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In the new additions to Picture the Past, I found this photo of a place I hadn't come across before. According to PTP, it's Old Park Farm on Morval Road, Bilborough, and they date the photo as 1990s.

If that's true I'm amazed a place like this survived in the middle of Bilborough until the 90s. Are there any ex-Bilborough residents who recognise the place; and was it really still there 20 years ago?


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I have an old street map that shows a largish empty patch boarded by Morval Rd, Staverton Rd, Graylands Rd and Meldreth Rd. On Google maps this now shows as a fairly recent build called Old Park Close.

There doesn't seem to be any other area large enough to accommodate that size of building.


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I was brought up close to here and often passed it on the way to the shops. It was actually the old Wollaton Park Farm. All that land was owned by the Willoughbys and later the Lords Middleton. Before Wollaton Hall was built in 1588, the old Hall was on the south side of Wollaton Road. The old Park stretched all the way up to Bilborough Village and Strelley Estate. Hence the name Old Park Farm.

It was very old and the Old Coach Road used to pass very close by before the houses obliterated it.

When I was very young, it was the library, until they built the new one behind the Pelican Pub. It then became a community centre. I can remember Dog training classes there and I am sure there was an Air Training Corps there as well.

It was set on fire in May 1999 and demolished around the 13th of that month. It was where there are new bungalows bounded by Morval Road, Graylands Road and Meldreth Road. I can remember my Dads house on Wigman Road being addressed as 'Old Park Estate. Aspley'.

I do have lots of photos which I took during the last 20 years of its existence. I will post them when I find time to master the technique that Pooh Bear kindly showed me.

I have copied pages from the Wrights, White's and Kelly's Directories for the years in which it was a farm, but I need to search for them. I am sure one of the farmers names was Jackson.

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I've also managed to partly answer my own question. In its later life the old farm seems to have become a "Community Centre". This shows it in the 1960s, surrounded by some housing, although the 'Old Park Close' bit didn't exist then.


Apologies for the map being a bit fuzzy. It's the best adjustment I can make.

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At around that time we were losing one or two historic farms in the area. I extensively photographed the then derelict Chilwell Dam Farm just before it was demolished, and also Hempshill Hall farm before it was converted to homes.

At Old Park Farm there were traces of the old pond nearby. There was also the remains of the old water pump. All demolished after the fire. So sad.

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After Bilbraborns info that it was originally classed as Wollaton , I found a few clips from the papers .

In the 40s the farmer was a Mr. Jackson as BB says . Mr Jackson made the papers for having dodgy milk . Unfortunately the website is under pressure and running slow at the moment so can't find any more apart from something further below from the mid 1800s when it was owned by the Hopkinsons

Publication:Nottingham Evening Post Publication date:Wednesday 08 September 1943 Article text:"WOLLATON FARMER PROSECUTED Summons Dismissed The magistrates at the Nottingham Guildhall to-day dismissed the case when Vincent Siddall Jackson, of Old Park-Farm, Wollaton, pleaded not guilty to summons alleging that he had failed to keep three milk churns clean"


Publication:Nottingham Evening Post Publication date:Monday 27 July 1942 Article text:"Jackson, of Old Park Farm, Wollaton, was, at the Summons Court, to-day, fined £5 and ordered to pay £2 2s. costs. He pleaded not guilty Mr. Cope Brown, prosecuting for the Health Department, said that an inspector of the department bought pint of milk from....watered down"

Nottinghamshire Guardian Publication date:Friday 09 October 1863 Article text:"

at 14, Clarendon St Cambridge on 4th Oct , at residence of her niece Mrs William Cox, Ann youngest daughter and only surviving daughter of the late Francis and Mary Hopkinson,of the Old Park Farm, Wollaton, Notts, and late of Farnsfield.

Friends in Nottingham- shire please to accept this intimation.

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Ayup. You've made my day. I can say my missis' favourite phrase.

I told You! LOL

On old buildings in the area. Before they built most of the industrial units on Wigman Road, and of course widened Wigman Road below Glaisdale Drive, we used to play in the big field on the corner. At the extreme corner were trees etc. But further back, around where the industrial clothing place is now, was a huge puddle (in wet weather), which was a big draw for us kids. It was actually the flooded basement of an old building. On my early 20th Century large scale OS map it shows a nursery going all the way back to the railway. It might have been the admin building.

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i am sure like myself ashley and old ace will remember this place well home of 41 motor cycle club for a long time lots of great memories ,

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Couldn't find anywhere else to put this poem. I collect any snippets of info on Bilborough and cut this out of the Evening Post about 15 or 20 years ago. it was written by Ralph Foster.

Us Bilborough Boys we were the best,

A little cut above the rest.

Hard times we had when we were kids

Our toys were sticks and dustbin lids.

Plain food to fill our hungry bellies

No cakes or sweets or wobbly jellies.

Pork and beef were for the few

while we survived on Rabbit stew.

Into the woods and with some luck

We'd find some pheasant eggs to suck.

Bread and cheese from the Hawthorn tree

Berries, newnuts cow kale were free.

Two on a bike, you and a pal

Ride off to Wollaton canal.

We'd dive off sixteen bridge with pride

Show off to people on the side

On with our clothes it's getting dark

Back through the woods, now Bilborough Park.

The girls were great, no airs and graces,

Tough young things with pretty faces.

When we grew up and went to work

There's not a job that we would shirk.

Unskilled labour, not much pay.

But what the hell, live for today.

Off down town on Friday night

Lots of fun, sometimes a fight.

The last bus home that was some trip,

Dallo' and Stony letting it rip.

Good Morning Mr Fisherman and Barefoot days

The conductor wondering just who pays.

There's lots of names that I recall

Like Butch and Alf and that's not all.

There's Munnsey, Ted, Buck, Frank and John,

Henno, Albert, Billy and Don.

Fuzz and spider, Joe and Fat

Wally, George, Fred and Pat.

There's plenty more, name after name

Decent lads who played the game.

I could go on about those times

Keep making up these corny rhymes.

But I'll just say about those days

Now that we've gone our different ways.

Despite the hard times and the pain,

I'd love to do it all again.

I wonder if Ralph is a member.

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  • 1 month later...

I remember the place well. I went to the library there and my older brothers used to go weightlifting there. When I was 10 my mate Stewart Nicholson and me used to light the boiler for his Dad at about 5 o'clock on a Friday. Imagine that? Ten years olds lighting boilers? Massive thing it was too. Lots of fun to be had though.

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  • 4 months later...

Whilst in the area, a similar place at which I spent many a happy evening was the Grange farm at Bilborough. It had everything,youth clubs,dances,sports,etc.,-but like every green spot in England,they are being covered in concrete and bitumen.

Anyone remember the Grange?

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I lived on Greylands from 71 - 93, my parents are still there. I knew this place well, used to play there with mates on the roofs etc. I went cubs there, I think it was the 56ers, I was a seconder and Simon the the sixer. (I think that was the we used to call it). There was a live in caretaker, he seemed about 7ft tall at the time I played there, very creepy, he played a trick on me and jason once, he somehow wormed his finger along a window sill making it look detached, we sh#t ourselves and legged it. In later years they built a building to the side and it was where we went boxing. It had big sheds attached and in one of them there was a really old tractor and we found in another one a printing press with fake notes..... once we found a human skull, took it to mr Kicks who lived on Greylands as he was some kind of ambulance man, he said it was real and took it off us.

This is our chant from school.

we are the Glenbrook kids

we fight with dustbin lids

we knock'm out with Brussel sprouts

cus we are the Glenbrook kids

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  • 6 months later...

I used to live on Graylands Road back in the 60's and 70's....and used to go to Old Park Farm dog training every Sunday. Lovely old place, was sad to see it go when I used to come back to visit my parents.

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  • 11 months later...

I used to go Old Tyme dancing at Old Park Farm and there were a couple of Brownie/Guide dos there too. The library was there before they built the 'new' one behind the Pelican Pub on Bracebridge drive. When I took my driving test in 1969 I had to reverse around a corner in Morval road and saw the building as shown on this site. Unfortunately it caught fire and was demolished shortly afterwards. One wonders if the fire played into the hands of developers...........................................


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My family used the library at Old Park Farm in the early 1950s when we moved to Bilborough and I went to a youth club there on Friday evenings when I was older. Looking back now, it was an odd sort of place to find in the middle of the estate. I'm sorry to hear that it burnt down.

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  • 5 months later...

I can remember Old Park Farm We used to go to the library there and my brother went to the cubs/scouts there I think. We used to play in the grounds. Weren’t there foxes there as well? I was surprised that the Council were allowed to sell it, wasn’t it “willed”  to be used for the people of Bilborough? I noticed houses are being built where Martins Pond was, went there tadpoling as well. Is the pond still there?

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Martins Pond! Yet another reminder from this wonderful forum of something I'd forgotten all about. We used to collect frogs' spawn there for the school nature table....something which I am pretty sure wouldn't happen nowadays. 

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Spent many happy waterlogged times there, think I caught sticklebacks there as well or that could have been the canal down the cut through to Wollaton Hall from Glaisdale Drive. Shame so many of these green places are being built over by, often quite ugly and cramped, housing developments.

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On 4/24/2019 at 7:02 AM, Stavertongirl said:

I can remember Old Park Farm We used to go to the library there and my brother went to the cubs/scouts there I think. We used to play in the grounds. Weren’t there foxes there as well? I was surprised that the Council were allowed to sell it, wasn’t it “willed”  to be used for the people of Bilborough? 


Old Park Farm in the middle of the newly-built Bilborough housing.


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