Bendigo ‘The Nottingham Jester’


You didn’t know of Bendigo?

Well that knocks me out!

Who’s your board schoolteacher?

What’s he been about?

Chock a block with fairy tales;

Full of useless cram,

And never heard of Bendigo

The Pride Of Nottingham

‘Bendigo’s Sermon’ – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

William Thompson was a bare knuckle boxer born in Nottingham in 1811. The Wikipedia page is here and is an interesting read. Known as Bendigo he was buried in St Annes and whilst most graves have been removed from the garden of rest, his remains. He has a prominent place in local history and if you see the figures for attendance to his fights in relation to the time it’s easy to see his popularity in context. In later life he became a preacher and spoke in the Market Square in defence of the poor. He died after falling down the stairs of his home in Beeston in 1880 aged 69. His funeral was attended by thousands of people and  there are still streets and pubs named after him.

The inscription on his grave reads “In life always brave, Fighting like a Lion; In Death like a Lamb, Tranquil in Zion”.

It was a grey day yesterday but I’m not totally unhappy with these pictures. The main image is taken on the DSLR in RAW and processed in Lightroom. A first attempt but it looks like a clever tool. The second is HDRPro on iPhone processed in Snapseed, the last is Hipstamatic (John S & Kodot).

The memorial very much reminds me of the grave of Tom Sayers who is buried in Highgate Cemetery, North London. Sayers was another bare knuckle boxer from the same era. His funeral was also attended by 1000’s and the cortege lead by his dog (named Lion), a craving of whom sleeps on the top of his tomb. When I lived nearby to Highgate, the cemetery was semi derelict and you had to hop fences to have a look a around. Great fun at midnight in winter! It’s a great place to take photographs. As well as Karl Marx, George Elliott, Ralph Richardson & Malcolm MacLaren &  Alexander Litvinenko buried there.



Foot Note.

I looked for a bit of history about the ‘Nottingham Lambs’ and found this interesting piece of local research relating to the Cities historical radicalism. This is on the Keyworth History Societies website. Read it here

I also found this really great paragraph from a 1908 Nursing Journal. Very funny….

The British Journal of Nursing.
Members of the new Parliament are being sworn in, and the formal opening will take place, by the King in person, on February the 11th.
Let us hope before the Session is adjourned the long-delayed Nurses’ Bill will be on the Statute Book. Don’t forget, however, that no Bill is better than a bad Bill, and that penal legislation, such as is provided for in the College of Nursing Bill, would be disastrous.

We can remember the turbulent old election days quite fifty years ago when repartee from the “hustings” more often than an impeccable programme won the day. Once as a girl we ventured
into the Nottingham Market Place at election time wearing the Tory favour, to be at once surrounded by irate Liberal” Lambs “-rough mining chaps whose brawny fists could fell an ox, and who ” punished” an opponent without ceremony.

” Who be yo ? ” they shouted at us, and one remarked: “She be a venturesome young wench wi’out doubt.”
Then they shouted, ” Oft wi’that ribbin-off wi’ it,” but one more liberal than the rest said : ” Let the little ‘un speak.”
What the” little ‘un” said, smiling around, was: ” Skip along, lambkins, I want to catch a train.”

” Well, I’m gloppened ! Skip along lambkins. ‘Ow’s that for sauce? “and with roars of laughter these burly roughs-they were indeed dangerous customers when they had had ” a sup “-doffed their caps and began a breakdown, their hob-nailed boots clicking on the pavement, and bawling down the Long Row, ” Skip along, lambkins, skip along lambkins,” as they ambled along in high good humour. It did not take the twinkling of an eye for the ” little ‘un ” (still wearing her favour) to whisk round the corner and take to her heels.

Brilliant. No Bill is better than a Bad Bill. Somethings never change.

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Filed under Comment, Hipstamatic, iPhonography, Nottingham, Photography

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