
    Mrs M. Cordon, and Mrs E. Millington followed, with the new Head Mrs R. Jarvis from September this year.
    I do have a few photo’s including a photo of the school children in 1908 and a photo of the first school football team to enter the Notts primary schools league since the war when they lost to Spring St. 11 to 0

    Marlene Gee

  267. Marlene,
    Thanks for responding to my comments so promptly.
    I presume, from some of your previous posts that you are a village resident although I don’t recall the surname from my time in the village during the 50’s and 60’s (notwithstanding this must be your married surname). Living on The Spinney I was rather isolated from much of the rest of the village and attending grammar school from 1963 I became more so, losing track of those I went to junior school with, although some of the names of those posting on Stuart’s blog have evoked particular memories.
    Shortly before my family moved to The Spinney, when it was built at the beginning of the 1950’s, the school and St. Marks would have been on the northern edge of the village presumably with the cemetary marking the northern boundary. Google maps indicates how the village has since expanded, primarily along the north/south axis with further development expected, I understand, towards Goosedale.
    During its existence, the school must have seen thousands of children through it’s doors. I well remember Mr Bowen, he of Welsh heritage and an excellent handwriting style, although he significantly failed to pass that particular skill on to me. I have a feeling Mr and Mrs Peel?, both teachers at the school, were living in the school house during my early years at Bestwood. Mr Peel wore round glasses and had a moustache, however I can’t visualise Mrs Peel at all! There were substantial pear trees in the garden against the wall with the lower school playground. Sadly, I see no evidence they still survive.
    I would be greatly interested in any documents and photographs you may have, including source details if available, if you would be kind enough to let me have some contact details.

  268. Hi Tom,

    It’s always a pleasure to pass om information concerning Bestwood Village.
    You wouldn’t have known of me as we are relative newcombers.We moved into the Old Schoolhouse in August 1984 where we still live.
    I have many, many photo’s of the school and children and lots more of the Old village including the Bestwood Ironworks and Colliery.
    You may also like to see a photo of Mr Peel.
    A friend of mine who lives close by is the granddaughter of Mr Hackman, a previous head of school.
    My email is should you wish to contact.

  269. hI i was wondering if Colin Berresford is still on here.He posted something back in 2008. I think we are realted and would love to find out if we are.
    Gina in new zealand now.,

  270. Also wondering if Comment by John Butters/February,14 2010 is still on .he made a comment about Ben Stocks being his family whom worked underground/. That s the name of one of my ancestress who also worked Bestwood Pit. Could he get in touch or if any one that knows him please.


  271. Hello Gina! It’s been a little while since I’ve been in here, but I have certainly posted many times since 2008!

    I’d be very interested to hear how you think we may be related?


  272. Good morning Stuart! Many thanks. Gina has replied already, and I to her. So it seems you have ( and not for the first time) helped me to establish contact with long lost relatives!

    Many many thanks. I’ll let you know what Gina and I discover…


  273. Morning Colin, I’m really pleased to hear that! It’s quite staggering the amount of interest and happy consequences this little piece created a few years ago, very satisfying for me!

    Please do drop by and let us know. I will also send my email address to you later when I get a moment.

    Have a good day.


  274. A strange request but does anyone have a photographs showing the landfill site in use on Southglade before the bingo and food and drink place was built
    in anticipation


    Today, I was visiting Nottm from my present home on the Lancashire/Merseyside border. I decided to try to photograph the houses occupied in the late 19th/early 20th C by my Great Great Grandfather Samuel Berresford and his son, my Great Granded John Berresford.

    According to the 1891 Census, Samuel was living, with his wife Sarah and 12 children at No. 50 . ‘Main St’, which could only really be Park Road. And in 1901 Samuel’s son John was living at No. 63 ‘Main St’ with his much smaller family which included my Grandfather Arthur.. aged 2. These are the houses on the left as you drive into Bestwood Village. They carry Terra Cotta type ‘plaques’ on their front walls with intertwined letters/numbers either showing ‘1876’, or ‘BCI’ (Bestwood Coal and Iron’.)

    So.. got to Bestwood in the pouring rain and found No 50. Took a pic and went looking for no 63. No luck. Highest No. was about 56, pretty much opposite the former ‘Clubbie’, ‘Bestwood Hotel’, which Granded Arthur and Grandma Doris kept until the early 60s and is now flats.

    Hmm. Saw some people in a house opposite No.50 looking out at my suspicious behaviour.. so I knocked at their door. They were very helpful. Told me they’d lived there for almost 50 years. But here’s the thing. Their house and 20 others on the right as you drive into the village, were only built in the 1930s and had been numbered 1-20. After this, the much older houses on the other side of the street were re-numbered starting with 21 just past the old ‘Bestwood Welfare’. Maths was never my strong point.. but I eventually worked out that this meant that old Samuel’s ‘No.50’ in 1891, would have become ‘No. 70’, after the re-numbering. But there are only about 30 ish houses in the whole row…. ‘Curiouser and curiouser’.. as Alice said…

    To be honest.. not being very bright or observant, I’d never really spotted that the houses on the right of Park Road/Main Street are much newer and bigger than the original 1876 ones. So, I looked at an old 1935 map and yep!!, no houses on that side. Just Allotments.

    So.. all of the older houses are on the left as you go into the village. The ones in Park Road, then the ones in Lancaster Road/Drive, ‘The Square’ and St Alban’s Rd.

    I’m wondering if the original houses. (I’m sure I read somewhere that there were 80 of them), were all numbered in some sort of sequence, rather than the current method of numbering each named street. Who knows?

    Well I hope somebody does…. Any ideas or info would be greatly appreciated.


  276. Hello Col,
    I don’t know if this helps but the houses on Park Road had consecutive numbering, starting at No.21 and finishing at No.56 (total of 36 dwellings) St. Albans Road starting at No.1 and finishing at No.18 (total of 18 dwellings) and The Square running parallel to St, Albans Road had 10 dwellings no.2 to no.20.

  277. Some great comments on here. I was born and brought up on Andover Road, Bestwood Estate, Dad had a building business which he ran from Bestwood Station on Moor Road from the early 1950s until the mid 70s in the latter few years it was also a shop. Dad and Mum moved to Moor Road in 1969 and lived there until they passed away. I moved in in the late 1980s and demolished and rebuilt the bungalow. I still visit now and then and enjoy a walk around the country park.

  278. This is a bit of a long shot… my gr gr grandfather has listed Bestwood as his place of birth in approx 1815-1819. Can anyone tell me if there are any village records that may go back that far? Ancestry and Find my Past have no record of his birth. Unfortunately his name was Henry Smith, not a rare name so it makes things doubly difficult! I believe the church in the village wasn’t built when he was born, and of course in those days not everyone knew their birth date or how old they really were. Henry was an agricultural worker so may even have worked for the ‘big house’ on their lands. Again would there be records of who worked on their land and if so where might I find them.. at the moment Henry is my brick wall in the construction of my family tree. If anyone has any ideas of where I can go from here I would be very happy to hear them.. regards and keep up the good work on this lovely site.. regards Jan Smith

  279. You probably know this but just in case … Whilst there may not have been a church in Bestwood Village in the 1810s, Bestwood should still have been in some parish – Bulwell, Hucknall, Papplewick (maybe best bet) where the parish records may hold what you want.
    Happy hunting,

  280. thanks Tony, I have looked through hours and hours of records of St Mary’s in Arnold, but Papplewick seems a much better bet. I’ll see what I can do, that should keep me busy for a while.. jx

  281. Hi Colin B.
    It must be my advancing years, but I do have some recall of the fete on Goddard’s farm. Wasn’t it in the field alongside the path which was effectively an extension of Southglade Road leading to his house? I was six at the time of the coronation so it could well have commemorated that event.
    By the way, I’ve just been reading some of the entries on this site from around eight years ago, regarding the shop owners on Andover Road, either side of Marble Arch. The shop at the top end was a haberdashers run by Mr and Mrs Stockdale who actually lived further into the estate somewhere.
    The chemist (or pharmacy) was run by Mr and Mrs Handley and my mum Hilda Mortimer did a bit of part time work for her. As a small lad (around Canberra crash time) I remember going with a note from my mum on a monthly basis and coming back with a brown paper bag whose contents remained unknown to me for many a year! My dad befriended Dick Handley who had been ill and given up the business, though this was after we had moved to Sneinton Dale.
    Opposite Marsdens, on the opposite limb of the Y-shaped path, was a hardware shop but I can’t recall the owners’ name.
    My kindest regards to you and anyone who remembers me.
    Dave Mortimer (No 66)

  282. In the later years I think the hardware shopped became a grocers run by the Odells,who I believe lived on Leybourne Drive.The row of shops also had a hairdressers run by Val when I worked as a Saturday girl in about 1972/3

  283. I don’t recall the other shops apart from the ‘bottom end’ where there was an off licence and the ‘papershop’ between the chemist and the haberdashers. I wonder if there are any more ex-Southgladers who read this blog – many of the ladies/girls will have married and changed their names so I don’t recognise them. I left Southglade around 1964 I think, so I may not have known several current contributors.

  284. Stuart I have taken a distant relative from Canada to the graffiti left by young men before they departed for France and Flanders Fields many of them never to return. I also took two cousins from Scotland to see what their ancestor had scratched into the brickwork. It was a poignant moment watching them draw their fingers across A. Hamiltons name almost as if it would bring them closer to him. Without you Stuart none of this would have happened. Thank you again.

  285. That’s really nice of you to mention, Don. The moment you describe there sounds incredibly poignant. If anything I have ever written on here was worthwhile it is that. I’m especially pleased as I too am originally from Scotland and have had strong ties with Canada. Bless you and thank you so much.


  286. Hi, what a great site. My family lived in the village and my mother still does @ the age of 97. I can remember the family names of more or less everyone living in the village from 1965 to 1987 when I moved to Arnold.

  287. Yes I lived at 47 park road when I was born, we moved to church road shortly after and my mother continues to live there. I have 2 brothers Paul and Chris and a sister Wendy. My father worked at the pit till it closed in 67 and then transferred to linby. My mother worked in the canteen at the clock tower and my sister worked in the telephone exchange. We all went to Hawthorne Primary school and remember all the teachers. The village now is nothing like what it used to be, I still walk my dog through the village when visiting my mother and it brings back fond memories. It would be great to have a big reunion and catch up with what people are now doing.

  288. Note that there have been one or two family reunions through the various messages here Nigel. I think that would be a great idea for all you Bestwood Village folk.

  289. Hi
    Does anyone have any information about Ivy Dene Moor Road Bestwood Such as who lives/owns it

  290. Dear Stuart

    I grew up in Bestwood Colliery, living on Moor Road from 1936 to 1960 opposite ‘The Oaks’ and ‘The Sycamores’ as a child in coal-hungry war-time, and afterwards as a young adult in the still coal-hungry post-war years. In 2012 I sent you some of my memories of that time which you ncluded in your records of correspondence of that year. My father was the scientist for BA (Bestwood Amalgamated) Collieries up to 1946, and at age 16 (1951) I joined the NCB East Midlands Division No.6 Area Scientific Department (based at Bestwood). Alan Parr’s ‘BESTWOOD the story of a village’ (published 1987) details the early history of the village and includes many photographs, but only one or two of these cover the period when I was there, which naturally is my particular interest. The reason I am writing is to enquire whether anyone or any organisation holds copies of photographs, available to the public, taken of Bestwood Village in war-time and in the years shortly afterwards when there was maximum activity in the mine and the village. If my memory is right, coal output at Bestwood hit 20,000 tons a week in the late 50’s. . (An example of something that presumably could not be photographed but is well remembered is that of tanks trundling down Park Road from army training areas in ‘The Woods’.) Alan Parr’s book shows on a small scale six out of nine photographs that give a 360 degree panoramic view of Bestwood taken by Walter Townley from the top of the pit-head baths in about 1955..Does anyone know if the full set still exists.

    I am attaching as a small contribution a copy of a school photograph of Mrs Bradbury’s 1st year class at Bestwood in 1940. Yes, I am in the photograph at age 5 on the back row.- I won’t say which is me. Sadly I can name only one or two of the others – well, it is 80 years ago!.

    Best wishes

    Andrew Fawcett



  291. HI Andrew. Great read. thank you for that, Wanted to ask and i know it is a long shot.But do you remember any Stocks working there.They are my maternal side. They lived in and around park road. and work at bestwood colliery ,

    Just thought I would ask.

    Cheers Gina

  292. Gina: I remember the family name ‘Stocks’ in the Bestwood Colliery village of my day but can’t myself picture any member of the family. However, I have had a word with my slightly younger brother John who well remembers Arthur Stocks, born about 1938, who was at Bestwood Colliery school with him. He tells me he even has a form photograph with them both on it.
    Best wishes

  293. wow thanks Andrew. That`s my uncle.He is still living in Nottingham.Such a beautiful man. Do you think your brother would be interested in scanning me a copy. Would love to see it. Thanks “Andrew so much.

  294. HI Andrew Here is my email,Not sure if I am allowed to put it up here. I will risk it [deleted] I live in new zealand now and have not seen my uncle since I was a child.

  295. Andrew Fawcett I saw your request for information of the 9 photos from Alan Parr’s book. I have them all.

  296. Wow this is really nice,I found this site by chance and my husband and myself could not stop reading, it is great. I have very fond memories of Bestwood Village.i read Kim’s and I had to realise yes I lived there, I could not believe it I rang her at 1am Australia time. So funny she is my sister and I was reading my own family story, I knew so many names that are mentioned.
    .My name is Susan I live in NSW Australia. I do remember being upset when you Macreadys emigrated yes you was missed. So sorry to hear about Sandy so sad. Our sister Vicki died of cancer just over a year ago, she was 54 at the time.i was the oldest of our family and will soon be 65. I remember the Underwoods, Standles, there was 2 Cross family’s one on Hill Rd the other up the Spinney could mention loads.
    Really though I am looking for old photos of the nursing cadets and the black diamond Juniors myself (Susan) Kim and Lesley, was in them and would love to see if I could get some. Thank you for the trip down memory lane.

  297. These photos would from the mid 60s onwards I remember going to Rhyle in Wales with nursing cadets if it helps one year. The black diamond band was conducted by Mr Daly. Father of Elaine Daly. Also I knew Wendy Anthony sister of Nigel she and Elaine was in my year.

  298. Thinking about it school photos would also be of interest as I have none.remember the headmaster Mr Bowen. Miss Finley was my first teacher Mrs Foster next 1960 was when I would have started school, then went through to Hucknall National. I later went to Padstow. This as all started because a friend wondered if I had a photo of the band I played in. Well here is hoping plus Hello to anyone that remembers our family.

  299. Welcome Sue and I hope you find lots of interst here. It’s been wonderful to see old friends, families and neighbours reaquainting over a number of years through comments on this article. Thanks for reading.


  300. Yes that is just I liked about it is really nice just seeing the names. Still go for a walk around when I do go back to England, what I did find funny was when we went back to the school was, at the gates was these bars we used to cockle over , they are so tiny. They didn’t seem so little way back then.

  301. I had a similar experience when going back to one of my early schools. The pegs for our coats in the cloakroom appeared to have been moved to somewhere around knee-height!

    Bestwood has apparently been a busy place this past two or three months while locdown has been on. Possibly unprecedented levels of visitors/ I’m sure it will soon be returning to its normal peaceful self!

  302. Russ Marsden.
    Hi Russ, I used to live in Ivy Dene. I lived there from early 1963 when I was born. We moved to West Bridgford in late ’67. My Sister, my brother and myself are all still local and have a drive-by every few years to see what the old place looks like.
    Regards Mark.

  303. I am John Fawcett, brother of Andrew another correspondent, and I lived in Bestwood Village from 1938 to the mid 1950s. I have written a fairly extended account based solely on my memories of the period of the mid 1940s to perhaps 1957. I stress it is a personal account and it will undoubtedly have mistakes in it, or rather fallible recollections.
    I would like to share my account with anyone who wants to read it. I have to say that it so far runs to about 18 sides of A4 and perhaps totally unsuitable for this website.
    I wonder if anyone would like to respond and give me advice which might be encouraging or might save me pursuing something which has no outside interest.
    John Fawcett

  304. Hello Edward, I worked at Hawthorne school from 1985 to 2009 and Still live in the village. I would be interested in reading your account of Bestwood Village.

    Marlene Gee.

  305. Marlene, Thanks for your response. I shall be pleased to send you the draft in a very few days. How shall I get in contact with you, please? Presumably email might be the easiest.
    You were quite right to address me as Edward although I have always used my second name, John.
    Best wishes, John

  306. That’s great John, thank you.
    I also have lots of old photos. The Iron works, Bestwood Village mine, and photos of residents from many years ago.

  307. Hi I have just read most of the post;s about Bestwood Village and the Pit . I Lived on Bestwood Est (1 Raymede Close ) and worked at Bestwood as a teenager in about 1963 until the pit closed in 67. Great job working with the Ponies down pit I am Arthur Hawkins and have just been in touch with my best mate from that era Fletch any one who knows him or me will know his nick name. I married in 69 (still) and moved away from Bestwood And Nottingham I now live in Spain but have loved reading the mail about all of Bestwood Est and Bestwood pit At the start i was looking for any mention of Padstow Youth club around early 60;s to around 65 -66. Me &Fletch & various other;s usedto play football (not very succesfuly) Can any-one remmeber that time???.

  308. HI Arthur, great reading your story about Bestwood. You might of wqorked with my family They were Stocks. They lived on the estate for years.

  309. Hi Gina and Andrew Fawcett Arthur Stocks is my brother-in-law and still lives in Nottingham. He is in his 80’s now. His parents lived at the top of St Albans Road near some garages and there was also a path which went to Critchlows farm. He also had a relative who lived on Park Road. I’ll ask him for more info.
    Mark Rainford – Your dad stayed with my family for a short time when he first worked at Bestwood. Your mum followed later most probably when you were ready to move into Ivy Dene. I think you moved later to somewhere near the Embankment at Bridgford.

  310. If anyone is interested. I recently obtained a DVD from Amazon of Stand Up Nigel Barton, previously unobtainable. BBC play filmed in Bestwood Village in 1965 showing Park Road, bits of the pit, school yard and The Square where Nigel lived. I remember them filming as I was 14 at the time. There’s about 10 minutes in the Village Hall and all extras are village people having a drink and playing bingo. I recognised Ron and Bill Flanagan, Mrs Horton, Mrs Gelsthorpe and many others, the hall is full.
    Reply for Gina. My sister and brother-in-law Arthur Stocks say they are already in contact with you.

  311. Arthur Hawkins , we lived at 186 , Raymede Drive , the Wesson family ,your younger sister Pat and I played together as children and started our first day at school together as I was 1 day older than Pat my birthday being 8/1/53 ,I was devastated to hear of her death but have lovely memories of our early childhood x

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