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Does anyone remember (and you'd have to be getting on a bit!) Chapel Street in Beeston?

I think it was demolished in the very early 1950s.

My father's family lived in a cottage in Chapel Street and he was ALWAYS reminisicing about it.

I'd love to find a photograph of the area- no one seems to have any.

I have a lot of family memories about this area and names of those who lived there: it was quite a community.

Any memories/photos anyone? Love to hear/see them.

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The Beeston Chapel in Later Years - The 1836 chapel (shown left) continued, despite strong competition from the Wesleyans and nc_chapel3.jpg Primitives for about 70 years. It was not always easy; in 1876 - when the Wesleyans" day school was at its height - numbers had dwindled to 18 but it seems that this must have turned round as there was the confidence to add new Sunday school facilities which opened on 27 August 1896. This was an era when, for many adults and children alike, social life revolved around the chapel and Sunday School and there are many fond memories of chapel outings and parades - one is leaving the Chapel Street premises, banner held high, on the picture shown on the right. nc_chapel2.jpg Things began to change when the New Connection joining the United Methodist Free Church in 1907, Beeston members moved to premises on Willougby Street, Beeston and the Chapel Street premises continued to serve as a Sunday School but was eventually sold in 1947 as redundant for Church use. Like many buildings of its kind which once represented such worthy ideals, its later use was somewhat sad. For a short time it housed a potato crisp factory ("Crookie Crinkled Crisps") and then was owned by Ericsson Telephones who put it to various uses ancillary to their main operation in Beeston Rylands. It was eventually sold to the Council in the late 1960s as part of its comprehensive redevelopment of the area which saw Chapel Street and its surrounds destroyed and replaced by the "The Square" Shopping Centre.


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I assume you know where Chapel Street was; but for the benefit of anyone else who might be wondering........


It disappeared under the Precinct/Bus Station (and I don't know if those two features still exist because I haven't been there for a while)

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Chapel Street - Chapel Street was named after the New Connexion Chapel that was first built there in 1805. The chapel may initially have been accessed just by a path as no road is shown on the 1809 Enclosure Map. Chapel Street, which ran from the area of the present Square to Middle Street between Styring Street and Station Road, no longer exists. It fell victim to the developer's axe when the new shopping precinct was built in the late 1960s.

taken from this site......

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I remember buying records from a shop called Matty's on Beeston High Street (late 60's).

It later became Rumbelows. I think the building is still there because it has one of those very distinctive patterns above the shops.

There was a programme on the BBC about the 70's earlier this year and it showed that row of shops.

(The 70's - the decade that style forgot!)

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Many thanks to all who posted info and images re Chapel Street. Now I can actually see one of only two gas lamps (the one outside the Chapel) that illuminated Chapel Street and which my father was always on about.

In his latter years, I persuaded him to record all his memories so I have them to hand down the family.

I can't say it often enough...write/record your childhood memories. Get your elderly relatives to do the same and don't let them destroy photographs. Once people are gone, so are their recollections of years gone by and WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE THEM!!

Sorry, getting on my soapbox now but it is so important. You all know it is, or this site wouldn't exist!

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I can't say it often enough...write/record your childhood memories. Get your elderly relatives to do the same and don't let them destroy photographs. Once people are gone, so are their recollections of years gone by and WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE THEM!!

My words exactly in a post a while ago...Unfortunately I had a Mother who 'Spring cleaned' on a regular basis and threw hundreds of photos away.

Of no interest to her, reminding her of her childhood in poverty....but a sad blow to her descendants (me) who wanted to retain an interest in the families past.

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You've been kind enough to post some photos of the much talked about (in my family anyway) Chapel Street.

As I said, my father recorded his childhood memories at my suggestion, so here are some of those recollections, told to me before his passing in 2006. He'll be delighted that Chapel Street is once again on the agenda!

In his words...

"My nearest contemporary in Chapel Street was John Warner (known to all as Jackie), a year my senior. He lived with Mr and Mrs Cundy- his step-father and mother- in a terraced one-up, one-down cottage in Chapel Street, Beeston. It was quite a squeeze compared to our spacious four-bedroomed home. Fortunately for Jackie, his sister Mabel had married- to Cliff Brown the hairdresser- and moved out.

The Warner residence had only one bedroom and young Jackie slept in what amounted to no more than a curtained-off cupboard. Many people in those years had no idea what it was like to have a bedroom to themselves, so I was lucky. Money was short and young Jackie Warner frequently told me how his mother, step-father and he had an egg for their breakfast: just the one egg, mind you, between three of them. On Sunday morning, there would be the weekly treat of a slice of bacon- again, shared between three. Such deprivation- even before the advent of rationing!

At the end of Chapel Street lived Tony Lee. He resided with his grandmother, old Mrs Kiddier.

Tony Lee was seven years older than I was and he was in the Boys' Brigade. He was also terrified of the dark. This explains why it was me and not him who ran his grandmother's nightly errands to the off-licence (more of that another time).

The local council were not over generous with the street lamps in Chapel Street and there were just the two- gas, of course, one outside the chapel, a third of the way down and one outside Mrs Moody's house, half way down.

Those were the days of pea-souper fogs (specially made in Beeston!) which rendered street lights useless in any event AND there were tales of a headless woman who haunted the Chapel area after dark on winter nights.

Tony Lee actually believed these stories (put about by me) and lived in mortal terror of running into the phantom.

The Chapel Street cottages had privies some distance behind the houses and young Tony Lee was much too scared to make the journey after dark, if nature called. Mrs Kiddier had clipped him round the ear more than once for making inappropriate use of her wash tub rather than go to the privy!

Some of the lads- Harry Harrison, Warner and myself- cooked up a fright for poor old Tony Lee. I got hold of an ancient dressmaker's dummy from John Roger Anderson's scrapyard in Styring Street: it had no arms, legs or head. Someone daubed blood-red paint around the neck and draped a white sheet around the torso before we carefully placed it- as dusk fell- on the wooden privy seat at Tony Lee's.

How we fell about with laughter, imagining his reaction. But things- as they so often do- went wrong. It wasn't Tony Lee who went to the privy that night in the dark but his aged granny with her candle and her weak heart. What could we do except watch in horror? We did the only thing we could do- we scampered home to our beds, trying to ignore the patent screams of terror as the 'headless woman of Chapel Street' loomed large by flickering candlelight.

There was hell to pay, of course. Mrs Kiddier collapsed with fright and the local bobby was called, visiting each house in turn to make his enquiries. Harry Harrison suddenly remembered that he had an errand to run on his bike which took him all of the following day! Poor Harry was destined to die at Dunkirk.

My mother, Kate, loomed angrily over me as I warily consumed my breakfast the following morning. "You know something about this!" she hissed.

No one was admitting anything. Fortunately, the old lady recovered but I doubt she ever saw the funny side of it!

In a neighbouring cottage in Chapel Street lived Albert Cutts with his aunt, Mrs Taylor.

Albert took "Practical Mechanics" magazine and got the idea of building a two-seater canoe- though Chapel Street was nowhere near water. After spending a great deal of time and money building the wooden frame, he then had to cover it with thick canvas and waterproof his creation with a dense paint, applying many coats.

At last, it was finished but it was an awful long way from Chapel Street to the canal: past the Rylands area. The only means of transporting the canoe was Albert's old bike and putting the lovingly constructed craft across the handlebars did not appeal so he had to think of other ways and means to test it for leaks.

He hit upon a unique idea. The canoe was carefully placed on two orange boxes outside in the yard. Cutts intended to fill it with water from a hosepipe. However, water is heavy and his canoe was unsupported in the centre.

Easily fixed. Albert borrowed one of his aunt's dining chairs while she was out shopping. The tap was some distance away from the yard and Albert had to hold the hose pipe on the tap because it didn't fit properly and kept slipping off. For this reason, he did not see his aunt returning from her shopping trip. We did, but we said nothing.

Auntie immediately spotted one of her dining chairs being abused and snatched it away, taking it back inside the cottage. The canoe remained suspended on the two orange boxes...for a moment or two. Then it folded up in the middle every bit as though it were hinged!

Poor Albert. The canoe could not be repaired and he could neither afford the cost nor had he the heart to start again with a new one. He joined the army instead."

Happy memories of my father's mis-spent youth in a street now long gone. He often wondered what had happened to Jackie Warner. Does anyone out there know???

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Any older readers out there remember John Roger Anderson of Beeston? My father knew him well...

"When I joined the Royal Navy in 1942 we were given special instruction in how to tie knots. Yet, I was already pretty handy with a bit of rope because I'd had a fair amount of practice during my childhood around Beeston.

There was a man named Councillor John Roger Anderson. He owned quite a lot of property in Church Street and also had a junkyard in Styring Street. John Roger, even though he was a Councillor, was extremely eccentric.

He went about garbed in a black frock coat which had turned green with age. in fact, he seemed pretty ancient himself and he rode around on an equally antiquated bike with bald tyres and which was mainly held together with pieces of string!

In his yard on Styring Street was a miscellany of stuff the Councillor had bought at auction. Stored in various sheds, it was just left to rot slowly away- so far as anyone could tell. We never understood why he did this but it provided a ready source of firewood for those who were that way inclined.

In the junkyard stood a wooden structure- something like a shop- with a window. This edifice was painted green and served as a kind of office.

One school holiday, I noticed Councillor Bush's bull-nosed Morris parked outside. There was no one about and, for a lark, I tied one end of an old clothes line to one of the Morris's rear springs and the other end to the door handle of Anderson's wooden 'office' building.

Councillor Bush appeared from somewhere or other, got into his car and drove off.

Now, I had no idea what I expected would happen. Certainly not what did happen. Instead of merely pulling the handle off the door, the Morris pulled the entire front out of the 'office'! I gasped, open-mouthed in disbelief as I watched the old dear inside, sitting on her antiquated chair, hands poised over an ancient typewriter, staring out at the view.

I would never have done it had I known the result. But, as they say, hindsight is a luxury and I removed myself with the utmost despatch."

My father regarded John Roger Anderson as something of heartless person but having read John Roger's 1911 Census entry there can be no doubt that this man had a sense of humour. If you don't believe me, have a look!

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  • 2 weeks later...

In 1938, my father was apprenticed to a Mr Alf Sheen who ran a company called Nottingham Sheet Metal in Lower Regent Street, Beeston. These are his memories of working for a chap who was widely known as "the meanest man in Beeston" but who sounds great fun to me!

"The winter of 1941 was freezing. At Nottingham Sheet Metal on Lower Regent Street in Beeston, we had no heating whatsoever. The building had once been used as a lace factory and had a boiler house at the rear. There were even central heating pipes but these had been disconnected to enable the building of another workshop. Reconnection had never taken place so the boiler could not be used

As existing employees were called up to the forces, new workers would be set on but it was so cold that we would never see them again after the first day. Often, the temperature was so low that it was just about impossible to hold metal tools in your hands. Precious little work was done. We must have been crazy to put up with it but statutory regulations governing minimum temperatures and working conditions were still many years in the future.

Bench-hand, George Edwards's patience finally gave out one icy cold day and he handed in his resignation to Alf Sheen. I followed suit with mine but Mr Sheen refused to accept them. He offered us a further ten shillings a week and promised to do something about the sub-Arctic temperatures in his workshop.

We assumed that he would finally have the central heating pipes reconnected, but no. That was much too expensive.

The new heating 'system' took the shape of a 40 gallon oil drum, placed in the centre of the workshop floor. Using paper to get the fire started, Alf then poured old, black stoving enamel over it to create a blaze. Not only was it exceedingly smelly and unhealthy, it was downright dangerous. But it was cheap! In effect, it was no more than a glorified night-watchman's brazier.

Alf Sheen was out one morning in his death-trap of a van, when some idiot poured on a drop too much paint. Thick black smoke belched out of the drum and nearly choked us all to death. Someone opened all the windows to let it escape and a public-spirited passer-by, noticing the clouds of acrid, billowing smoke, assumed the place was ablaze and alerted the local Fire Brigade.

Before we knew what was happening, the doors burst open and firemen with hoses doused the conflagration in the oil drum. The only thanks they received was from some aggrieved bench-hand who complained: "Oi! You've put our fire out!"

Next day, the poker-faced fire chief arrived to see Mr Sheen, accompanied by the Police. They gave him a roasting of a different kind and, as a result, he did have the boiler pipes reconnected.

At times, it must have been safer flying Spitfires than working for Alf Sheen. Not that the newly-reconnected central heating went to our heads. Sufficient coal went into the boiler to make the pipes tepid - and no more. We were still cold.

"Coal costs money, lad!" Mr Sheen pointed out when he found me blowing on my frozen fingers. "The way to keep warm is to do a lot of work!"

One night I was passing by at around 9pm and I saw Alf Sheen loading up his old van with sacks of coal. He was taking it home!"

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  • 1 year later...

I remember Chapel Street fairly well although many of the residents names elude me. In the early 50s my brothers and I used to work for the Shepherd brothers Roy and Eric.

Roy Shepherd rented what was a barn- like building at the bottom end of Chapel Street which belonged to Benjamin Smith (Benny Smith). He was probably registered as living on Middle St. but the entrance to the 'Barn' was on Chapel St.

Roy Shepherd would buy (or acquire) railway sleepers from Beeston Railway sidings or the creosote works on Padge road near Boot's bridge. Roy would saw them into lengths of around 6" using a circular saw. Using an axe his brother Eric proceeded to chop the lengths into sticks .

It was then our job to bundle the sticks by placing them into a large (Tarantella Tomato) can that had had it's top removed and was nailed to a bench.

Often when we called to see if there was any work for us, the barn was piled to the roof with sticks.

We worked mainly in the evenings from around 6-0pm to probably 9-00pm. Dad would always insist that we were home for 9-15pm.

One problem that we had was that Dad's local pub was The White Lion on Middle street which was just 50 yds from Chapel St. One of us would keep watch to make sure Dad was not exitting the pub as we were leaving to return home.

Roy paid us something like a penny for 6 bundles of sticks. He would sometimes offer cigarettes in leiu of pay but I always insisted on cash.

At that time I would spend any money earned on either stamps or model aircraft kits from Applebees on the high Rd.

Walking up Chapel St towards Beeston Square firstly on the right was Purity Milk factory. On the same side a little further up was Crookes Crisp factory (Later Ericsson Ltd). On the opposite side further up still was a bakery run by Mr & Mrs Marchant who had sons Barry and Kenneth. near to the Marchants lived a chimney sweep who's name I think was Arthur Slack?. He sold soot to the local gardeners.

Bill Wardle

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Hi Bill, wasn't it Crookey Crisps. I think they had a factory off Carlton Rd. Dakeyne St or one of the other small streets nearby.

I think the packets had a picture of Robin Hood on them.

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Hi All, thanks for the welcome.

Basfordred, i am certain that it was Crookes Crisps, but to confirm the fact I phoned my sister Joyce (who must be obeyed at all times) to confirm, which she did in no uncertain terms. She gave me a few snippets (she is 10 yrs older than me) of Chapel St.

1. There was a family of GUYS,

2 She mentioned a Claud Sparrow whom I take to be related to Jill SPARROW

3 She also mentioned the TACEYS and an accident involving a scolding at a party of the GUY family home.

I have no doubt stirred a few brain cells in Joyce's head, so I am sure she will be back to me. Providing she survives the bull & cow with her husband over the burnt spuds which boiled dry whilst Joyce was reminiscing with me.

I have a collection of Electoral Rolls for the Middle Street area of Beeston but unfortunately those for Chapel St are missing. No doubt they will be at Notts Archives so I will get them when I next to to town.

If anyone gets there before I do please let me have a copy.

Bill W

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Bill,do you remember Beeston lads club on Station st ? crowd of us used to come over from Bulwell on a friday or sat.night about 1960,had some good nights there.,Girl I knew as "big Viv" taught me the jive there,happy days,till we all got

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