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Trent to Trenches

19 Oct

Notts! 100Retreating away from the hustle and bustle of life, I found myself, one Thursday last in the oldest Inn in England, which is built into the rock face on top of which the castle wall is built.

Literally surrounded and encased in history with an ominous yet apt tolling of a bell somewhere distant, I proceeded to order my thoughts on the day so far with a pint of Hobgoblin.

I had just been to the Trent to Trenches exhibition at the Nottingham Castle museum, which focused on the Great War.  Most notably the locals who lived through it and the soldiers that left the banks of the River Trent and surrounding areas to fight.

Due to time constraints and having plenty of other things to do (see previous post), I did rush around what was a wonderful museum, in which an enthusiastic member of staff pointed out the best place to start.   so began my journey around old Nottingham then onto Greek vases, clothing through the ages and finally to World War I exhibit that I knew would be the most interesting.

Notts! 032

Somebody’s memories, this is real history at its most poignant.

I did get lost a bit and at one point stepped aside to let somebody pass who also stepped aside and then as I made to go through the doorway did the same, it turned out on closer inspection to be a mirror, why it was there I have no idea but it did remind me to be a bit more observant. Onto the point of the post though, I wanted to focus on the more intimate things as everybody knows what medals and uniforms look like.  I believe what the museum was trying to do was to capture the personal events as well as seismic ones that are well documented.  In this respect they have done an excellent job.

Scrapbook of Raymond Pegg, living in Nottingham at the beginning of the war, had a fascination with the war. His scrapbook contains, newspaper cuttings, scale drawings and notes on battles, weapons and equipment.

I am understandably saving most of the photos I took for a certain post in November’s but you can have one more to be going on with for now because I’m nice to you like that.

The flag flown by HMS Nottingham, sunk at the battle of Jutland in 1916 with the loss of 40 lives.

The flag flown by HMS Nottingham, sunk at the battle of Jutland in 1916 with the loss of 40 lives.

I shouldn’t have but I admit that I did run my fingers across part of the flag to get that sense of history and it was that sense of reality – all to easy to forget – that had me sat in the pub writing the notes to this post.  It’s funny how the atmosphere of what I had just seen dissipated so quickly.  As I enjoyed my pint I had to listen to overly loud students braying about how the maths teachers are rubbish.  It was a strange juxtaposition of feelings that had me at its mercy and created this post for which I am most thankful.

In my little corner I was alone and had the sense of being out of time and that is something that made me feel a little brighter before I headed out to see what else the day had to offer.

Notts! 104

My little bit of happiness.

 

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56 Comments

Posted by on 19/10/2014 in History, Travel

 

Tags: , , , ,

56 responses to “Trent to Trenches

  1. shadowoperator

    19/10/2014 at 18:03

    Thanks again for sharing your photos–as I probably will not be there myself in this lifetime, it’s the next best thing (and in the next lifetime, maybe I’ll follow your directions and see the sights, assuming they’re still there!).

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    • Ste J

      19/10/2014 at 18:14

      well my friend, you never know what will happen in life and that lottery win would pay for a nice trip over here. I am sure the sights will still be here in another lifetime, they aren’t built like these new houses that start falling apart after a couple of years.

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  2. Alastair Savage

    19/10/2014 at 18:26

    A pint and a spot of human sacrifice. What more does a man need?

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    • Ste J

      19/10/2014 at 18:28

      There is little else, it was perhaps the perfect way to spend half an hour.

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  3. writersideup

    19/10/2014 at 20:24

    Ste J, I absolutely LOVED this post! Literally EVERYthing about it—the museum, the history, the inn and especially your array of thoughts and emotions through your experiences of the day. Thank you for this 🙂

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    • Ste J

      19/10/2014 at 20:34

      I often find a pint helps me focus my thoughts after I have experienced something and become introspective. I am glad you liked this, it is something a bit new for me and i will definitely do it again.

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      • writersideup

        19/10/2014 at 20:35

        Glad to hear it! I see this is more of your “writer” self, along the lines of an essay—just love it 🙂

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        • Ste J

          19/10/2014 at 20:49

          It is rare that I do much creative writing but observation pieces I am more comfortable with. I will keep plugging away and mixing them in amongst the book reviews, another of which is due to be written.

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  4. misssamanthajill

    19/10/2014 at 21:06

    Hi! I’ve nominated you for the “One Lovely Blog Award” http://18yearsyoung.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/the-one-lovely-blog-award/ Enjoy! xxoo

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    • Ste J

      20/10/2014 at 19:38

      Thank you so much, these days owing to time issues I don’t have the chance to respond to award posts but thank you for your nomination, it has put a smile on my face.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. gargoylebruce

    19/10/2014 at 22:33

    Hahaa, a mirror! And it’s a bit disturbing that your piece of happiness involves a book called “The Human Sacrifice” alongside a notebook….

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    • Ste J

      20/10/2014 at 19:18

      Not only human sacrifice but Crabs: The Human Sacrifice, which puts a less sinister aspect on it. The mirror was strange, it didn’t really add anything, it just seemed to be there to confuzzle.

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      • gargoylebruce

        21/10/2014 at 04:15

        There was probably a CCTV camera pointed at it to catch people doing exactly what you did. Some wag is no doubt currently editing them all together to make a youtube video with viral potential.

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        • Ste J

          21/10/2014 at 19:51

          I hope it is put to some suitably humorous music in that case, something with a trombone for added comedy.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • gargoylebruce

            22/10/2014 at 03:42

            I just had the Benny Hill theme start in my head for some reason…

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            • Ste J

              22/10/2014 at 10:00

              And no doubt some scantily clad ladies as well.

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  6. Lyn

    19/10/2014 at 23:33

    This made me want to revisit the War Memorial in Canberra. There’s one particular exhibition I want to see again. it’s a life-sized diorama of part of a battle field in the first world war. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos with us Ste J. And for even giving us a laugh with the polite persons stepping aside for one another 😉

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    • Ste J

      20/10/2014 at 19:30

      I was starting to get really annoyed with that other polite fellow, had I been in a particularly awkward mood and not examined my nemesis too much, I would have been determined to out polite him. That War memorial sounds really interesting, I wish I could see it myself, I am sure the internet will help me out until I can see the real thing.

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  7. thejerseygal®™

    20/10/2014 at 03:52

    You are very fortunate to be surrounded by such great history! You live in the land of fantastic class trips!

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    • Ste J

      20/10/2014 at 19:20

      I have barely scratched the surface and that is to the city closest to me, the opportunities are fairly endless, I think when i get some holiday time next year, I will take myself somewhere for a week and do it properly.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • thejerseygal®™

        20/10/2014 at 19:25

        Yes, do that! Omg I would love to see where you go. All the history of your homeland is so exciting. I would feel the ghosts of the lives that inhabited the land and buildings many centuries back…my imagination runs wild! It would lead to varied blog posts between poetry and short stories that were influenced by a visit.

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        • Ste J

          20/10/2014 at 19:28

          I can only imagine your glee at all the oldness here, I will endeavour to photograph good stuff to allow you to live vicariously through them.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • thejerseygal®™

            20/10/2014 at 19:34

            You are so good to me. You’d make a great pet! Haha. I do enjoy seeing your pics and yes, live vicariously through your adventures. Tell me, do the old places smell like the mist of a memory to you, like ghosts are parlaying their lives into the essence of your very being?

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            • Ste J

              20/10/2014 at 19:43

              I would have they smelt a bit musty but I like your interpretation a lot better.

              Liked by 1 person

               
              • thejerseygal®™

                20/10/2014 at 19:46

                I firmly resolve to improve your Ste senses! Musty is that mist of a ghostly memory i mentioned. Live in the moment. Feel the past. It is with you in your travels. Lucky you.

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  8. renxkyoko

    20/10/2014 at 04:05

    I have this image of you, drinking a pint of beer, writng down something, then picking up the book to read, then drinking again, and so on. Cool.:)

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    • Ste J

      20/10/2014 at 19:13

      It is the best way to writeI think, unhurried and allowing thoughts to occur naturally whilst having that pleasant feeling from a bit of alcohol. I am often found in one of the local pubs doing just that.

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  9. Al

    20/10/2014 at 10:33

    There are two inns round the corner from me, both claiming to be the oldest in the town.

    Although they are both right having been built years apart.

    The Castle Inn was built in 1769
    The White Horse Inn was built before 1365

    The Castle has always been an Inn

    ** The White Horse Inn used to be a part of the church (my monochrome photo of the month for September). With the dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539, the house was given up and in 1574, an Ale Taster became the resident. In 1652, a license was permitted to sell cider, In 1818 it formally became The White Horse Inn.

    **Information all comes from The Dover Society

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    • Ste J

      20/10/2014 at 19:37

      That is good to know, I need to travel down your way sometime, it seems that my places to visit list is as big as my book list these days.

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      • Al

        20/10/2014 at 20:34

        LOL There’s not much to see here. It’s all closing down

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        • Ste J

          21/10/2014 at 19:50

          I am amazed anything is still open anywhere these days, except the pubs and pizza places.

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          • Al

            21/10/2014 at 23:20

            And betting shops

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  10. nancyrae4

    20/10/2014 at 14:07

    I loved the old photos. These were people like us.We tend to forget many have come before us with their own hopes, fears joys.In a way, that’s. Oops, I’m becoming philosophical.Must stop that right away:)

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    • Ste J

      20/10/2014 at 19:25

      No, please don’t! I like that line of thought, it is easy to become involved in our own lives to the point of forgetting all the other people of history or just on the morning commute are just like us in our own little bubble. I am happy that my words can encourage such thoughts and long may it continue.

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  11. Sherri

    21/10/2014 at 18:30

    How utterly wonderful, this day of yours. I feel just the same way, in wanting to run my hands across the flag as if connecting somehow to the past and the real people behind the history. It is the scrapbooks and the letters and the photos that tell the story of ordinary people who lived and died during extraordinary times. But it’s your little corner in the pub, your place ‘out of time’ that best expresses just what this day really meant to you…and that is wonderful.

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    • Ste J

      21/10/2014 at 20:02

      It is strange to find a public place to be so alone in, but it does work and it is nice to be away from everybody yet so close. Pubs are underrated as a place to write. All the personal possessions of people at the time really bring it home how real it all is. All the documentaries and also the modern new stories make it seem like something foreign but tangible and recognisable words and photos etc really bring does it home.

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      • writersideup

        22/10/2014 at 02:19

        I’d say the aloneness comes from the fact that you were travelling solo and were in a place where you knew no one so keeping to yourself was very easy 🙂 And I think a pub could very well be equivalent to a cafe for the writing aspect, only the background conversation is probably a bit more “colorful” and there’s more chance of a fight breaking out! I guess if you’re writing a novel that could include a scene like that, it could serve as research material, too! 😀

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        • Ste J

          22/10/2014 at 10:24

          I try to avoid the pubs where they fight, although I do enjoy watching the film Roadhouse. I do enjoy my aloneness to a certain extent although it is good to get amongst friends again which is why I like to share my adventures with you guys. I am actually writing a novel, well I say writing, it has been on the back burner for a while. One day it will get finished to to critical acclaim on my own blog haha.

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      • Sherri

        22/10/2014 at 17:47

        I love that feeling of being in a public place yet sitting alone like that…great for people watching for one thing!
        Yes, so true that…a very personal touch…

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  12. Elizabeth Melton Parsons

    22/10/2014 at 12:08

    I don’t know what I loved more, the photos, the history–or your thoughts and emotions on them. Wonderful post, Ste J.:)

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    • Ste J

      23/10/2014 at 19:28

      I like to take my readers on the same journey as myself as much as possible, it is good to mix it up and try and combine different things into a post. I am hoping to do this sort of thing more often but it is looking like Christmas shall have to pass me by first, then I will have a little more free time.

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  13. anna amundsen

    22/10/2014 at 19:29

    That scrapbook certainly looks interesting! I love it.
    Seems like your day in Nottingham was full of delights. I do envy you a bit. 🙂

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    • Ste J

      23/10/2014 at 19:25

      I wanted to flick through it but it was behind a glass screen so I was a little sulky, but it didn’t ruin my day. Next time I will plan the day out instead of just going to things randomly so i can make even better use of my camera. I do tours if you are interested my friend!

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      • anna amundsen

        03/11/2014 at 07:25

        Then, if I ever come to Nottingham I’ll make sure to check if you are available!

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  14. RoSy

    29/10/2014 at 13:56

    I can see where one can get lost in history – especially when seeing personal items from the time period. Really makes one appreciate life & living a bit more – eh?

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    • Ste J

      29/10/2014 at 17:50

      Life is a fickle beast, we tend to take things for granted until we get that jolt that reminds us to take more of an interest in everything. It has whetted my appetite for more.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  15. LuAnn

    30/10/2014 at 15:00

    I really enjoyed this post and am completely enthralled with how you drill down and focus on personal involvement and emotions.

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    • Ste J

      30/10/2014 at 20:11

      I think the personal part is what is interesting, anybody could take photos and show them off but to explain feelings and allow other people to compare their own feelings from similar situations. It makes things more complex, I wish to take you all on my own journey, I always endeavour to write my thoughts down as I get them to keep everything fresh.

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  16. quirkybooks

    18/11/2014 at 19:16

    I like that bit about running your fingers across the flag, like a naughty school boy. Ha!

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    • Ste J

      24/11/2014 at 09:02

      I couldn’t help it, it is proper history after all! I don’t usually encourage that sort of thing, unless nobody is looking of course.

      Liked by 1 person

       

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