The Lace Trade.  In "Machine-Wrought Hosiery and Lace," by Mr. W. Felkin, mention is made of an invention in 1846 by Mr. John Livesey, of Lenton, whereby the meshes united by one and the same bobbin thread are produced in a vertical line. This and other improvements suggested by Livesey were carried out by Messrs. Walker & Elsey, and other firms. Joseph Wragg, of Lenton, smith, assisted by Bertie, made improvements affecting the labour of lace embroiderers. Peter Coxon, of Lenton, in 1848 made embossed muslin laces from the Leavers' machine. James Oldknow, a native of Lenton, invented the steel perforated bar now always used in lace machines. It was patented in 1849. Mr. Oldknow was Mayor of Nottingham four times, and was knighted on the occasion of the opening of the Castle Museum in 1878.

B. Walker.
B. Walker.

Co-operation. Messrs. Thomas Bayley and Benjamin Walker having visited Lancashire during the time of the Cotton famine, and observed the benefit of Co-operation for the sale of provisions, in regard to thrift, and the avoidance of debt, called meetings of their several workpeople, when combination was accepted, the first-named gentleman becoming President, and the second, Secretary—and later on, President,—and on March 28th, 1863, Mr. A. Sketchley proposed, and Mr. Thomas Aram seconded, an adoptive resolution, and the Lenton Industrial and Provident Society became formed, and Jesse Keeton was for twenty-two years its faithful servant, until his death in 1887. A wider range became possible, and "Lenton and Nottingham Co-operative Society" was its new name, until its mother's name (Lenton) was, for brevity's sake, dropped, and now it has 13,000 members, and over fifty branch establishments, with a turnover of £250,000 a year.

Manufactures. The making of lace has in Lenton materially diminished, and other trades have taken its place, but William Bridgett & Sons, Ltd , continue the old-established Lace manufactory, formerly Sylvester & Bridgett. The other principal manufactures are that of Cycles, at the large works of the Raleigh Cycle Co.; of Leather dressing, glue, and parchment by Thos. Bayley & Co. Ltd.; Cotton doubling and lace thread by E. Peat, Son & Co., Ltd.; Bleaching, dyeing and dressing by Kicking & Pentecost; rope and twine making by W. Coates & Sons; Lace machine building by W. Cooper, and F. W. Burton; Cigar making by E. Alton & Co.; Timber works by Marshall Brothers; Embroideries by F. W. Smith; Mercerizing by Utterly & Bennett; Machinery for making ties, hosiery and insulating electric wires by the Standard Machine Co.; and the making of Lace curtains is being restored by Mr. Parkes.

Population. The population of Lenton was in 1801, 893; 1851, 5,589; 1901, 23,872, but the area was not the same at each date.

A beautiful Recreation Ground promotes the health and pleasure of the people.

Elementary Schools. The National Schools were built (1841) on land given by Francis Wright, Esq. The Infant Schools were built (1851) by the Misses Wright. The Memorial stones of Unsectarian Schools were laid (1873) by Mr. (afterwards the Rt. Hon.) A. J. Mundella, M.P., and Mr. Benjamin Walker, the cost being raised chiefly by voluntary subscriptions from certain gentlemen, although there was then a School Board. Mr. Thomas Bayley, junr., was chairman of the managers, and Mr. F. J. Bradley, treasurer. The Council Schools opposite, for boys, followed. The Ilkeston Road (1883) and the Radford Boulevard Schools for two thousand children stand in Lenton parish. The Dunkirk Schools followed.

The contrast to the good old times is striking, when John Roughton kept a school in a room of the house in Gregory Street now occupied by Mr. John Marshall, and when, to quote the words of that worthy worker for good local administration, Sir John Turney:—"When I was very little indeed I went to a dame's school in Abbey Street, Old Lenton, for which my parents paid 2d. per week. I was there a short time, and then went to the National School in connection with New Lenton Church for a short time." Sir John, however, after a brief attendance at Lincoln Grammar School supplemented his early training by attending, from twelve to nineteen years of age, the People's College Night School for three nights a week, and the School of Art for Mechanical Drawing; a course the young fellows of Lenton might very well adopt, as there never were so many openings, or such fine ones, as now, for young men who will thoroughly equip themselves by study, practice, and a definite aim at accuracy and skill, enabling them to obtain situations with twice or four times the common salary. Those openings are the more readily obtainable because of the great number of young men who spend their leisure hours in mere pastime—passing time, not using it; onlookers, not actors; not acquiring and developing, but paying to be entertained; and some even loitering, lounging, or loafing time away in the streets at night.

The Territorials. The Headquarters of the Territorial Forces of the County and City are in the parish, in a building erected in 1912, which is both imposing and spacious. A Riding School has also been built in another part of the parish in order that skill in horsemanship may be taught and learnt. A response must now be given by the young fellows and boys of the district. Where the headquarters of a force are situated more is expected from the residents than if they were twenty miles away. Where more is given, more is required. What then is the response? Are there a satisfactory number of young men in Lenton who have joined the Robin Hoods? Are the young men who are better off than the average offering to act as officers? More important still, is there an active Boys' Brigade? Or a vigorous and numerically strong Boy Scouts troop? This movement for big lads is the more necessary because all movements to be permanent must grow up – not be suddenly manufactured. Lads who have had the advantage of training, with discipline, obedience to orders, smartness, thoughtfulness, constant acts of gallantry, kindness and courtesy, will know how to do their duty "when they become men, and will do it The development of their powers of observation, accuracy, skill and endurance will make them better business men. Having learned to obey, they will know how to rule. Must we, however, have to make the confession that to several questions in this paragraph an unsatisfactory answer must be given ? There is a Boy Scouts troop, but it is not sustained by the boys as it ought to be—with a continued, persevering service. Is patriotism diminishing? Is pleasure-loving enervating? Are we going to join the ranks of those who expect to receive without contributing; to have privileges without discharging duties? As a nation we are dependent on foreign-grown wheat for more than five days out of the seven. Not only our food, but our cotton, our manufactures, our trade, our means of living, are dependent on peace, and peace will be best ensured by training and preparedness, and ships are not everything. Our house is less likely to be attacked if it is known that there are bars and bolts, with watchfulness and readiness. We do not want conscription, with the taking of men from their homes and trades; but we must have training, and apparently this will have to be obligatory. The training and developing of our children after they leave school must be continued on certain evenings, to adapt them to the future duties and obligations of life, and apparently this will be compulsory. Meanwhile, surely there are in Lenton a dozen young fellows who will say, "We will for five years devote ourselves to the youths of the parish; our spare time, energies, and money, if need be, shall be laid on the altar of God to aid in developing the lads, and making men of them."

The Orphanage. "The Midland Orphanage and Industrial Training Institution for Girls" has its home in old Lenton, having been founded in 1857 by the Dowager Lady Sitwell, second wife of John Smith Wright, Esq. It has forty inmates. A three years course of instruction includes washing, cooking, sewing, and darning, parlour maids' and housemaids' work, with equipment in regard to method, order, and the niceties of better class service, and practical and useful work. A girl thus trained is, or ought to be. equipped for life, so far as aiding to promote domestic comfort is concerned.

Nazareth House is the house built by Mr. Stretton and called  the Priory, with extensive additions, the whole being used by the Sisters of Nazareth. There are 120 girls in the home, including cripples. The elder girls are taught general domestic work, and are kept until 16 or 17. All teaching in classes is by qualified sisters, subject to Government Inspection. There are about 50 very old and infirm people of both sexes who are cared for. The work is supported by voluntary contributions, except that, say 20 of the children are paid for by various Boards of Guardians. There is every appearance of cleanliness and comfort. In the garden is a small graveyard, and a heap of tooled stones, evidently remnants of the Priory. One stone has this remarkable inscription on it, "Et Verbum caro Factam est''— "The Word was made Flesh."


The welfare of a place depends not so much upon its natural features of hill and dale, of rock and water, of trees and flowers, of houses and buildings, of machinery and trade, as it rests upon the number of good and useful men and women who reside or operate within its borders, and of these Lenton has had its fair share. Perfection is not to be found in any place, or man or woman, but some of the persons hereafter named strove to be of service to their fellows, and in that respect deserve to be had in remembrance, and for their virtues to be imitated; others were notables only.

William Peverel. Among the men and women in Lenton who have  done something for their fellows, the first place must be given to WILLIAM PEVEREL, the first Norman lord of Lenton. The story of his relationship to the Conqueror is now generally discredited. The newly-erected Castle of Nottingham was committed to him, and one hundred and sixty-two manors, much other property, and the three churches in Nottingham. About forty years after the conquest, he, for the honour of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, and out of love of divine worship, and for the good of the souls of various persons named, founded the Priory and richly endowed it with the manors of Lenton, Radford, and elsewhere, the churches named, and much other property. Little is known of his life, or government, but we must assume his goodness, and admire his beneficence. He founded the Priory of St. James, near Northampton, from the register of which it appears that he died in 1113, "in peace, an old man, and full of days."

Thomas Elmham. THOMAS ELMHAM was Prior of Lenton for twelve years, 1414—1426, in which latter year he resigned his office. He became the author of several historical works of importance, including "A History of the Monastery of St. Augustine, Canterbury," a "Life of Henry V.," etc. His style was, according to Mr. C. Brown, "verbose and inflated," but his book of considerable historical value.

Sir William Babington. SIR WILLIAM BABINGTON, a great Judge, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and for thirteen years Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, a member of the King's Privy Council, was in private life much esteemed as a man of godly life and conversation. He died in 1455, aged ninety-nine, and his body lies buried in the Priory grounds.

William Stretton. WILLIAM STRETTON was an Architect and Builder. He built and resided in the house called "The Priory." He also built the Borough Gaol, St. James' Church, the Barracks, Wollaton Park Gateway, etc. He was a very benevolent man, had antiquarian tastes, and collected ancient documents, and notes, included in the Stretton Manuscripts, which have been recently published at at the cost of Major Robertson. He died in 1828, aged seventy-two.

William Gregory. WILLIAM GREGORY, of Nottingham, Alderman, purchased the manor of Lenton in 1630, and the family have been connected with the parish since. The will of GEORGE DE LIGNE GREGORY, 1815, requires successors to use the name and arms of Gregory only. GEORGE GREGORY, Esq., was High Sheriff  in 1694, and  M.P. for Nottingham in three Parliaments. The Rev. EDWARD GREGORY was Prebendary of Southwell. Several of  the Gregory's have been High Sheriffs.

Rebecca Garland. REBECCA GARLAND in 1781 left £10 to the Vicar and Churchwardens, the interest to be given in bread on St. Thomas' Day. According to the Report of the Charity Commissioners in 1889, the principal was then lent to JAMES NUTT, a farmer, who paid 10s. a year interest for it. The Garlands (Mr. Lowe says) resided many years in Lenton. In 1530 ANTHONY GARLAND served as Sheriff of Nottingham. In the 1768 Inclosure about forty-one acres was  allotted to GEORGE BRENTNALL and REBECCA GARLAND.

Lenton is poor in bequeathed charities.