Launch of the Bonsall History Trails! Sunday May 19th 2pm, Bonsall Village Hall

The Pig of Lead Pub, Bonsall

The Pig of Lead Pub, Bonsall

Telling our story: Bonsall History Project celebrates £9,300 Heritage Lottery Fund Grant with the launch of 6 history walk leaflets around Bonsall

Bonsall History Project is one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) ‘All Our Stories’ grant.

After months of research and preparation the 6 walk leaflets are now complete and will be officially launched at Bonsall Village Hall on Sunday May 19th at 2pm.

To help the village tell its own story and find out more about the heritage of Bonsall the project has included research trips to Ruddington Framework Knitting Museum, the Black Country Living museum, Matlock Mining Museum, a landscape photography workshop, a social media workshop and lots and lots of walking!

On Sunday May 19th at 2pm villagers are invited to come along to a celebration and launch afternoon where they can collect their Bonsall History Trail leaflets.

There will be a display of photos and historic images of Bonsall and refreshments.

Peter Fellows of Bonsall History Group said:

“We will use the event to give a free set of six leaflets to each household in the village. The illustrated leaflets cover the historical development of Shops and Pubs; Lead Mining; Framework Knitting and Other Trades; Schools and Churches; Bonsall’s Landscape and Historic Routes through the village. They each include a walking map to guide users around each route. Everyone is welcome to the launch and we hope to give you the opportunity to find out something of why Bonsall has developed in the way that it has.”


Bonsall History Blog: A walk through history

Bonsall History Website

Bonsall Village newsletter Mutterings

Heritage Lottery Fund

Emma Sayer, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said:

“Clearly the success of All Our Stories has reinforced the fact that we are indeed a nation of story tellers and that we want to explore and dig deeper into our past and discover more about what really matters to us. This is exactly what the grant will do for the The Bonsall History Trails and Leaflets Project as the Bonsall History Project embark on a real journey of discovery.”

Heritage Lottery Fund All Our Stories funding stream is now replaced by Sharing Heritage

Second Archive Film Night is a hoot!

The second archive film night which was presented as part of the The Bonsall History Trails Project attracted a full house at Bonsall Village Hall. After the relative sobriety of the excellent British Transport Films Unit ‘Peak District’ film, – there were plenty of laughs as we watched films about hen racing in Wirksworth, one man’s struggle to scale High Tor in Matlock Bath and a blast from the seventies – a film about the Janet Reger Underwear Factory. £65-£85 for a night dress! In the 70’s! You’d have to be Joan Collins to afford that!


Mike and Jon ready the DVD projector before showing the films

The footage shown of Matlock in flood was astonishing whereas the images of Matlock in the deep freeze in the 60’s weren’t quite as shocking given the conditions around Bonsall recently! For more information about these films see

See the current Janet Reger website here

With refreshments at the end (thank you Brenda!) it was a great night out and a welcome break from the unremitting snow and winter weather.

Framework knitters of the world unite…

Knit your socks off with a Komet Knitter

Knit your socks off with a Komet Knitter

Machinery silhouetted within the museum

Machinery silhouetted within the museum

This is what we had in Bonsall

This is what we had in Bonsall

Photo for cover of Bonsall History Project LP

Photo for cover of Bonsall History Project LP

This machine makes socks!

This machine makes socks!

Subliminal message

Subliminal message

You have nothing to lose but your 13 hour day and your Komet Knitters (see pic).

The Bonsall History Project set out on another freezing (but sunny) morning having set the controls (and our trusty coach driver Peter Fox) for the heart of Ruddington near Nottingham. Quite a few of our number had already been to the Ruddington Frameknitting Museum – but such is the lure of the characterful buildings, old framework knitting machines and charming museum staff – they couldn’t wait to return.

Parts of Bonsall once rattled to the sound of 143 knitting machines as scarves, smoking caps, ties, shirts, stockings and underwear were produced. But then Arkwright  started the Industrial Revolution and they ended up in factories in Cromford!

It’s a really interesting visit to Ruddington and the combination of a welcoming brew on arrival, a booked guided tour and a demonstration of framework knitting (it’s complicated!) meant that we all came away buzzing in a historical kind of way.

One of the guides mentioned that Ned Ludd (of Luddite fame) was a myth. What next – Santa doesn’t exist?! We’re not sure about Ned – what do you know? Is he a made-up smasher of machinery?

Thanks to the Ruddington Framework Knitters Museum.

Great welcome, excellent tour and demonstration by Andy Bone (see video here)

Bonsall Wildlife Talk starts at 7pm 16th February

Talk on Bonsall's wildlife - talk starts at 7pm

Talk on Bonsall’s wildlife – talk starts at 7pm

Sorry! the talk by  Dan Abrahams starts at 7pm and not 7.30pm – don’t be late (if you are it’s my fault!).

Bonsall Village Hall, 7pm Saturday February 16th


Saturday 2nd February visit to the Black Country Museum

Help us explore and understand Bonsall’s history by joining us on this outing to the famous Black Country Open-Air Museum, Dudley, Birmingham. You’ll not only learn more about the trades and businesses that once thrived in Bonsall but also discover the history of the Midlands area. The coach will be leaving from Bonsall for a whole day out there.

Black Country Museum of Living

Black Country Museum of Living

Black Country Living Museum is a remarkable place to explore .Set in a landscape of 26 acres, it is one of the most extraordinary open-air museums in the UK; offering a glimpse into 200 years of history.

Over fifty authentic shops, houses and workshops have been carefully reconstructed to preserve the character of the region when its manufacturers bought worldwide fame to Black Country Towns.

Take a trip on the tram to explore the canalside village, where you can meet and chat to the costumed characters. Explore the underground mine and experience the authentic sights, sounds, smells and tastes from the past.

There is a changing programme of demonstrations and events from metal working and glass cutting to sweetmaking ensures something to suit all tastes. Watch the silver screen flicker to life in the Limelight Cinema with silent films from the 1920s. Marvel over vehicles from the golden age of motoring and experience a real spit and sawdust Inn.