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Photo collection of Bygone Nottinghamshire by Woodborough cobbler now available online


Photographs taken by a Woodborough cobbler of Nottingham and the surrounding countryside over 60 years ago have been made available to the public for the first time online.

Over 280 photos taken by Bill Alvey were recently handed over to the Woodborough Local History Group.

The team of volunteers have now uploaded the pictures, taken during the 1950s, to the group’s website so the whole collection can be viewed online.

A spokesman for the group said: “Bill became a very accomplished photographer. He built his own darkroom and developed his own films.

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“At first he would take his camera around on foot often returning to a favoured spot to capture a scene in different seasons or light conditions.

“Later he would cycle and later still he either borrowed or bought a motorcycle and went further afield. He loved the countryside and nature and either walked or cycled to various locations around Woodborough.”

From the 280 prints and negatives that have been donated to the Woodborough Local History Group, there are a few scenes of Nottingham, a few of Lincoln, a few agricultural buildings, but the majority are of rural settings, with the River Trent and many of trees.”

The group are now hoping that people looking at the photos online can identify some of the locations they were taken.

Post mill at Newton near the Trent Valley Way overlooking Shelford, this mill was completely derelict by 1963.
Post mill at Newton near the Trent Valley Way overlooking Shelford, this mill was completely derelict by 1963.

The spokesperson added: “Unfortunately it has only been possible to identify the location of about 50% of the scenes.”

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A recent appeal in Gedling Eye has led to one of the locations being identified.

Reader Roger Thomason correctly identified the location of the mill featured in this article as being on the road towards Newton overlooking Shelford.

You can see the online collection of Bill Alvey’s photographs on the Woodborough Local History Group website: http://woodborough-heritage.magix.net/album/all-albums

Who was Bill Alvey?

The name Alvey is well known in Woodborough for their cobblers business. ‘Bill’ Alvey was born in 1909 and died at the age of 77 having joined his father’s cobblers  business on Main Street and became a cobbler himself, taking over when Joseph retired.

Apart from being a cobbler all his working life, he also had a variety of other interests such as photography, playing tenor horn in the Woodborough Brass Band and winning the Home Guard shooting championship at Bisley during the war. He also had a lifelong interest in repairing clocks, a self taught skill, and had a display of clocks in the cobblers shop.

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