Why Nottingham, but why not. This is what happens when you are retired and have that chance to travel which was denied you for all those years. So off we went and arrived. We drove past various car dealerships on the way in, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati and Porsche. I wonder what the original Robin Hood would have made of these?
Thank goodness for Google maps, although some directions were a little strange – take the left 2 lanes to turn right!
It was not a Travels with my Aunt sort of trip and being so far from the sea we were not going to see Brighton Rock. We were also not equipped to be the Constant Gardner either. Sadly our Man in Havana and the Honorary Consul were away on business as was the Quiet American. We were due to see the Third Man but more of that later.
Nottingham also has a range of breweries and unique coffee shops as well as the oldest pub in the UK 1187 AD and other pubs with a history that goes back to 1437AD !. So much for being up to date.
- Home Brewery DaybrookBell Inn established 1437 ADJerusalem Inn established 1189AD
The city has a number of independent coffee shops and also a range of pubs some with their own microbreweries on site.
We also walked along Parliament street and the local history is quite interesting (see Nottingham-shire History) which states that it was so named by a local man in 1770. The road never did have a parliament which would have been particularly relevant as one of the buildings there was the old offices of the Nottingham Express newspapers. It was now a Tesco Express shop, a sad reminder of how local newspapers are in decline.
You may wonder why I chose the title- well, the plaque at the Nottingham Express Building stated that the author Graham Greene had started his career there. Those who have knowledge of Graham Greene are no doubt aware that most of those phrases in the earlier paragraphs are in fact the titles of some of his well known novels.
The Third Man is one of his classic tales, set in Vienna at about the end of World War 2. It concerns the black market in penicillin. There is a key scene where they have a chase through the tunnels under Vienna. I wonder if the caves of Nottingham are in any way similar.
Nottingham is quite different from war time Vienna. We were aware during our visit however of those involved in the illicit use of drugs and in that way there is a link between the two cities. The drugs were different, early Penicillin in Vienna and in Nottingham Marijuana and other drugs but the trade has many similarities being reliant of an unofficial market and cash payments.
I hope that this blog has encouraged you to visit the city, at one time the home of Robin Hood, Sheriff of Nottingham, Boots Pharmaceuticals and Raleigh bicycles.
I am also aware how significant Graham Greene was as a writer of short stories. I can only dream of learning to write such tales.
I hope that my photographs have captured some of the spirit of the city
- Graham Greene Wikepedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Greene
- Graham Greene The Third Man https://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/aug/02/the-third-man-review-philip-french
- The Third man theme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oEsWi88Qv0
- Graham Greene List of books https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/graham-greene/