December 17, 2011, by Fraser

17 December: Ice skaters on the River Trent

The Victorians knew how to dress for any occasion and this photograph shows that a spot of ice skating on the River Trent was no exception.

Taken in 1895, the photo is part of an album containing 12 black and white photographs depicting the people of Nottingham making the most of a cold snap.

Despite how fun the skating looks, the river should not freeze again as the West Burton power station has used the river water as a coolant since it opened in 1968.

The talented photographer who took the wintry pictures is unfortunately unknown, but the photos themselves serve as a reminder of what Nottingham was like at that particular moment in time.

Below are a few more snaps of the skaters in action as part of a Flickr slideshow, including two of Trent Bridge and the building which now houses The Riverbank Restaurant and Bar:

If you can’t see the gallery above, please visit our Flickr site.

With the idea of preserving information for the future in mind, Impact: The Nottingham Campaign asked for current students from the UK, China and Malaysia, as well as prospective students, to share their ideas regarding where they saw themselves in 10 years time. And only time will tell if their predictions will come true as the information has been buried in a time capsule at Jubilee Campus – and will remain so for the next decade.

Since the mid-19th century, photographs have been a powerful way to ‘see’ the past. There are many local examples in Manuscripts and Special Collections and the curators are keen to collect more – particularly those relating to the University and its members. So if you know of any then please do get in touch with their team.

All of the items featured in our e-Advent calendar are from the University’s historic library holdings, held in Manuscripts and Special Collections. For more information on the wide range of materials available, take a look at their website and blog or contact the curators on

Impact Campaign
Find out more about our Manuscripts development plans and how you can support us via the Impact Campaign website.

Posted in History