The Nottingham Riots?

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Was it 1980's?

Rampaging mobs on Alfreton Road and Radford Road?

I remember Shop windows boarded up and premises set on fire.

Police officers in police helmets (pre Riot Gear?) protecting themselves with dustbin lids.

What can you remember of those days?

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I remember the summer of 1980.

There were rampaging mobs of lads running around Market Square and the city centre. I stood outside the tobacconists on the corner of Long row and Kings Street (Findlays?) and watched as some put lads put the windows in. Their 'looting' was pinching a few pipes and larking about pretending to smoke the pipes in the street.

I went with a pal up into the top (upstairs) bar in the Bell and looked over the scene. It was like a Keystone Cops movie with gangs being chased around the streets by police vans, sirens blaring.

I recall the huge amount of shutters and grills that were hastily fitted to shop fronts in the city as very quickly no store's windows seemed to be safe.

Mad days.

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I think the year would have been 81 same time as all the other 'inner city' riots (Toxteth,Brixton,Lozelles road,Aston Birmingham) We were sat in the Nags Head on Carlton Hill when these lads came in asking (Very matter of factly) if we were coming down the riots that night

There was also some trouble down in Radford ,(that came to nothing,) a couple of years later (I had just dropped a record off at my mates house on my way home from afternoons shift at Pork Farms) and got stopped from riding down Gregory Boulevard (at the junction of Alfreton Road) towards the Forest by the police, but nothing came of it.

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I'm sure you are right, Ian, it was 1981. I think it would have been around July time as the night I recall above I was going on holiday to Sweden that next morning. I remember two weeks later when I came back it had died back.

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Nottingham gained a reputation as a centre for riotous behaviour associated with political radicalism. The town authorities were in favour of parliamentary reform from the 1780s, and this had an impact on the way elections were conducted at least until the 1880s. In addition, Nottingham was the centre of Luddite disturbances, it saw some of the worst riots in the country at the time the 1831 Reform Bill was thrown out by the House of Lords, and it was an acknowledged centre of the Chartist movement. With the passing of the Secret Ballot Act in 1872, and the end of election activity in the market place following further political reforms in the 1880s, the radical image of the town slowly faded. The Conservatives, out of power for over a century, finally triumphed on the Corporation in 1908, but Nottingham was one of the last major provincial cities to become a Labour stronghold. After amicable power sharing on the council during the inter-war years, Nottingham since the 1960s has become a Labour stronghold, both in local and parliamentary elections.

Nottingham’s political reputation was established at the 1790 Parliamentary election when the campaign was marked by violence

Inter-racial relationships

More than 1,000 people went on the rampage on the streets of St Ann's that night.

I think the police and everybody were shocked by the speed and ferocity of the West Indian response

Eric Irons

The Nottingham Evening Post reported: "The whole place was like a slaughterhouse."

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Black people today in Nottingham remember name-calling and bricks thrown at their windows as a regular occurrence in the 1950s.

A week after the Nottingham riot, the crowds gathered again in St Ann's.

Around 4,000 people were on the streets on Saturday 30th August, 1958.


Without any visible targets the white crowd turned on itself.

A huge fight ensued and dozens were arrested.

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  • 1 year later...

Thing is this was nothing to do with England getting knocked out of the world cup, it was all to do with "The family" and their prison sentences!!

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I saw that on one of those multitude of 'Police Camera Action Lets Drive Fast But Let the Criminals Get off With bu99er All Sentences' programmes only a couple of weeks ago, I like the way that they obscure their faces too, let the public see who these scum are.

There was a riot in Luton last monday as shown on Anglia News. It would appear that the BNP were going to hold a march through the town in order to wind up the Asian population. The Home Secretary banned the march, fair enough, but the police turned up anyway just in case they ignored the order, fair enough again. The result was that the hoodie Asian youths turned on the police and started chucking bricks at them. Nice one, the police should have turned water canons on them, but instead arrested very few of these arrogant, obnoxious, self opinionated scumbags. What made me cringe was the sight of a beardy wierdy white dustbin sack called a mullah standing outside his mosque and blaming the whole thing on the police. Perhaps the next time the BNP really turn up in Luton in force, the police will stay away and the mullah will end up having his beard singed and hopefully worse, but then they'll only blame the police again, the coppers ain't angels as we well know, but sometimes they just can't win.

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  • 3 years later...

I remember the riot down Alfreton Road/Radford Rd in the early 80s when I lived in Bladen Court flats off Norton St. All the shops at the top of Aspley Lane near my Nans boarded their windows and doors up in readiness for it reaching that far, but it never did.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 8 years later...

I remember driving corpo buses on late shifts during those riots in the Green.

Incidentally I met Eric Irons JP at his house on the Bestwood Estate.

Nice bloke you could say, a good egg.

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