The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society

Lenton Times Issue 7 - September 1992

New Lenton 1935

The letters along the horizontal edge of the photograph and the numbers on the vertical edge have been used to generate grid references which help pinpoint buildings referred to in the text.

The intrepid photographer who took this panoramic view of New Lenton back in 1935 must have set up his camera and tripod on the roof of Holy Trinity's church tower. In all likelihood he was intent on recording a view of the vicarage and its grounds but he also captured for posterity how the Willoughby Street area looked prior to the arrival of the demolition men in the late 1950s/early 1960s.

Part of the 1915 Ordnance Survey map for New Lenton.

The old vicarage (C,3), now known as Unity House, underwent a number of quite major alterations in the last year so that the upstairs could be converted into self-contained flats with the downstairs made into much needed parish rooms. The replacement vicarage now stands to the right of Unity House on the site of the old tennis court (F,2), while a garage and petrol station are to be found on the vicarage's former vegetable garden (C,3-E,3) which can be seen in the photograph to extend as far as Lenton Boulevard.

The properties in the foreground, on the left of the photograph, are all still there although the No.2 Branch of the Nottingham Co-op (B,4) has now given way to Ladbroke's the bookmakers. Beyond the Co-op, on the other side of Lenton Boulevard, Barclay‘s Bank (B,5) (now offices in part used by Trane Ltd, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Specialists) is just visible and behind this building a fellow survivor, Nos. 30 and 32 Church Street, the white stuccoed building. Then comes the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel (B,6), eventually to be superseded by the car park belonging to The Happy Return public house. Across on the other side of Church Street the old Baptist Chapel (C,6) is also visible. These days Church Street continues through to Park Street but as a quick scrutiny of the O.S. map will reveal the top end was originally Digby Street. In the photograph the premise of Albert Martin (C,6) can just be identified at the junction of Digby and Park Streets. Further along Park Street is the building (B,6) which until recently was occupied by Daks-Simpson but has just been bought by Nottingham Polytechnic and is currently undergoing conversion into student accommodation. In 1935 the property was occupied by E. Peat & Son, cotton doublers.

We have an almost unrestricted view of the three- storey terraced properties (C,5-E,5) on Lenton Boulevard and behind them we can just make out the roof tops belonging to the properties on Frederick Grove. Beyond these are a number of industrial premises. The layout of these properties is evident from the O.S. map. Although the O.S map was surveyed in 1915 it is unlikely that this part of Lenton underwent any radical metamorphosis in the intervening years. So it seems certain that access to these industrial premises was primarily from Willoughby Street via Preston Street and Britannia Place. Kelly's 1936 Directory doesn't include Britannia Place so we are unable to provide any information about the occupants in that particular area. We are more fortunate with Preston Street. The directory lists four businesses. These were Warsop Petrol Drill and Tools Ltd which made road drills; two hosiery manufacturers Pickard & Burt Ltd and Foster & Foster Ltd; and the Electric Power Plant Co. a firm of electrical engineers. Whether any of these occupied the tall building with the even taller chimney (E,6) is not clear. Perhaps one or more of our readers can shed some more light on the matter?

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