Nottingham - Rolling Back The Years
w/e 21 May 2023
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Nikon D3300
Apart from a visit to see a production at the Theatre Royal towards
the end of last year, we haven't been to the city centre in Nottingham
since before the pandemic and the enforced lockdown.
Whilst at The Theatre Royal this time, we also took a look at
the adjoining Royal Concert Hall which we have also visited several
times in the past.
Behind the Royal Centre complex is Nottingham Trent University's
Newton (no relation) building and seeing this reminded me of
when I first started work. Back then I attended a evening class
in a Technical College on Shakespeare Street (beyond the Newton
building) to study for a qualification in English Law, Commercial
Practice and Elements of Insurance.
That first job after leaving school was based in a first floor
office for an insurance company above the shop named Chloe on
Thurland Street. In the mid 1960s that was The Shirt Shop.
The manager of the insurance company would often send me out
to buy tobacco for him from Gauntleys just inside The Exchange
under the Council House. Gauntleys is still there all these years
Whilst working in Nottingham I spent many a lunch hour browsing
through boxes of deleted vinyl records searching for a bargain
in a record shop on Clumber Street - and I found quite a few.
The shop is still there but it is now The Levi's Tailor Shop.
After eighteen months working in Life Assurance I move across
town to the motor department of another insurance company housed
in this building on Bridlesmith Gate. I spent fourteen months
there in 1965/66 writing thirty day cover notes - a soul destroying
job if ever there was one. One of the first things that happened
after I left was sixty day cover notes were issued instead thus
reducing the workload by half!
One unforgettable experience but barely remembered event whilst
working in Nottingham was an invitation to a Stag Party from
a work colleague. I don't even remember who that colleague was
but a group of about a dozen of us gathered in a pub on the left
hand side of St James's Street just off the Old Market Square.
No sooner had the first round of drinks been ordered they were
off across the road to another pub. We visited seventeen or eighteen
pubs in total around the city centre. I wasn't a teetotaller
but couldn't keep up with their "Pints for everyone"
in each pub so quickly switched to a small Martini or orange
juice. As I said it was unforgettable but I don't remember much
about the evening except that it was a good job I'd arranged
for my Dad to come and pick me up beforehand.
I can't walk past St James Street now into the Old Market Square
without thinking about that evening even if I can't remember
much about it. The Square still has a familiarity about it even
though the area in front of the Council House has undergone some
significant changes over the years. I walked through the Square
nearly every day whilst working in Nottingham from the old Mount
Street Bus Station to both places of employment.
In those days you could get a Worker's Return bus ticket from
Ilkeston for two shillings and five pence (just under 12½p).
It was quite a shock when the fare was increased by two pence
and meant I had to save a bit longer to buy a paperback book
from Sisson and Parker's book shop (now a Sainsbury's Local)
on Wheeler Gate. I read quite a number of books on the bus to
and from work. It was also Sisson and Parker's where books could
be chosen as prizes for special achievements whilst at school
and during my senior school days, I was fortunate enough to be
awarded three. The first one I chose was an account of the ascent
of Everest in 1953 which was announced on coronation day in 1953.
So having rolled back the years to 1953, the second coronation
in my lifetime just a couple of weeks ago, brings us neatly back
to the present.