Cobbled Streets in Forest Fields

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Bit late to post this now but I hope you all enjoy just the same.

I moved from Elstree Drive in Beechdale to Russell Road Forest Fields in the summer of 1961 ready to start at Forest Field Grammar School in the autumn.

The Victorian terraces with outside toilets and cellars were quite a contrast to the 1930's semi I was used to in leafy Beechdale.

I soon made friends and enjoyed living close to the Forest and Goose Fair.

The most striking thing to me was the cobbled streets. I was very nervous about riding my bike over them but soon got used to it although my bum was sore for a while. It was a real bone shaking experience.

What really astonished me though was on Bonfire Night I witnessed a bonfire at the top of Russell Road that was set alight in the middle of the street!!

I was informed this was the tradition in the locality but to me I had never seen anything like it before.

The cobbles seem to withstand the heat of the bonfire with no problem and I think the locals just swept up the ash the following morning.

I recall this practice went on for a few years before the council tarmaced all the streets and roads in the neighbourhood.

I'd be interested to hear from other posters about their recollections of this annual event.

I was driving around Forest Fields recently and i noted there are still a few cobbles in evidence on Stanley Rd.

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Having attended your school in the 50's, in its earlier form as High Pavement, I recall the surrounding cobbled streets that you describe.

Another memorable feature was how dangerous the surfaces were, when wet, to the many scholar/cyclists.

Indeed, there was an incident when teacher Dave Crick came a terrible cropper when turning his bike into a damp Stanley Road - complete with a bundle of marked exercise books held under his arm!

The initial entertainment for the watching playground gallery soon turned more serious, as they realised how badly he was injured.

IIRC, he was hospitalised for many weeks...


Robt P

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I remember in my first few weeks at FFGS the head Oliver Barnett announced the death of David Crick.

I recall a picture of him appearing in the school magazine. Quite tragic as he was still quite young.

I had a walk around the old school yard yesterday after I took my 20 yr old daughter back up to Nottingham where she's studying Fine Art at Nottingham Trent Uni.

It was quite sad really. The old school is all boarded up and looking very run down.

I think NCC have plans for it but nobody 's saying much at the moment.

It's Grade ii listed. Built in 1897

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Just remembered it was Dr David Crick

I think he might have come in to FFGS as deputy head.

Mr Hancox was deputy when I started in 1961.

Oliver Barnett who was head at Forest Fields from it's inception in 1955 until he retired in 1964 was a former master at High Pavement so he must have know David Crick from there.

Not sure what subjects Dr Crick or Mr Barnett taught but I think Oliver Barnett might have taught Latin. He had an MA from Cambridge I believe.

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Rather strange, as I recall that David Crick transferred with HP to Bestwood in the mid-fifties...

Perhaps he moved on to FF later in the decade, after I'd left?

Unsure of his teaching subjects, but I know he was a top national rower in his youth...Olympics, '48?

Knew of Oliver Barnett, but can't visualise him...he'd have only been at HP for a short time, prior to FF.

Head of HP throughout this era was Prof. Harry Davies, who went on to be a Chancellor at Nottingham University.

He was eventually replaced by a Cornishman...whose name eludes me.

Perhaps some of our other Pav members might correct my errors and omissions!


Robt P.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was at FF Grammer from 1966 and my latter years were at the 'new' building on Carlton Hill. As for bonfires they were indeed lit in the middle of the street on the cobbles. I lived in Radford and there were 3 streets of terraced houses that ran parallel to one and other and there was intense rivalry between the streets as to the best biggest fire. You posted guards on your site as you would get any prize flamable object nicked. And of course we would keep an eye on rivals for prize objects. When I was 13 or I had mates in neighboring streets so we pooled resources and had some frighteningly large conflagrations in the street. I remember them being too hot to touch for several days. People whose houses were close would have the paint on their doors blister and some would hang sheets over the door and throw water over them to prevent this.

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  • 3 weeks later...

On the subject of David Crick. I've just viewed a FFGS Speech Night programme for 1963 (it's on the public Forestians site in Facebook). It refers to a David Crick Memorial prize so I think he taught at FFGS as well as HP before he died around 1961.

I've also managed to find a reference on the same site to Oliver Barnett teaching Maths.

Sounds like the Radford bonfires on the cobbled streets were even more scary than in Forest Fields.

Front door paint blistering from the heat wow!

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  • 2 weeks later...

there was a street, either Belton or Goodliffe St (maybe both?) that was "cobbled" with pale almost eggshell blue very shiny "sets", had an almost glazed effect and slippy as hell, also I seem to recall seeing one street somewhere with with dark green glass blocks in the gutters?, there's been a topic somewhere here re street bonfires

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  • 1 year later...

A group of us when were about 11 would meet up at a friend's house on Premier Road paround bonfire night and knock on doors in forest fields asking for old armchairs. If we got ones with castors we would race them down the pavements on Premier Road and then try and stop before going onto Gregory Boulevard! Once it got dark we would put the chairs on the bonfire

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No idea of era you are talking of Tim but did you know Malcolm and Frank Winship at I think no.7 Premier Rd? was 1957 to about 1961, their father was manager of The Futurist cinema, nowt bonfire night wise but had lots of fun times at their house, model railways, experiments in making rockets, explosives etc!

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 years later...

I left FFGS in July 62, and  well remember David Crick. He definitely taught geography, as it was one of my favourite subjects. I don't recall the cycling mishap, but he was never in good health as a result of his terrible time in Malaysia, and him contracting malaria. 

I have a newspaper snippet of Barnetts speech at the Albert Hall, whereby he mentioned that DC's pupils would have followed him to the end of the earth. Well I can concur that we would. He was a fabulous teacher, and a great man. A true inspiration to all who had the pleasure of meeting him. A sad loss.

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Sorry ... I have not read any of the above posts, far to long, reading the title their is still a street in Forest Fields that's still cobbled think it's off Leslie Road. 


Edit ..... I've just read the 1st post Stanley Road :crazy: 

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