#MondayBlogs DAWN OF THE UNREAD Nottingham: City of Literature, City of Literacy

Dawn of the Unread

dotu-city-of-lit

The following article was published in Teaching English, Issue 14: Summer 2017

Nottingham – where this summer’s NATE Conference will be held – has been named a UNESCO City of Literature. David Belbin explains how the project aims to boost literacy in the city, and introduces the digital comic Dawn of the Unread, one of the ways in which the city hopes to bring Nottingham writers to a new generation, and encourage other cities to celebrate their local authors.  

david David Belbin in issue 14. Artist: Ella Joyce

UNESCO’s World Cities of Literature is a prestigious network for cities that combine literary heritage with outstanding present day creative activity. An author and educationalist, I chair the company that Nottingham set up to bid for the status and run the organisation should we win. City of Lit is a permanent designation. Few of us expected us to achieve accreditation at the…

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Shane Meadows Portrait…

Photography, fame and film makers.

chris olley's blog

Shane Meadows, filmaker

I did a degree in Photography at Nottingham Trent University between 1991-94. In my final year Shane Meadows started as a third year on my course. I got to know him quite well and one day I was walking past the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham with my camera and Shane shouted over: “Chris, come and take my picture, I’m gonna be famous soon.” I remember thinking ‘what a smart-arse arrogant thing to say!’

So I went over and got him to stand against the wall and I bent down and shot upwards to capture him in a Mussolini-like pose to try and get a picture that reflected his arrogance. I think he already knew something good was happening to him back then because a few weeks later he was on the front cover of the Evening Post because Bob Hoskins was going to be in his film.

At this time…

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Memories of the M1 Motorway.

The iconic photo of Superintendent Bert Jarvis with his story of the M1. Bert is believed to be still going strong in Australia.

As the M1 progressed North in 1965-66 Nottinghamshire Constabulary was given the responsibility of policing junction 24 at Lockington to junction 27 at Annesley. The traffic Chief Inspector Fred Corah decided to form a Motorway section and train them accordingly. Ten men were selected, 8 patrol drivers and two motorcyclists/relief drivers. They were, Roger Storey, Maurice Jackson, Harry Wilce, Bob Sheil, Roy Sentence, Wally Harper, Trevor Wootton, Tony Slater, with John Halliday and Dave Brown as the two motorcyclists. The patrol cars were Ford Zephyrs and the motor cycle was a Norton 750 Atlas. Their training included visiting Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Lancashire to see how they did things. As soon as the stretch from junction 24 to junction 25 at Sandiacre opened, all 8 miles of it. Fred Corah made the officers patrol it 24 hours a day, with strict instructions that they were on no account to leave the motorway except for refeshments at Stapleford Police Station.The cars all operated from West Bridgford Garage under the supervision of the traffic Sergeants Fred Pepper and Geoff Goodwin with Lol Ogden as the traffic Inspector.

A former officer recalls “Patrolling that first eight miles was a bit soul destroying as the traffic was very light at first. However it soon started to build up and it wasn’t long before we had our first fatal. None of this first stretch was in Notts. The first part was in Leicestershire and the second part in Derbyshire with the result that we spent a fair amount of time in Loughborough and Long Eaton Magistrates Courts. Light relief was at the start of the 1966 World Cup when the first match was between Germany and Switzerland at Hillsborough in Sheffield. Hundreds of Swiss and German supporters came up the motorway which they thought went to Sheffield when to all extent and purposes it finished in a field outside Nottingham. We had some real fun and games trying to direct them to Sheffield. Eventually the motorway extended up to Nuthall and Trowell services station was built complete with the Police post. Finally Notts section up to Annesley was completed.”

Wartime Memories of a Sneinton gal.

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Trent Lane Sneinton Bomb crater at Trent Lane Sneinton

Raising a child can be a complex and confusing. Much of this chaos and confusion is brought about by those with parental responsibility, where too much is done with or provided for the child. A child in fact just needs to feel safe and cared for. Good examples of this ‘less is more’ attitude are provided in times of war and hardship. Mary’s story encapsulates this.

Mary was born in 1940 and lived in a two bedroomed house on Hutton Street, off Colwick Road in Sneinton, Nottingham. Britain was already at war with Germany and her father Eric had signed up to join the army. His brothers were already serving their country and he could not “stand by and let them fight the war for me”.

So with Eric serving in the Desert Rats, it was left to Mary’s mother Rose to provide for…

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On Nightingales and Hidden Libraries

Robin Ince in Nottingham deserves a mensh.

Robinince's Blog

“If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad”- Lord Byron

I do like a surprise library.
A library like Brigadoon but that continues to exist after you have had your first adventure in it.
I was walking upbeat through Nottingham.
I had hit my word count target for number of words per day for the new book. I am aiming for 500 more words a day than Graham Greene’s daily target, knowing full well that, unlike Graham Greene’s precision verbal aim, I would probably be junking 50% of the words after careful consideration. I am currently writing without careful consideration. It’s dynamite pockets of fingertip blistering typing to be reviewed when I have hit 120,000 words, at which point I will find out if I have written a book, an epic beat poem, or an impenetrable conundrum. The, the chainsaw of self-doubt will hack away at the…

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The Old Salutation Inn

Nottingham Hidden History Team

by Joe Earp

St Nicholas Street in Nottingham was once called Jews Lane. There has been a building which stands at the corner of Hounds Gate and Jews Lane since at least 1415. It was in use as a pub by at least 1725. Today we fondly know the pub as The Salutation Inn. The dates for this was confirmed in 1998 when History Hunters, which was a spin off from the series Time Team, did a programme on Nottingham’s oldest public house. Their conclusions were that the Bell Inn was the oldest pub, the Salutation was the oldest building and the Trip to Jerusalem had the oldest caves. However despite the conclusions the debate still goes on.

The Salutation Inn is known to many a local as a comfortable quaint old style public house. The rear of the building, before the construction of Maid Marian Way, was actually the…

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Nottingham’s music scene continues to amaze!

18 months on and The Mocking Jays are top of the bill at The Maze tonight. You were warned.

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I suppose there will be some people who have never even heard of The Maze music venue on Mansfield Road in Nottingham. For those of us familiar with it, it seems to have been around forever. In fact its current period of success began in 2007 after surviving a proposal to convert the building into student flats.

Thousands of commuters using Mansfield Road will only see it as The Forest Tavern, an ordinary looking pub at the top of the hill close to the Forest cemetery.

I recall visiting The Forest Tavern some years ago in the later stages of a pub crawl. Ordering a pint of Budweiser for a friend, the chap behind the bar quite rightly pointed out that they served Budvar the Czech beer and not “that American shit”. Whilst he poured my pint of a less well travelled Castle Rock beer, I told my friend that…

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