John Player's Radford factories


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Stan,

was that before or after Jesse Boot sold his shares in the rubber boot making factory to the Duke of Wellington, who co-incidentally was in the café business with the Earl of Sandwich selling cheese slices between two pieces of bread, .......................it'll never catch on said their American friends Ronald McDonald and Sergeant Saunders ( a man destined for fast track promotion), the rest is history..................

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there is an interesting thread elsewhere on this site,describing Jesse Boot`s house on the Trent overlooking the Memorial Gardens

Jesse Boot's summer house, Plaisaunce. This is now the site of the ugly Rivermead flats on Wilford Lane.

boot.jpg

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I don't think that is John Players old house.

Fernliegh House was sold to John Player in 1896 for £4000 pounds, it is now the Nottingham Hospice.

However I worked in the house in the mid 70s installing a new boiler and there is a very distinctive feature on that house. A large round glass cupola sited on the roof and accessed by a sprial staircase. If you look at todays photographs of the house it is still there and can be plainly seen form both the front and and rear elevations.

The story I was told was the original owner had it built so that he could observe his tracts of land in the Trent Valley, but I don't know if that bit is true.

Colin

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I worked at Players for about 5 years from 1965 and absolutely loved working there.

I was a "qualified secretary" as we were called in those days but had a flat to pay for so worked on the factory floor because the money was better than the office and worked as a factory clerk in Tobacco Factory then transfered to Qualtiy Control a couple of years later - loads of overtime if we wanted it to pay for our week-ends of pleasure.

I played hockey for Players and we were given the best facilites and load of perks - week-ends away, all paid for and great mates to share it with.

Yes they were strict but that is what work was all about then.

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I don't think that is John Players old house.

You had me wondering, but it is the place. There's a weird bit of camera work happening. On both Pic the Past photos you can't see the cupola where Mr Player watched his people and places. And as a reminder........

player2.jpg

Note the distinctive small, square window which goes across a corner of the building, and the two large bay windows to the right of that corner window.

Now, look at an aerial photo of the place. You can see that corner window again, and the two triangular end gables....and you can see the cupola towards the back of the building.

wind.jpg

Both photos are taken from a low angle, and manage to not show the cupola which is hidden behind the roof and chimneys.

I must get out more.

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Hi Cliff, just for the record it was the owner before Player who used it has a observation platform I believe.

I have checked Google Street View and the cupola can be clearly seen of Woodborough Rd at the front and from The Crescent to the rear.

I pass on a fairly regular basis so next time will stop and check.

Colin

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hellothere 'Nottstalgia' chums, do any of you have any knowledge or memories of Player's Recreational Ground on Aspley Lane - before it became David Lloyd Fitness Centre?

Not much on the Internet.

Paulus: can you help being an Aspley boy?

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I didn't think I ever went there personally, but I remember my grandad - who worked at Players - talking about the place. He was a big cricket fan and would "go to Player's rec" to be an umpire at what I presume were local league cricket matches.

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While I was at uni here I worked at Player's on the temporary labour pool during the holidays. We used to stand in for cleaners/lift operators and the like when they were on holiday. One of the tasks was to clean the arched roof of the concert hall. It was a beige colour so away we all went wiping it down. i got a little too enthusiastic, and suddenly, a sky blue emerged from the 40 years of nicotine. A job that was supposed to take a couple of days ended up taking two weeks as we then had to get it all back to the original blue. Faster and cheaper to have simply re-painted it.

Another memory I have (nothing to do with the rec) is when they created artificial tobacco. They used something called NSM but they never took off. Eventually, they dropped the idea and the entire stock ( millions of cigarettes) were burned in the furnace at the warehouse on Hucknall Rd ( or Nottingham Rd I can't remember where it was now). The guy tending the furnace was really annoyed as they even made him crawl under the furnace for the cigarettes that had missed the mouth. This was thanks to the customs official so that they got all the duty back.

When the EU wanted all cigarettes to become standard sizes, similar to American King size cigarettes, the codenames ( not exactly unbreakable codes) were VIking 1 ( for a No 10 King Size and Viking 2 for a version with the same amount of tobacco but shorter and fatter, similar to a Gauloise.

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Looking at 'Britain from Above', you get a pretty good view of the site as it would have been in the 1930s. The road going left-right is Western Boulevard, and the road going north-southish is Aspley Lane.

playerrec.jpg

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Fernleigh was definitely the home of John Dane Player, son of the founder. They were good with their money. They spent money on the children's hospital on Chestnut Grove4 and also new wards at the General. St. Margaret's church on Aspley Lane was also paid for by him. He contributed to other churches and church halls. I think William Ashton Player lived on the corner of Forest Road and Southey Street. He also gave to hospitals and churches.

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