Fords. The most ancient ford crossed the river from a point exactly opposite to the school, where the Bee Bank now is, and went, not straight across, but aslant down the river to a point south of where the colliery and the brook now are. When the dredging of the river was in progress, about 1900, the force of the water was sufficient to wash away the gravel, and the lines of an old causeway could distinctly be traced. Mr. Heald supplies a plan showing two rows of black oak piles on either side, the space between being paved with stones, and the middle portion paved with smaller stones. The Rector says the form of pavement exactly corresponded with such pavements as he had seen in Rome of old Roman work, and he is satisfied it was a Roman ford. The approach to this ford seems afterwards to have been moved to between the Church and Mr. Smith's, the old Manor house, and joined the older one, and to have been called St. Wilfrid's ford.

The upper ford went from near to the Clifton bend, against the corner where the seats now are, across to south of the Lenton lane. This ford was used in the olden time for pack-horses carrying coals from the Wollaton pits, across where Wollaton Park is now enclosed, and down Sandy lane to the Trent, for use in the south of the County. See "Lenton: Then and Now," p. 24.

Ferry. The new iron bridge over the Trent was commenced in 1863, and the old ferry stopped running on September 18th, 1864, a temporary wooden bridge having been built, but it was some years before the permanent bridge was erected. A Company was promoted by Mr. Saul Isaacs, M.P.,who built the bridge, and it was opened in 1870, by Lady Clifton, widow of Sir Robert, the Colliery being also opened the same day, and there being an attendance of a great crowd, said to number over 20,000 persons. The company had a lease of the bridge and tolls, which lease has expired, and now it is the property of Sir Hervey Bruce.

There are six bridges in the county over the Trent, two being free. It would greatly promote the public convenience for the other four to be made free, as the highways are. This can be accomplished by a time limit, and a combined arrangement.

A messenger from Wollaton Hall in 1573 entered in his accounts "ferryla at Wylford, being sent to Sir Jarvis (Clifton) jd" (Wollaton M.S.). So the halfpenny fare has not varied.

Wilford Hill. The hill of Wilford is the highest point in the parish, being over 250 feet above sea level, the lowest point in the parish being 78 feet above only, but the hill now furnishes the most charming view of the surrounding district, which view is, of course, much extended from the top of the tower. The hill is remarkable from its geological formation, as well as from its historical associations. The gravel on the top, from which the clay has been washed, was named on a previous page, and here several items of historical interest may be referred to. In "Bygone Notts.," p. 48, Mr. Wm. Stevenson suggests that the "burh," or fortress, which Edward the Elder in 924 ordered to be built for the protection of Trent Bridge, then being constructed, was on Wilford hill. The next hill, which is in Ruddington parish, is on the Ordnance charts called "Mickleborough hill." Both these hills would command the pass on the old great road, which was here cut through, and a "burh" might be deemed desirable for that purpose, but the hill is two or three miles from the bridge. The King's Road, as it was called, led from London and Leicester, by Nottingham, to the North, and to lessen the gradient was here in cutting, forming a defile, which, although now with 150 years of neglect and washing down, has trees growing so that no carriage can pass through, was previously a most important road. Let us sit down on the banks, (for parish councils seldom provide seats,) and, with a book of history in our hands, let us mentally reflect on the processions that from time to time have passed on that old road. For instance, let us see that example of departed greatness, the mighty, fallen, Cardinal Wolsey, wearily riding, a day or two before his death at Leicester Abbey. Or let us watch Richard III., with his army, five abreast, and he on his white charger, marching from Nottingham to Leicester and Bosworth, never to return, Sir Gervase Clifton being there among the slain.

What, however, is of still greater imterest, is the march of Henry VII. to the battle of Stoke Field, on June 16th, 1487, being a Saturday. On the Wednesday previous the King advanced from Bunny, where the troops had passed the night under Bunny Wood, and the army bivouacked in the fields, for "it was a royal and marvelouse faire and well-tempered day." The forward division "were well and warely loggede under the hill to Nottingham warde." Thursday was Corpus Christiday, and the King attended Divine Service. "That nyght the King's hooste lay under the end of that hill towarde Nottingham, Lenton warde, and his forwarde before him to Nottingham bridge, and the Erle of Derby's hooste on the King's left hand, to the meadows, beside Lenton." We need not pursue the great " hooste." 7,000 men were slain on the Saturday, the King's army succeeding (see Bailey's "Annals," p. 348, and "In and about Notts.," p. 72).

Let us note one or two points further. The army lodging there would require water, and Mr. Pyatt, who is well acquainted with the district, says that where the Reservoir now is there was a very important spring, said to be unfailing. There were two other springs to the west, and another lower down the hill. Note the words "Lenton warde," for the great Monastery of Lenton, with its magnificent church, the finest building in the district, was from that hill, across the valley, a striking object, as it glistened in the sun on that summer day.

Five or six cannon balls were, about 1804, found in a field on the western side of the hill, now forming part of the Cemetery. Workmen were ploughing, Mr. Beecroft's grandfather being one of them, when the ploughshare turned up the balls. One of these balls Mr. Beecroft has, it having been in the family ever since. It is of cast iron, three inches in diameter, and weighs 4 lbs. 5 oz. Two other of those balls were in the cottages in Ruddington lane pulled down last year, but they disappeared in a remarkable manner. The location where the balls were found would fit very well to the description given of the temporary lodging-place of the King's troops, but the date of that event appears too early for the age of the balls, which have been examined by Mr. Wallis and Mr. Briscoe, and they are of opinion that their date is Cromwellian, the date of the Civil War, possibly about 1643. Mr. Francis, the Churchwarden, says that when he was a boy old labourers in Wilford pointed out the spot where, in the Civil War, Oliver Cromwell placed his cannon on Wilford hill, to fire at Nottingham Castle (!). That spot Mr. Francis has now identified, and he and Mr. Beecroft have measured it, being in the Cemetery, seventy yards from the highway boundary iron fence, and thirty yards from the western boundary iron fence. It was a scooped-out hollow space, which Mr. Walters, the gardener, recently filled in, and this spot was close to the spot where the cannon balls were found. We need not stay to discuss the possibility of cannon balls, with the guns then in use, carrying three miles across the valley, and we may very well suppose that some outpost troops, Royal or Parliamentary, lodged on the hill, in order to be ready, if necessary, to guard the pass of the old road. See the "Life of Colonel Hutchinson," and Bailey's "Annals," as to the period.

I am informed by Col. H. A. Bethell, Secretary of the Royal Artillery Institution, at Woolwich, that "The Complete Souldier," by Thos. Smith, 1628, states that the iron shot from a Sakarst, or Minion, was three inches in height, and weighed 43/4 lbs. The extreme range of the above gun was 1,200 yards. An excavation, in a circular form, of a large piece of ground, was, Mr. Turner states, found on the Brickyard land, apparently made for military purposes, in which were several pieces of iron. A sword blade Mr. Harker has. It was ploughed up on Wilford Hill over fifty years ago.

The road from Nottingham to Loughborough was shockingly bad, and in 1738 an act of parliament was passed for making a Turnpike road, with toll bars. It is presumed the promotors made the detour round the shoulder of Wilford hill, with a view to ease the gradient, but Chapman's map of the County, surveyed in 1774, shews the road as straight, with the hill on the west of it. This may, however, have been an error.

Reservoir. The Corporation of Nottingham has recently bought an estate of about forty-eight acres on Wilford hill, three-and-a-half acres of which is reserved for Water department purposes, and on the highest point of the land a Reservoir, with a capacity of three-and-a-half million gallons, has been constructed with cement concrete, having blue brick linings, and on the outside two feet of stiff clay puddle, to prevent the possibility of contamination. A Recorder house on the top has provision for controlling the valves. The water pumped at Burton Joyce is gravitated by way of Trent Bridge; and from the pumping stations and reservoirs on the north of the city, by way of the Suspension Bridge. The villages of Ruddington, Bradmore, Bunny and Wilford are now supplied, and doubtless the benefit will be further extended.

A Cemetery has been formed on the hill, enclosing forty-four acres of the land purchased, and two spacious and elegant chapels have been erected, with a gateway between, over which is a tower, having a stone staircase, from the top of which is a charming and extensive view. There are two lodges, and the grounds have been planted and laid out with paths in an attractive manner. The Cemetery is built in advance of actual requirements, and it would be an advantage for a number of seats to be provided for people who, having climbed the hill, desire to rest, and also for them to be able to obtain tea at the second lodge.

The cost of the land for the Cemetery, including tenant-right, etc., was £15,533, and including land, buildings, formation, fences, etc., the total cost has been £25,152.

Roads. The only great highway for the district was for many centuries the waterway of the Trent, which secured not only early settlement, but great convenience afterwards. The sharp corners, and peculiar bends, of some of the roads in Wilford, seem to indicate that they were originally the headlands of ploughed fields. The older roads are winding, but the Ruddington and Landmere lanes have every appearance of Inclosure roads. The Great Central Railway in 1897 constructed its line through the parish and valley, with its bridge over the Victoria Embankment, and the Trent, on a high level, having flood arches, and road bridges, with sidings to the Colliery, and to the Brick Yard, but without a station. The Trams commenced running on Nov. 20, 1902.

The Trent Footpath is an illustration of how far we have carried our struggle to ensure private rights. Ever since the conquest we have been contesting the claims of the Crown, other authorities, and the lord of the manor, in order to ensure the rights of the individual, and now the tide is turning, and is becoming a contest for the rights of the community. A very enjoyable footpath leads from Wilford to Trent Bridge, near to the river side. The floods impinged on the southern bank, and washed it away, so that the footpath is now impassable. The Corporation made an excellent offer. Subscriptions to the amount of £700 to £800, including £500 from Sir Jesse Boot, were collected, but all was of no avail. And yet there never was a time when it was so important as now for our footpaths to be under the control and maintenance of local authorities, and for local Footpath Preservation Societies to vigorously ensure public, as against individual rights, for the motor cars have made our green lanes brown with dust, and dangerous by reason of speed. Good may, however, come out of the evil, for now it is seen that an iron gangway bridge, or raised walk, may be constructed at half the cost of the original plan, and this would suffice for pedestrians. The Basford Rural District Council consists of men who are trying to do their duty, and if they are rightly approached we shall yet see a restoration of that lovely walk. Meanwhile let us all aid in defending the farmers against the injury to sheep and fences which evil disposed persons sometimes inflict.

The Fairham brook bridge was in 1910 broken through by heavy traction traffic, and a new one, with moulded stone caps—an ornamental feature in the locality—was built, at a cost of £250, by the Basford Eural District Council, under the superintendence of Mr. G. W. Hawley, their surveyor. The same Council in 1912, by the assistance of the Eoad Board, through the Notts. County Council, widened the road at the corner of Clifton Lane, purchasing 770 yards of land from Sir Hervey Bruce, and setting the road back at the extreme angle 40 feet, the cost, with the road making, being £210. Another improvement is now being made at the village street junction with the Bridgford to Clifton road, old houses being pulled down, and new ones being erected, with frontages set back, and dangerous corners greatly improved.

A telephone box at the four cross roads, now in course of construction, is one of the latest improvements, and another is the obtaining of a fire extinguishing apparatus.

Sewers. About 1849 a brick sewer of a length of about 300 yards, from the top Green to the brook leading to the Trent, was made by the parish, Hy. Smith, Esq., being the principal donor, and receiving the thanks of the vestry meeting. Modern sanitation however requires that the Trent shall be kept free from pollution. The sewage question is therefore one that presses for consideration and execution, and considering the difficulties of an outfall, the big brother lower down the valley may, by a reasonable arrangement, aid his little brother without burdening himself.

Floods. From its position at the bend of the river, from the nature of its gravelly bed, and from the fact that the ground in some parts is so little above the river level, Wilford has its peculiar difficulty with recurring floods, and this has increased since the force of the stream turned from the west to the east of the island in the midst of the river bed. In the great flood of Sunday, Feb. 7th, 1795, a rapid thaw succeeded a seven weeks frost, and deluged the valley. At Wilford and Lenton nearly four hundred sheep perished.

The greatest flood, after the one recorded, was on Friday, Nov. 13th, 1852, when the water rose 14 ft. 9 in. above its usual level. From 1 a.m. on the following morning every person in Wilford, who could, wielded a spade, and every horse and cart available was put in requisition to help to strengthen, repair, and raise the river bank, which happily withstood the tremendous pressure.

The floods of July and October, 1875, were very disastrous, the former being one of the highest summer floods in living memory, and the latter being the highest since 1795. The water washed over the bank opposite to the school. Some of the cottages had 6 feet of water in them, and others were washed down. On Wilford Road the posts on the road side were covered, and only the lamp posts remained visible to guide a driver. A cart was upset on to the field on the east side, and six persons in it were drowned, and a man named Asher riding on horseback to bring a horse from a shed in the field was drowned. There was a flood in 1912, but although attended by much inconvenience no calamity ensued.

There was a public subscription for the relief of the sufferers by the flood of 1875. When the committee had provided for the needy poor there was a surplus in hand, which was spent in providing a public clock on the School.

Why do we not have a well-defined, organized, and energetically carried out provision for lessening the damage caused by floods, every parish with its owners and ratepayers being obliged to make, and keep repaired the banks, etc., near and more distant from the river, and its tributaries, while a general authority sees to the dredging of the river, and the removal of all obstacles to the water getting away?