Workday Wednesday – Nottingham Lace Part II

Following on from my last post which mentioned my heirloom Nottingham lace bedspread, I have managed to find out a little more about William Bucknall, the man who designed it.

The son of William Bucknall and Henrietta Litchfield, William Jnr was born in Radford, Nottingham in 1861. Both his father William Snr and his paternal grandfather George were lacemakers from Beeston.

William Jnr’s early years were spent in Radford, first on Fairfield Street, then Highhurst Street and then on to Denman Street.

On the 18th September 1884 William Jnr married Ann Elizabeth Gell at the Tennyson Street Methodist Chapel in Nottingham and they began their married life at 24 Radford Boulevard later moving to no. 114. By this time William was employed as a lace draughtsman.

They had two children, Clarence William born 4th June 1885 and Annie Louisa Lillian born 19th July 1887. Both children were baptised at the Deligne (or De Ligne) Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, which was quite close to Canning Circus in Nottingham.

 

Over the following years the family lived at Berridge Road, Lenton Boulevard and Gregory Avenue; all in Nottingham.

According to my Great Aunt Joy, who is Clarence’s daughter, William worked at the Flersheim lace factory in the Lace Market from around 1891 until his retirement in 1928. Looking back through the various Nottingham directories, I found William listed as a lace draughtsman between 1891 and 1901.

Between 1910 and 1928 he worked a a lace designer. Joy can recall being told that one of his designs, which may or may not have been the bedspread, was displayed at either a London department store or at a large London exhibition. I haven’t yet been able to locate this.

Their last address was 74 Lenton Boulevard, where William’s wife, Annie, died on the 14th March 1935 and William himself died on the 14th September 1937.

Flersheim’s factory eventually closed on 25th July 1964 and was demolished to make way for a new ring road.

 

Joy inherited the lace bedspread and took it to Australia with her when she emigrated with her husband, Don Jowett, in the 1960s. A few years ago she very kindly offered it to me and it travelled back to England, where it is now being carefully looked after.




Picture Credit Denman St; Picture The Past
Picture Credit Radford Blvd; Google Street View
Picture Credit Deligne St; Nottstalgia
Picture Credit Lenton Blvd; Google Street View

Workday Wednesday – Nottingham Lace

Last week I attended an event at Debbie Bryan’s shop in the Lace Market area of Nottingham. Called Communities Interrupted – Preserving Oral Histories of Laceworkers, it was an opportunity to record memories of lace workers & share family stories.
I took along the beautiful Nottingham lace bedspread, which had been passed on to me by my Great Aunt Joy. The bedspread is around 100 years old now and was made from a design by Joy’s grandfather,William Bucknall who worked for Fleirsheim & Co.
Everyone received a lovely warm welcome from Debbie and some rather delicious chocolate torte. The stories were fascinating to hear and were recorded by Nottingham Trent University for their archive.
The event was partly filmed by Notts TV for their evening news bulletin:
And it was also streamed live on YouTube; I’ve started the clip from just before the beginning of the discussion on my bedspread – please excuse the poor sound:
Apologies – the videos have since been made private for the members of the group.

 

I had confirmation that the bedspread was probably a one-off piece, designed for display, which is what Joy had thought and it may have been made on a raschel frame.

I’ve added some close-up photos of the bedspread. i think my next move will be to find out some more information on William Bucknall.

 

 

But there are some good things too….

Although my previous post would probably suggest otherwise, there are some great places to see in Nottingham.

The Lace Market area has been really well done.  The surviving lace warehouses are now offices, restaurants & apartments.  Because they’re in use, they are being preserved.

 

This Georgian house just off Weekday Cross & opposite Nottingham Contemporary is used by small businesses & also contains a very nice cafe.  I have a further interest in it because my Great-Great Grandmother Alice May was living there with her siblings in 1871.

 

Emett's Clock Nottingham July 2012There’s also the ‘Aqua Horological Tintinnabulator’ in the Victoria Centre, designed & installed in 1973 by Rowland Emett, the inventor responsible for the ‘gadgets’ in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  I loved this clock when I was a kid; just hearing the tune takes me right back!  It hasn’t been working properly for some time, but earlier this year it was restored by local engineer Pete Dexter, who generously gave his time to nurse it back to working order.  It’s great to hear/see it working again; here’s a link to the news report.

And just a couple of days ago it was announced that there is to be more investment in tourism in Nottingham; mostly based around Robin Hood, but good news nonetheless.  Hopefully there will be more thought put into the historic buildings the Council already own.

And, lastly, I can highly recommend Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant on Low Pavement, worth a visit, for the chocolate brownies alone!