Nottinghamshire, Robin Hood’s county, is full of pleasant countryside, historic buildings
and thriving cities, towns and villages. But lurking not far beneath its surface is a host of
oddities and peculiarities that turn the apparently staid and conventional into something
much more intriguing.
Nevertheless, although most definitely unusual and quirky, this book still has plenty to
offer in terms of conventional reference – albeit delivered in an original and humorous
format. And despite the fact that it is divided into two sections called Conventional
Nottinghamshire and Quirky Nottinghamshire, even the Conventional half is riddled with
So although you get key facts and figures along with a detailed history from
the Stone Age to present day, the whole section is interspersed with the book’s idiosyncratic
“Quirk Alerts”; like an anecdote called “George’s Grill” showing up in prehistoric
times, along with an eighteenth century nod to Game of Thrones and a lateral nineteenth
century reference to Vampire Diaries!
However, understandably it is the Quirky Nottinghamshire section where things turn
really strange, and where a seemingly random almanac of 55 Nottinghamshire places
have their quirkiest facts laid bare: like which Nottinghamshire villages are home to a
lethal Roman curse, an 8 foot trumpet and the Black Pig Dancers, which one swapped
sides of the Trent in the sixteenth century and which one saw the capture of the evil Black
Panther in 1975; or how about Harry Potter’s gravestone, an oven made of gravestones, the
Flying Bedstead, Britain’s Festival Village of 1951 and Britain’s “hardest pub”; and not forgetting
a pub chair that increases fertility, a house haunted by an inebriated butler and an
evil bishop, plus a village which puts cows on thatched roofs to keep them topped up on
If you think you know Nottinghamshire, read this fascinating and profusely illustrated
book and think again…
Andrew Beardmore has spent most of his working life in Nottingham, and currently works
at Phoenix Park. However, his first introduction to Nottingham was courtesy of Brian Clough, whilst sitting in the
back of the great man’s Mercedes as he cruised along the Victoria Embankment towards the City Ground. As well
as numerous Cloughie anecdotes, subsequent journeys to away matches on the team train also introduced
Andrew to the “guess a correct word” competition when listening into three-way card games between Archie
Gemmill, John Robertson and Kenny Burns!
Andrew embarked on a 28-year career in I.T. However, although still a full-time I.T. Capacity Manager, he has
returned to his childhood loves of history and geography. He writes in his spare time and this has resulted in the
publication of Derbyshire: Unusual & Quirky in 2014. It was only natural that Nottinghamshire should appear next.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 266 8, hardback, 297x210mm, 160 pages. Published July 2015.