On Sunday I decided to go and photograph as many of the Hoodwinked: A Twist in the Tale art trail figures as I could; there are 33 in total and I managed around 25 or so before deciding that at 28C it was getting a bit too hot for me to comfortably continue walking around the city centre so I’ll pick up the ones I’m missing in the next few weeks. The trail of colourful robins is here until September when they will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Nottinghamshire Hospice – they are also raising funds through the official app, and apparently a souvenir guide which I haven’t seen yet but intend to purchase when I’m next near the Tourist Centre. Each design is really well done and represents a certain aspect of Nottingham that will be fun for locals and hopefully entertaining for visitors. The idea is that Robin has donned all these different disguises in order to outwit the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham (below, painted in a homage to Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham).
Last Sunday I went on the inaugural Watson Fothergill Walking Tour organised by Lucy Brouwer (@notrock on Twitter). Regular readers will know how much I love Fothergill’s architecture and this was a good opportunity to learn a bit more and also meet other Fothergill enthusiasts. The tour was great, with a good balance of information about the individual buildings and Fothergill himself. I’ve spent a fair bit of time photographing his buildings but not doing any real further research into their original uses so it was good to get an overview of that in the context of Victorian Nottingham. We started off at the site of what was the Black Boy Hotel (now Primark) before moving on to the old Jessops shop and workrooms (always difficult to photograph!).
Bagthorpe Gardens are a community gardens I visited as part of the Heritage Open Day last year. They’ve been cultivated since the 1840s and have Grade II* listing with original hedging and restored bothies (a basic shelter).
Wollaton Village’s Dovecote Museum is a little tricky to find though just a short walk from the village and at the end of a cul-de-sac. It’s a small building dating from the 16th century, having been built around 1565 by Sir Francis Willoughby of Wollaton Hall.
The Nottingham Industrial Museum is based in part of the 17th century stable block at Wollaton Hall and as it’s only open on weekends and Bank Holidays it took quite a while before I got around to visiting. It focuses on a wide range of Nottingham industries including lace, bicycles and mining.
Over the gloriously sunny Early May Bank Holiday weekend I paid a trip to Stonebridge City Farm to see the lambs, but they also had some young calves and a seriously inquisitive cockerel.
When exploring some of the buildings in Wollaton, Nottingham as part of September’s Open Heritage weekend we stopped off in the Admiral Rodney Pub for lunch (the food was delicious and I would absolutely recommend it).
St Leonard’s Church in Wollaton, Nottingham, has been around since the 1200s and it would have fallen under the care of the Mortein and then the Willoughby families, owners of the nearby Wollaton Hall.
Watson Fothergill is one of my favourite Nottingham architects and I’ve written about him several times before. He had to move his architectural offices to George Street in Nottingham due to the building of the then Nottingham Victoria railway station (now Victoria Centre shopping centre) and this Grade II listed building was built in 1895. In 2015 part of the frontage was damaged by a truck and finally in the last month or so it has been repaired, so I went along to take photos. It says something about how well loved the building is that while I was there several people came up to me to express how pleased they were with the quality of the repair work.
Nottingham’s first puppet festival took place from 22-25 March but the last day was the only one I was free to explore. Produced by the Theatre Royal and Concert Hall, Nottingham Trent University and City Arts there were workshops, theatre productions and talks and on the final day a parade through the Market Square accompanied by some very lively music. Solely judging by the large crowds I had to wade through it’s been a success and at least on Sunday the weather was bright and sunny. My first stop had been to the Theatre Royal where a couple of the horses from the War Horse production were entertaining the crowd.