Monday, 15 December 1941 Hucknall - a coal mining town
Hucknall, formerly known as Hucknall
Torkard, is situated seven miles north-west of Nottingham on the west
bank of the Leen Valley. Its prosperity was based on coal mining.
Maureen Newton, a local historian in Hucknall, told me:
"We had two pits in Hucknall itself.
Hucknall No.1 (Top Pit) and Hucknall No.2 (Bottom Pit) which employed
the most men. Hucknall men did work at Linby Colliery as it was within
walking distance - but - quite a few others were as well. My mum said
she could stand on the top of the local Misk Hill and see nine
collieries. I have not yet worked out if this is true but there were a
lot in easy reach. In 1861 Hucknall No.1 was the first colliery in the
Leen Valley coalfield and the others followed afterwards."
At its peak in 1963 the Linby Colliery
(above) employed 1,113 men and claimed to be the most productive
coalmine in Europe. The last pit closed in 1986. The "Flying Bedstead",
the prototype of the first Jet-powered Vertical Take-off and Landing
Plane (VTOL) , was researched and tested at Rolls Royce in Hucknall.
Rolls Royce still employ some people but there are no other large scale
employers and most people work out of town in Nottingham or elsewhere.
Hucknall had its own local paper, the Hucknall Dispatch
, but the Nottingham Journal
and the Nottingham Evening Post
publishing stories about plans for Warships Week in December of the
previous year by which time the name of the ship to be adopted was
already known and regular updates were published. The following articles are all from the daily Nottingham Journal.
- For the Hucknall and District Warship Week, HMS Vimy
a destroyer has been adopted. The target is £210,000, and 14-21 March 1942, the week allotted to raise the sum.
Wednesday, 18 February 1942
- Seeing the “big guns" are difficult to get for the opening of Hucknall
Warship Week to commence 14 March, the committee have agreed upon a
novel ides tor the occasion. All the naval man who happen be on
furlough at the time will be marched to the ceremony at the Byron
, and the person to declare the decks cleared for action will be
determined by a draw. Mr. F. Seymour Cocks, MP, and local councillors
will be present with military units, sea cadets, and other
branches of the Services.
Friday, 13 March 1942
- Hucknall WW opens tomorrow. The target is £210,000, representing the hull of a destroyer. The ship adopted is Vimy
and the town is gay with displays linking ‘Vimy with Victory’.
The area covered by the week is Hucknall, Papplewick, Bestwood and part
of Annesley. The opening ceremony will be performed by a local
naval man home on leave, but the actual personage will not be decided
until a short time beforehand.
Saturday, 14 March 1942
The opening ceremony was on unusual lines. Conspicuous in front of the
platform were six local naval men, along with a lady of the. Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD)
attached to the Royal Navy. From this list Ordinary Seamen R. D. F.
Hodgkinson was selected to declare the Week open, and he wished success
to the effort. Another boy was called upon to announce the promises so
far, and these amounted to £105,250. The target is £210,000 for the
adoption of HMS Vimy
. To each
of the men in the silent service, Councillor G. E. Goodall, chairman of
the Committee, presented a Savings' Certificate. The chair was occupied
by Councillor O. Smith, who said that the target meant £30,000 a day,
but by pulling their weight he felt they would achieve their object.
During the afternoon there was a parade of various detachments through
the town. Up to last night the Carlton campaign had realised £105,000.
A Comforts Fund dance the Western Tennis Club, Derby Road, last night,
was well attended.
Monday, 16 March 1942
The Hucknall Warship Week, the target for which Is £2l0,000 - opened on
Saturday at the Byron Cinema on unusual lines. Conspicuous in the
front the platform were six local naval men along with a member of the
VA.D. attached to the Royal Navy. From this group O/S R. D. F.
Hodgkinson was selected to declare the Week open and wished success to
the enterprise. Another naval man was called upon to announce the
promises, and so far these totalled £105,250. To each of those in the
“Silent Service,” Councillor G. Goodall, the chairman of the committee,
presented a Savings Certificate. The chair was occupied by Councillor
Oliver Smith, chairman the Council. Councillor. W. Reynolds
described the Navy as ‘Their Salvation’ and he hoped that Hucknall
would raise the money not only for the hull of the destroyer Vimy, but
a good deal of its equipment. Mr. F. Seymour Cocks, M.P. tor the
Division proposed vote of thanks to the committee, the group secretary
and the various helpers.
Monday, 26 March 1942
- Including a few interest-free loans, the latest returns show that
£192,350 was realised by the Hucknall Warship Week against a target of
£210,000. Last May during War Weapons Week the town and district
reached £230,000 or £80,000 beyond its target, so to raise nearly
£423,000 within ten months is regarded as a notable contribution.
Friday 27 March 1942
C of E (Mixed Department) National Savings Association succeeded in
raising £4,180 17s during Hucknall Warship Week.
Thursday 18 June 1942
– Mr G.
E. Goodall presided last night at the final meeting of the Hucknall
Warship Week Committee. The Chancellor of the Exchequer sent a
letter expressing thanks for the free gifts amounting to £32 5s
10d. The expenses of the selling centre were £13 19s 9d, all of
which was met by various efforts, and left a balance of £9 10s.
The Nottingham Journal
Saturday, 20 February 1943
Plaque For Hucknall - First £1OO for
HMS Vimy’s Crew
“Presented by the Lords Commissioners of the
Admiralty to Hucknall Urban District
to commemorate the adoption of HMS Vimy during Warship Week, 2 March. 1942."
Such was the inscription upon
plaque given to Hucknall last right by Admiral Sir William E.
Goodenough in exchange for one from the town. There was a good
muster of townspeople at the Church Hall to witness the ceremony which
was presided over by the chairman of the District Council Mr. Oliver
Smith,' who spoke of the successive efforts made by the town since the
commencement of the war, and handed to the Admiral the first cheque of
£1OO for comforts for the crew. Mr. G. E Goodall, who is chairman of
the Savings Committee, also eulogised Hucknall people for their
contribution of £239,000 and £194.000 in respective weeks, added to
which there were weekly Savings to the extent of £5,000. After
the exchange of plaques, Admiral Goodenough gave an address in which he
mentioned that the Navy was bringing across the water 13oz out of every
lb of flour. A dance followed the presentation.
The Hucknall Urban and Rural Districts raised £192,430 during their Warship Week 21-28 March 1942
But where are the plaques now?