Fishfinger

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10 Excellent Nottstalgia Content

About Fishfinger

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    Beeston
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    Architecture and design, mainly Gothic Revival stuff, and thus anything Watson Fothergill. History - WW2 home front and the Civil War. Lost buildings and anything weird.

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  1. Not Andrew (Manuel) Sachs, but his father, Leonard. The Sachs escaped from the Nazis in pre-war Germany on the same boat as a friend’s father and grandparents. The rest of the family weren’t so lucky
  2. Anyone know when C&A opened its first shop in the city? I know they arrived in the UK in 1922, and built an impressive (but sadly short-lived) Art Deco store in Sheffield in the late 1930s - were they in Nottingham also by then?
  3. Once British intelligence had the frequencies for Knickebein, and later X-gerat, they broadcast jamming signals on the same frequency, which made the German system effectively useless (one of the jamming stations, codenamed ‘aspirins’, was located in Charnwood, not far from Coalville). This resulted in the Luftwaffe having to fall back on visual targeting. In the case of Coventry, whoever ordered the jamming frequency got it completely wrong, so the Luftwaffe crews were able to recognise it, and ignore it. After the initial fires were started, of course, visual target location was all that was needed!
  4. There were several Starfish (decoy fires) sites around Nottingham - the best known was called the Cropwell Butler site, though some distance away. There was also one at Diseworth (now under M1Jn24), and also just outside Cotgrave, which earnt its keep, judging by the craters in the woodland there! The Starfish sites were very different from the decoy trucks, etc (some of which were made by Nottingham’s rag trade!) in that they were live fires, lit after the first wave of German pathfinder bombers had bombed their target, and intended to deceive the Luftwaffe main force into bombing the decoy fires rather than the target. There were a variety of fire types, that duplicated the appearance - on a small scale - of the unique features of the target. So the Nottingham decoys would, for example, have a device that looked like tram cables sparking, while the Diseworth decoy had a layout that mimicked Toton marshalling yard. If you want to know more, there’s a very good book on the whole decoy programme, called ‘Fields of Deception’ by Dr Colin Dobinton
  5. The safety of the caves was psychological rather than physical! I used to work with Nottingham caves expert Tony Waltham, and so was able to get into places not generally open at the time. When we went on a tour of the Peel St caves/air raid shelter, Tony pointed out that the top end of the caves (sand mine) was so near the surface, and the rock so porous, that if anything of any size had been dropped on the shelter, it would have gone straight through and exploded IN the shelter, similar to the Co-Op bakery incident, but the number of casualties would have been far higher. Indeed, a bomb dropping quite near did penetrate a fair way through the sandstone, but didn’t go off immediately: it went off at midday on the 9th, killing several people (?sightseers?). The belief that anywhere underground was safe resulted in some nasty incidents in London, notably Coronation Ave shelter, Balham and Bank tube stations, and the Cafe de Paris in Piccadilly, which though 20’ below the surface was only protected by the roof and floor of the building above it. Although advertised as ‘the safest restaurant in London’, it was anything but, and many people - including the most famous swing band leader of the day, Ken Johnson - were killed when two bombs went straight through the building above and exploded on the packed dance floor, in March 1941
  6. If the ‘huts’ were there c.1920, they were probably “recycled” Army huts from 1914-18. They could have been from a local base, or even possibly from the Machine Gun Corps camp at Belton near Grantham, which was huge! These huts were well-built and some lasted well into the 1970s at least - my school in Grantham had one which housed the domestic science classroom and dinner hall, and others had new lives as village halls, so it’s entirely possible that’s what these ‘huts’ were (I saw one still in existence, but showing its age, a year or two back in Co. Durham - not bad for ‘temporary’ structures to reach 100 years old!)
  7. Random replies to random things... the photo of South Sherwood Street was taken from the roof of the Newton Building, or the old Student Union/refectory judging by the angle, and also the one of the Council House? I knew those views reasonably well, having worked for years in Newton, in what was originally the SU/refectory kitchen, so we had easy access to the roof, which as I was in the photography/video services dept, was very handy! It was also very handy on the day we heard the unmistakable purr of a Merlin engine, so we bolted out on to the roof just in time to get a personal fly past by a Spitfire, and a wave from the pilot! The Royal Children pub is actually name after Charles I’s children - the younger ones were taken into captivity by Parliament during the Civil War, and so separated from both their elder brothers (Charles and James), *and* their parents. Indeed, none saw the youngest boy, Prince Henry, again: he died not long after. Poor Queen Anne had no surviving children, but numerous miscarriages, and one baby that was either still-born, or only lived a few hours. Thus we got the Hanovarians: the next in line to Anne was her cousin, the Electress Sophia, but the title was grabbed by her husband George, who loathed her
  8. Thanks all for the information. As mentioned, there is so much conflicting material about as to which was the actual building - you’d have thought it was something so literally burnt into the city’s psyche it would be well known! Mega thanks to Clif Ton for the aerial shot - I have seen several, but this one is new to me, and really helped in sorting out the bakery location. Presumably the little vehicles dotted about are the ‘new electric delivery vans’ mentioned by Una? I can’t remember now if I asked this elsewhere, but does anyone know where the online eye witness account of the bomb might be? I know I read it online, but on my phone, so I haven’t been able to retrace my steps to find it. Yes, gruesome interest, I know, but I’m working on a novel set in WWII in a fictionalised Vale of Belvoir, so Nottingham features quite a bit Totally unrelated, but something that came out of looking at the aerial photis - when were the Cattle Market gates at the County Road entrance (Anchor end) put up? They are definitely Victorian-looking, but in the 1920s photos I’ve seen, the road goes straight into the top of the Cattle Market and no gates. Were they perhaps removed, then re-installed later?
  9. I know this topic is mentioned on several threads, but the dire “search” facility won’t find them for me! I’m trying to find out *exactly* where the building was that was hit - was it the building that still exists that is painted blue, that was recently the Stephen Jenkins bed/bathroom place, or was it a separate one? I’ve been looking at old aerial photos, but am no wiser. Also, I’ve seen a sketch map of the layout, but can’t now find it - was it on Nottstalgia, or a different site? Thirdly, I know I’ve read an eye-witness account online, but again, can’t now find it. I’m also trying to find out more about the Dakeyne St shelter incident, but can only find snippets. Help, please, from them as knows!
  10. It was Suthell when I lived there briefly as a kid - never heard of 'Southwell' until the 1990s and poncy London incomers! Mansfield friend born and bred insists it is Rennoth!
  11. Fascinating stuff - only coming to this part of the city in the 80s, I never realised Bilbie Walk had a previous existence, nor knew Arkwright Building as anything other than educational facilities (the Fashion Dept dye technology labs were in the top floor at the Bilbie end in my day). Terrace Royal at the bottom of Clarendon Street is now Grade1 listed externally, but the ghastly object plonked on what for years was a car park between there and the Chaucer Building can't be said to complement it!
  12. Having intimate acquaintance with the goods lift in Newton, and how much kit would fit in it (not), I imagine most bands would take their gear up in the public lifts at the front! I have to say though that I never realised how many great names had hallowed the old Refectory area with their presence - in my time in Newton, it was just an empty space my department would have loved to occupy!
  13. It was bloody difficult to get to see bands in Nottingham when you lived in Grantham, but luckily for me, my Dad allowed his arm to be twisted and he took a carload of us to see our favourite band at the Portland - Horslips, then the biggest band in Ireland after Thin Lizzy, and inventors of Celtic rock. I won't go into how we got into the dressing room, but we did, and have stayed friends with the band ever since! We saw them again there the following year (invited into the dressing room that time!), and later I saw the Italian prog band PFM at the Portland, but had to leave early in order to get the last train back to Grantham. That particular gig was prefaced by drinks in the Flying Horse, another massive loss to the city.
  14. I'm one of those who intensely dislike the vandalism perpetrated on Slab Square, particularly the 'Weeing Wall', which bears no relationship to its surroundings in scale, purpose or materials, and which meant the destruction of a far more useful 'weeing facility'! What I want to know, though, is has anyone improved it by the addition of Fairy Liquid, as regularly happened with its predecessors?
  15. Oh, you would! I've had the dubious pleasure of seeing the proposals made in the 1960s for the new 'civic centre', which would have stretched from Newton up to the crossroads with the St Ann's Road on Mansfield Rd, along the bottom of the Arboretum, and back up Goldsmith St. They make Maid Marian Way look like a model of sympathic planning in scale with the rest of the city - horrendous! I personally rather like Newton myself - I always think it's like a big dog that's so ugly you can't help being fond of it, and certainly, there are far worse monstrosities in the city from the Brutalist era, definitely designed with malice aforethought, and mostly already decaying badly!