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.

PorchesterBus

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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Slumming it: A short walk around the Glasshouse Street slum yards

A terrific tour rounď the the Glasshouse Street area. Well researched and well presentwd.

nottinghasm

It’s hard to find a lot of in-depth information about Glasshouse Street when researching local history, though it crops-up quite a bit in the supporting cast in other location’s tales. It gets mentioned in relation to ‘The Charlotte Street area’, a slum that used to sit immediately to the west of Glasshouse Street. It’s also heard of in discussions regarding Victoria Station, which replaced the Charlotte Street area. Central Road (later Union Road) and a public footpath passed over the platforms and tracks of the station, connecting Milton Street and Glasshouse Street. The building of the station also diverted Glasshouse Street somewhat, causing it to curve abruptly north-westwards and connect with Huntingdon Street, when it previously ambled north-east, eventually adjoining York Street (another under-appreciated thoroughfare). It modern times, Glasshouse Street grants access to Victoria Centre’s underground car park, and also hosts a pedestrian entrance to the centre for people approaching…

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‘We Must Always Love Our Own, Stuart’

A heartwarming tale fron Goose Fare of old.

The Tears of a Clown

Nottingham Goose Fair memories: ‘Big George, The Gentle Giant and my dad.

UP UNTIL THE EARLY NINETIES, ‘George the Gentle Giant’ was a Scotsman who would visit the fair each year who I remember as a youngster being a travelling attraction. Big George Gracie was a Lanarkshire man who measured fully 7ft 3ins tall, weighed 28 stone and stood in size 18 shoes. His size was caused by a brain tumour in his pituitary gland, as I understand.

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Gentle Giant – George Gracie

The big man’s living was to allow people to come and stare at him on a fairground sideshow stall for a few pennies. People would pay their money and file around his pen. The big man was a most affable fellow, in spite of it all.

I recall dad took me to the Goose Fair one early October Saturday afternoon. After the various round of coconut shies…

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