Previous Nottingham Council House Front - England were still in the world cup!
Transformation of area in front of the Nottingham Council House with beach, pool and fairground rides
Inside the Council House ceiling/roof
Lyn inside the entrance to the Council House
Lyn eating a pre lunch snack at Olwin and John Straw's place
Us having lunch with Olwin and John Straw
2 August 2010
Today we moved from the outskirts of Nottingham at the East midlands Airport to Goldsmith Street in the Nottingham city centre.
We booked into the Premier Inn in a room on the 4th floor for 3 nights at a total cost of £183, which does not include breakfast. The hotel tariff is a reasonable £53 plus an unreasonable charge of £8 per night for parking.
After settling in we caught the tram, which stops right outside the door, into the city to see if anything had changed since we were here a few weeks ago. And were we in for a surprise.
The whole of the previously sterile Market Square in the city centre had been transformed into a sort of fairground with a beach, swimming pool and many fairground rides. Although the pool was only about 30cms deep, the kids thought it was wonderful and the sand was plenty deep enough for them to dig out and make sand castles.
It was a good day for them weather wise with sunny periods.
Mick wanted to see the caves under the city where, for centuries, Nottingham folk lived and worked in the sandstone rock caves. These caves had been saved from the concreters when the huge Broadmarsh shopping Centre was built a few years ago and the entrance to the caves is inside the shopping centre. He also wanted to visit the Galleries of Justice Museum in the Lace Market area.
The tours were very informative, as well as a bit gruesome, with the details of punishments dished out being very graphic. Of interest was the fact that 162,000 people were sent to Australia between about 1788 to 1868 as a punishment for varying minor and major crimes and for varying periods of time. They didn’t say how they got back to England after they had served their time. I would think the boat trip would be horrendous so I guess they stayed there.
While all this was going on, Lyn was merrily shopping away above ground in the very large shopping centre and the grin on her face and the large bag she was carrying when Mick came out of the caves said it all!
Shopping appetite salved we were off on the tram back to our digs.
3 August 2010
Today we had arranged to visit Olwin and John Straw in Gedling. Olwin went to school with my sister, Joyce, and had lived with her parents and her brother Roy at the bottom of the road where we lived.
Although I vaguely knew Olwin and had never met John, we got on really well and spent most of the day chatting about family history and our trip. We found out some useful stuff in our trip down memory lane.
We were invited to stay for lunch, which was very nice. Olwin ‘threw together’ (her words) a lovely ham and pork pie salad for us all.
Lyn raised the issue of our search in the UK for a long lost friend of Mick’s. (Keith Collingwood). Mick and Keith were the best of mates when they were growing up in Nottingham. His family were the ones who invited Mick to go out to Australia with them but pulled out at the last moment, so Mick went out on his own. Lyn told John that their last known address was Harby near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire.
Mick said that we had sent several Christmas cards there and had had no reply.
Surprisingly, John said that he had a friend who lived in Harby and proceeded to phone him to see what he could find out. It turned out that Mrs Edna Collingwood who Keith married a few years after Mick had come to Australia (about 1969), still lived in Harby but Keith had run off about 15 years ago with a younger woman.
We still have the invitation to their wedding, which they sent to us in Australia.
No wonder she didn’t respond to our Christmas cards.
Anyway as Harby is sort of on the way to Lincoln where we are going on Thursday, we thought we would pop in to say hello. We are not sure what the reception will be as she never responded to our Christmas cards asking if the current resident of their last known address knew of the whereabouts of Keith.
Should be interesting to say the least.
Will keep you posted.
Before going out I went down to the check in desk to get our free WiFi vouchers allowing 30 minutes per day free fast Internet Connection. (They should make it free for the whole time we are here as B & B’s do).