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SNIPPETS FROM THE RECORDS

– provided by Lesley Haddon


  1. The Domesday Survey of 1086 does not record that Normanton on Soar had either a priest or a church.

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  1. Did you know that the records show the first clergyman instituted at Normanton on Soar was Henry de Melsamby on 15 January 1236?

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  1. The 1851 census records that the Rector of Normanton on Soar was Joseph Powell, age 45. Also living with him at the rectory was his wife Elizabeth (39), five sons aged 16, 15, 13, 12 & 7 and four daughters aged 12, 8, 4 and 2. All the children were born in Normanton. As well as the Rector and his family, they had 3 female and one male servant living with them.

         Joseph Powell was Rector from 1831 to 1868 when he died at the age of 63.

  1. Ever wondered what the rectory at Normanton on Soar was worth in the 16th century? The Valor Ecclesiasticus (Latin for church valuation) was carried out under the orders of Henry VIII in 1535 when it was valued at the clear yearly sum of £7.11s. About £7.60 in today’s money.
  1. Did you know that the original parish registers, dating from 1559 to 1813, are kept in the safe keeping of Nottinghamshire Archives?  If you are interested in local or family history and have access to the internet have a look on http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/learning/history/archives/

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  1. From the time of the 1086 Domesday Book Normanton on Soar was mentioned in the Rushcliffe Hundred. The Hundreds were county divisions, named because they were based on an area of one hundred tythings, families or a requirement to supply one hundred men for the King's wars. For centuries afterwards the Hundreds were used to judge how many men should be supplied for the Navy or Army.

         Even though volunteers and press-gangs supplied men for the services during the Great French Wars, insufficient

         men were forthcoming and attempts had to be made to gain more "volunteers", so the County and  

         Town Justices were told to increase the numbers. They calculated the numbers to be met in each area from the

         number of inhabited dwellings throughout the various Hundreds. In 1796 there were 20 inhabited 

         dwellings in Normanton on Soar with a rental value of more than £5 per year. This figure was verified upon oath on

         30 November 1796 by a Wm. Sketchley, the District Surveyor. It was then the responsibility of the 

         Churchwardens and Parish Overseer to make a list of possible men.

 

  1. Did you know that in the 17th century, indictments were made against the inhabitants of parishes and Places for not repairing the common way, highway or King’s Way, or for non repair of a “layne” or “venelle”. Even Normanton on Soar was affected when in 1614 the Kings Way between Normanton on Soar and Sutton Bonington was mentioned in the indictments.

 

  1. During the reigns of Charles II and James II the names of persons absent from church for more than one month were presented. Records do not show if any of the ones in Normanton on Soar were Popish Recusants. The definition of recusancy was the refusal to submit to established authority. The Recusancy Law was directed at the refusal of Roman Catholics to attend the services of the Church of England. This applied to an English Roman Catholic from about 1570 to 1791 who refused to attend C of E services and thereby committed a statutory offence. In our village the names of 23 villagers are listed.

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  1. Did you know that from 1900 to 1918 there were two village constables in Normanton whose main job was to move gypsies from the lanes if they were a nuisance?
  1. You won’t want the good old days back once you’ve read the following! In 1905 there was a localised outbreak of enteric fever in the Normanton on Soar, Leake, and Sutton Bonington areas. It affected only three people in Normanton but sadly one 46 year old man died. It appears that these three patients lived a few hundred yards apart, and the only association suggesting a common source of infection was that one of them, a little boy, regularly visited Hathern Station where he drank water regarded as polluted. Apparently consignments of town manure frequently arrived at the station from Nottingham and other local towns and cities. The man, who died, a platelayer, was in the habit of gathering and eating watercress from ditches near the railway, although his wife denied that he ever ate watercress. Villagers in both Normanton on Soar and Sutton Bonington obtained their drinking water from shallow wells, dug into sand and gravel. And villages above Sutton Bonington discharged their liquid refuse into the river. Night soil was brought into the area by canal boats and by rail from Nottingham where many privies existed, and where enteric fever was known to exist. The muck was then spread across the land. It didn’t help that there had been no flooding in the Normanton area for at least 18 months. This meant the sewage dykes surrounding the village had not been ‘washed out’ and therefore contained stagnant sewage and foul smelling sludge. The only point in Normanton’s favour is that the Medical Officer noted that the inhabitants of the villages, on the whole, kept their houses well, and generally speaking seemed to be possessed of instincts of cleanliness above the average of inhabitants of country districts.

 

  1. Anyone know where Pudding Bag was or is? Well they were a row of six cottages which were abolished in 1950. 79 Main Street, Normanton on Soar now stands on the site.

 

  1. In 1770 the Inclosure Act for Normanton on Soar was passed when 1,195 acres were affected.
  1. In 1930 electricity was installed in Normanton on Soar. Around this time the sewage pipes were laid which meant that villagers didn’t have to stay indoors when the 9 o’clock horse wagons came around emptying pans!

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The first parish council in Normanton on soar was formed on 04 December 1894. It had two charities – Bartholomew Hickling’s Charity Bible, and the William Willoughby charity which bequeathed forty shillings for four gowns to four poor widows, six pounds to six men of occupation or husbandry who had grown poor, and six shillings and eight pence for a sermon to be preached on Whit Sunday. The William Willoughby Charity was formed in 1588 and it is still going, albeit the funds are very small.  The investment is now worth only £400 and the income goes to St James Church which adds to it, and then makes a donation to Sutton Bonington and Normanton on Soar Old People’s Christmas Dinner.

 

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Apparently the Plough Inn was once a farm. Coal was brought by boat and sold by the tenant, Mr Fletcher. He realised its tourism potential and opened a tea room.

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Maggots in Normanton on Soar. The village had a maggot factory located at the railway end of Far Lane. Tins of maggots were sent all over the country via Hathern Railway Station. The smell at times was indescribable and many houses were invaded by flies. Although they received many complaints the District Council Medical officer for Health decreed there was no problem.

Did you know that Hathern Station, actually located in our parish, was closed around 1960 by the Beeching Axe, which was the informal name for the British Government's attempt in the 1960s to control the increasing cost of running the British railway system by closing what it considered to be under used and loss-making railway lines.

It was a reaction to the failed railway modernisation plan of the 1950s, which spent enormous amounts of money on buying new equipment, such as new diesel and electric locomotives, without first examining the role of the railway and its requirements, recognising the implications of changing old-fashioned working practices, or tackling the problem of chronic over manning. The result of this was to plunge the railway system deeply into debt. So what’s new!!

 

Where was the late Ev Sketchley when the start of the Second World War was announced?

Ev lived with his family at (now demolished) Lilac cottage on Butt Lane. On the 303 September 1939 Ev was away on a fishing weekend in Welney, Cambridgeshire. Sitting on a bridge, relaxing and waiting for the fish to bite, a passer-by told him the news. On his return home to Normanton on Soar, later that day, his family gave him further details of the prime Minister’s broadcast. Ev at 19 years old knew he would be called on to join the armed services, as would many others of his acquaintance.

 

In the early 20th century there were three churches in the village, the Wesleyan Chapel on Far Lane, the Baptist Chapel, Main Street, and the Parish Church, also on Main Street. Today only the Parish Church is used for religious purposes. The Wesleyan Chapel has now been converted for domestic use, and the Baptist Chapel on Main Street demolished.

 

Documentary evidence has revealed that the Rempstone to Hathern road was originally turnpiked. The turnpike gates are known to have been located in an area close to the bus shelter on the Normanton side at the end of Moor Lane. Unfortunately today there is no visible evidence of the turnpike

 

A ferry is shown on the 1771 Normanton on Soar enclosure plan but could have existed prior to this time. Its site was likely to have been selected because at this bend in the river may have been shallower and slow-flowing

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The railway line opened in 1840 with a station located on the A6006 just within the parish. Bridges were built over the line. The line cut across fields, isolating farms and stopping access from the main Rempstone to Hathern Road down Far Lane and into the village. At one time it is said it was possible to take a path under the line where it meets Far Lane but this is no longer accessible.

 

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In the past the River Soar was very important to Normanton on Soar village economy. Horse-  drawn barges to the Plough Inn wharf transported coal and other commodities. Fishing would  have been popular, whether by licence or poaching. As far back as 1797 it was said that the Soar was reputed to produce the best pike in England, and in 1850 eels were known to be  regularly speared.

 

 

 

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