The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society

Lenton Times Issue 6 - October 1991


Lenton Gregory FC

Dear Sirs,

Courtesy of my old friend, Les Warrington of Aspley, I received a copy of Lenton Times No.5. It has given me endless joy and still does! But - can I correct your story about Lenton Gregory F.C. You state that it, the Club, owed its foundation and origin to Mr Louis King. WRONG! It was I who started the team in September 1925. Initially we didn't play in a league but instead took part in what were known as 'Other Matches'.

See in Lightbox
Lenton Gregory F.C. 1927
(the complete list of names this time)
Back Row Joe Byard (Treasurer), Arthur 'Knocker' Brown,
'Jigger' Moore, Jim Hopewell (Captain), John
Sawdon (Committee).
Middle Row Tom Wood (Secretary), Arthur Sawdon,
Fred Sills, Bill Lyons, John Attenborough,
Harry Wood (Manager).
Front Row Harry Woolley, Arthur Towle, Bill Dudley,
Jack Dudley, Harry Sawdon.

The Cups were the Notts Realm League Second
Division Champions and the K.O. Cup.

In that first year we had over 80 games and only suffered one defeat. That was against Lenton Rovers (when we lost 1-2) and the rest of the team blamed me for letting their outside right have a field day. We took ample revenge later that same season beating them in the return fixture 19-0! Another memorable day was when we played Bingham, a league team. We had dyed our shirts blue but hadn't made a very good job of it and in the second half it rained hard. Everyone finished with blue bodies. We went to Bingham on the train and I don't think the lads had ever been on one before and were clearly delighted. Bingham put out their first team (1st division Spartan League) and said they would treat us kindly. We won 8-0! When we played the Raleigh 1st eleven, they included several old professionals, but we still held them to a draw. Radford Albion had not been beaten by anyone for two seasons and in the away fixture we managed a 3-3 draw. For the return match played at X-mas, Old Lenton really turned out. The Red Cow had never been so busy. And when we won 5-2 you’d have thought we'd won the Cup.

It was during our second season, when we joined the Nottingham Realm League that Mr Louis King became prominent. He was always generous with regard to the collection box and he also promised us a big dinner if we should win the Cup. We actually won two cups in 1927 - the Championship and the K.O. Cups. Mr King kept his word and provided dinner for us all at The White Hart. We played at Gregory Street for five years but the Council housing you spoke of in the article started to appear somewhat earlier than you suggest and in 1930 we had to find a new ground; lorries and horse drawn vehicles had made our pitch unplayable. Fortunately for us Lenton F.C. had just disbanded and their pitch on Abbey Lane became vacant. We took it over and later on in 1931-32 took the opportunity to join division 2 of the Notts Alliance. As you correctly point out we were champions and cup winners on several occasions. In 1930 we only lost the semi-final of the Cup because the Dudleys and four other members of the team had to attend Mr Dudley's funeral. On top of which the goalkeeper failed to turn up. We were 6-1 down at half time but finished the game narrowly losing 7-6. This was against Cobden Park Rangers whom we played in a league fixture the following Saturday. We won 15-0.

We played on the Abbey Lane pitch until 1934 when we were ‘turfed off’ by the contractors who were building Clifton Boulevard. Subsequently we did play some games on Highfields but this proved too expensive and about this time Raleigh Cycle Co. put the final nail in Lenton Gregory's coffin. Quite a few of the team, including myself, worked for the Raleigh and they issued an ultimatum that all footballers who worked there must play for the works' teams. So the Lenton Gregs folded. Actually I left the Raleigh in 1934 and so was able to play for Radcliffe Olympic and later Parliament St. UMC. Later I joined the Royal Navy but after the War I resumed my association with the Gregs who had been revived in 1946. I played my final game for them in 1950. I just wish I could get those lads together again once more, we could then talk the moon out of the sky!

Now on a separate matter. Jack Hill (referred to in Issue No.5) was also known as John Hill. He went to Lenton Trust School - so did I. He sang in Lenton Priory Church - so did I. I attended choir practice just once. Someone insulted me about my lack of a decent suit and sneered about it. So I just knocked some sense into him and didn't go again. They still owe me 2d. for that!

John Attenborough

P.S. I would dearly like to hear something of my childhood friend Harry Wooley. The last I heard of him was that he had gone to live on the Clifton Estate. Perhaps one of your readers knows more?

Robinson's Charabanc

Dear Sirs,

I was looking at the picture of the charabanc outing on page 12 of Issue No.5 when I was more than a little surprised to recognise my grandfather, Arthur Watts, third from the left (seated). But he was living in Derby in 1921! Closer inspection revealed his younger brother, John, second from the left on the back row and I am fairly certain that the first on the left is another brother, Frank.

See in Lightbox
The relevant portion of the photograph from Issue 5

I am a family historian and so I referred to my files and recalled that Great Uncle John had a shop at 62, Radford Boulevard (1902 Directory) where he sold incandescent light fittings. By 1925 he had a shop at 5 Stanford Street, Nottingham, and a factory at 1 Julian Road, West Bridgford where he was in business as the Excelsior Shade Manufacturing Company - later to become under his ownership, the Miss Muffet Toilet Roll Factory. This building is now the Cheshire Home.

I have spent the whole of my childhood and most of my adult life in the Wollaton Park and Wollaton area and have bought and enjoyed every copy of Lenton Times - but that photograph in No.5 made it of particular interest!

Joyce Cartlidge

All material on this site not covered by other copyright and not explicitly marked as public domain is © Lenton Times 2010 and must not be used without permission