Attenborough Village Walk – 4th July 2013

The second of the Society’s walks led by Professor John Beckett took place on Thursday, 4th July.  This was a new walk devised by John around the village of Attenborough. The first part took the form of a joint presentation by John and Gary Watson of the Environment Agency. This took place in St Mary’s Church, and refreshments were kindly provided by Ann Parkes.

John gave an overview of how the village of Attenborough had grown from very small beginnings. He pointed out that Attenborough is the ecclesiastical parish, with St Mary’s as the church, for three hamlets (Attenborough Toton and Chilwell), but that Toton and Chilwell were civil parishes, hence the curiosity that Toton was in Attenborough for church matters including baptisms, wedding and funerals, but Attenborough was in Toton for civil matters! Today all three have their own churches.

Using contemporary and Ordnance Survey maps, John demonstrated just how small Attenborough had remained until the post-war years. This was partly because of its location on the floor plain, which became a serious issue when the village was flooded in 2000. In his presentation Gary Watson showed how the Environment Agency had responded, and how through discussion with the villagers the boundary of the flood prevention scheme  had eventually been agreed to include the Village Green and Cricket Pitch.

After this presentation John and Gary led the group on a walk around the village. Gary explained the flood defences in the fisherman’s car park. He talked about re-routing the stream and told us of a rare plant in the area that had be preserved.

John led us along The Strand pointing out Rose Cottage (a listed building), the Sunday School, the former Bell Inn and Brookside, previously the last house in the village.

Gary explained how the floodgates would be closed if a flood was imminent and how the defences were modified to preserve a listed garage frontage and fit in with existing walls.

By Eileen Atherton and edited by Professor John Beckett

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