Blue Plaques for Edwinstowe

Monday, 4th November, was a “red letter” day for Edwinstowe, when 2 blue plaques were unveiled.  A group of spectators including local residents, Historical Society members,  representatives from the Newark & Sherwood District Council, Edwinstowe Parish Council, St Mary’s church, The Bellamy Trust, Sherwood Forest Trust, British Legion and the RSPB visitor centre watched as the Rev. Ian Webb unveiled a plaque at the entrance to the War Memorial Gardens, which recognises the site of the original Alms Houses founded by John and Ellin Bellamy in 1719 for the poor, and started a school for the education of 8 boys.

The second plaque, placed on the wall outside Fables Tea Rooms (formerly the Village Library) was unveiled by 3 great, great, great granddaughters of Christopher Thomson who settled in Edwinstowe in the 19th century.  He was a strolling player, painter, artist and advocate for the local Oddfellows Society.  In 1838 he started the Penny Library, promoting self-help groups, financial support for the poor and “night classes”. The present building, built in 1913, carried on in a similar manner being used for educational purposes.   A collection of Thomson’s paintings is kept at Sheffield Art Gallery.

Edwinstowe Historical Society has been instrumental in drawing attention to these residents and appreciate grants and support from the Newark & Sherwood District council, Parish Council, St Mary’s Church, and Fables Tea Rooms.

Go to articles re: John Bellamy Trust and Christopher Thomson Life Story for further details.