The High School Hell’s Angels, Chapter 6

More about the Free School, as it was called in 1858. It was called that because the school was free at this time. And it was not in Arboretum-street as it is nowadays, but in Stoney-street. Look for the orange arrow:

And is the lack of school fees reflected by the background of the pupils? Well, on the one hand, I have found in the Register the sons of bakers, butchers, cellarmen, clerks, a Foreman Porter, grocers, joiners, machinists, overlockers, painters, plumbers, porters and warehousemen. Some of them might have worked in the very centre of Nottingham, only a town at this time, not a city. It was very different, even around 1900:

Set against these jobs are a number of occupations which are decidedly less working class. They might require varying levels of training or education such as architects, bookkeepers, dental surgeons, doctors, draughtsmen, engineers, an engraver, a gilder, the Governor of the Town Gaol, the High Bailiff, a photographer, physicians, a Professor of Languages, solicitors, the Supervisor of Inland Revenue, surgeons, the Surveyor of Taxes, tailors, an upholsterer and a veterinary surgeon.

Others are jobs with managerial aspects…auctioneers, a beer house keeper, a bookseller, brokers, a coal master, a confectioner, an earthenware dealer, a hosier, an iron monger, a jeweller, Manager at Manlove & Alliott’s, a newspaper correspondent, a patent agent, publicans, shoemakers, tobacconists and a Victualler. Manlove & Alliott’s, by the way, was an engineering company set up during the 1830’s in Radford, and who later moved to their Bloomsgrove Works just off Ilkeston-road. The main entrance was on Norton-street. They moved to Scotland in 1970 and, like Augustus Caesar’s Spanish 9th Legion, they have never been heard of again:

Most interesting, of course, are the occupations directly linked with that of the period, 1858-1868. Some clearly had their place in history. Not many fathers nowadays are, quite simply, Gentlemen. And it is impossible nowadays to be the Adjutant of the Robin Hood Rifles. Bleacher is not really a very probable trade in this day and age and neither is cap manufacturer, cheese factor, coachmaker, cork cutter, framesmith, hatter, hay dealer, potato merchant, steam railway engine boiler maker or twisthand, a man who had to be strong enough to carry out certain specialised operations on a lace machine. A yarn agent is nowadays surely more likely to turn up telling stories in the Children’s Section of the local Library and if there is still a Clerk to the Lunatic Asylum then the job description is probably expressed in more delicate words. The Lunatic Asylum was on Porchester-road:

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So too, there are pawnbrokers nowadays, but not too many of them, and you don’t see Life Insurance agents traipsing up and down from house to house like you used to, even in the 1950s and 1960s.

Some of those jobs, though, back in 1858-1868 , are just the first of many. They foretell the future with Estate Agents, Gas Fitters and Sharebrokers, wh0 are surely now called Stockbrokers. What we don’t have any more are all those jobs connected with religion. But back then, the parents included a Baptist Minister, the Incumbent of St Luke’s, an Independent Minister, the Minister of Canaan-street Chapel, a Sexton, two Scripture Readers, a Town Missionary, a Wesleyan Minister and an ordinary Missionary. Religion was so important it was even on the side of the horse drawn trams as a destination:

Best job of all though was Charles Bown of Carlton-road. He was a Butler.







Filed under History, Nottingham, The High School

19 responses to “The High School Hell’s Angels, Chapter 6

  1. I don’t know if any true butlers survive these days, but the professional, well-trained valet could be amazing.
    I find these posts on the history so fascinating. A little trip back to the past.

  2. We had a man from the Pru in the ’40s and ’50s.

    • Before the war, my Dad used to go round with a gentleman who collected insurance payments for various companies and also house rents. The thinking was that my Dad was very young and fast and he carried the cash. In case of an attempted robbery, he would just run off at top speed. Unfortunately, it never happened. A unique chance to be a hero and a coward at the same time missed!

  3. Interesting the way occupations have evolved over the years.

    • It certainly is. In the countryside everybody was into hunting, shooting and fishing, and they wanted to show off their trophies. Every village would have a taxidermist who made a good living from the Victorian mania for stuffed animals and birds in glass cases. Nowadays, not a one!

  4. It’s amazing how many of these old jobs have disappeared. The man from the Pru was common place, the Corona lorry, the fish man in his van and even the rag and bone men have disappeared from our streets. Another fabulous trip back in time John.

    • Yes, I’d forgotten the Corona lorry. Nowadays, we do have where we live some kind of scrap iron people who come round, usually by night, and take stuff that’s been left at the front of the house for them. After a couple of days, it has usually gone. With the council you wait two or three weeks for a bulky item collection!

  5. Chris Waller

    A few years ago I made one of my occasional trips back to my former home town. I was taking some photographs of the remains of the winding-house on the site of what used to be the local colliery. A couple of girls, maybe 14 years old, were sitting on the steps of the winding house. They asked me why I was taking photographs. I said that I could remember when this was a colliery. One of the girls said, “What’s a colliery?”.

    • I can understand why that would happen nowadays but it’s very sad that the local schools are not making the local children aware of their heritage. I actually think that coal will one day have another future. The Germans made it into oil/petrol during the war and they even made a coal powered jet engine. There are apparently trillions of tons of coal under the North Sea and I have this sneaky feeling that one day an entrepreneur will put the two ideas together.

  6. The whole concept of lost jobs and occupations is like a cancer that is eating away at our world whilst we move all our jobs overseas and then worry about paying for the returning product.

    • I just cannot understand why rich people are so obsessed with money. I don’t see how having $20 million or $30 million is a crucial problem. Just try to do some good with your money, not show what a fool you are.

    • Here in suburban Sherwood we all take a lot better care of our Faberge eggs than that. I think the poor man must have been sent mad by the size of that salary. “sort all affairs for the family” said the Major and paid him £19,000 and a cottage for doing it. Simon Dalton would have been a lot better off butling in California.

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