Research, Watson Fothergill in Nottingham

Research and Distractions

While I’m still available for walks (Covid-19 regulations permitting) as private bookings and I have gift vouchers on offer (if you’d like to have a walk to look forward to in 2021), I’m also trying to research more buildings for future walks and talks on the architecture of Nottingham. But I get so easily distracted…

I was thinking about a photo that I’d seen online, but could not remember where I’d seen it. (The constant stream of content on social media makes it tricky to pin down sources.) But, a few tweets fired at some contacts proved that I hadn’t imagined it, here was the picture:

Thanks Nottinghasm who originally found the photo in one of the Iliffe and Baguley Victorian Nottingham books which feature images from the illusive Nottingham Historical Film Unit. These books, published in the 1970s, are scattered around Notts Libraries Local History shelves…

A photo of the construction of the railway from Nottingham Victoria Station, the construction of which had caused the demolition of Watson Fothergill’s original office on Clinton Street. The photo shows Fothergill’s 1896 Furley & Co building, which now house Lloyds Bank on the corner of Lower Parliament Street and Clinton Street West (it features on The Watson Fothergill Walk).

The corner of Clinton Street West, from the opposite angle. Photo: Lucy Brouwer
The front of the building on The Watson Fothergill Walk. Photo: Dominic Morrow.

A flurry of further tweets uncovered a higher quality version of the railway construction photo:

Clinton Street railway cutting 1899. A clearer version of the photo. Thank you Mike

And another photo of railway work next to a Fothergill building turned up. This time the Nottingham and Notts Bank on Thurland Street, which is visible on the left hand side of this picture:

Thurland Street Railway Cutting (circa 1899) Thanks to Nottinghasm and Nigel for bringing this one to my attention.
This is the reverse angle. Thurland Street Bank on The Watson Fothergill Walk. Photo: Alison Cussans.

Nigel King, who is a photographer himself, then ran the Clinton Street photo through a colouriser on the My Heritage website and this brought out some remarkable details!

Here’s a colourised version – you can just see the signage on the side of the Furley & Co building. Thanks Nigel
You can even see the workmen! Thanks Matt

So you can see how a bit of research can turn up some great views of Nottingham’s past, but also how it’s very easy to get thrown off course! It’s also very difficult to credit photos correctly, the original books are full of such treasures.

If anyone knows any more about the whereabouts of the original photos from the Nottingham Historical Film Unit, please get in touch!