Huthwaite is situated in the UK East Midlands region of England. Perched atop Nottinghamshires highest natural terrain, it shares the counties westerly borderline. Distant views overlook adjacent rural Derbyshire meadows, plus a flooding sea of warehouse roofs south over Fulwood given nearby busy M1 J28 access.
Village boundaries barely enclose two square miles of steeply sloping meadows. The residential core, first stretching longest length along the main highway, can still be roughly circled within a half mile radius, while the population now rises beyond 7,500. Vastly different from an estimated 500 first reckoned in year 1800, when farms and coal pits peppered these Hucknall Huthwaite meadows struggling to support labourers.
Industrial support came through mass use of FrameWork Knitting machines, denoted by FWK on census records. Powered factories took over that vast cottage industry from which the district kept wider renown. But Huthwaite was undeniably built around the eventual prosperity of sinking its last coal mine.
New Hucknall Colliery wheels are left displaying earned recognition to all prouder local miners. A familiar tribute similarly around neighbouring past coal mining communities. They carried the long lifeline for underground workers. Let us hope their redundant, firmly set positioning does not hauntingly predict futures among other great wheels of British industry. A melodramatic sentiment perhaps, but in quick succession Huthwaite also lost its equally large employment among hosiery and clothing manufacturers.
Attempts were made regenerating lost community spirit, and this chapter compares 21st century renewals. Clearing all trace of past industries afforded large parklands. Apparently now advantaged by motorway road transport systems, the biggest company employer emerged producing uPVC windows among the southern Fulwood meadows, where further entices huge Midland distribution warehouses. The demise of various local traders and most pubs leaves a colourful array of newspaper distributors selling cheaper alcohol, between a broader menu range of foreign fast food takeaways. A central co-op store firstly provided major convenience, before an adjacently opened Tesco.
Despite facing future oil shortages with rising fuel costs, majority rely on owning cars. Family shoppers find cheaper priced town supermarkets, commuting for adequately paid work. Yet with fewer local jobs or public amenities we witness an expanding Huthwaite population. Difference this time around for residential growth is, reclaiming redundant industrial yards and farmlands which sites newly built housing estates inviting further city commuters.
Bordering countryside encourages leisurely pursuits among the maturing Brierley Forest parklands with adjacent 18 hole golf course. A shooting range and fishing ponds are nearby if rambling across connecting trails first trod daily by labourers.
Written 03 Jun 06 Revised 21 Oct 11 © by Gary Elliott