Welcome to the Edwinstowe Historical Society website

In the 1960’s, a collection of old post cards inspired a number of members of the community to attend the Workers’ Educational Association Local History courses and to form the Edwinstowe Historical Society with the aim of researching, saving and sharing materials relating to the history of our village and surrounding area.

Over the years hundreds of documents and photographs were added to the collection recording the social and physical change to the village and its close links with Sherwood Forest over the past two thousand years.  The heritage stretches back to the 7th century when a small chapel was built as a shrine to St Edwin in the forest clearing to be known as Edwin Stowe, the place of Edwin.

With the help of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and training from the Nottinghamshire Archive Department, volunteers have catalogued and indexed documents, scanned and stored over 1700 photographs. For the first time since its inception the group now has an archive where we can store all this information, and our appreciation is recorded to Robert Woodhead who has granted us the use of a room in the Edwinstowe House business centre.

An Education Pack for local schools has been compiled, and the current website established, which has resulted in enquiries being received from people who are interested in tracing their family history and, in turn, has led to additional photos and information being submitted to the Society. Our e-mail address (edwinstowehistorysoc@gmail.com) will make communication easier.

Exhibitions have taken place in the village, e.g. the commemoration of the closing of Thoresby Colliery, and of the Queen’s birthday in St. Mary’s Church;  regular displays in the Library, including the proposed twinning with the French village of Roubiac-Rochesseadoule;  the event “Sparkling Sherwood” at the Visitors’ Centre;  participation in the Church Rooms’ entry for the Christmas Tree festival in St. Mary’s Church;  ensuring the preservation of the Prisoner Chains at the site of the Old Lock up on High Street; and a well-received walk introducing RSPB volunteers to the history of village landmarks. The Society has also advised on the relocation of the stained glass panel from the Library to St. Mary’s Church.

We continue to research past local events, personalities and organisations, all of which serve to remind us of our heritage.

Lockdown activities – 2020

83-year-old sharing Lock-down with a friend.

Opened my door to find a bag of groceries left by my son. Phoned the Care Home to check on my brother, also phoned brother-in –law and his wife who are both 92. My order from the local village butcher was delivered by Sue, dressed in WW2 Land Army dungarees singing, ‘Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree with anyone else but me.’

Made some soup, spent time on the Historical Society website.

S. Moore. 23.5. 2020


Technology Expert among other things

Became a technology expert when my granddaughter taught me how to make WhatsApp video calls. Not sure I always like what I see when I press the wrong button and it is me in the frame!

Today I decided to rekindle my baking skills and bake a Swiss roll.  So, it isn’t always necessary to rely on Mr Kipling after all.

Spent time on my computer adding information to the Edwinstowe Historical Society website.  Wrote another short story for great-grandchildren.  When e-mailed to my grandson and granddaughter, being the busy teachers they are at present having to deal with pupils over the internet, they have the task of downloading my contribution in order to read to their respective families. The stories certainly send me to sleep at night because I am worn out tasking my brain for ideas.

Tonight, is Thursday, and at 8 p.m. I will join my neighbours to clap for all the NHS staff and other members of the community who have helped to keep things ticking over.  An idea from one of the families on this small avenue is for each Thursday to be a “theme” night as well.  This has been an introduction to get to know the neighbours who normally are seen waving as they pass by in their cars.

M. Wright. 21.5.2020


Wonderful neighbours and VE Day 75 Community Celebrations

VE Day was an early start and I spent the morning baking scones, preparing dinner and putting out bunting and flags in the front garden as well as setting up a table at the top of the drive displaying Edwinstowe WW2 photos and information that had been planned to go in the Craft Centre which was closed because of the virus. This was the next best thing. During the day many couples and families stopped for a look and Maureen, my next-door neighbour, directed people to view the information. Many positive comments were received. After lunch we set our chairs and tables in the front garden and many of our close neighbours did the same. We played several Vera Lynn songs on the Bose Blue Tooth speaker.

At 3:00p.m. we acknowledged the two-minute silence to commemorate VE Day.

We sat again, chatted, enjoyed drinks and scones and introduced ourselves to many people as they walked by, some with children and many with dogs eager for exercise. We waved to everyone who passed in cars. Pat, our neighbour, who was dressed as ‘Pike’ from Dad’s Army, marched around the block. He looked the part. At 6:00p.m. we went inside for Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings.

Afterwards we joined our neighbours until 8:55p.m. when we went inside to listen to the Queen’s speech. Back outside again we sang the Vera Lynn song, ‘We Will Meet Again’ As the weather was still very warm, we sat and talked until 9:30p.m.

E. Hawkes 25.05.2020


 A family’s 75th VE Day Celebration in Lockdown

It was a very early start to the day, I completed my handmade bunting and had great fun climbing ladders and stringing it across the driveway, to the delight of passers-by.   A few families with children stopped and asked about it then went on their way.  Thank goodness it was a dry day as the bunting being card would have dripped and drooped quickly.  Had a quick walk down the road to admire the colourful bunting, Union Jacks waving in the breeze and free sweets for lucky travellers.

Best of all a quick chat for friendly neighbours, some already starting to celebrate with a cup of tea and cupcakes, drawing similarities between the situation for people in WW2 and coronavirus today. I then dashed up to see two of my grandchildren, following the Government Guidance to the letter.

Waved to them through the large picture window, their faces pressed to the glass and surrounded by NHS Rainbows and slogans reminding people to ‘ Be brave’ and ’Keep Safe.   WW2 bunting surrounded the window and slogans saying ‘Thank You’, to the brave soldiers marked this special day.  Dressed as land girls and farm workers (7 years old) they showed their home made cupcakes with handmade Union Jacks on them. No hugs no kisses just miming ‘I love you’ through the window.

Had a virtual zoom meeting with all of the family, even Yoda the dog had his Union Jack bow tie around his neck.  It was a great time and everybody put a virtual wish into the ‘wish box’, for after the Lockdown.

We went out into the street at eight o’clock, raised a glass or cup and toasted ’To those who gave so much for us, we salute you and thank you.’   We then sang ‘We’ll meet again ‘ with Vera Lynn and the sound echoed down the road.    People chatted, joked and danced keeping two metres apart as requested by the government.  What a great memory of a virtual and distanced VE Day in Lockdown but so much fun and goodwill.

M. Share. 26.5.2020


There is an old saying where I come from, ‘all dressed up and nowhere to go’. Well, that has not applied to me since 23rd March, 2020. I have not been dressed up and I have had nowhere to go, because it has not been allowed.

The daily walk, a visit to the pharmacy, socially distanced shopping has been the limit. Thankfully, the weather has been largely sunny and warm. I miss seeing my friends, but we all keep in touch by phone or email.

Gardening, watching the antics of the birds, in particular the starlings and sparrows, research into my family history, together with the mundane tasks of every day occupy most of my time. The big event of my year, a train journey to the Somme Battlefields in April, was cancelled owing to the travel ban.

My great uncle Robert was killed during the Battle of the Somme in September, 1916. He was 22 years old and the youngest of six children. His death is commemorated by an inscription on the Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval. None of the family have ever been to see the Memorial, and, having looked at his picture, read the only surviving letter in his own hand and remembered what my grandparents said about him, I felt that it was my duty to go there before advancing age prevents me from doing so.

Hopefully, I shall be able to set out on this journey when it is safe to travel.

I have not, as yet, been directly affected by the biological onslaught that has changed so much in everyone’s lives and I am very grateful. In our local area, I have found that most people have been sensible and stoic, which I think deserves much credit.

My sincere sympathies are with those who have suffered bereavement, mental distress or illness through whatever cause during the Coronavirus emergency.

J. Lane. 30.5.20

Bad Timing – Toothache in Lockdown

For the past two days I have been in denial about the painful hard lump on my gum. Chewing a clove and taking painkillers hasn’t done any good.

When I ring my Dentist, I just get the Answerphone. Panicking, I call a dentist friend who insists that I must keep trying my Surgery where they have my records.

“Only in an extreme emergency we refer patients to a “Hot” or “Cold” Covid Hub as far away as Northamptonshire or Yorkshire. They’ll only do an extraction and the form-filling is horrendous.”

Eventually a lovely locum dentist rings me back, looks at my recent X-ray and sends an e-prescription for strong antibiotics to a Late-Night Pharmacy. Thank Heaven for the NHS!!

L. Stewart Smith. 22.5. 2020





After the usual routine  “first things”, i.e. breakfast, shower, bed making, etc. , it’s time to psych myself to do some digging as I’ve only been in my bungalow for 4 months and it needs lots of attention.  I’ve also been making my own sourdough bread.  The dough’s been in the fridge overnight so it has to be taken out ready to bake.  Time for a cuppa!

Dashed out to open cold frame which I should have done earlier!  Started to dig out a piece of border so I can plant the fuscias which arrived from Thomson & Morgan yesterday. That was hard work as it was grass sods to be dug out.

Bread baked and out to cool – looks OK – hope it tastes OK! Thank goodness I arranged for the milkman to call as week before lockdown as I believe it was difficult afterwards due to a deluge of people requesting their milk to be delivered only to be told “we have more than we can cope with at present”.  I also arranged to have my magazine and Saturday paper delivered.

I am quite fit, thank goodness; as all my children live away from me and so I use our local Co-op for perishables once a week.  I’m always relieved to get back home!  I’ve also managed a Tesco home delivery too.

I like to relax with my best friend, the TV before its time to prepare dinner.   I’ve also been doing a spot of knitting.  A headband to cover my ears for winter, or when it’s cold and windy.

Bedtime is a read for half an hour or so and then zzzzzzz

Goodnight x

A lockdown day June 2020 in rural isolation

To set the scene, living in a small hamlet like Rufford sawmill cottages is in general a pleasant and enjoyable experience, although we do not have a bus service and have no shops within walking distance so are dependent on our own transport, which when you’re not that mobile is difficult in this lockdown situation.

Unfortunately, we do not have a central point within the parish area which is mostly small pockets of dwellings and a scattering of farmsteads etc. We really do not have any of the normal village community organisations and neither do we have a very proactive parish council, no verbal information by phone or through the letterbox etc.

Throughout the lockdown all information has been solicited by phone from outside organisations who have been very helpful and fully understanding of our situation. We have obtained supplies by contacting some very nice and helpful people, like volunteers who offered to deliver food supplies. The problem is most volunteers delivering in this manner need cash, very difficult if you can’t go to a bank, cash machine, or a shop, at present we are relying on the family.

The following list will give you an indication of what we had to set up at the start of the lockdown:

One goodhearted volunteer who does a weekly shop for groceries etc. and fresh food.

Neighbour who goes once a week and tops up our supplies.

Daughter who lives 25 miles away calls every10 days and keeps us supplied with none food items.

We have a local pet shop who delivers bird food etc.

Our pet food supplier delivers dog food and biscuits.

Prescriptions are delivered from the local chemist.

Local milkman comes three times a week and delivers milk, eggs, yogurt and bread Grimsby fish van called once a week.

Without the generous help from so many people we would struggle on a daily basis.

Having one or two health issues these are covered by telephone consultations with the doctor, not the best but better than nothing. Other problems that could affect us would be supplies oil and Calor Gaz, we shall see. We are playing it by the book, all items delivered or given a wipe over by B before use.

6:45 am looked out of the window, raining not the best incentive to leap out of bed

7:20 am washed and tidy, quick shave, B sorting dog and breakfast.

8:15 am breakfast over, radio on classic FM, not listening to news any more too dismal.

8:30 am priority dog walk.  Next up the lane to the farm and back, quick look at the weather forecast unfortunately not going to be a flaming June, should be on holiday today in Norfolk glad we didn’t go.  Back from dog walk nice – don’t mind rain if it’s not too heavy, B feeding garden birds and dog I’m on morning kitchen duties

10:00 am quick car ride up the A 614 round the edge of Worksop past Dukeries, then birdwatching at Carburton, we had to laugh not many birds, but we did feed a very large rat. Had a quick scone and drink, did not leave the car at all nor speak to any people. Not much traffic on the road and nice to see lack of maintenance on grass verges plenty of wild flowers growing. Back from trip rest today not going to get dirty cleaning out the garage etc.

You may ask why we went on the car drive and took a little risk, when you’re dependent on your own transport in case of emergency you must keep the car in reasonable condition, we do take masks and gloves in case we have a problem. Not quite sure what to do next, two friends rang discussing the problems many people have in a lockdown situation.

12:50 pm time for lunch, 1:40 pm lunch over.

B decided to work in Kitchen making goodies for midday snacks etc., I’m on the usual midday kitchen duties, washing pots etc.

My next job preparing notes for the hospital telephone appointment next week with a consultant.

B still working in the kitchen, me to my PC to check emails and different documents regarding holidays.  Not really getting dirty today, thought of taking rubbish to recycle centre some time, unfortunately been told too many cars waiting so have to let rubbish pile up and go at a later date.

5:45 pm suddenly decided time to stop work have a quick cup of tea then a meal.

6:30 pm time to walk dog just down to the lake look to feed the Swans, we are fortunate. Back from short walk and time to relax watch Spring watch, Country file, History, Pre-History, a lot of programs on Railways at present most interesting not much else to watch mostly repeats. Two hours of telly is enough for us.

9:30 pm probably time for bed.

Summary of the day weather not too bad eventually, not much traffic about have not talked to any people apart from a couple of neighbours, kept the right distance. Telephone calls to check up on friends, saw a few people in the park later kept our distance not much you can do, but the day not too bad really. Have been retired a long time, finding things to do fortunately is not a problem we have a large garden, B disappears for hours when it’s not raining, we have a good collection of trees, plenty of wild flowers and a host of wild life, we are very lucky.

From Mr F Eyre

Acknowledgement – Wikipedia Rufford Abbey