Old Houses. There was a house on the upper Green stood on the site of the house now occupied by Mr. Allcock, and a part of one wall still remains. Captain Barker (in 1835) mentions that in a part of the old house then standing, there were the remains of an ancient building supposed to have been a chapel, with a vaulted arch, and wainscotting, and curiously carved oak, and formerly having an antique porch. In front of the house, south of the approach stood the village stocks, facing the smithy shop, looking to the west, and these were fixed under the shade of a large tree then standing. There is still a fine old walnut tree, and on the other side of the house there stood a dovecote, of a peculiar description. The squires of the olden time were fond of having their pigeons fed at the general cost. Is it possible that the old house was one of the earlier Clifton residences? This upper Green was at the main entrance to the village. Mr. Brewill has a picture of the old farm house, and the late Mr. Beecroft used to tell how he remembered Mr. and Mrs. Paumers being placed in the stocks for, during a drinking bout, disturbing the villagers; the duty of placing persons in the stocks being then exercised by the constables who were also watchmen.

Sir Thomas Manners, in 1562, left for the benefit of the poor in Nottingham a rent charge of £5 per annum on a messuage at Wilford.—See Deering, 135. Barker says the charge was on Mr. Leeson's house, which is now called the Grange. The front of the present house is nothing like that age, the building having been gradually extended. Here lived, among others Messrs. Handley, Newham, Burnside, Leeson, Pritchard, Davidson, Cursham, Rawson, Thompson, Judge Masterman, and now Mr. Bates.

The old manor house near to the river and the church, is said to have been in the olden time a residence of the Cliftons. Here Dr. Spencer Hall, "the Sherwood Forester," lodged some time, and Captain Barker says that Kirke White also lodged here, but this is questioned. The house now occupied by Mr. Hunter was built in 1724, and the house now occupied by Mr. Pyatt's labourer in 1722. A part of this house is probably the oldest in the parish, being timber-built in the primitive type of the letter A, but curved in the centre somewhat like a Gothic arch. "The Elms," north of the Green, was built by Captain Deane, see page 281, for his residence. He had previously built the one next door, "The Hawthorns." There are in Mr. Lowe's garden six yews well worthy of notice, their age suggesting that they were planted by Captain Deane. Wilford House, now occupied by John T. Forman, Esq., was built for Samuel Smith, Esq., and the Stretton ms. informs us that it was finished in 1791. "The Cottage" was for some years occupied by Mr. H. A. Smith, afterwards by Mr. Mills, and now by Mr. Willoughby. "Trent Lea" was occupied by Mr. T. B. Cutts, "American" Smith, Mrs. Price, and now by Mr. Merchant.

The picturesque cottages which have disappeared are remembered with regret, but why should they be? Beauty and deformity do not go hand in hand. Some of the cottages that have been pulled down were most insanitary; built apparently upon the waste by the side of the road, by the poor labourers of a past generation, they were most unhealthy: single brick walls, rooms 7 ft. high, windows half the proper size, and in the bed-rooms being near to the floor, common brick floors, very damp, without proper sink or drain, and with wretched outside accommodation. Why should we regret they are gone? A thing is not to be prized merely because it is old. When there are wholesome conditions, joined with age, we will treasure the object, but when beauty of form covers an evil, let it go without a sigh.

The six cottages north of the Green became unfit for habitation, and new ones were built by the Rev. E. Davies, the site being glebe land. The roofs of the cottages on the west of the Green were destroyed by fire in 1876, and the whole were then tiled, instead of being thatched.

Public Houses.  The old thatched house, now called the "Ferry Inn," formerly the "Punch Bowl," an ancient hostelry, does not appear to have been the only public-house in Wilford in the olden time, for the house at the Cross Roads, recently pulled down, was—says Captain Barker. 1835—of ancient date, and was formerly an alehouse, under the sign of "The Star." The upper ford went from slightly above Wilford House to the other side, for Lenton lane, and a call at a public-house was necessary before undertaking the crossing. Mr. Brewill has the old sign, showing "W. & S. Harpham," and in the centre "17 [a red lion rampant] 81." "Spirituous Liquors." Mr. Mark Bird says it was always called "The Black Lion." Possibly the painter was short of black paint, and thought red would look more natural. Where the Dorothy Boot Homes now stand was an old thatched house of the Wilkinson's, and it is thought to have formerly been a public-house, having benched seats, a cellar, and club-room. The old tree in front of it still remains, but the village pump, which stood without, has gone.

Crimes. Lovers of the "Chamber of Horrors"  may be gratified with a few items according to their tastes.

Gervase Aubrey, of Wilford, was in 1316 captured in Nottingham, with a cow which he had stolen from Henry de Gedling. He pleaded not guilty, but the Jury declared he was guilty, and the assize judge thereupon wrote the words "Therefore let him be hung," and the cow was ordered to be returned.

The Constables (Decennaries) of the Nottingham Market in 1370-1 (or 1378-9) presented that Margaret de Wilford, in Cukstulrowe, sold ale against the assize, that is, with measures not duly sealed. The street is now called The Poultry. Were the Ducking Stool and Pond near?

When the plague was raging, in 1647, a watch was directed to be set at Trent Bridge, "for feare of the sicknes, and care to be had at Wilford boate," "swine, doggs, and catts to bee kept vp for feare of the sicknes."

When Captain Deane, whose house still stands facing the Green, was, in 1748, walking in his own close, in the day time, he was attacked by a robber named Miller, who stripped him of everything valuable, even to the sleeve buttons from his wrists. At the following Assizes Miller was tried, and afterwards hanged on Gallows Hill.

John Lister was in 1786 hanged for stealing two sheep at Wilford, the property of Mr. John Deverill. Lister was only twenty-one, and was buried at Wilford.

Jeremiah Brandreth, the Captain of the Pentrich Rising, is said to have been born at Wilford. See "Bulwell" paper, page 192.

A highwayman's pistol was found in the garden of the Round House in 1911, and is now in Mr. Brewill's possession.

Accidents. A sad accident occurred on July 31st, 1784, when, the ferry boat being out of repair, a small wherry was used for temporary purposes. In the forenoon, being market day, eleven men and women got into the boat at once, when the wind was blowing a gale, and the river was unusually high and rapid. In the middle of the stream the boat became unmanageable, was forced against the ferry chain, and upset, while all the people were thrown into the water. Six of them were able to swim, or with difficulty saved themselves, but six of them, the ferryman being one, were drowned.

In July, 1819, on a Sunday evening, a party had been to Ruddington feast, and returning called at the "Punch Bowl," and drank excessively. At half-past ten they obtained a ticket to free fifteen over the river. When in the middle of the stream an altercation ensued; the ferryman foolishly fastened a hook in the chain, a sudden jerk followed, and John Good fell into the water, and was drowned, leaving a wife and seven children to mourn his loss.

The danger of "larking" is shown by the death of John Oakley in 1837. Somebody had clandestinely moved the boat in the night to the opposite side. Three men on the following morning had to cross by a small boat, which in the middle of the stream was capsized, and Oakley was drowned.

Clubs. The Village Friendly Societies served a useful purpose in relieving sickness, encouraging thrift, and promoting a friendly intercourse and bond, but they are gone. The "Rules of a Friendly Society, held at the house of Thomas Carver, the sign of the 'Punch Bowl,' Wilford, 6th Jany., 1787," are interesting The meetings were held on the first Monday in each month. "There shall be taken as many twopences as there are members on the roll, taken for, paid, and spent in liquor," said rule 13. Rule 22 provided: "That on the Feast Day at Whitsuntide in every year each free member shall pay one shilling, and the other members who are not free shall pay two shillings, to be spent on liquor." They were required to attend on Feast-day at 8.30 in the morning, on the Upper Green, and walk in procession and attend church, or forfeit 5s. Rule 41 required attendance at Divine Service on Sundays, and a member neglecting four successive Sundays, unless prevented by something lawful, must forfeit 1s. for every offence, and be liable to be excluded.

There was also a Female Society held at Mr. William Carver's, sign of the "Punch Bowl," begun June 6th. 1796, and altered and amended May 25th, 1847, but the women attending do not seem to have had the privilege of drinking the twopences of absentees.

The flag was made of blue silk, and is now in the possession of Mrs. Bell.

The School. The School  premises as  endowed by the Rev. Benj. Carter, and described on page 281, were built in 1736, and in 1886 the old schools were pulled down, and a new building erected, costing £1,060. Mr. Stretton, in 1820, noted that the salary of the schoolmaster had been raised to £40 a year, for which he educated 40 poor children, and he had also about 20 pupils who paid fees. Before 1865 a room was added for 25 girls to be taught reading and sewing, and the school mistress was paid £20 a year, which was afterwards raised to £30, and £80 to the schoolmaster. The property is now governed by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, dated August 10th, 1888, considerably altered by a scheme dated 2nd April, 1909, whereunder the Charity is divided into three parts. I.—The Educational Foundation, being (a) the School, (b) Residence, (c) Five properties in Charing Cross Road and Little Denmark Street, London, the income being £324, (d) Government Securities, etc., £84 16s. 10d.; II—The Bloomsbury Educational Foundation, and III.—Carter's Charity for the poor of Wilford. This comprises property in London, Consols, etc., the gross yearly income from which is £52 2s. 0d., to be administered by the Rector, three trustees elected by the Nottingham City Council, and three by the Parish Council. This may be given to hospitals, nurses, midwives, outfits for trade, etc., but not for relief of the rates.

The Educational Trusts are vested in the Rectors of Wilford, Clifton, Gotham, Plumtree, and Barton, with two Governors elected by the Vestry of Wilford, one by St. Giles', one by the Nottingham High School, one by the City Council, and three are co-optative. Under the scheme of 1888 there are scholarships not exceeding £30 a year offered to deserving children attending the Wilford School: and exhibitions, not exceeding £150, of £10 and £20 each, tenable at any place of Higher or Technical Training, for the children of residents in Wilford, which of course includes North Wilford. A very useful provision is an apprenticeship fund. The Governors in 1912 leased from Sir H. Bruce land for an addition to the playground, and also sufficient for school gardens, which may be worked by the children. This land, containing 1717 square yards, is leased for 99 years, at an annual rental of £19 18s. 5d. The Governors have a building fund, to which there is a fixed appropriation for repairs and improvements.

They have recently built walls, and otherwise enclosed and fitted the playground, and out of the building fund future benefits may be received. The teachers house has become exceedingly damp, for the location is the lowest in the village, and water usually stands on the grass in front of the school, and where the children have been accustomed to play has been fruitful in producing mud. The Governors are now taking steps to remedy the evil of damp in the house, and it would be a good thing if they were satisfied they had the power to contribute towards the cost of raising the ground in front, as a matter of school economy. The ground has been from time immemorial an open space for the benefit of the village. If a like strip was in some places on the continent, it would by trust, parochial and voluntary funds, be made into a little paradise.

The accounts of the Trustees are duly made up, and are open for inspection. The late Mr. R. H. Speed was for many years clerk to the Governors, and Mr. T. B Cox is now acting clerk. When there is a surplus in the educational funds, it is paid through the County Council, to the overseers in relief of the rates.

The school is now administered by the Education Committee of the Notts. County Council, who pay all salaries and expenses. It should be mentioned to the credit of the school, and of the head-master, Mr. C. S. Harris, who worthily fills his post, that the school has on three occasions in 1909—11, and 12, carried off the cup for singing in open competition, offered by the Nottingham Musical Festival. The scholarships and exhibitions attract and retain certain scholars, who on leaving pass to Secondary schools, and there obtain distinction. The school, nothwithstanding its endowments, must continue as an elementary school, but with these endowments it should be one of the best-equipped in the County. Every one of the elder boys would be benefited by being taught handwork—the use of tools, leading to manual skill. The girls would, through life, have an advantage if they learnt cookery, laundry work, housewifery, first aid, etc. For this kind of work a separate room would be desirable, and an additional grant might be obtained for special subjects. It may be that the trustees will, when they have funds, consider the question of a special room, and possibly such a room might be used as a Village Reading Room in the evenings. Meanwhile a good school library would be an advantage. Every child in a river village should learn how to swim.

It is a pleasure here to record that on certain evenings Mrs. Forman allows the men of the village the use of the room in the rear of Wilford house, and provides games, and also furnishes the children with an exchange of books.