The Last Local Church Rate Contest.

1865.—St. Mary's Church had become dilapidated; the tower required new parapets and pinnacles, and general restoration; the north and south aisles were decayed; the roof over the nave was in an unsound state; the walls and roof of the chancel required renewal; the porch had been taken down and required re-building. This work was estimated to cost £2,800. Plans were prepared by Mr. S. Dutton Walker, but only a part of the intended work was carried out. Various deviations were made under the direction of the Vicar, the Rev. G. F. Holcombe, and other plans were prepared and the work was stopped; the Church remained closed for two years; a lawsuit, assize trial, and arbitration followed. A second firm of contractors finished the work. Nearly £4,000 was spent in work, commissions, law costs, etc., and still £700 was required to make the church fit for Divine service, and this it was proposed to borrow from the Commissioners of Public Works, to be repaid with interest over twenty years.

Towards the cost of restoration the Duke of Devonshire gave £1,500, the Vicar £400, Mr. S. Morley £100, and other sums, including the foregoing, amounted to £2,536, leaving a large deficiency.

The proposal to make a compulsory Church rate for twenty years met with much opposition. Great dissatisfaction was also expressed at the manner in which the business arrangements had been made, and at the damage done by two years' exposure. A contested polling extending over two days followed, each voter having one vote for £50 of his assessment, and an additional vote for each £25 assessment, not exceeding six votes.

The poll was taken on February 7th and 8th, 1867, when 56 ratepayers gave 129 votes for the loan, and in gave 138 votes against it. 36 occupiers of cottages or garden holders claimed to vote, but were objected to, being compound householders, etc., who had then no votes. 58 ratepayers, having 76 votes, did not vote. This was the last local anti-church-rate contest, and the year following (1868) Parliament abolished Compulsory Church Rates.

Arnold Local Board.

1854.—Board Formed. First meeting, held July 12th, at the "Cross Keys" inn. Present: Rev. G. F. Holcombe, Messrs. T. Robinson, J. Phipps, S. Robinson, W. Leverton, T. Frost, W. Drayton, W. Bramley, and A. Wood. The Rev. G. F. Holcombe was elected chairman, and Mr. F. T. Shelton, clerk. Messrs. Frost and Phipps declined to act. The cost of the formation of the Board was £80 2s. 6d. due to the Treasury, which sum, as the Board had no money, the Treasury agreed to receive by five half-yearly instalments. Each member of the Board had to be possessed of real or personal estate to the value of £350, or to be rated at not less than £6.The votes for electors were according to a scale. A property valued at not less than £50, gave one vote; £100, two votes; and one vote more for each £50, not exceeding six votes. There being some informality in the conduct of the election, the clerk was instructed to take proceedings against Thomas Frost. The local costs of the election were £37 13s. 6d. Mr. F. Jackson was appointed consulting engineer, and Wm. Holmes, surveyor, collector, and inspector of nuisances, at a salary of £25 per annum. Approaches were made to the Nottingham Gas Light and Coke Co. to supply gas, but the Company replied that they had no powers to lay down pipes and supply gas at Arnold. Cholera was making great ravages in some parts of the country, and a deputation waited on the Board urging the importance of obtaining a good, wholesome supply of water. Many nuisances existing in the parish were complained of by the Basford Board of Guardians, and the Superintending Inspector of the General Board visited Arnold and reported. It was evident, therefore, that there was plenty of work for the Board to do.

1856.—The General Board of Health made complaints that since the Arnold Board was instituted, the roads and sewers had been allowed to get into a bad state. The road side herbage let for £139s. 0d. Derry Mount spring was enclosed. 58 persons were relieved from the payment of the district rate on the ground of poverty, their rates amounting to £8 2s. od. A rate of iod. met the half year's estimate of expenses, £189 4s. 2d.

1858.—The Plains Road was in such a bad state that the Chief Constable threatened proceedings. Dorket Head Road was lowered at the top, at a cost of £65, pauper labour being employed. The Board petitioned Parliament in favour of the Nottingham Gas Company's Bill authorizing extension to Arnold, which, having received sanction, the gas mains were laid in September, and in January, 1859, the streets were lighted with 17 lamps.

1859.—The clerk was ordered to appear before the Justices to answer for the neglect to repair the Dorket Head Road. The need for a better supply of water now became urgent, and Mr. F. Jackson presented an estimate of the cost of sinking for and supplying water, amounting to £4,000, with an annual income of £498, and an expenditure of £377,and interest and sustaining fund, £115 17s. 0d. An application was then made to the Nottingham Waterworks Co., who required a guarantee of one-third of the estimated rental £374. The number of houses was then 966, of which 466 assented to take a supply. Mr. Jackson reduced his estimate of cost to £3,100, but the Board being equally divided the matter was dropped. It was however afterwards agreed to enter into negotiations with the Nottingham Company for a supply of water.

1861.—The roadmen's wages varied from 1/6 to 2/3 per day, chiefly 1/6. Six lamps were put on the Mansfield Road south of Daybrook, and the Board agreed to pay half cost. The Police Station plans were approved. Joseph Hough was appointed pinder.

1862.—The length of roads in the parish, excluding the turnpike, was given as 32 miles. Mr. T. S. Piggin resigned his appointment as inspector of nuisances, and Mr. Gosling was appointed. John Green was appointed town crier.

1864.—Church Street was widened, and new Building Bye-laws adopted.

1865.—Mr. S. Kirk was appointed superintendent of the fire engine.

1866.—The inadequate supply of water was again complained of, and nothing being done, a memorial was sent by the inhabitants to the Secretary of State. A motion to provide a clock in the church out of the district rate was carried by three votes, two against, and two not voting. Mr. Bosworth's tender of £120 for the clock was accepted, Messrs. Cope's tender being £90; the total cost paid was £161 12s. 2d. A motion to sewer the town was defeated by the presiding chairman's casting vote, but it was decided to purchase two cwts. of chloride of lime. The Local Government Board wrote as to the sanitary state of the village.

1867.— A scheme was considered for sewering the streets at a cost of £2380, the outfall being into the brook at Daybrook.

1868.—The Local Government Inspector inspected the district.

1869.—Mr. R. B. Spencer was appointed clerk. Permission was given to the Postmaster General to fix a line of poles to the Arnold Post Office.

1870.—Consent was given by the Home Secretary to the borrowing of £1,450 to defray the cost of sewerage works.

1871.—Small-pox broke out.

1872.—A petition was sent to Parliament in favour of the Great Northern Railway passing through the parish. Consent was given to the Nottingham Tramways Company making application to the Board of Trade for a provisional order to lay down trams, but nothing came of it.

1873.—The Nottingham Waterworks Co. quoted 8d. per 1000 gallons to supply the parish with water. It was afterwards amended to 5d. 1874.—The site for the Public Offices was purchased for £167.

Mr. Wayte's tender for £979 12s. 4d, for the building was accepted.

1874.—The estimated cost of sewering was £2,822, and £3,000 was borrowed.

1876.—Lamps fixed on Mansfield Road, south part. Mr. Wright Allen resigned as medical officer of health, after 47 years' connection with the parish, and Dr. Reid was appointed.

1877.—The Mansfield Road Turnpike Trust expired. Mr. S. Showell appointed collector and inspector at £52 per annum. The Local Government Board held an enquiry as to the separation of Bestwood from Lenton, and a deputation from the Board urged that it should be attached to Arnold, but it was made a separate parish.

1878.—The Local Government Board consented to the laying of the outfall sewer to Basford.

1879.—Death rate 21.18. The share of the cost of the formation of the Leen Valley Sewerage Board, £403, was settled at £300. Thanks were presented to Sir C. Seely for his offer of a subscription to provide play grounds for the children. Infantile death rate, 310 per 1000.

1880.—The tender of Mr. W. Cordon for £6,680 for sewerage works was accepted. The district rate was 1/3 in the £, and produced for the half year £472 9s. 7d. net. Dr. Reid died, and Dr. Wallace was appointed M.O.H.

1881.—Mortgage of £7,800 for loan from the Public Works Loan Board. Typhoid fever prevalent at Derry Mount, from impure spring water. The Day brook full of sewage, owing to dry summer.

1882.—Floods in Front Street. Furlong Street widened. Sewer from Red Hill to "White Hart" inn cost £625. Rate 1/8 in the £.

1883.—Rateable value £17,627.

1884.—Plans for new roads at Woodthorpe approved. Diversion of Hallam's Lane approved. High Street widened, land costing 3/6 per yard. Sewer from St. Albans Road to Daybrook, in Nottingham Road, cost £487, Hallams Lane culvert £373. Plans for I. and R. Morley's factory approved.

1885.—Dr. Lamb appointed M.O.H. Many sums were paid for sewers passing through land. The Board approved of application to Parliament in favour of Suburban Railway.

1886.—Mr. Morris's tender for constructing culvert in Hallam's Lane, and 12 inch drain in Nottingham Road, £970, accepted. Nottingham Road widened. Red Hill arch fell. Washpen Lane sewered and widened. Messrs. Allen, Solly & Co., agreed to bear one-third cost, £600. Loan for £250, cost of improving the roads at the junction of Front Street and High Street. John Hearson appointed pinder, Mr. S. Robinson offered to provide a market at a rent of 5 per cent, upon the cost, and less if the amount was not received.

1887.—The Nottingham Corporation agreed to pay £20 per annum for making connections to sewers on Mansfield Road.

During the remaining years of its existence the Local Board was largely occupied in sewering the various streets in the parish and in widening as well as improving the roads. In 1888 it was deemed desirable to provide a hospital for small-pox patients. Leave to purchase a house was declined, and it was decided to take the premises on lease for ten years at £36 annum rental. The Board, at its termination in 1894, passed a vote of thanks to Mr. James Acton for his services as chairman during seventeen years.


1872.—The Nottingham Water Company erected the Bestwood Pumping Station, and although they took water from under a part of Arnold Parish, they not only constructed a Reservoir at Red Hill, capable of holding 2,000,000 gallons, but they supplied the houses in Arnold with some of the best water in England. The benefit was further increased in 1906, when the Corporation formed the Ramsdale Reservoir, at a height of 100 feet above the Red Hill Reservoir, capable of holding two-and-a-quarter million gallons of water pumped from the Papplewick Forest. This supplies the north and east of Arnold parish boundary and Mapperley. The importance of this supply will be realized in the reflection that Arnold, with a population in 1911 of 11,147, now requires a supply approaching to 200,000 gallons per day. A still further benefit was received when the Derwent water was poured into the Ramsdale reservoir.


1846-7. There were two rates at 10d. each, and one at 5d.= 2/1, the amount thereof being £847 19s. 03/4d., but only £686 17s. 21/2d. was spent in day labour, stone breaking, gravel getting, team work, etc., for much of the rates could not be collected, as the excused list was about £35each rate, and there were empty houses and lost rates, so certified.

Thomas Frost,)
John Johnson, ) Surveyors.

Parish Constable and Police.

The parish constables were usually elected at the Easter Vestry meeting. When the Inclosure Award was made in 1791, a piece of land consisting of 1a. 3r. 35p., forming part of a field called the Tavill field, No. 88, was awarded to the parish constable in lieu of a previous holding. One of the last parish constables elected was a man named Cooper, whose son states that there were then four constables in Arnold, each of whom received £2. According to a book endorsed "Constables and Overseers Book," from 1781 to 1786, the constable appears to have dispensed relief to widows and children at the rate of 1/-, 2/- or 3/- each. Other items recorded are: "A man with a pan 4d., paid for the stocks, 12/6, paid for a pair of handcuffs, 1/-," etc.

Sir Robert Peel's Act for the formation of the Police Force was passed for Boroughs in 1835, and for Counties in 1839, and was made compulsory in Counties in 1856. The men appointed were frequently called "Bobbies," or "Peelers," from the name of the statesman. The first man appointed in Arnold was P.c. Kirk, about 1849, and Mrs. Davies, who lived two doors from the policeman, says she remembers seeing in Kirk's kitchen the carcase of a sheep that had been stolen by a man who was transported for life for the offence.

In 1872 the Vestry elected constables for the last time, and on 18th July, 1876, the Charity Commissioners directed the proceeds of the field to be appropriated for purposes of education, the income being thereupon divided between the National and the British schools. Trustees were appointed to see this carried out.

The Board of Education on 3rd January, 1908, formulated a new scheme, with trustees, one being the Vicar, another to be appointed by the County Council, and four by the Urban District Council. The income, which is about £5a year, to be applied for the benefit of children or young persons resident in Arnold, in bursaries for higher education, or scholarships, awarded by the Notts. County Council, or the trustees, or to aid intending teachers, or for the benefit of evening school qualified beneficiaries.

Police. There are now in the parish an inspector, a sergeant, and seven constables. The police station was built in 1861.

Public Houses. In 1844 there were eleven public-houses and seven beer houses, of which Red Hill maintained seven. There are now sixteen fully licensed houses, one of them being at Day-brook and three at Red Hill. There are also two beer-offs in Front Street, and one chemist's shop licensed for the sale of wines.


Parliament very wisely decided that the chairmen of Urban District Councils should, during the tenure of their office, be Justices of the Peace, with a view to securing good government and the convenience of the people. The several gentlemen who have thus acted in Arnold have been—Dr. D. Stenhouse, Mr. S. Robinson, Mr. H. Heath, Mr. F. W. Parkinson, Mr. W. H. Higginbottom, and Mr. F. Fox.

Church Clock. A clock was placed on Ebenezer Chapel in 1867, by public subscription. The next year, the Local Board erected a better one, with three dials, in the tower of the Parish Church.

Free Library and Reading Rooms.

The building was opened by Sir Chas. Seely (Alderman Robert Mellors being chairman), on Oct. 27th, 1906, and cost £1,750 without site, which cost £150, towards which Mr. Andrew Carnegie gave £1,500, the remainder being raised by subscriptions. The books number 3,500, and the number of borrowers is about 200. The News or Reading Rooms are very much used, but no census has been taken. The cost of upkeep for the past year was £103, £96 was obtained out of the General District Rate, equal to the value of a penny rate, and £7from the sale of old papers.

It is managed by a Library Committee, consisting of the whole of the members of the Urban District Council. Mr. F. Fox is the chairman, Mr. Jas. Holbrook is librarian and caretaker, and Mr. R. E. Clarke is the hon. sec.

Notts. County Council.

Parliament in 1888 enacted that the administration of County affairs should in future be governed by an elected County Council. The first election for Notts, was in 1889. The local constituency was the parishes of Arnold, Bestwood, and Papplewick, and the candidates were (1) The Duke of St. Albans (Lord-Lieutenant of Notts.), (2) Mr. George Clay, (3) Mr. James Acton, and (4) Mr. John Jackson. Mr. R. Mellors declined to contest lest the Duke's election should be endangered. It seemed a sign of the times that a Duke should send out election cards soliciting "the favour of your vote." The first two were elected.

At the first meeting of the Council the Duke was made an alderman, and a few days afterwards an election to fill the vacancy was ordered, and Mr. R. Mellors was elected by a majority of 26 votes over Mr. Acton. At the expiration of the first term in 1891, the constituency was divided, and Mr. Mellors contested the Best-wood division with Mr. John Lamin, and was returned by a majority of 52 votes. The eastern division was contested by Mr. S. Robinson and Mr. Hy. Heath. Mr. Robinson was returned by a majority of 28. At the following meeting of the Council Mr. Robert Mellors was elected an alderman, and took the place vacated by Lord Savile. Mr. Heath was thereupon elected for Bestwood, and in 1870 he was elected an alderman. Mr. F. W. Parkinson was elected councillor in his place, and he has been succeeded by Mr. W. H. Higginbottom.

Urban District Council.

Under the Local Government Act, 1894, the 17th December, 1894, was the day appointed for the election of councillors, when Messrs. Clay, Bailey, Dove, Jackson, Nicholson, Oscroft, Sissons, Stenhouse, and Norton, were elected, and they appointed Dr. Stenhouse chairman. The Council was on 12th August, 1895, increased in number from nine to fifteen members, and Messrs. Carter, Foster, Hornsey, Hufton, Handley, and Burley, were added. In 1897 it was agreed to lease a field in Basford Lane from Sir John Robinson for allotments, at a rent of £15 5s. 0d. per annum. £10 was voted for the preparation of an address or otherwise in connection with the public celebration of Her Majesty Queen Victoria's reign. The Basford Rural District Council offered to take patients from Arnold into their sanatorium at a charge of 21/- (afterwards raised to 30/-) per week, and the Infectious Diseases (Notification) Act, was adopted. Other works of the Council are too numerous and too recent to be here included.


In 1832 Thos. Hill appears in the Directory as a bleacher at King's Well, where there is a fine stream, and the remains of old buildings formerly used for bleaching purposes. Mr. H. Hill, of The Ropewalk, Nottingham, says that his grandfather, the above-named T. Hill, bleached for Messrs. Heard and Hurst. He married a Miss Hurst as his third wife. He records in an old memorandum book that the first load of bleaching materials was taken to Arnold on the back of a donkey. James Diggle also appears as a bleacher and trimmer, occupying the house and premises long afterwards belonging to Mr. W. Leverton,—a prominent man—the house now being called "Brentwell" There were then 17 bobbin net manufacturers, a wool stapler, and a worsted manufacturer.

In the olden time the only work in Arnold other than on the land was stocking making—a little lace making was introduced by the Frosts. As the stocking making decreased in bulk the people had to seek work elsewhere, and for a time about the middle of the last century, not less than 400 men, women, and young persons walked to Nottingham or Basford, did a day's work and returned. Although this had to be done day by day, and in all kinds of weather, many of the people said that they were never better in health than when they had this arduous toil. A great change however, was destined to come, for now many workpeople come from other places to work in Arnold. In addition to ordinary farming, market gardening is extensively carried on. In 1877, Messrs. Allen, Solly & Co., makers of underwear and hosiery, removed from Godalming to Arnold, and now employ about 500 persons. Messrs. J. Clarke & Co., hosiery manufacturers, built their factory in 1879, and enlarged it in 1910, and employ 80 persons. Messrs. I. & R. Morley, hosiery manufacturers, bought Messrs. Hardy's factory, and enlarged it in 1885, and again in 1911, and employ there 560 hands. The Home Brewery Company commenced as brewers, mineral water manufacturers, and maltsters, in 1880, and employ about 200 persons. The Daybrook Laundry, as launderers and dry cleaners, commenced in 1887, and employ 550 hands. Messrs. Jacoby & Co., lace manufacturers, bleachers and dressers, built a large factory in 1883—4, and employ 300 persons. This factory was practically burnt down on May 24th, 1913, but is now being re-built. There are also the works of Messrs. Campion & Co., blouse and shirt manufacturers. The Digby Colliery Co., at their Gedling pit, employ 700 Arnold men. The Bestwood Coal and Iron Company employ 260 men and lads. In addition there is an iron foundry, basket making works, and brick works.