This book is not a history. Many changes have occurred in the Borough of East Retford during the last three-quarters of a century in its topography, its municipal constitution, its parliamentary representation, its electorate, its public buildings, and its churches ; and to present them in chronological order would require a large volume, and prove a formidable task. Such a work is urgently needed, if only to continue Piercy's History from the date of its publication in 1828 up to the present time. That has yet to be done, and whether it will ever be attempted remains in the region of conjecture.

The present volume is primarily a handbook for visitors. It seeks to point out salient features, not only in the town itself, but in a few of the surrounding villages, and also to spread abroad the great advantages of East Retford as an approach to the beautiful district of the Dukeries, which is famous throughout the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. To do this within limited compass has been an ambitious enterprise: indeed, brevity may possibly have led to the omission of some features which residents would gladly have seen included; but, in the interests of the public generally, the visitor has required and has received the first consideration.

It is also intended to indicate the facilities which East Retford offers to manufacturers on the look out for suitable localities wherein to establish industrial works, and we can only hope that the attempt to serve the visitor and attract the manufacturer may advance, to some degree, the welfare of the town and neighbourhood.