Bookish Bingo

Do you know your local literary heroes? Do you like prizes? As part of World Book Day, we’re running a competition for three people to win a library tote bag filled with a waterbottle, notebook, pencil, postcards, keyring and lolly. All you have to do is match eight local authors (1-8) to eight locations (A-H) …

Take a Gander at Goose Fair

The first week in October can only mean one thing: the annual Goose Fair has opened on the Forest Recreation Ground! Here are a few images of previous Goose Fairs, mainly taken from old picture postcards, to get you in the mood before you go.                 Originally fairs were …

Dark, Satanic Mills

In late January and throughout February 1828, readers of the radical newspaper The Lion were amongst the first to read excerpts from an astonishing memoir that would help change Victorian Britain’s textile industry, and possibly inspire one of the great works of English literature. A Memoir of Robert Blincoe was published in its entirety four years after …

Rapping At My Chamber Door

Happy Hallowe’en! Whether or not you love all things ghostly and ghoulish, I hope you’ll enjoy this report of a poltergeist that we came across in the Nottingham Journal dated 7 March 1883: “Mysterious Affair At Worksop. Spirit Rapping Extraordinary. The town of Worksop was in uproar on Saturday, consequent on the circulation of a …

Ruling with an Iron Fist

You wouldn’t expect to receive threatening letters from the Ku Klux Klan or to be hounded by the press in the street for doing voluntary work, but that was the experience of Eric Irons, the first black magistrate in England. His is one of several biographies featured in the pamphlet “Sitting on the Bench: experiences …

The Black Sheep

Whilst helping a visitor with an enquiry recently, I came across a slim pamphlet entitled “Young Delinquents in Nottingham” (Ref: Not 3. H40 NOT). The eye-catching cover features a series of caricatures of juvenile delinquents in a style more often associated with cartoons or parody. If criminals were as distinctive looking as some of these …

Black History Month

To mark Black History Month, we’re focussing on one of Nottingham’s most famous black citizens; former slave turned entrepreneur George Africanus. His date and exact place of birth are unknown, but he was about three years old when he was brought to England in 1766, where he became a servant to the Molyneux family in …