Nottingham they say has the prettiest girls in England. If true, Derby comes a close second. It’s just one of the rivalries between our side-by-side cities which, like siblings, sometimes glare jealously across at each other. I’m very fond of both but Derby more, because it’s home. Much as I enjoy a day out in Nottingham with its racier, cosmopolitan atmosphere (and some bigger, though not always better, shops) I prefer Derby’s compact cosiness. They can’t match our uniquely beautiful cathedral. We have, I’m sure, a finer collection of surviving architectural treasures with very few high-rise buildings to blight an interesting skyline. And we can hold our own with Nottingham when it comes to world-famous companies: Rolls-Royce; Crown Derby; Smiths the clockmakers and more.
Of course we have lost much which gave the town its special character. I do so wish I’d known it before the brutal cutting through of St. Alkmund’s Way when you could still walk from the Cathedral up vanished Bridge Gate to Pugin’s St. Mary’s via lost St. Alkmund’s Church with its great spire and charming Georgian square. It always gives me a pang when instead I have to walk through that ugly under-pass and over the footbridge with cars thundering underneath. But it’s happened all over England (those wretched sixties) and useless now to harp on about it. At least there have been some good new buildings and I’m glad we still have so many streets of Victorian terraced houses. check best hotel comparison site.
As for recent controversies – water-falls, rams, big holes et al – I think immodestly of Sir George Sitwell’s famous and frequently uttered comment: ‘Such a pity they didn’t consult me’!
NOTTINGHAM 1 DERBY
Talking of rivalry between the two cities, some people were a little surprised to read that the affairs of our High Sheriff are now to be handled by the Under Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, following the retirement of Derby’s Under Sheriff. It seems rather sad that the new High Sheriff and his successor didn’t choose a local lawyer to carry out this traditional duty. There must surely be many who would be pleased to offer the necessary support. Doesn’t it rather hurt our civic pride?. If you want more information look here.
VERY GALLANT GENTLEMEN
As a child I used to wonder about those faded, threadbare banners hanging high above the nave in so many churches all over the country. Would they turn to dust if I touched them? Much later I realised they were usually the colours of the local militia and had hung there since 1815 when we finally beat Napoleon, because it was to defend the country against the expected French invasion that the yeomanry regiments were first raised. Well into the Victorian era nursemaids still used to threaten their naughty charges with “Bony” will get you!’
Recently a special Service of Thanksgiving was held in Derby Cathedral to commemorate the bicentenary of the formation of the Derbyshire Yeomanry and the 50th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War.