Bathley Boy

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Where to find Bathley and its 'hidden' treasures

By Trevor Frecknall

The hidden treasures in Adam Faith’s haven

It took 15 years to write the history of the small Nottinghamshire village that houses the oldest recorded dwelling in the county; instigated one of the most important educational charities in the area; and provided a wartime haven for the baby who grew up to be Adam Faith, the pop singer and actor. And it took 15 days for its first print to sell-out.

But fear not! More copies of Bathley Boy are now available in time to become Christmas presents around the world.

The 212-page lavishly illustrated book spans the history of ‘BathleyTownship’ from the time it was mentioned in the margin of a page in the Domesday Book to the present era. It was begun in the mid-1990s by Frank Barnes, a University of Nottingham lecturer who founded the Bathley History Society. Following his death, the research lay untouched until after the death last year of his widow, Mrs. Jeanne Barnes, who bequeathed it to the University of Nottingham Manuscripts and Special Collections.

Retired journalist Trevor Frecknall, who was born in Bathley, gained access to the archive last August and has since inter-woven Mr. Barnes’s research into the owners of various parts of the village with his own discoveries about the occupants over the centuries. The result is by-lined “History of the village that made us by Trevor Frecknall and Frank Barnes’ Bathley History Society”.

Property histories include confirmation of The Hollies as the oldest recorded dwelling in Nottinghamshire; The Grange’s past as home to monks, farmers and the families who launched Newark’s major educational charity; details of Scotthings, the grand home of a horse breeder who was so successful nationally that he built a new villa nextdoor; and the importance of smaller places such as Hams Pallett and Homestead, which have both survived through the centuries.

Personal histories include a family who lived on nettle soup through the Crimean War, a Military Medal winner of the First World War, a wounded hero of the Second World War, the Mouse Cottage family who transformed farming in the village by introducing steam engines – and a blind farm labourer who was killed when one of the new machines blew up.

And the story of how the village became a Wartime haven for Adam Faith, the pop singer, actor and financial whizz kid, is told in full for the first time.

Bathley Boy was printed by Willsons Group Services of Cross Street, Newark, and launched at The Crown Inn, Bathley, on Saturday 10 September 2011. It proved so popular that all 100 copies were swiftly snapped-up.

So now the Bathley History Society has organised a reprint to satisfy the continuing demand. To secure your copy (or copies) pre-Christmas, please place your order(s) with the BHS treasurer, Mr. Jim Hawkins, Greystones, Main Street, Bathley, Newark, Notts NG23 6DJ (and make cheques payable to the Bathley History Society). The recommended retail price of the book is £14.95; post and packing is an extra £2.50 per copy.


This page was added by Trevor Frecknall on 29/09/2011.
Comments about this page

My mother is a former resident of Bathley, having lived at Bathley
house as a young child and worked at the Crown as a young girl. She
lived in Bathley from about the 1930s until she marrried and moved to Newark in 1952. Her name is Monica Olive Wood (nee Reynolds) and her father worked as a groundskeeper.

Susan Baker.

By Susan Baker
On 29/02/2012

My great great uncle was the blind farm worker who was killed when Mr Doncasters steam engine blew up. His wife and several children went into the Upton Union Workhouse.

By Kea Beckett
On 13/05/2013

I have enjoyed reading this book. My great grandmother was the black sheep, Rose, sister to Ada Smalley. Wiiliam Sheppard,  father is never mentioned; he had two wives. First is Ann Blackborn, mother of Rose.. Second was Mary Ann Cawthorn, mother of Ada. The Sheppard's were from North Muskham. 

By Ariana Thorsness
On 21/12/2014

My thanks to the ladies who have added more information than I could pack into Bathley Boy. Ariana - you will doubtless be interested to know that there is still a branch of the Sheppard family across the Trent at Holme and several Smalleys in North Muskham.

By Trevor Frecknall
On 03/01/2015

Please tell me who the Sheppards ' are, I don't know of them.  There seems to be information on Bathley and Holme, why can't I find anything on North Muskham?

By Araina Thorsness
On 20/01/2015

are copies of this book still available? My Mum was a Mitcherson (Enid) but sadly died in 1988, it would be great to have a copy if you still have any. 

By Lisa Wicklen
On 27/07/2016

Dear Mrs Wicklen, the author of Bathley Boy has been in contact to say that unfortunately all copies of Bathley Boy are sold out.  However, he says your uncle Peter will does have a copy of the book if that helps.

Yours, Website Administrator

By Trevor Frecknall
On 04/08/2016

Hi all,

Does anyone have a copy of this book that I can borrow, or know if there any copies in a library? 

I was hoping to learn a bit more about Worner wood.



By russell
On 26/04/2017

Hi Russ.  There are definitely copies in Newark Library.  Do you live in Notts?

By Website Administrator
On 26/04/2017

Such a wonderful website with some interesting insight into the history of a beautiful area.  I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Trevor's amazing book Coronation Village, purchased for me by my dad's cousin Jean Clark and would dearly love to find a copy of Bathley Boy if there are any copies available at this time?  You see my dad and his folks were in Coronation Village, my dad being John Alfred Talbot, son of William Talbot of Vicaragen Lane.  Grandad (William) previosuly ran the Crown Inn at Bathley when dad was born in 1932, as dad was born in a farm down a local lane - though which one I imagine I will never know now.  According to the recently publicised 1939 Records William Talbot was still landlord at the Crown in 1939 and I wondered if there may be some information in Bathley Boy about my family - Talbot's, Smith's and Longmate's.  Until then I will keep hunting and researching.  Many thanks to Trevor for being so amazing at what he does and bringing our past alive.

By Jane Denning (nee Talbot)
On 22/10/2018

Hi, this may be of some interest to me. My grandmother was a Mitcherson (Anna) who had a brother called Herbert. He had a son called Peter Mitcherson who i'm currently trying to find, with no success. I believe he would be around 83 if still living. My Uncle, John Wheatley, lost contact with him about 10 years ago and would like to know if he's still alive and well. 

I believe as well that there may be a connection to the Sheppard family too.

Many thanks, Stuart

By stuart wheatley
On 04/03/2019

My name is Gordon Thompson (not Jordan) descendant of Thomas of Bathley and his wife Ann. See pages 129/130 of Bathley boy. I would like to acquire two copies of the book for my brothers in England. We are sons of ET Thompson, son of WT Thompson, one of the two sons of Edward and Alice.

Looking back at the family, we ask what became of Elizabeth. We think she may have married someone called Bell, but cannot trace this for sure, nor the family name of Alice. can anyone help ?


On 31/01/2020

Second question concerning the Thompson family. Edward was a joiner and so were his two sons. William Thomas we know about but practically nothing about Thomas except vague talk with Ivy, sister of ETT indicating that he settled in the West Bridgford area and had several (4?) children. On our side, the name goes on through my brother John who has two sons and two grandsons. It may also go on through Thomas. My father ETT spoke little of his past and family.

I just found this site looking for copies of Bathley Boy. It seems a great idea. Thankyou !

On 31/01/2020

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