Trowell - "Independence & Self Help"
reformatted in August 2007 from original 2001 pages
All the pictures were taken with a Kodak DC 280

One of the lesser known facts about the 1951 Festival of Britain is that the village of Trowell in Nottinghamshire was in fact the "Festival Village". This fact was acknowledged almost 50 years after the event with the erection of an obelisk outside the Parish Hall as part of the millennium celebrations. Trowell stands astride the main Ilkeston to Nottingham road and the slogan "Independence and Self Help" typifies the outlook of the village. Despite the close proximity of its larger neighbours - Nottingham is less than six miles away - the village retains a close knit community atmosphere. There are much more picturesque villages in the country but in 1951 Trowell met all the criteria to justifiably earn the title. These criteria included being a village environment in an industrial area together with a progressive outlook.

Much has changed in the 50 years since the Festival of Britain but events have proved what a good choice Trowell was. The industry, most notably Stanton Ironworks which lay within a stone's throw of the heart of the village, to a great extent has disappeared. The population of the village however has probably more than doubled as a large housing estate was built in the latter part of the century within the Parish boundaries. The increase of road traffic generally has had an impact on the village whilst the railway station became one of Dr. Beechings casualities and has now closed.
Trowell is now bisected by the M1 motorway and is probably known only to travellers because of the M1 Service Station which is on the northern side of the village. A new hostelry built at the time of the Festival and named after it stands across the road from the Parish Church of St Helens.

Most local people will be aware of the Festival Inn which has recently undergone a major refurbishment but I wonder how many will be know of its association with the 1951 event. Despite its busy location, there are still quiet backwaters within the village and rural walks are easily found. The bridge over the Nottingham Canal still exists but the canal has been transformed into a footpath and nature reserve.

I would like to recommend to you the web site of St Helens Church. It contains many photos of the village and also gives a flavour of village life and activities.

During June 2001, Trowell celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Festival of Britain with a number of events. One of the most popular was a Flower Festival at St Helen's and below are some images of the wonderful diplay.

A Festival Remembered

Decked out with flags and bunting like a ship ready to set sail, St Helen's Church extended a hand of fellowship over a sunny weekend in June 2001 as it staged a commemorative Flower Festival celebrating the 50th Anniversary of being selected as the Festival Village.

The path to the Church was graced by a well dressing, all the more remarkable as it was the first time a work of art of this type had been attempted by the villagers. It is just another example of why Trowell earned the title of "Festival Village" in the first place.

The "Welcome" and information above has been scanned from the programme given to visitors to the Flower Festival and is reproduced with grateful thanks to Church Warden Don Whysall* who is seen below left with one of the displays in the Church. Also below are several images depicting the splendour of the interior of St Helen's during the Festival.

*Don was the Church Warden in 2001 but since then he has moved on with his wife Revd Joan Whysall who was installed as Priest in Charge at Christchurch, Cinderhill On May 10th 2006.

A Community ....

... Working Together ...

... To The Glory Of God