Tag Archives: Gedling

The very first football season of them all 1888-1889 (Part 1)

At the moment, the High School has very strong  footballing links, both with the Premier League and the Championship. They come in the person of Patrick Bamford, a young man who would seem to have a sparkling footballing future ahead of him:

He is not the only Old Nottinghamian to have played professional football, however. Well over a century ago, for example, a number of old boys took part in that inaugural season of 1888-1889, playing for Notts County in the newly formed Football League.

The season was totally dominated by Preston North End, “The Invincibles”, who beat County on aggregate by 11-1, for example, and were undefeated at the end of the campaign after 22 matches. They dismissed Wolverhampton Wanderers by an aggregate of 9-2 and Stoke City by 10-0. Notts County were to finish in eleventh place out of twelve. Their record of five victories, two draws and fifteen defeats produced a grand total of 12 points, with two for a win and one for a draw. Stoke City also managed 12 points, but their goal average (not difference in those days) was 0.510 as opposed to County’s much more impressive 0.548. That difference of 38 hundredths of a goal was enough for County to escape the Wooden Spoon! Derby County had 16 points and Burnley had 17 points. All four teams were re-elected to the League for the next season:

league table

One Old Nottinghamian who appeared in the County team that season was Arthur Frederick Shaw, of whom I have been, unfortunately, unable to find any photographs whatsoever on the Internet. Arthur was born on August 11th 1869 in Basford. His father was Alfred Shaw (1842-1907), the famous Nottingham and Sussex cricketer:

AlfredShaw_RedLillywhite1876

Shaw senior played for England, and he actually bowled the very first ball ever in the entire history of Test Cricket, which was to the Australian batsman, Charles Bannerman. During his cricketing career, Alfred Shaw took more than 2,000 wickets for Nottinghamshire and Sussex from 1864-1897, before becoming a first class umpire. He died in 1907 at Gedling, Nottingham, and is buried in the churchyard there, close to the grave of Arthur Shrewsbury, the former Nottinghamshire and England batsman:

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At the time when their son entered the High School on April 28th 1881, at the age of ten, the Shaw family was living at the Belvoir Inn in Kirkby Street, Nottingham, a street which no longer exists. The date when he left the High School remains unknown.
Arthur Shaw played just two games for Notts County during that inaugural 1888-1889 season. His first game was on December 8th 1888 at home to Aston Villa, which resulted in a 2-4 defeat for the Magpies. A crowd of some 2,000 spectators watched the game, where Shaw played as an inside right (Number 8, except that there were no numbers in League Football until August 25th 1928). At left full back (No3) was Herbert Durrant Snook, a fellow Old Nottinghamian, with George Hutchinson Brown, a third Old Nottinghamian, playing at right half (No 4). I will talk about these two gentlemen in a later article.
Arthur’s second game came on March 5th 1889, when County entertained Bolton Wanderers at Meadow Lane. A crowd of some 3,000 spectators watched the match, where Arthur played on this occasion as an inside left (Number 10). County lost narrowly by four goals to nil.

Arthur went on to play for Notts County on two more occasions in the Football League. These both came in the following season of 1889-1890, when the team finished in a much improved tenth place in the League. On December 14th 1889, he appeared in a game at Meadow Lane against Wolverhampton Wanderers, watched by 3,000 people and ending in a narrow 0-2 home defeat for the Magpies. A week later, they entertained Derby County and beat them by three goals to one, in front of a Meadow Lane crowd of, again, some 3,000 spectators. On both occasions, Arthur was playing as an outside right, and, again, had there been numbers on the players’ shirts at this time, he would have worn a No 7.

Arthur appeared a number of times for Nottingham Forest, both before and after his appearances for Notts County. At the age of barely eighteen, therefore, well before Forest were a League club, Arthur made his début for them in the 1887-1888 season, scoring the only goal in a 1-1 home draw against Burslem Port Vale. His other game for Forest was a 3-2 home win against Bolton Wanderers, when Shaw scored what turned out to be the winning goal.

During the following season of 1888-1889, Arthur made four appearances for Forest and scored two goals. He played at home against Preston North End (0-2), Newton Heath (2-2, one scorer unknown), and Clapton (3-2, two goals). He played in away games at Newton Heath (1-3), a team who were later to become Manchester United. All of these games were friendlies. Here are some Forest strips from this long ago era. Things have not changed a great deal:

forest 1868 zzzzzz

In the 1889-1890 season, Arthur made eleven appearances for Forest and scored six goals. He played a number of games in the Football Alliance against Long Eaton Rangers, Sunderland Albion, Darwen, Newton Heath and Small Heath (later Birmingham City). The result in this last game, a 0-12 loss, remains Nottingham Forest’s record defeat. Arthur also appeared in the 0-3 away defeat at Derby Midland in the First Round of the F.A.Cup.

Perhaps the most unusual moment in Arthur Shaw’s whole football career came in this 1889-1890 season when he played for both Nottingham Forest and Notts County. He appeared in the Football Alliance for Forest against Sunderland Albion, (3-1) and then, as we have already seen, for County in the Football League against Wolverhampton Wanderers (0-2) and Derby County (2-3). Shaw capped it all on Boxing Day, December 26th 1889, when he turned out for Forest against County in a 1-1 draw in a friendly at Meadow Lane. I presume that this swapping of allegiances was possible because County played in the Football League and Forest played in the Football Alliance. There would have been no connection between the two organisations.

In the 1890-1891 season, playing for Forest as an outside left (No 11), Arthur appeared in the First Round of the F.A.Cup against Clapton. He scored one goal at the wonderfully named Spotted Dog Grounds as Forest won narrowly by 14-0, still the record away score for the F.A.Cup, and indeed, the record away win in any competition. Clapton had only trailed 0-5 at halftime before conceding nine quick goals in the second half. Arthur’s fellow Old Nottinghamian, the “ageing Tinsley Lindley” was also playing:

Tinsley_Lindley

“There’s only one Tinsley Lindley” scored a mere four goals in this one sided game, where five goals came from the Scottish international Sandy Higgins. A third Old Nottinghamian was playing for Forest in the person of John Edward Leighton, called “Ted” or “Teddy” at the High School and later in his life, “Kipper”, for his ability to fall calmly asleep in the dressing room before big matches. He played quite a few of those over the years, but his greatest honour came on March 13th 1886, when he won his only international cap for England, as an outside left in a 6-1 victory over Ireland in Belfast. Teddy Leighton was making his England début in the same team as fellow High School Old Boy, and Nottingham Forest player, Tinsley Lindley, mentioned above. This was one of no fewer than four occasions on which two ex-pupils of the High School have played together for their country. On other occasions, Leighton and Lindley had also played together for the fabled “Corinthians” club.

Overall, Arthur Shaw was to score a grand total of 11 goals in 79 appearances for Nottingham Forest. After he left Forest he went on to score three goals in 11 appearances for Loughborough, who, at the time, were playing in the Football League, Second Division. He would have worn these long forgotten colours:

Loughborough_Town_1895-1900

Arthur’s final appearance of any kind for Nottingham Forest came when he played as a right half in the semi-final of the Bass Charity Cup. The game was away from home, against Leicester Fosse, and took place on April 6th 1899. It finished in a 1-1 draw, and was watched by approximately 1,000 spectators.

Arthur’s final appearance for Nottingham Forest in the Football League had already come in a 0-5 defeat in an away game against Derby County. This fixture took place at the Baseball Ground on April 11th 1898, and the legendary Steve Bloomer scored a hat trick, before a crowd of some 12,000 spectators:

bloomer xxxxxxxx

Only five days later, the same two teams were to contest the F.A.Cup Final at Crystal Palace before a crowd of 62,017, Forest triumphing on this occasion by 3-1. Unfortunately, Shaw did not make the team for the final, his position of right half being filled by Frank Forman. This is the closest, however, that any Old Nottinghamian has come to winning an F.A.Cup winner’s medal but only if you don’t count the School Gardener,

programme

By the way, the illustrations of old football kits came from the best ever website for the soccer nerd and all the boys who had more than twenty different Subbuteo teams. New Brighton Tower 1898? Oh, yes.

 

 

 

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Hallowe’en Tales : Numbers Nine and Ten

Number 9

He’s back! The Return of the Phantom Passenger of the No 90 Bus

This is another version of the story about the No 90 bus and the ghost of the cyclist. Clearly, this ghost story is a strong tradition which has persisted for many years on this western side of the Nottingham conurbation. I found this version of the story about five years ago, in a forum about ghosts in Nottinghamshire. I kept the website address at the time, but I can’t find it any more, and I presume the forum is now defunct.

On this map, the orange arrow in the centre points to Arnold Lane. I suspect that the young man who needed the loo went into the tiny wood to the north of the road, having parked his car pointing down what is  actually a very unpleasantly steep road:

at long last

The old man would have been pushing his bike up the hill:

I came home one night in the early hours of the morning from the White Post pub in a friend’s car, turned down Arnold Lane towards Gedling, just down the hill, the friend stopped the car as he needed the loo went round the back of the car. As I sat looking down the hill, I could see an old man pushing a pushbike up the hill on the other side of the road. Then suddenly, he just vanished into thin air.

I thought I had just imagined it but when the friend got back in the car, he asked me “Did you see that?” and I asked him “What?”” as we might have seen different things. He said “The old man. He just disappeared”.

I know some people might say, “Well, there’s a path off the road up there, he could have gone along that, but at the point he disappeared  there was just a very thick hedge. I was not really frightened but I was a bit shocked to see this. My Dad later told me a story of an old man who had come from the pit late one night was going home on his pushbike to Arnold and was hit by a car and killed. That’s why the path at the back of the hedge was put into make it less dangerous.”

To complete the Geography lesson, the open land to the east of Chase Farm is what is left of Gedling Colliery, the coal mine where the old man is supposed to have worked.

Number 10

The Killer Bus

I know two more ripping yarns about buses, both of them told to me by a birdwatching friend, Phil, who had worked initially for Liverpool City Transport and then for Nottingham. One story involves the supernatural, the other, a bus driver who was exceptionally lucky not to become a member of the supernatural.
The lucky bus driver occurred when Phil worked in Liverpool in the early 1960s. There was a good two or three inches of icy snow already on the ground, and an absolutely impenetrable “smog”:

smog

“Smog” was a speciality of the era, and it was a dangerous combination of natural fog, perhaps where the warmer sea met the frozen land, and the thick smoke which came from the tens of thousands of houses heated by coal fires and a good few coal fired power stations around any city in the country:

bus in smnog

That day in Liverpool, therefore, the weather conditions combined to produce a bizarre situation, whereby the bus driver could not see where he was going, even at walking pace, but at the same time, he left tyre tracks in the snow which let pedestrians see exactly where the bus had been. Imagine, therefore, the pedestrians’ shock to see that an unknown Liverpool bus, full of scores of workers on their way home from the shipyards, but completely lost in the whiteout conditions, had been driven for more than eighty yards along the edge of the docks. leaving tyre tracks just a couple of inches from the twenty foot drop into the icy waters of the Mersey. The lucky driver had finally turned right to safety rather than left to a watery doom:

Dock_in_Port_of_Liverpool_1
Phil told me a second story, a supernatural tale, all of which had taken place in the Bus Depot in Sherwood, the very same suburb of Nottingham where I live:

bus depot

Apparently, the bus in question had some mechanical problem and it was being mended. It was jacked up on strong supports while repairs were carried out.

Only the strong supports gave way, the bus skewed to the left and the mechanic underneath was crushed to death.

A few days later, the repairs to the bus were completed without any further problems. The bus was parked away on one side of the garage while a driver and conductor could be found to take it away on its afternoon route. The two duly arrived just after one o’clock, The conductress stood at the back of the bus while the driver went to get into his cab and warm up the bus engine.

Except that before he could even unlock the door to get into his cab, the bus handbrake must have come off, and the bus rolled backwards. The surface was steep enough for the vehicle to pick up a fair speed, and the unfortunate bus conductress was pinned against the wall of the building. She died in hospital just a few days later.

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Trade Unions were a lot stronger in those days, and when the shop steward said that his members were adamant that they would not work with this bus, the management had to pay attention to their demands, The decision was taken to dismantle the bus and use all of its parts as spares.

For a long time afterwards, all the drivers and conductors in the depot at Sherwood had the belief that if any serious accident occurred then it must be a bus which had been given, perhaps, the engine of the killer bus, or maybe its rear wheels and axle. And while this belief went on for a good few years, it was ultimately unprovable because no record was ever kept of which parts went into which bus.

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Filed under History, Nottingham, Personal