Lady Warren built a school at Stapleford, at a cost of £3,000, and she also built and endowed a free-school at Toton, and paid 12/- a week to the master and mistress for teaching twenty boys and twenty girls, whom she also furnished with a yearly supply of clothing. The school now has Government Inspection, but is not under the Education Committee of the County Council, and uniforms are dispensed with. Robert Shaw was the teacher in 1831, and was succeeded by Mr. Roper, who continued fifty years, and was followed by his daughter, Mrs. Herrick, who after thirty-eight years service still continues her work. The Trustees are the Vicar, and the Patrons of the living. The endowment is in Consols. On Nov. 7th, 1855, 1048 acres of the Toton Manor estate was sold by auction for £63,005 to George Rawson, Esq., acting it was understood for Richard Birkin, Esq. (Notts. "Guardian"). The purchaser, Richard Birkin, Esq., J.P., was four times Mayor of Nottingham, and was a Director of the Midland Railway. The estate afterwards passed to his son, Sir Thos. I. Birkin, Bart., who was High Sheriff in 1892, whose son, T. Stanley Birkin, Esq., was High Sheriff 1915, and is now the owner and lord of the manor. The manor house which four hundred and fifty years ago was the habitation of a lord, was probably timber framed, the openings being filled in with stone, clay, and other local material, for the making of bricks was then a lost art. The house was enclosed by a moat, traces of which may still be seen on the west, and north-western sides, near which the old water mill continued until less than a generation ago. A few stones are still to be seen as foundations of out-buildings, but the present brick house, now occupied by Mr. Bates, can scarcely be two hundred years old. There is an old yew tree, and there are two yews in Mrs. Bennett s garden, and her house appears to be the older one. There is an avenue of limes to the east of the house. The cart hovel bears traces of having been a Methodist Chapel. The late Lord Hawkesbury, afterwards created Earl of Liverpool, is said to have been fond of visiting, and studying the records of Toton in tracing the history of his—the Foljambe—family.

The population of Toton parish was in 1801, 175; 1861, 200; 1911, 176, the area being 1317 acres. Rateable value £10,114.

Roads. The main road through Toton was disturnpiked in 1870. Mr. E. T. Hooley reported that the county records show that a new bridge was constructed over the Erewash in 1830. In 1911 the Road Board made a grant of £533 for the widening and (improving of the series of bridges here, for the benefit not only of traffic, but also for relief in floods. Through the generosity of Sir T. I. Birkin, a dangerous corner in the road was abolished, and through the work and assistance of the Road Board a great improvement was made in widening and straightening the road in four places. Since that time the old turnpike road from Chilwell to Toton has been obstructed, and a wide road made from Attenborough lane to Toton with railway bridge over.

In "The Midland Railway: its rise and progress. A narrative of Modern Enterprise," the Rev. F. S. Williams has described the birth of the Midland at "The Sun Inn," at Eastwood, or rather its conception in 1832, when the coal owners of the district determined to get an outlet to the south for their coal, and as a guarantee of their bona-fides they agreed to contribute £32,000 towards the cost of securing powers, but unfortunately they got into the hands of parliamentary schemers and speculators, so that their efforts were for a long time thwarted, and it was not until 1847 that the Erewash line was opened, and for some time afterwards the traffic was small; but it was greatly enlarged when the Alfreton extension was made in 1860.

Alderman Edward Eastwood used to be fond of telling of the beginning of his railway life, when in 1846 he was time-keeper for the contractors for the construction of the Erewash Valley line. From Long Eaton old Junction to Ilkeston Junction was one contract, and the contractor divided his men into three gangs, each being placed under the direction of a foreman, called a ganger. After a time Ganger No. 1 was found to be so fond of social parties that he watched the contractor off the job, and then went off himself. Ganger No. 2 knew the quality of the beer in every public house in the district. No. 3 Gang was placed under the direction of the Time-keeper, Edward Eastwood, who did his work so well that Nos. 1 and 2 having been "emigrated," the three gangs were placed under his direction, and to him was committed by the contractor the entire work. He completed it to the entire satisfaction of his employer. That undertaking was the start of Edward Eastwood, who afterwards established, and for many years carried on, extensive railway wagon building works at Chesterfield, of which town he became a great benefactor, for he built at his own cost the "Eastwood Wing" of the Chesterfield Hospital, and otherwise benefited it, in which Mrs. Eastwood joined, and the almshouses there, called "Eventide," were built and endowed by him. He died in 1910, aged 85.

The Toton sidings Mr. Williams regarded as of as much importance in the working of the mineral traffic as Trent Station is for the passenger traffic, for here the coal traffic is concentrated and marshalled for its next journey. It is assembled on the "Up," or east side of the depot, and there forms trains for the south, west, and east of the country, principally for London. The return empty wagons are received on the "Down," or west side, and there are sorted and sent to their respective collieries. This is performed on the gravitation principle on over one hundred sidings, extending in length to twenty-six miles, and the standing capacity to 7900 wagons.

Note.—It may interest young fossil collectors to know that there are in the Nottingham Natural History Museum two large mammoth teeth which were found in Toton parish, near to Barton Ferry, in the Trent gravel, five feet deep; one is the right molar tooth, about 12 inches by 7. The mammoth has long been extinct, was of the elephant species, but much larger, covered with wool and hair, and having huge ivory tusks.

Bramcote.  Its old Church and Manor House, especially in relation to the family of Henry Hanley, the benefactor, have been dealt with by George  Fellows, Esq., J.P., in the "Transactions of  the Thoroton Society for 1917,"  with  illustrations.



The foregoing paper was compiled several years ago, and its issue deferred because of the Great War. What years they have been! for the Devil has come down in great wrath, bringing woe, and the wild boar out of the woods has rooted up and trampled down the fruits of the earth and the vine of joy, and the wolves of the forest have burst into the fold and killed or torn millions of men, while every possible outrage has been committed on land, and sea, and in air. To replenish the earth and subdue it was the original purpose and obligation, carrying joy with development of natural resources, but the wicked translation has read, " Subdue, and if need be destroy your fellow man; '' so destruction and misery have been in all their ways, and many a sigh from sufferers in agony has gone up to Heaven, "Break their teeth, O God; smite the jaw-bone; " or, " How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood! '' for bitter as wormwood has been the cup of many who have been desolate in sorrow, or whose blood has mingled with the waves of the sea.

Yet in this mighty struggle to become the World-power, and to obtain all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, no Divine thunderbolt has hurled the Destroyer to the ground, for men are not machines, but have the power of will, joined with conscience and responsibility, having to give an account, and what an account when the Voice behind the cloud is heard to say, " I will repay ! " The mills of God appear to grind slowly, but they will grind exceeding small, and there will yet be heard, "Verily He is a God that judgeth in the earth!" Our right attitude is to do our duty in our own sphere thoroughly and well, while we softly sing to the sorrowing ones, " O rest in the Lord, and wait—wait patiently for Him."

Meanwhile we rejoice at the brave self-sacrifice of our young men—the Notts, and Derbyshire regiments particularly—who have, for the sake of their country and their loved ones, gone in to the jaws of death ; and for our food we " Thank God and the British Navy ! The response to the effort for self-preservation by the whole empire commands our admiration; and the power of endurance by our allies, scattered and peeled, demands our sympathy; while the mighty effort now being put forth by America is our joy. The measures devisad by the men in authority in the various nationalities command our respect; the services of our doctors and nurses and volutary helpers in mitigating suffering and preventing disease; the developments and adaptations of science, the increase of the spirit of true charity and helpfulness among all classes, cause us to thank God and take courage; while we sing:

"Tis a glorious charter, deny it who can,
That breathes in the words
August, 1918. I'M AN ENGLISHMAN ! "

November, 1918.

Thank God: Victory has come at last ! An armistice has been asked for. Terms have been dictated, and agreed to. The four enemy nations have been conquered, or have submitted, and have withdrawn from occupied countries. Prisoners in foreign lands are liberated. In the invaded lands the people return to their homes. A mighty fleet has been surrendered without an effort. Immense stores of munitions, railway plant, and every kind of national requirement has been abandoned. Palestine, Mesopotamia, Serbia, France, Belgium, are free; the German Colonies are delivered; the Rhine district is occupied by allied forces. Thrones have been abdicated, or have fallen like nine-pins. Was there ever such a nemesis ? So mighty a fall ? God has come with vengeance ; and with recompense.

Roll of Honour. The Roll of Honour in the parish church  gives the names of 181 men who in the Great War responded to their country's call, some of whom obtained distinction, and a number died that we might live.

Captain H. H. Walton, son of Mr. E. Walton, of Chilwell Manor, of the 1st 7th Sherwood Foresters (Robin Hood Rifles) gained the Military Cross for distinguished service with military operations in France and Flanders, but in a subsequent engagement was reported missing, and is believed to have been killed.

2nd. Lieut. Stephen Hetley Pearson, of the Grenadier Guards, whose residence was in Grove Avenue, Chilwell, son of the late Mr. H. J. Pearson of Bramcote, was killed at Boulton Wood on 1st Dec., 1917. By his will he bequeathed ten thousand pounds to endow the Lads' Club and Institute at Beeston, in which the Chilwell boys partake of the benefit, so that he being dead still speaks and works for the good of the boys of the district. There is a memorial window in Bramcote Church.

In the great attack at the end of September the Notts, and Derby men—the Sherwood Foresters—forming part of the 46th Division, specially distinguished themselves, and made a great contribution to the success of the effort, for they stormed the St. Quentin Canal, near Bellinglise, and smashed the Hindenburg line, which was deemed impregnable, but it involved the loss of many valuable lives. This was counted as one of the greatest victories of the War, and had a vital influence upon the ultimate issue.

They died  that  we might live,— Hail !—And Farewell !
All honour give
To those who, nobly striving, nobly fell,
That we might live!"


In August 1915 three men might have been seen on the Toton estate, near to a small wood of oak trees, and all around peaceful agricultural land. The three were Lord Chetwynd, Mr. Birkin, the owner, and Mr. Huskinson, his agent. The business of Lord Chetwynd— a man with much experience in large undertakings—was to take possession of that quiet locality, and regardless of cost, in the smallest possible time, to build, equip, organize, and to manage a gigantic Government factory, nay, town, producing high explosive shells, unlimited in number and capacity; for the War had raged more than a year, little progress had been made, several million pounds a day was being spent, the ammunition was altogether insufficient to cope with the destructive power of the enemy. Any outlay that would shorten the War a single day would be justified. The magician waved his wand, the oaks fell like a field of wheat; and again, and millions of bricks, with wood, iron, and every variety of material and machinery came rushing to the spot, and like as in the "Arabian Nights Tales" Aladdin's Lamp developed a splendid palace, so here, in less than a year, great works were built, occupying 182 acres, belonging to several owners in the two parishes; the works including two great sheds for shells, each covering ten acres, and, what was of more importance was that a million shells had been filled and sent off, and on some days shells at the rate of a thousand an hour were despatched by the newly constructed railway branch line. In three years nineteen million shells had been sent, weighing approximately one million tons. ' In addition 25,000 mines were filled for the Navy, and 2,500 large bornbs for the Royal Air Force." Other particulars were given in the local daily papers, the "Guardian," and the "Journal."

How was all this work accomplished in so short a time ? Ten thousand men, women and boys were employed, they getting housing and lodging accommodation, and railway communication, as best they could in the surrounding towns and district. Four millions of pounds was paid in wages. The wages were high, especially for young people. Men were paid as much as at the rate of £300 a year, causing much dislocation in the labour market surrounding. But much of the work was dangerous, and in so vast an undertaking, with machinery to which many workers were unaccustomed, with persons coming together from every grade of social life, and using such dangerous material as T.N.T.-tri-nitro-tolnol, accidents and injury to the health of some of the workers was inevitable. But strict supervision, great attention to cleanliness, provision for good ventilation, two good meals a day for tenpence, every encouragement for outdoor recreation, music from a provided band-stand, performed by workmen who took pleasure, and attained some distinction, in their special effort, all these, and many other helpful facilities for putting the workers into the best possible conditions, reduced the accidents and the unhealthiness to a minimum, and with a system of shop stewards to remedy defects, and the right of appeal, labour disputes were practically non-existent.

There was, however, one sad accident on July 1st, 1918, about seven o'clock in the evening, when a dreadful explosion occurred, involving 380 casualties, including the loss of 134 lives. Lord Chetwynd, writing to the Duke of Portland, referred to the assistance rendered within a few minutes of the explosion by all classes outside, including doctors, nurses, owners of motor cars, and others who showed their ready support, and in a Thanksgiving Service, conducted by the Bishop of Southwell, Lord Chetwynd spoke of the bravery of the workpeople, who continued at their work unmindful of danger. Altogether there were nineteen explosions.

The King awarded the medal of the British Empire Order to 17 persons who distinguished themselves for presence of mind and courage, and honoured the works manager. A memorial column has been erected.

Of the high explosives used in the War it is stated that considerably more than half went from Chilwell. The battle of the Somme, in 1916, it is said, was fought with shells from this "V.C. Factory." The arrangements for despatch were a marvel of organization and control, for a train could leave the works and go direct to Richborough, Newhaven, or Southampton, and there fifteen laden trucks be pushed in two rows on to a steam ferry without unloading, and go across the Channel to Dunkirk, Calais, Dieppe, or Cherbourg, and be there drawn on to the French railway, and without change go right to the battle line.

Again the scene changes. At the time of writing large numbers of the workers are departed; the future of the place is uncertain, but its use as a Military base for the Northern Division, and for Government stores, is suggested, involving the permanent occupation by large bodies of men.

The premises were guarded by a police force of forty men, and surrounded by electric lamps.

"Nought shall make us rue
If England to itself do rest but true." Shakespeare