Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Year's Day

We had been watching the weather closely on New Year's Eve because we knew that we would be venturing out to Nottingham, to have lunch with friends, the next day. Thankfully, as we set out along the A50 the heavy mists of the day before had thinned and by the time we were close to Derby had disappeared completely, although the smoke from the towers of the power station at Radcliffe on Trent was eerily still, cocooned in the dense mist.

Last year I had found out that one of my ancestors, one William Stubbs, had been born at Ruddington in 1754 and as we had set out early we had time for a quick look at the village with the idea of checking it out for a return visit in the summer. We parked in the main car park near the medical centre. It was absolutely freezing so we wrapped up warm to take a short walk around the village. There were quite a few others out, taking in the fresh, crisp air some popping into the local supermarket for their newspapers, bread and milk.

We passed the old bakehouse all locked up for the day but with someone outside peering through the window with the hope that it may soon open.

Our goal was the Framework Knitters' Museum, just to look at the outside and to find out where it was. Ruddington was a centre of stocking making and many of the buildings reflect this.

You can see in the photo below the high windows at the top of the building which would have given extra light to the people working on their frames inside the building. Behind the walls is a complex of frameshops, cottages, outbuildings and a chapel where the knitters lived, worked and worshipped during the 19th century. It all looks really interesting and we vowed to return when it was open again in the spring or summer.

This lucky village has another museum housed in what looks like an old school building. Apparently it has reconstructed Edwardian shops inside. So now there are two reasons for a return visit.

We had a wander around the church yard but by now it was getting very cold. I didn't expect to find any relevant inscriptions in there because my ancestors would have been too poor to afford gravestones and even if there had been one from the mid 18th century it would have been unusual for it to survive. Also, my ancestor moved on, because his children were born in Wymeswold, Leicestershire and their children in Long Clawson, Leicestershire. Not so very far away as the crow flies and a perfectly feasible move for those seeking work.

Ruddington is a lovely village full of historic buildings and with a shopping street full of little shops, like a butchers, ironmongers and wonder of wonders it still has a post office.

Here are some more photos of the interesting buildings....

A row of early 20th century houses

More high windows reflecting the village's history.

By now our toes and fingers were cold, it was time to move on to the warmth and welcome at our friends' home.


  1. Rosie! What a delightful, fascinating tour. I looked at the screen, mesmerized, as memories of old buildings similar to those show in your photos returned to mind. I do so miss the "historicity" of England. Those old buildings have so much appeal and their history is fascinating. Thank you for braving the cold to take these photos!

  2. Ahhhh, just another reason to get myself over to the UK. I'd have to be there for a few months though to see all that I want to see.

  3. Hi, I live in Ruddington and it was interesting to see the village through another's eyes. I have taken many photos and sent them back to my family in New Zealand. It is a lovely place to live in, very friendly and I can't imagine living anywhere else. Maybe in the summer if you visit again we could meet up? By then my garden will be full of flowers, herbs and veges and not be residing just in my dreams.. Lol. Margaret

  4. Ruddington looks lovely, definately a place to spend more time exploring thoroughly.
    I would never have realised the reason for the very high windows in the buildings, so I have learnt something today!

  5. I do love that old school building. How wonderful it would be if new schools still looked like that. Yes, you must go back!

  6. Ruddington is a place I want to visit at some stage, my gt grandfather and several generations before him were FWKs though they lived in Arnold and then Sneinton in Nottingham. I've known about the Museum for a long time but never quite got there yet.

  7. It's always a pleasure to join you on your tours...and the history is so fascinating. It's great to find out about a different part of the UK...thank you !

  8. This was a lovely tour..(and I like your new header very much..)
    I often smile when I read some of the names of the beautiful places you visit. Nottingham..I immediately start thinking about Robin Hood:)
    Hope to go there sometime myself.

  9. Really enjoyed your tour. Happy New Year!


  10. Happy New Year Rosie, I like the new look!

  11. Hi Rosie, that looks an amazing place. I loved doing my family tree, got back to 1628, completely fascinating.
    Happy New year to you both.
    Rosie x

  12. Thought I was seeing things then, thats where I live, lovely photos and post.

  13. Thanks all for your kind comments - I'm glad you all enjoyed the visit with me:)

    Margaret - that would be lovely - we will I'm sure be returning later this year:)

    Rowan, I hope you get to visit the museum this year - I don't have any framework knitters in my family tree but I do have lace workers and tailors in St Mary's, Nottingham.

    Duchess, there is a statue of Robin near the castle - you can also visit the nearby village of Edwinstowe where Robin was supposed to live within Sherwood Forest:)

    Welcome to Dave King and a pot, a thought&etc - nice to see you here:)