On Thursday, February 21st 1935, the Nottingham Evening Post featured a letter from Mrs E A Garner of 11 Harley Street, Lenton. It was entitled, ‘More Memories Of Nottingham 60 Years Ago’ and so – based on the date of publication – we can surmise that it refers to Nottingham around 1875. Along with a footnote from the editor, the letter reveals some wonderful details of the bygone city centre. I’ve transcribed both the letter and the footnote here.
HAVING lived in Nottingham all my life – and I shall be 76 on May 1st next – Mr Lake’s reminiscences of the Nottingham of 60 years ago in Tuesday’s “Post” were of great interest to me, and I can endorse all that he says, except that I feel sure the Greyhound-lane, to which he refers, is the Greyhound-street, of which a part extending from Long-row to King-street still remains, but which at the time spoken of by Mr Lake ran right through from Long-row to Parliament-street. The site occupied by the “Guardian” Offices since their removal from Long Row in 1871 used to be called Wheatley’s Close, which had a wide entrance from North-street (now Forman-street), a little way up in which was situated a blacksmith’s forge. Farther on, it opened out into a green to which the neighbouring women used to take their household linen to dry, for a charge of a few coppers – a striking commentary on the very different character and aspect of the area at that time. Farther up Sherwood-street, a little past the present site of the “Guardian” Offices stood a railed-off pig-market, opposite to which, on the site now occupied by the Central Public Library buildings, was a piece of waste ground where a circus was occasionally pitched, with its accompaniment of cheap-jack travellers. The pig-market to which I refer fronted to Shakespeare-street. One side of Lower Parliament-street was then known as “Bunkers Hill” on which an archway led to the old St Stephen’s Church, which was an offshoot from Holy Trinity Church. The two sections of Lower Parliament-street were then separated by buildings, at the end of which, and fronting towards Theatre-square, was a baker’s shop. I am reminded by Mr Lake’s reference to Bendigo, that it was stated by a correspondent some time ago in your columns that there was no traceable record of Bendigo ever living in Union-road, but I can recall that he did live there with a sister, just above the Foxhound public-house, and on the opposite side. I remember the statement of Jimmy Dune that on the occasion of the prize-fighter’s conversion he found him at his “town residence in John-street” – otherwise the old town prison!
E A GARNER (Mrs).
11 Harley-street, Lenton.
(Old St Stephen’s Church on “Bunker’s Hill”, which was built in 1869, was pulled down about 1985 to make way for Victoria Station, and with the compensation money was built the present church of the same name on Bobbers Mill-road, consecrated in 1868 – Ed. “E P”)