Nottingham Then and Now Review
In the latest of a series of books about Britain in Old Photographs, Douglas Whitworth has just released a book entitled, Nottingham Then & Now. The book comprises a good selection of old images of Nottingham together with their current view.
In doing so the book is a useful almanac and pleasurable browse that brings to life the history and heritage of Nottingham in a very visual way. The front cover shows the view of Old Market Square from the far end of Long Row in 1900. The contrast between horse and carts and electric trams seem to show steady progress.
It’s not always the case though as some pictures only go to show some of the outstanding architecture and quaint feel that has been eroded over the years.
For example, the Black Boy Hotel (also on Long Row) was a magnificent structure and has sadly been replaced by a very innocuous building hosting a Primark. Similarly, Bridlesmith Gate in 1921 shows a fantastic Tudor House that unfortunately was demolished in 1945.
The clock tower that now stands as a focal point at the Victoria Shopping Centre hints at its previous existence as the Victoria Railway Station.
There are some great areas remaining though. In particular, the image of Clumber Street in 1929 shows Boots The Chemists in a beautiful building that is now home to Zara.
It’s easy to recognise St Peter’s Gate and The Flying Horse retains much of its original character and style too.
Some elements of the book are great as standalone references of Nottingham History. In particular the pages on Boots Head office on Station Street refer to how Jesse Boot purchased the building for £22,000 in 1912. As his business expanded, he ended up owning almost all properties between Midland Railway Station and the Nottingham Canal before moving out to Beeston.
All in all, if you have an interest in Nottingham heritage then this book will give you a pleasurable insight into the city in days gone by. At this time of year, it’s a good option as a stocking filler for anyone who has a long connection and lived in Nottingham over the years.