Hucknall, formerly Hucknall Torkard, is an English town in the district of Ashfield, Nottinghamshire. It was historically a centre for framework knitting and then for mining, but is now a focus for other industries and a dormitory town for Nottingham. It was the site where Rolls-Royce made the first demonstration of a vertical take-off plane. It is also the final resting place of Lord Byron in 1824 and of his estranged daughter, the mathematician and pioneer computer programmer Ada Lovelace in 1852.
Tram 212 at Hucknall in the first week of operation of modern trams (March 2004)
|Area||7.913 km2 (3.055 sq mi)|
|Population||32,107 (2011 census)|
|• Density||4,058/km2 (10,510/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
Hucknall is 7 miles (11 km) north-west of Nottingham, on the west bank of the Leen Valley, on land which rises from the Trent Valley in the south to the hills of the county north of Kirkby-in-Ashfield. The Whyburn or Town Brook flows through the town centre. Farleys Brook marks its southern boundary.
The town's highest point is Long Hill, at 460 ft (140 m) above sea level, with views over the city and Trent Valley, which descends to 22–24 metres (72–79 ft) AOD, flowing just beyond most of the city centre.
The town is surrounded by farmland or parkland. To the north-west lie Misk Hills and Annesley. To the north-east of the town are the villages of Linby and Papplewick, and beyond these two, Newstead Abbey and its grounds, once the residence of Lord Byron. To the west lies Eastwood, birthplace of D. H. Lawrence and the inspiration for many of his novels and short stories. To the east of the town is Bestwood Country Park.
The contiguous settlements of Butler's Hill and Westville often appear as distinct entities on maps, but are generally regarded as part of Hucknall. They are part of its historic and present-day Church of England parish, although the town itself has no civil parish council. However, the identity is reinforced by being part of the post town and by being shared wards of Hucknall.
Hucknall was once a thriving market town. Its focal point is the parish church of St. Mary Magdalene, next to the town's market square. The church was built by the Anglo-Saxons and completed after the Norman Conquest, though much of it was restored in the Victorian era. The medieval church consisted only of a chancel, nave, north aisle and tower, but the changes in the Victorian area considerably enlarged it. In 1872 the south aisle was added and in 1887 the unusually long transepts, while the rest of the building apart from the tower was thoroughly restored. The top stage of the tower is 14th-century, as is the south porch. There are 25 fine stained-glass windows by Charles Eamer Kempe, added mostly in the 1880s. There is a modest memorial to Lord Byron.
From 1295 until 1915, the town was known as Hucknall Torkard, taken from Torcard, the name of a dominant landowning family. Signs of the old name can still be seen on some of the older buildings.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, coal was discovered and mined heavily throughout the Leen Valley, which includes Hucknall. This brought increased wealth to the town, along with the construction of three railway lines.
The first was the Midland Railway (later part of the LMS) line from Nottingham to Mansfield and Worksop, closed to passengers on 12 October 1964 though partly retained as a freight route serving collieries at Hucknall, Linby and Annesley. The Hucknall station on this line was known as Hucknall Byron in its latter years. In the 1990s this line was reopened to passengers in stages as the Robin Hood Line, the section through Hucknall in 1993, with a new station on the site of the old "Byron", though simply called Hucknall.
The second line was the Great Northern Railway (later part of the LNER) route up the Leen Valley and on up to Shirebrook, serving many of the same places as the Midland south of Annesley. It closed to passengers on 14 September 1931, but remained in use for freight until 25 March 1968. The Hucknall station on this line was known as Hucknall Town.
The third line was the Great Central Railway (also later part of the LNER), the last main line ever built from the north of England to London, opened on 15 March 1899. The stretch through Hucknall closed completely on 5 September 1966, but the Hucknall station here (known as Hucknall Central), had closed earlier, on 4 March 1963.
From 1894 until 1974 Hucknall was the seat of Hucknall Urban District Council. With the abolition of the UDC, local government was transferred to Ashfield.
In 1956 the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Hucknall was built to serve western parts of Hucknall.
Hucknall was recorded as Hokeuhale (n.d.) and Hokenale (n.d.), suggesting “nook of land of Hōcanere” (a tribe), from Old English halh (haugh). This same tribe's name occurs in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire. It has been suggested that the name Hucknall once referred to a larger area on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border. Two other settlements in the locality are called Hucknall; Hucknall-under-Huthwaite, in Nottinghamshire, (known today as Huthwaite) and Ault Hucknall in Derbyshire. It is likely that Hucknall Torkard marked the southern boundary of this larger Hucknall Area.
In the Domesday Book (AD 1086) the name appears as Hochenale (volume 1, pp. 288–290).
The Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group (http://www.htrg.co.uk/) has a mission statement: "To help Hucknall regain its position as a strong, viable and prosperous town. To retain the historical legacy of the town and surrounding area. To attract visitors and boost the local economy by raising awareness of our heritage to both visitors and residents alike."
The Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group (HTRG) was inaugurated in 2002. It consists of people from all aspects of Hucknall life, who have a desire to help regenerate the town, primarily through tourism, after the devastating loss of the mining industry and large portions of the textile industry. Members of the group include residents, business owners, volunteer workers and councillors. HTRG works with other well-established organisations such as the Hucknall Round Table , the Rotary Club of Hucknall , Hucknall Heritage Society , the Eric Coates Society , St Mary Magdalene Church, Ashfield District Council  Nottinghamshire County Council, Hucknall Library and volunteer organisations, to prevent duplication of work and ensure the town is working together.
The group seeks opportunities to promote the town through radio interviews, newspaper coverage, street exhibitions, events, leaflets and posters. Heritage trails have been designed, one for the town centre and a 20-mile (32 km) circular trail. To complement these trails, leaflets have been produced and free guided walks/bus tours take place throughout the spring and summer months.
The town centre was pedestrianised in 2017, and an inner relief road opened from Annesley Road through to Station Street.
The town is the northern terminus for the Nottingham Express Transit tram system, as well as having a station on the Robin Hood Line. There is also a stop at Butler's Hill/Broomhill. The town used to be on the A611, but this has now bypassed it to the west with a single-carriageway road with roundabouts and access to junction 27 of the M1, some 3 miles (5 km) away. The tram line was built from 2002–2004 and currently runs from Hucknall to the Station Street terminus next to Nottingham railway station.
The National Academy was founded in 1788 by Frederick Ward and originally located at the southern end of Annesley Road. It relocated in the 1970s to a new build still on Annesley Road but at the north end of the town, near the roundabout of the B6011 road. The National School has a large science block with 10 labs and an astro-turf playing area, both opened in 2004 by Princess Anne. The school has an eco building. It is now an Academy.
Holy Cross Catholic Voluntary Academy is in Leen Mills Lane, next to Leen Mills Primary School. It is a feeder primary school to Christ The King Academy in Arnold. It was voted as third best school in Nottinghamshire in 2014 and in 2015.
Hucknall Sixth Form Centre is on Portland Road, near the Byron Bingo Club, and now houses for The National Academy and The Holgate Academy collaborative sixth form. The building was previously home to New College Nottingham.
Hucknall's Tesco superstore opened in 2003, creating a number of jobs for the town. In 2008, the store was extended to make it a Tesco Extra store. A Tesco Express store was opened in early January 2009 in Annesley Road.
Other shop branches in Hucknall include Wilkos, Card Warehouse, Argos, B&M Bargains, Fulton's Foods, Home Bargains, Bird's Bakery (http://www.birdsbakery.com), Boots, Peacocks, Specsavers, Iceland, Aldi, Co-Operative Food, and Sainsbury's. Independent local retailers include Branson's DIY store and Aquatic centre (https://www.bransons-hga.co.uk) – a family-run business for over fifty years; Lawrence Severn and Son Ltd, butchers (http://www.lsevernsbutchers.org.uk/), and SP Electronics computer services. A bus or a tram ride takes customers to Morrisons in nearby Bulwell.
Hucknall has a Friday Market in the newly pedestrianised High Street. Ashfield District Council has more recently agreed to run a Saturday market too.
Hucknall was a colliery town from 1861 to 1986. The sinking of the coal mines caused the settlement to grow from a village to a market town, in under a hundred years. The Hucknall Colliery Company, formed in 1861 sank two shafts, Hucknall No. 1 colliery (known as Top Pit) in 1861 off Watnall Road, and Hucknall No. 2 colliery (known as Bottom Pit) in 1866 off Portland Road. No. 1 had closed by 1943; No. 2 closed in 1986.
Hucknall Airfield, built in 1916, became RAF Hucknall. From 1927, Rolls-Royce began using the airfield for flight tests. During World War II, the aerodrome at Hucknall was the location of the first flight of a P-51 Mustang fitted with a Rolls-Royce Merlin Engine. The fitting of the Merlin, replacing the existing Allison V-1710 engine allowed the Mustang air frame to reach its full potential and achieve spectacular high-altitude performance, something the Allison engine could not provide.
In the early 1950s, the Rolls-Royce site at Hucknall developed the world's first vertical-takeoff jet aircraft – actually a test rig, officially called the Thrust Measuring Rig, but soon nicknamed the Flying Bedstead because of its shape. The first untethered flight, piloted by Capt. Ron Shepherd, took place on 3 August 1954 before a distinguished audience. The rig rose slowly into the air and hovered steadily. It moved forward, made a circuit of the area, then demonstrated sideways and backwards movements, before making a successful landing. The flight was followed over the next four months by a number of free flights up to a height of 50 ft. There were pubs in Hucknall called The Flying Bedstead and The Harrier. Rolls-Royce's flight test centre closed in 1971, but engines were still tested there until late 2008. Some components are still manufactured at the site.
In December 1940, during World War II, a German prisoner-of-war, Franz von Werra attempted to escape by posing as a Dutch pilot and flying off in a Hurricane fighter. He was arrested at gunpoint as he sat in the cockpit trying to learn the controls, and returned to his prisoner-of-war camp in Swanwick, Derbyshire. Franz von Werra was eventually the only German PoW to succeed in returning to Germany, when he escaped from Canada to the United States, then to Mexico and into South America before returning to Germany, over a period from January to April 1941. His exploits feature in the film The One That Got Away.
Framework knitting was once the predominant industry in Hucknall.
One of the larger firms in Hucknall is Doff Portland. The company has grown into the UK's largest independent manufacturer of insecticides, weedkillers, other pesticides, fertilisers and garden products sold through garden centres, independent DIY retailers and large retail multiples. It is one of Europe's largest producer of premium slug killer pellets. It also provides extensive contract formulating and packing services to third parties.
The Hucknall and Linby Mining Community Brass Band was formed in late 2008 after players from the Newstead Abbey Brass Band sought autonomy. The conductor is Paul Whyley. At the time the town lacked a band after Hucknall and Linby Miners' Welfare Band became Newstead Brass. It plays concerts at the parish church every Christmas, and around the local area throughout the year.
The Byron Cinema is an Art Deco building, designed by prominent local architect, Alfred J Thraves. It opened on 2 November 1936.
The Byron originally boasted a sweeping, curved façade of Thraves' favoured sandstock bricks and Portland stone, with a vertical tower feature to the right of centre, faced in cream terracotta tiles. Much was also made in the cinema's publicity of the canopy "which is provided to protect our patrons during bad weather."
The Hucknall Dispatch newspaper was enthusiastic about the 1,189-seater establishment: "The consensus of opinion was that it's a delightful house of rest and amusement, the seating being conducive to the utmost comfort, whilst the projection was without fault for the first time, so perfect has the art become in these days. This comes with installing the best, and indicates the spirit of the management that Hucknall shall be provided with all that is best in the realm of pictures." Manager R. L. Kemp told the paper, "The Byron projection room fills us with great pride and the management cordially invite any of our patrons who so desire to view the projection room. 'Wide Range' is the latest improvement developed by Western Electric engineers. It will be remembered that Western Electric were the pioneers of talking pictures and Wide Range is their latest scientific achievement.
On 13 October 1967, the Byron closed as a single-screen cinema and the building was split in two. The stalls area was converted into a bingo club that featured in the Shane Meadows film "Once Upon A Time In The Midlands", wherein Kathy Burke and Vanessa Feltz came to blows in the foyer. The upstairs balcony became a 404-seat cinema, which re-opened on 31 December 1967 with the James Bond epic "You Only Live Twice". However, it finally closed its doors in June 2006.
The town's senior football team is Hucknall Town F.C.. Founded in 1945 as a colliery team (Hucknall Colliery Welfare FC), it changed its name to Hucknall Town in 1987 after closure of the pit. It rose steadily through the non-league pyramid, winning the Northern Premier League title in 2003/04 (and so promotion to Conference North, just two leagues below the Football League), and reached the final of the FA Trophy in 2005. However, the club suffered financial difficulties in 2009 and was demoted to the Central Midlands Football League for the start of the 2013/14 season.
The works football team of Rolls-Royce was formed in 1935 and have underwent many name changes over the years. In 2009 it formed again as Hucknall Rolls Leisure F.C. and by 2013 was competing in the Nottinghamshire Senior League.
Hucknall Sports Youth Club, formed in 1977 as Riden Sports, is one of the largest such clubs in Nottinghamshire. Its original founder and now President, Derek Day, was awarded the Nottinghamshire FA Community award in 2012 for his contribution to junior football over more than thirty years.
Hucknall junior parkrun started on 27 March 2016 and is located at Titchfield Park. This was the first parkrun to start in the ADC area of Nottinghamshire, with 69 runners attending the inaugural run.
Local DJ, Paul Jenner, and his schoolteacher brother, Steve, brought local commercial radio to Hucknall in the 1980s. WHAM ("Wonderful Hucknall AM") operated for several 28-day periods on Restricted Service Licences. The brothers are now part-owners of High Peak Radio and Ashbourne Radio, permanent independent local radio stations in Derbyshire.
The 2011 Ashfield District Council election took place on 5 May 2011 to elect members of Ashfield District Council in Nottinghamshire, England. The whole council was up for election and the Labour party gained overall control of the council from no overall control.2015 Ashfield District Council election
The 2015 Ashfield District Council election took place on 7 May 2015, to elect members of Ashfield District Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections.2017 Nottinghamshire County Council election
The 2017 Nottinghamshire County Council election took place on 4 May 2017 as part of the 2017 local elections in the United Kingdom. The whole council of 66 councillors was elected for a four-year term spanning 56 electoral divisions, a minority of which return two councillors. The voting system used is first-past-the-post.
The result was no overall party group of candidates formed a majority. Before the election the council, had a one-councillor Labour Party majority — after the election the Labour Party formed the second-largest party group, behind Conservative councillors who will require the support of three other councillors during the administration to pass major changes.
A review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England led to altered boundaries for this election.2019 Ashfield District Council election
The 2019 Ashfield District Council election took place on 2 May 2019, to elect all members of Ashfield District Council in England.The election resulted in the Ashfield Independents gaining control of the council with a large majority, winning 30 of the 35 seats up for election. The Labour Party suffered heavy losses, winning just 2 seats, a decrease of 20 compared with the last election in 2015.Ashfield District
Ashfield () is a local government district in western Nottinghamshire, England. According to the 2001 UK census, it has a population of 111,387, increasing to 119,497 at the 2011 Census. The district is mostly urban and contains parts of both the Nottingham Urban Area and the Mansfield Urban Area. The area has a tradition of coal mining. There are three towns in the district; the largest being Sutton-in-Ashfield. Settlements in the district include the following:
Annesley, Annesley Woodhouse
UnderwoodThe district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of urban districts of Hucknall, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, and Sutton-in-Ashfield and parts of Basford Rural District namely the parishes of Annesley, Felley and Selston.
In spring 1986, all departments, except for Direct Works, moved into purpose-built office accommodation in the centre of Kirkby-in-Ashfield. These offices provide civic accommodation for members, together with a Council Chamber and two Committee Rooms. District Offices have been maintained at Watnall Road, Hucknall, and Fox Street, Sutton-in-Ashfield, to cater for housing matters and cash receipts on a local basis.Enoch West
Enoch James West (31 March 1886 – September 1965) was an English footballer.
West was born in Hucknall Torkard in Nottinghamshire. He started his career for Sheffield United.
He transferred in 1905 for a fee of £5 to Nottingham Forest. There he top scored in 1906/07 and 1907/08 outscoring Grenville Morris.In 1910, he transferred to Manchester United. He helped the club win the 1911 league medal. He scored 80 goals in his Manchester United career, his most successful season being the 1911-12 season when he scored a total of 23 goals; 17 in the league and six in the FA Cup, although United failed to win either of these competitions.In 1915, he was banned for life by the Football Association, along with three other United players and four Liverpool players after being found guilty of match fixing. West protested his innocence, but his ban was not lifted until 1945. His suspension, which lasted 30 years, was the longest in Football League history. As he was 59 by the time his ban was lifted, he was never involved in football again.West died in 1965, at the age of 79.Gary Jones (footballer, born 1969)
Gary Jones (born 6 April 1969) is an English former footballer who played for over three hundred times in the Football League principally for Southend United, Notts County and Halifax Town.Holding Back the Years
"Holding Back the Years" is the seventh track on Simply Red's debut studio album Picture Book (1985). It remains their most successful single, having reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the UK Singles Chart. It is one of two Simply Red songs (the other being their cover of "If You Don't Know Me by Now") to reach number one in the US. It also reached number four on the Adult Contemporary chart. "Holding Back the Years" had initially been released in the UK the year before, reaching number 51. The song was nominated in the category of Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals at the 29th Annual Grammy Awards.Hucknall Aerodrome
Hucknall Aerodrome (ICAO: EGNA) is located 5 NM (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) north northwest of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England and west of Hucknall town. The aerodrome had been operated by the Merlin Flying Club since 1971, it is owned by Rolls-Royce Group PLC following previous ownership by both the Air Ministry and Ministry of Aviation. Hucknall Aerodrome had a CAA Ordinary Licence (Number P507) that allowed daytime flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee and was not available for public transport passenger flights required to use a licensed aerodrome. It was a C.1916 grass aerodrome of significant historical importance. On 1 March 2015 the aerodrome closed indefinitely to be turned into a housing and industrial estate.Hucknall Central railway station
Hucknall Central railway station, originally known as Hucknall Town, was a station in Hucknall on the Great Central Railway's main line from Manchester to London.Hucknall Sixth Form Centre
The Hucknall Sixth Form Centre is a coeducational sixth form college, located in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, England.It opened in September 2016 and is home to The National Academy and The Holgate Academy's collaborative sixth form.Hucknall Town F.C.
Hucknall Town Football Club are a football club based in the town of Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, England. The club are members of the East Midlands Counties League and play at Watnall Road.Hucknall Town railway station
Hucknall Town was a railway station on the Great Northern Railway's Nottingham to Shirebrook line.Hucknall station
Hucknall station, also formerly known as Hucknall Byron station, is a railway station and tram stop in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, England. It is located on the Robin Hood railway line 5 miles (8 km) north of Nottingham and is also the northern terminus of the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) tram system. The station has park and ride facilities, with nearly 450 parking spaces for use by both tram and train passengers.TrentBarton Connect Red/Blue bus services connect passengers to the town centre and the western estates, stopping adjacent to the tramstop. TrentBarton 141 service connect passengers to the town centre, the eastern estate and the surrounding villages, stopping on the roadbridge above the station, or adjacent to the Tesco Extra.The Tesco Extra and the Ashgate Retail Park (Argos, Home Bargains and Kennelgate) are located close to the station.Mick Hucknall
Michael James Hucknall (born 8 June 1960) is an English singer and songwriter. Hucknall achieved international fame in the 1980s as the lead singer and songwriter of the soul-influenced pop band Simply Red, with whom he enjoyed a 25-year career and sold over 50 million albums. Hucknall was described by Australian music magazine Rhythms as "one of the truly great blue-eyed soul singers", while Q credited him with "the most prodigious voice this side of Motown".Simply Red
Simply Red is a British soul and pop band which formed in Manchester in 1983. The lead singer of the band is singer and songwriter Mick Hucknall, who, by the time the band initially disbanded in 2010, was the only original member left. Since the release of their debut studio album Picture Book (1985), they have had ten songs reach top 10 in the UK Singles Chart, including "Holding Back the Years" and "If You Don't Know Me by Now", both of which reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. They have had five number one albums in the UK, with their 1991 album, Stars, one of the best-selling albums in UK chart history.At the 1992 and 1993 Brit Awards, they received the award for Best British Group. They received three Grammy Award nominations: for Best New Artist in 1987, and "Holding Back the Years" and "If You Don't Know Me by Now" for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals. The band re-formed in 2015. Simply Red have sold over 50 million albums.Stars (Simply Red album)
Stars is the fourth album by British-based pop/soul/jazz band Simply Red, released in September 1991. Five singles were released from the album, including the UK top ten hits "Stars" and "For Your Babies". The album was a worldwide success, particularly in the band's home country where it has been certified twelve times platinum and was the best-selling album of the year in the UK for both 1991 and 1992, the first album to be the best-seller in two consecutive years since Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge over Troubled Water in 1970–71. As of July 2016 it is the 14th best-selling album of all time in the UK.Stars was the first Simply Red album to feature entirely original material and no cover versions, and it was also the last album to feature member Tim Kellett, who started his own band Olive after touring. It is the only Simply Red album to feature Fritz McIntyre singing lead vocals, on the tracks "Something Got Me Started" and "Wonderland".
The album was on the shortlist of nominees for the 1992 Mercury Prize. In 2000 Q placed Stars at number 80 in its list of "The 100 Greatest British Albums Ever".Stars was re-issued in 2008 as a collectors edition 2CD with bonus DVD digipack. On 20 April 2008, a copy of the album was given away with the British newspaper The Mail on Sunday.Steve Burr
Steve Burr (born 12 January 1960) is a Scottish former footballer and was most recently the first team manager at Stafford Rangers.The Holgate Academy
The Holgate Academy (formerly Holgate School) is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, England, a former mining community north of Nottingham.
The school's sixth form is part of a collaboration of both the secondary schools in Hucknall, together with Queen Elizabeth's Academy, Mansfield. A carved stone cross called a khatchkar was placed in the school by the Armenian government as a thank you for the Lord Byron School which was built in Leninakan (now Gyumri) in Armenia following their 1988 earthquake. The carving was replaced in 2004.
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