A ‘New’ Nottingham

Following the polls conducted on 11 July 2022 on the Nottingham and Beyond Twitter feed, each one of which asked people to choose between a present day element of the city and one or more alternatives (usually whatever had immediately preceded the place in question), I am now in a position to confirm the following outcomes:

Nottingham Contemporary: 51%
Garner’s Hill Park: 49%
(78 votes)

This one went right to the wire. Nottingham Contemporary survives by the skin of its teeth and will be retained.

Victoria railway station: 79%
The Victoria Centre: 21%
(177 votes)

A thumping win for the fondly remembered Nottingham Victoria railway station. While the skewed demographic of Twitter users generally and Nottingham and Beyond followers specifically no doubt comes into play, the margin of victory is such that the shopping centre will be demolished in due course, with only the Emett Clock being retained. The revived Victoria station is scheduled to open in 2027.

Primark: 15%
The Black Boy Hotel: 85%
(197 votes)

The Black Boy Hotel achieved the biggest margin of victory. As a result, in a real blow for lovers of fast fashion produced by exploited workers in some far-flung place that we don’t have to concern ourselves with, Primark is to leave the city. An exact replica of the hotel will take its place, thus righting one of the most heinous wrongs ever visited upon the good folk of Nottingham.

Somewhat surprisingly, Watson Fothergill probably wouldn’t have approved. In a diary entry dated 13 March 1911, he mused, ‘Passed the Black Boy Hotel today. Perhaps my least favourite project. In fact, a bit of a botch job if I’m honest. From what I can gather, it’s already got a bit of a reputation as a knocking shop. Oh well, can’t win ‘em all.

The Old Market Square before the mid-2000s redesign: 57%
The Old Market Square after the redesign: 43%
(258 votes)

Another close vote. The new square obviously has its fans, but those hoping for a return of the old one were in the ascendancy. Works will be given the go-ahead as soon as the City Council has found a way of ensuring that washing up liquid cannot be introduced into the fountains.

Facsimile medieval castle: 38%
Museum and Art Gallery: 62%
(91 votes)

I had no idea which way this one would go, but the upshot is that we’ll all have to put up with disappointed tourists and displays of salt-glazed pottery for a little while longer.

Cornerhouse: 35%
Old Evening Post offices: 65%
(133 votes)

Clearly even the pop-up-infested, clickbait-strewn Nottingham Post website and the slim pickings of its underwhelming printed sibling can’t relieve us of the urge to recreate that golden era when Forman street was still home to the Evening Post, a bag of chips cost 2p and you could drive pretty much anywhere you bloody well liked.

The public has spoken. The old Evening Post offices will rise once again, and anyone who enjoys paying £18.95 for a large popcorn will have to go elsewhere. There is absolutely no truth to rumours that the layout of the Evening Post building is so unsuitable for conversion to anything else that it will lie unoccupied for several decades before it falls victim to a mysterious fire and has to be demolished.

Drury Hill: 78%
Broadmarsh Shopping Centre: 22%
(143 votes)

Along with the Black Boy Hotel, Drury Hill was always going to be a shoe-in. The bustling Broadmarsh Centre in its heyday could never hope to replace it in our affections. Work is already underway to restore this much-missed, iconic Nottingham street, the reinstatement of which, initial studies have shown, will immediately enable us to rival York as a tourist destination. Several lease agreements have already been signed and, while we cannot name the businesses concerned, shoppers can look forward to such delights as the UK’s largest selection of yak wool, a medieval cheese emporium and an immersive Narrow Marsh slum experience.

Holy Trinity Church: 49%
The square as it is now: 32%
Free, expanded car park: 19%
(74 votes)

Who knew that the present incarnation of Trinity Square had so many admirers? But not enough. Holy Trinity Church will be returning! Unfortunately, the nature of the current, restricted footprint of the square means that Trinity Walk will have to be demolished.

Truly, these are exciting times for Nottinghamians.

Given the scale of change that we will be experiencing in the near future, a focus group has come up with a new logo with which to promote the city – a ‘jaunty’ capital N in Old English script, with the strapline ‘Nottingham – Our Future is History’.