Roads. The maintenance of roads, and the building of bridges, was considered to be a work of piety, and not an obligation of the community. "Ye shall praye * * * for men and women which briggeis or way makyth or mendith" (Surtees Society 60, 224) was the teaching of the church, and therefore many bequests were made for the purpose. On many bridges were chapels, where prayers were offered, a chantry endowment established, and where travellers could call, and rest, and pray. Money was collected either as gifts, or tolls, but the bridges were often in bad repair, and the risk of falling in the water was great. The roads were worse than the bridges, being often deep in mud, and in winter time dangerous. After the Reformation the making of roads and bridges was no longer regarded as a means of salvation, and therefore other steps must be taken. In many places raised causways were constructed, while the pack-horses carried goods on narrow roads. Especially did this apply to the carrying of coals from the pits on the north and west of Nottingham, and farmers took their wives to market with pack and pillion, and with panniers did their carrying to the fields. Gradually parish enclosures tended to better ways, and canals aided the conveyance of goods, and great heavy-wheeled waggons were adopted. Nearly two hundred years ago Turnpike Trusts began to be formed; that is, a number of gentlemen banded themselves together, and obtained an Act of Parliament for making a road, charging tolls on all conveyances, and cattle passing. Thereupon each promoter subscribed for, say, £100 of "stock," to make the roads, build toll houses, gates, etc. The Loughborough Road was long, "almost impassable," and an Act was passed in 1738-9. The Grantham Act was passed in 1729. Melton Turnpike road is said to have been made about 1758.

The result of this was that Bridgford obtained better roads than many villages, but although it was not a city it had "gates" on every side; it was not protected, but it was the best "barred" village in the county, for opposite to the Town Arms Inn there was a gate, to collect a toll for crossing the bridge, which was contested and confirmed by an action tried in 1840; and north thereof on London Road, against Meadow lane, was a bar; near to Wilford lane was another, commanding that road, and Loughborough and Melton Roads. Near the end of Rectory Road, and at Lady Bay Canal bridge were side bars, and at Gamston lane end was another, with gates to guard both roads. Unfortunately the roads were not well made, so as to bear heavy loads, and so there followed a number of silly restrictions as to the width of wheels, the weights carried, the number of horses used, etc., and, what was worse, the common informers who trapped the unwary, and on convictions got half the penalties. The improvements in the system of road-making carried out by Macadam greatly aided improvements in turnpike roads generally, and rendered travelling by coaches much easier. Then gradually crept in the evil of speculators combining in the bidding at auctions for the tolls, thus making great profits, and starving the roads. This, together with the introduction of railways, led parliament to abolish turnpike trusts, and under acts passed as to the Melton Road in 1873, Grantham 1876, and Loughborough 1880, the toll bars were removed, and the cost of maintenance thrown on the district, and the County took over one hundred bridges.

The contrast of present modes of transit with those of olden days may be illustrated by a notice in "The Carriers' Cosmography," by John Taylor, in 1637, where, giving a list of the Inns, etc., in London, "whereby all sorts of people may find direction bow to receive or send goods or letters unto such places as their occasions may require," the direction is as follows:—"The Carrier of Nottingham doth lodge at the Cross Keys in Saint John's street. He cometh every second Saturday. There is also a Foot Post that doth come every second Thursday from Nottingham. He lodgeth at the Swan in St. John's Street." Social Eng. p. 354.

"In 1770 the Nottingham stagecoach started at 5 o'clock on Tuesday mornings for London; the passengers slept at Northampton, and arrived in the metropolis at seven o'clock on Thursday evening." Wylie, 279.

Mr. W. Stevenson has described the "Red Rover" coach starting from the "Maypole" at 5.15 a.m. for Grantham, and the Royal Mail for Norwich and Yarmouth, starting from the "Lion" at 1.15.

The Radcliffe Road was not formerly the road from Nottingham to Newark; It was probably made practicable by the Grantham Turnpike Act in 1729. Previously it had been a road from village to village, as is borne out by the bends at Radcliffe, and at Bingham, probably originally the headlands of ploughed fields. A Plan of the road from Nottingham to Grimsby, by Newark and Lincoln, was printed by John Ogilby, Esqe., His Majesty's Cosmographer, about the date of 1675, when the road was by Charleton (Carlton), Burton, Gunthorpe, and Horrygham (Hoveringham),and over "Bleasbey Ferrey."

The Rushcliffe Highway Board was constituted in 1864, and comprised twenty-eight parishes, of which Bridgford was one. The Act for the formation of County Councils followed in 1889. The Loughborough Road was in 1913 greatly improved by widening, raising, planting, and fencing, at a cost of £1,900, of which the West Bridgford Urban Council contributed £300. The money was borrowed by loan, repayable in ten years. Gas mains were laid in 1864.

There used to be a footpath from Trent Bridge to Gamston, but it was so often flooded, that about 120 years ago Quarter Sessions diverted it more to the south. There was a King's way (highway) between Adbolton and Gamston, but now it has become a footpath. The parishes of Gamston and West Bridgford were indicted for neglecting the road by Long Flash. Where is Long Flash?

The Canal from the Trent through Bridgford to Grantham, was opened in 1797, four years after the act was obtained.

The Midland Railway from Nottingham to Melton was opened in 1880. The foundations of the bridge over the Trent go to a depth of twenty feet below the surface. The embankment is two miles long, the soil being brought from the Edwalton cutting. There is no station in Bridgford.

No part of Nottingham has received such costly attention as the road from the Market place to West Bridgford during little more than half a century; for it includes the widening of Wheeler Gate, the formation of Albert Street, the widening of Lister Gate, and Carrington Street, the rebuilding of the bridges over the canal, and the level railway crossing, the formation of Arkwright Street, and the rebuilding of Trent Bridge, all of which have been necessary, and promotive of the public convenience.

Trams. The Horse Trams were a great convenience when they started running to and from Nottingham Market place to Trent Bridge on Sept. 18th, 1878, but they were very beneficially superseded by the Electric Cars, which commenced running on Oct. 21st, 1901. There was a contest with the Nottingham Corporation, who in 1913 sought to obtain powers for running Trackless Trams in Bridgford, but they, being opposed, both locally and by the County Council, withdrew their bill. Horse busses ran for a number of years from St. Peter's Square to three of the parts of the parish, but were found to be too shaky and slow, and in 1914 the Watch Committee of the Nottingham Corporation withdrew the licencs, to the great loss of the omnibus owner. The Urban Council in 1913 obtained an Act authorising Electric Buses to run from Trent Bridge, and these commenced running in 1914 to four parts of the parish, and at once proved to be a great convenience to the residents. It must here be noted that the Council was the first U. D. Council in England to apply for Parliamentary powers to possess and run their own motor vehicles. The garage and workshop cost £2,317, and the five 'buses cost £4,000. After the opening the Loughborough Boad service was discontinued because it did not pay; but the public convenience is the proper test, and to some extent the strong must bear the infirmities of the weak. The district is entitled to a modified service.

Mickleton Jury. The Mayor and Corporation of Nottm. had in the olden time the valuable manorial right to hawk, and hunt, and fish in certain well defined limits of West Bridgford. The Mickletorn Jury therefore "beat the bounds" of this district every 4th of September. Sworn in on the previous night, they started from the Town Hall at eight o'clock in the morning, to go round the town boundary, a course of about fifteen miles, and it was eight o'clock in the evening before they reached the Town Hall again to record their proceedings, for they had many calls to make on the way. They breakfasted at the Town Arms, Trent Bridge, they met at the Sir John Borlace Warren, Derby Road, they lunched at the Grand Stand on the Forest, the foreman paying for the lunch, after which the "colts (fresh boys) had races," and they had tea, and other refreshments provided at the Coppice farm, and if they had time at the Leather Bottle Inn, in Hockley, being a Corporation house, they must call for the good of the house. Mr. E. M. Kidd was for many years captain, and local poets and wits attended. A dinner at the Maypole followed a few days after the perambulation. So far as Bridgford was concerned the jurymen divided, one part taking a boat from the Canal, going down the Trent, then walking by and touching the boundary stone on Barrow Hill farm, and proceeding by old Lady Bay bridge, and the Brook bridge. Another part of the Jury went westwardly and southerly by the borough proper boundary, extending to the "Stone Man," on the Melton Road, and the two parties uniting again at the Town Arms. Their song for 1850, as compiled by Mr. W. Bradbury, their poet, would occupy two pages, but here is the chorus:—

"Shoulder your spades and march away,
The sun shines bright, 'tis a glorious day!
Our Foreman's the King, whom we all obey,
When we serve on the Mickletorn Jury."

The song for the 4th September, 1876, went to the tune of "Johny comes marching on," but they have marched off, for on one of the Jury lists the word "dead" is written against twenty-one names, and the fishes have gone too, and the birds are flown, and the boundaries are beaten no more.

Floods. In the olden time West Bridgford was very subject to floods, and sustained much damage, for the old Trent bridge held up the water, and banks and dykes were neglected. Many pages might be written on the injury to the bridge, and inconvenience to the people, but a few items must suffice, and reference may be made to the paper on Wilford, p. 255. In 1683 there was a great ice flood which tore away part of the bridge, and the Flood Road (London Road) arches were blown up. In 1770 the water was several feet deep in the houses of Narrow Marsh. On December 24th, 1790, Samuel Marshall was sent to extricate some sheep on Holme grounds, and when he arrived near to Lady Bay Bridge he could no longer discern the road, for the water covered all traces of it. He deemed it however his duty to press on, but with disastrous results, for the horse was found drowned standing in the cart shafts, and some days afterwards the body of Marshall was recovered. In the flood of Sunday, February 7th, 1795, the water is said to have risen two feet ten inches higher than in any previously recorded floods, and to have reached even up to houses in the Meadow Platts, then described as "newly built," but now called the "condemned area." At Bridgford, 19 beasts, and 30 sheep perished, and the raging torrent carried down all kinds of agricultural produce, with animals, and trees. The flood of 1875 was the greatest of the last century that occurred at Nottingham, the water rising to about ten inches lower than the one of 1795. At lesser heights were the floods of 1852, 1901, and 1910. With the dredging of the river below the bridge, the construction of the embankment on the southern side, the recent raising of Loughborough Eoad, and other roads, the floods will now, so far as Bridgford is concerned, probably be of rare occurrence, and they do not appear to affect the public health.

The Village. From the Trent Bridge to the little village was nearly half-a-mile, down a narrow lane, with hedges and overhanging trees. The long bridge over the brook on Bridgford Road, now a culvert near to Park Avenue, consisted of seven arches, but wide enough for one vehicle only, guarded by posts and rails. It was an ideal country village, with its embowered church, the Squire's Hall, two or three gentlemen's houses, each cottage in a garden, with the woodbine, honeysuckle, jasmine, or roses adorning the front, big trees in the crofts, several farm houses with orchards, and the vigorous rippling brook running down from its spring; the cattle grazing in the fields, with tall hedges and quietness everywhere. It was a typical English village as seen from Ludlow Hill, the like of which cannot be seen in any country the wide world over, and which an emigrant in far off climes would give anything to see again.

When Throsby, about one hundred and twenty years ago, visited the place, he described it as old Inclosure—that is enclosed probably in the sixteenth or seventeenth century. It was well built, and consisted of about thirty dwellings. "Mr. Hornbuckle, a gentleman of considerable property, resides in one, built in a pretty style. A resident, of the name of Easton, is now in good health at the advanced age of ninety. The Clerk informed me that there was not a dissenter in the place!!" It was, however, a favourite haunt for gipsies, being near to the town, but outside the stricter supervision. The Wilford Lane, near to Boots' Pleasaunce Grounds, was a choice spot. Spencer Hall in the "Peak and Plain" sings—

"Wilford whichever way to thee we come
From thy surrounding plains,
Whether by Clifton's wood walks dim,
Or Bridgford's Gipsy haunted lanes."

Mrs. Barwick, a lady of ninety-two, with a clear head, and smiling face, who has lived in the parish over seventy years, chats about parochial matters as they used to be. If they wanted to post a letter they must take it up to the post office, which was then in a shop in Bridlesmith Gate, about where Lloyd's Bank now is. Letters were delivered by a man with a pony and cart, who went as far as Keyworth, and back again in the evening. A box was afterwards put in Mitchell's wall. A letter from Bingham to Aslockton used to cost for postage 4d. In Bridgford, when newspapers cost 41/2d. each, two houses joined. Her husband's father told her that there was a public house where Mr. Heymann's wall now is, called " The Wheat Sheaf," kept by old Mrs. White, who was fond of what she sold, and when men called for drink she would say, "Fill it yourselves, lads," and when they said "What have we to pay?" the reply was, "Tuppence apiece, lads." Before the brook bridge was built they went over on stepping stones.

When Mr. Lewis Heymann, about 1840, went to reside at the Hall he generally walked to and from business in Nottingham, and on dark nights he found Bridgford Lane, with its hedges and trees, disagreeable and dangerous. He therefore desired to have the lane lighted with lamps, and he offered to pay for it, but "they say"—which is the term usually applied to what may be incorrect— they say that the old inhabitants viewed the proposed innovation with alarm.

The oldest man in Bridgford had never heard of such a thing. It would only encourage people to be out when they ought to be in bed. They determined they would not have it. A meeting was held, and an old woman got out of a sick bed to go and vote against it, and she won! So there!

Extension. Bridgford having from time immemorial continued to be a very small village in a small parish, in 1880, Mr. John Chaworth Musters, the lord of the manor, or his representatives awoke to the possibility of its development, whereupon Messrs. Huskinson & Son, his surveyors, prepared a plan showing the streets arranged chiefly in their present form, and on July 25th, 1881, a large number of lots were offered by Mr. J. M. Pott, a noted local auctioneer, Messrs. Ingram, Harrison, & Ingram being the solicitors. The first land was taken by Mr. John Rushworth, a notable Nottingham builder, of whom many interesting stories are told. This plot was bounded by Loughborough Road and Millicent Street, and Musters Road. All the roads, except Musters Road, were called streets on the first plan, and when their success was assured they became Roads. The land was offered on lease for ninety-nine years, but there being a local prejudice against leasehold, it was afterwards offered as freehold. There were then no sewerage, or water facilities. The houses must be of £50 annual rental value on the main roads, descending to £30, and £25, on less important roads. There must be no public house, or club house, or on, or off licenses. The Basford Board was then the authority, and John Parker was their surveyor. The treets were paved and planted by the vendor, or the authority. When water was supplied by the Corporation, it was charged at twenty-five per cent, above town charges; this has since been reduced. A greatly extended scheme of land for sale was launched in 1882, and the estate was sold to Sir H. D. Davies in June, 1889, a large scheme taking place in 1898. Other owners' land sold was not subject to the same conditions, and narrower streets, and smaller houses were permitted. The Lady Bay Estate from the Council Schools eastward was brought out by Messrs. Mellors, Basden & Mellors in 1890, and following years, in three Freehold Land Societies, with about twenty acres for each Society, and the whole having 463 lots.