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Who is the Greatest Nottinghamian?
You may not agree with who we have selected to be the top 10 Greatest Nottinghamians, so this is your chance to say who deserves to be up there. Fill in the form below to have your say.

This page exists as an archive. If you would like to discuss this or other local topics or issues with other visitors to BBC Nottingham website, please visit our new message board.
09-March-2003
alan sillitoe
prolific writer with many of his books about nottingham,a pity its nearly impossible to buy his books there.

diogenes grieger, tallahassee fl

07-March-2003
George Africanus
George Africanus is certainly the earliest known Black entrepreneur in Nottingham. His obituary of 1834 states he was from Sierra Leone. His story of his life from slave to businessman is a fascinating one and we are continuing to learn more about him and his descendants. The City of Nottingham is erecting a plaque for him near his grave and that of his son in St. Mary's churchyard soon. The Nottingham City Museum's Service has a travelling exhibition on George Africanus and his life in Nottingham which about to be refurbished. We are looking for his great grandchildren at present and are most interested to see the comments of Mandela Tunde Obifoe that "there are some blonde haired blue eyed people who descend from this great African". We would love to know more about them please. We have no knowledge about the family later than the mid 20th century. If you wish to learn more about the travelling exhibition or can tell us more about the descendants of George Africanus please contact us on 0115 9153602. Suella Postles, Brewhouse Yard Museum

Suella Postles, Brewhouse Yard, Nottingham

06-March-2003
Nottinghamian
Some great names mentioned.But I give my vote to the great humanitarian William Booth

Mel. Drage., Squamish,British Columbia,Canada.
26-February-2003
torville and dean?
its obvious!

sharon, nottingham!!!!!

17-February-2003
Mandella Tunde Obifoe
Presumably of Nottinham decent. I have been left Notts for so many years I can remember very little but Septimus was not a Nottingham Man - was he? I feel Mandella lost his point. There are many worthy men and women of Nottingham and of the county but many of their names are lost to those who are famous. Those who fought and died in the first and second world war must head the list, irrespective of creed or colour. Some fought on the battlefields far away never to return and some fought on the home front, many to die under the rubble. I am sure Mandella is correct and, because we are a notion of anglo saxons, mainly pale in colour, we tend to forget those of a darker complexion who have given brains and brawn to this Capital city of Nottinghamsire. Your site is extensive, educational and well prepared. Let us hope that many people willvisit and learn and comment as well. Mandella, keep writing, but when talking about Nottingham give the name so people will ! know whose memories this sort of memorial should cherish. This from an presently distant Newark, Nottinghamshire ex resident living currently in the USA and missing England and the Trent and Nottingham. Incidentally, I went to the same school as Albert Ball V.C (though at a later time)atTrent College. Albert Ball, it is rumoured, had his Photograph taken on the second day at Trent, under the arch of the armoury door. The inscription on the arch says "England expects that every man shall do his Duty"

J.E. Nicholas Gent., Lowell, Michigan, USA

05-February-2003
Great Nottingham people
I am surprised that no one has mentioned Richard Parkes Bonington he was a fine arts painter and lived 1802-1828 died at the age of 26, he was born in Arnold but spent much of his early years in the city of Nottingham. The Wallace Collection holds many of his pictures and there are a few pictures in the Castle Museum. Another famous person who lived in Nottinghamshire is William Lee of Calverton Village who invented the stocking machine, which swept through Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, which was one of the inventions, which went hand in hand with the Industrial revolution.

John Foster, Arnold Nottingham

30-January-2003
Jesse Boot
I can only see one comment about Jesse Boot and surely he deserves more. Boots is now an international chain ,putting Boots, and Nottingham on the map. Everytime anyone talks about Boots products, I tell them to look where it is made!

Johnny, Canada
21-January-2003
great nottinghamians
As I come from Nottingham, I have just read through this and agree with most people that Byron is hardly a Nottingham person. But then, neither is Brian Clough or Kenneth Clarke. Although the former, along with Peter Taylor, did bring great success to Nottm Forest, and whatever anyone thinks, they did win the European cup twice. Kenneth Clarke presided in a govrnment that brought in polltax etc etc. So why not include Peter Taylor in the list? Glad to see Alvin Lee included; a great guitarist and I would love to see him perform again. What about Leslie Crowther, born in West Bridgford, I beleive, and was not one of Laurel and Hardy born in Notts? Perhaps your list should be called famous Nottinghamians, as this seems to be the actual criteria. I agree with the correspondent about very few afro-carribeans/asian etc candidates. I expect the reason is because history is written by the male-dominated WASPS.

Gill Kerry, loughborough

13-January-2003
D.H LAWRENCE SURELY THE BEST???
AFTER WATCHING SONS AND LOVERS (ITV1) I THINK THAT THE MAN MADE A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO ENGLISH LITERATURE. EVEN THOUGH HE WAS A RAUNCHY BUGGER. NEVER MIND TO NOTTINGHAM ITSELF. THE MAN SHOULD BE A LEGEND BUT IS OFTEN OVERLOOKED BY ROBIN HOOD WHO QUITE FRANKLY PUT NOTTINGHAM ON THE MAP. WHEN ASKED BY A GERMAN GIRL WHERE I LIVED SHE ASKED WHERE THAT WAS AND I HAD TO POINT OUT THAT IT WAS NEAR SHERWOOD FOREST WHERE ROBIN HOOD CAME FROM. SHE SOON UNDERSTOOD!!! OVERALL ROBIN HOOD IS THE GREATEST!!!!

LOUISE, NOTTINGHAM

06-December-2002
The Greatest Nottinghinghamian
Robin Hood .....we still talk, read and watch films, documentary`s, on film and T.V. Whether he was a legend created over the centuries from research and believed to be one person, or possibly several characters of similar I.D, we`ll never know. However he is the icon and adopted by Nottingham for as long as time remembers, he is the one Greatest Nottinghamian....even after over 800 years.

Lincoln Green, Nottingham

29-November-2002
Stuart Pearce
First of all I'd like to say thankyou to Claire Amanda Ward for using her caps lock key :/ I also think that the vote was more than likely swayed by a large group of people, possibly an organisation, maybe even international group. Anyway, Stuart Pearce should have been in there somewhere, for a long period of his England career he was teh symbol of patriotism and pride for many people, and he came from Nottingham. Much better than Su Pollard!

Garry, Nottingham
26-November-2002
Byron
Byron was not born in Nottinghamshire. He spent his formative years in Aberdeen with his Scottish mother. When he did come to the County to claim his paternal ancestral home he did not spend much time here. If I remember rightly he sold Newstead Abbey!

William, Hook

26-November-2002
General William Booth
The enormous contribution this man has had on the world for the betterment of mankind qualifies him as the greatest Nottingham citizen, and I would like to cast my vote in his favor and honor.

Marlene Chase, Alexandria, VA USA

25-November-2002
Thomas Cranmer
I'm sure Su Pollard has achieved a great deal in her career, and I wouldn't want to detract from that, but I think a sense of perspective is needed. I would suggest that Thomas Cranmer's impact on our life and language makes him worthy of a high place in the top ten. To exclude him for some of the names mentioned is amazing. By the way.. surely Derek Randall deserves a place in the top ten!!

Chris Carnall, Edwinstowe

25-November-2002
Why no people of African descent
As with the so-called great Britons poll, there are no African-Caribbean or Asian people. This deliberate and obvious exclusion of those people implies sub-consciously or even consciously that African-Caribbean people and Asian people have contributed nothing to British society. This notion is of course absolutely hokum and untrue for in particular African-Caribbean people have contributed to the very fabric of this country be it music, invention, science, politics, technology etc for over 2,500 years. Yes contrary to popular spin and mis-conception and mis-education people of African descent did not come to this country in the advent of the windrush experience in 1948 - the records indicate that people of African origin have been in this country even before the advent of the roman empire and have contributed immensely to the growth and development of this country and city but as per usual so-called European (white) historians have chosen to omit the contribution of peopl! e of African descent. This is just a tiny example of the immense contribution that people of African origin have contributed to the development of this country. Believe it or not but the proof is there this country had an African ruler between 193CE and 211 CE. His name was Septimus Sevrimus - not an obviously African name I know but neither is Linford Christie but it is obvious that when one looks at linford he is of African stock - but septimus was a later part of the roman empire which first invaded this country in 41CE. Septimus was born in what is now called Libya in Northern Africa, which was under roman occupation, and he soon at an early age had an aptitude for military work. The Romans were aware of this and took him to Rome where he became proficient in military affairs -to cut a long story short he became ruler of these islands in 193CE. His legacy is the advanced development of Hadrian's Wall, which protects England from Scotland. He was commissioned to stre! ngthen Hadrian’s Wall, as it was not strong enough and as such allowed the Scots to make incursions into England on numerous occasions. However after septimus had re-designed and re-inforced Hadrian’s wall the Scots were not able to make regular incursions into England and thus there was no fighting between the Scots and the English for about a century due to this African man's efforts. He died in 211CE and is buried in York Minster. Another contribution by people of African lineage are the inventions of the light bulb (Louis latimer) traffic lights (Garrett Morgan) refrigeration unit (Frederick Jones) the telegraph (Granville woods) the railway signals (Granville woods) and many other inventions including the phone better than bell's to numerous to mention. For more just download black inventions on a web search. The real hero of the Second World War was an African named Charles Drew. Before Drew there was no method of separation blood from plasma and henc! e there were no blood banks in this country. However, the British government became aware of Drew's pioneering work in the USA. So impressive were the British with Drew's work that they invited him to Britain to help in the war effort as Britain were losing thousands of lives due to the lack of blood banks. Drew became head of the British Medical Association and through his work blood banks were made possible in this country which in the process saved millions of British lives for more info download Charles drew in a search engine. Another issue, which is not acknowledged, is the immense contribution of African men and women who fought and died for this country in world wars 1 & 2 whilst under British imperialistic rule. And in Nottingham, believe it or not people of African descent have been here for over 350 years. Nottingham used to be a posting for slaves and one such slave became a "free-man" and was recorded as one of the first African people to reside in Notting! ham. His name was George Africanus. He became a prominent businessman and immense influence on the city of Nottingham. There are some blonde haired blue eyed people who descend from this great African. More details of this great man are in the galleries of justice in the lace market or in the central library on Angel Row. It’s a great travesty of justice that the immense achievements of people of African lineage are completely wiped our from the history books and the city of Nottingham particular its education department should take steps to ensure that these FACTS are made known to the PEOPLE OF NOTTINGHAM AND DISPEL THE ERRONEOUS ASSERTION THAT PEOPLE OF AFRICAN LINEAGE HAVE CONTRIBUTED NOTHING TO THE GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT AND SHAPING OF HISTORY IN THIS CITY.

Mandela Tunde Obifoe, Nottingham

25-November-2002
Su Pollard
I think William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army deserves more recognition than RObin Hood.   He did so much to champion the plight of the poor and more remarkable is that the Organization still continues to do so today - not only in Nottingham, Great Britain, but in 108 countries in the world..

Joan Woodman, Nottingham
25-November-2002
Su Pollard
I disagree totally with comment made on the 11th-November-2002 about Su Pollard. She is a great actress and has worked hard to be where she is now. I believe that anybody with a brain would notice that if there was no Su Pollard goodness knows what 'Hi Di Hi' and 'Oh Doctor Beeching' etc would have turned out like. I mean what the hell has Clough done for us and Wiliam Booth. I can't believe people have forgotten how much enjoyment they must have got out of watching these Comedy shows with Su Pollard in and the other TV shows she has stared in. I can assure you Su Pollard as she has made my TV worth while to watch.

Elizabeth, Gedling Nottingham

25-November-2002
why no Albert Ball ?
He was the most decorated man in the 1st world war, a true Nottingham hero

Ron Fletcher,

25-November-2002
why no Dennis McCarthy ?
He was more than just a radio presenter, he was part of Nottingham and loved by everyone

June Fletcher, mansfield

25-November-2002
William Booth
Whether it was tending to the sick and wounded of both world wars, providing a warm bed and a meal to the homeless, care homes for unwed mothers and the elderly, visiting prisoners and the house bound, fresh-air camps for city children, the Salvation Army could always be relied upon. The uniform, flag and inspirational music are known and respected world wide. We, the people of Nottinghamshire, can be proud that William Booth was born here.

Marge Marion, Sutton in Ashfield, Notts.

23-November-2002
William Booth
I'm 15 years old and have been in the Salvation army all my life. With out the army there would be a big hole in my life. as part of going to the army i don't just learn about God and William it has also given me the chance to tell my friends at school what the Salvation Army is all about.

Bethan, Bedfordshire

23-November-2002
Wiliam Booth
I have been really privileged to see the Salvation Army at work in Southern Africa. It's particularly moving to see the loving care given to HIV babies and children. You should be very proud that the founder of this Christian organisation came from Nottingham!

Lesley Nicholson, Birmingham

23-November-2002
William Booth
William Booth did so much to help other people and started a huge christian organisation which still exsists today!

Claire,

22-November-2002
great nottinghinghamians
The chap who invented cats eyes that are down the middle of the road lived in nottingham but unsure of his name

A Top Valley resident, Nottingham

20-November-2002
Xylophone Man!
Xylophone Man! His work is vastly underated - can he be persuaded to bring out a Greatest Hits CD - his Twinkle Twinkle Little Star would be fantastic in Dolby Digital 5.1 Your vote counts - we can make this happen!!!!!

Music Fan,

20-November-2002
William Booth
He commenced a great organisation, which is still at work internationally, and is the second largest provider of social care to the Government.......He had a vision and a calling, which is still evident today.......long may his work continue!!

Geoff, Manchester

19-November-2002
D H Lawrence
Obviously he qualifies as 'great' (well, famous, anyway), and a 'Nottinghamian', but didn't he actually loathe Nottingham? (Correct me if I'm wrong). Despite my not really liking his writing, he might get my vote on those grounds alone ;)

The Insider, Nottingham

19-November-2002
Brian Clough
Who cares if he has never lived in Nottingham, he has given more to the City, more pleasure to its citizens & done more to put Nottingham on the map than William Booth, William Fothergill & Su Pollard put together. Assuming that the great one is not allowed to be voted for, my vote goes to Jesse Boot as he is the only one who has actually done anything for Nottingham itself.

Kevin, nottingham

18-November-2002
My vote goes just by a whisker to William Booth.
I have voted for William Booth just ahead of Jesse Boot.William and Jesse both came from poor backgrounds and devoted their lives to making people better in different ways. William Booth's followers however are still spreading the word around today on the streets and when I see that uniform tending to the poor and needy in places like New York on September 11th 2001, I say to my self "Nottingham is where the Salvation Army began" You can say a little bit of Nottingham is there.

Doug Sutton, Aspley, Nottingham

18-November-2002
Great Nottinghamians
My Dad!!!! He was a fantastic teacher who made many students make the most of their potential. He spurred pupils on to further their studies and arranged for help and grants to aid them. He also provided support to them in trouble, while always letting them know what the rules were. Apart from that, he had two jobs, to help provide for us, also working as a lecturer, was a fantastic father, and always knew what to do for the best! He was also a union representative, helping other members in what ever way was needed. I think my father is a far more deserving person to be nominated than most of the people on the list, who have used their fame for their own ends!

Catherine, Nottingham

18-November-2002
Richard Best
After being medically retired over 5 years ago, Richard has worked tirelessly on a voluntary basis to help others. The other people on the list are all great people but have received recompense for their work. Richard has not. His achievements over this time have been, Working with special needs participants at Focus, Community panel leader with the Youth Offending Team, Mentor for East Midlands Mentoring, Voluteer at Mencap, Founder self help group for those with a similar condition as himself, chair of the Augment mentoring project. This is an ordinary man carrying out extraordinary work within the community.

Linda , Nottingham

18-November-2002
Robin Hood
whilst there are many good candidates, Robin Hood has made Nottingham's name known throughout the world ,you only have to say you are from Nottingham and peolple immediately say " Ah yes Robin Hood!

Mr Frank Smith, Nottingham uk

15-November-2002
re: Xylophone Man
Technically it's a glockenspiel isn't it?

Mr. Pedant, Nottingham

15-November-2002
Tom Blower Swimmer
Hi my name is Brian Meharg I live in Bangor Ireland and am the current pilot of the Irish Channel (North Channel) On Febuary 2005 Tom will be dead 50 years and I think to mark this occasion the City of Nottingham should put up somthing to mark the life of this great FORGOTTON man He came from a place far from the sea and Conquered the Irish Channel in July 1948. He ignored all the calls that it could not be done from the many many local long distance swimmers and at that time there were thousands around the coast of UK and Ireland Visiting my brother in Aslockton last week I called into the town centre library and asked about the history of Tom Blower, she came back and said it was strange no one had ever asked about him before as at a glance he was a very intersting man. Check out the Evening News or other papers around that date he was a great man indeed. I am currently researching the history of the Irish Channel and hope to write a book about it in a short while The Irish Long Distance Swimming association WERE SHOCKED THAT YOUR TOWN HAS FORGOTTEN HIM, and at their next meeting they and myself will discuss asking your coulcil to take note of the situation. I would be willing to talk about this if need be as the more I find out about this man the more I admire him Remember the local people said it could not be done and keep im mind he is well known in the town of Bangor but forgotten in his home town. my web site is www.irelandtoscotland.com

Brian Meharg, Bangor Co. Down

14-November-2002
Byron
How can anyone seriously nominate Byron as the greatest Nottinghamian, come on, they are having a laugh - he spent hardly any time here, I've spent more time here waiting for a 70 bus!

P Howarth, Nottingham

13-November-2002
D.H Lawrence - Nottinghamians
D.H. Lawrence was so popular that he was buried all over the world. First in France, then his body was exhumed and cremated, and his ahes scattered in France. His ashes were also taken to Taos, in New Mexico, and made into a concrete shrine. Then, according to the Lawrence family gravestone, at Eastwood cemetery, he is also buried there. What a man. Further details on my D.H. Lawrence website www.LawrencesEastwood.co.uk

Gavin Gillespie, Giltbrook

13-November-2002
Nottinghamians - Duncan Norville
Everyone seems to have overlooked Duncan Norville, for the life of me I can't think why.

Gavin Gillespie, Giltbrook

13-November-2002
Xylophone man
Unfortunately, being the star and legend that he is, Xylophone man will not allow pictures to be taken of him. Otherwise he'd be up there with Su Pollard.

Have your say editor
13-November-2002
THE XYLOPHONE MAN!
he's there without a doubt!

anon, nottingham

12-November-2002
Who is the greatest Nottinghamian
Of the ones you want us to choose from, from the list you give, I have voted for William Booth. I think he did more for other people, rather than making it big for himself, monetarily or otherwise.

Judih, B.C. Canada
11-November-2002
D.H.LAWRENCE
BORN IN EASTWOOD, WENT TO SCHOOL IN NOTTINGHAM - WROTE INFAMOUS, LITERARY NOVELS!

CLAIRE AMANDA WARD, NOTTINGHAM
12-November-2002
Why is William Lee not here?
Surely the Reverend William Lee achieved more with his invention of the Stocking Frame than Sue Pollard. All she ever did was clean out Ted Bovis's Chalet!!!!!!!!!!

JK Williams, Calverton

12-November-2002
FOTHERGILL WATSON
ARCHITECT WHO DESIGNED ALL THE NICE LOOKING BUILDINGS IN NOTTM INC. THOSE ON KING STREET.

CLAIRE AMANDA WARD, NOTTINGHAM

12-November-2002
JESSE BOOT
STARTED THE FIRST BOOTS STORE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 1900'S - NOW AN INTERNATIONAL CHAIN. BOOTS ALSO DO A LOT FOR THE PEOPLE OF NOTTINGHAM, INCLUDING BUILDING NOTTM-TRENT UNIVERSITIE'S (BOOTS) LIBRARY, GIVING TO NOTTINGHAM BASED CHARITIES AND PROVIDING 9000 JOBS IN THE CITY O0F NOTTINGHAM

CLAIRE AMANDA WARD, NOTTINGHAM

12-November-2002
Lord Byron
What did Lord Byron ever do for Nottingham? Seems to me he just ponced about all over Europe and got to live in a big house. I bet he didn't even have to pay rent!

Betty, Nottingham, England

12-November-2002
PAUL SMITH
LOCAL, NATIONAL, EVEN INTERNATIONAL MENS CLOTHES DESIGNER.

CLAIRE AMANDA WARD, NOTTINGHAM

11-November-2002
Nottinghamians
Cloughie never lived in Notts. He was always Derbyshire so he doesn't count. Anyway, if Su Pollard can make it where's Donald Pleasance. At least he was a proper film actor and came from Worksop.

Eleanor, Retford

11-November-2002
Su Pollard
Why the hell is Su pollard a great nottinghamian?!? It's pure madness.. where's Cloughie???

Dave, Nottingham
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