St Ann's, Nottingham
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The area was originally common land. The Enclosure Act of 1845 allowed the city to take 1,068 acres (4.3 km²) of the Clay fields. The idea was to ease the overcrowding in the St Mary's ward, brought about by the boom in lace making. There was some industry and occupation before this time — brown earthenware such as Toby jugs, christening bowls, and punch bowls were made as early as the 1750s by Charles Morley, but it was almost another century before St. Ann's proper was created.
The area was not just given over to slums to rehouse the lower classes. Although 10,000 standard back to back terraced houses were created, these were a great improvement on dwellings common elsewhere in the city at the time. A psychiatric hospital, parks, and a water reservoir were also built, the latter affording a panoramic view of Nottingham. There were even plans for an astronomical observatory. For the well off — doctors, solicitors, and factory owners — there was a grand tree lined recreation walk lined with larger houses. Twenty-five public houses, plus the later addition of a London and North-eastern urban railway link, horse drawn and then electric trams, and three cinemas, helps complete the picture of a thriving area.
In 1969, the area was looking impoverished, with many of the shops and houses 100 years old or more. A local Housing Act raised legal standards for houses being 'fit for human habitation'. Clearance of some of the land began in December of that year, although building of new houses didn't start until 1973 and continued into the 1980s. However, the open plan layout with interlocking footpaths, coupled with poor street lighting, actually brought about an increase in crime. This renovation included the relocation of many residents to The Meadows area of the city, which has contributed to some of the gang related crimes (see below) in the city.
The 1970s and 1980s layout of St Ann's was a relatively rare layout of that era, with Kates Hill some 60 miles away in Dudley being a comparable example. The preponderance of alleyways has also made it harder for police to catch criminals, particularly those on motorcycles.
St Ann's today
St Ann's today is dominated by council housing, a legacy of the slum clearance at the end of the 1960s. The damp, crumbling Victorian terraces were replaced with better quality housing but despite this the Radburn style footways have contributed to anti-social behaviour. There have been a series of measures, such as gating, to reduce problems caused by the network of footpaths as well as improving the appearance of the housing stock. There are longer term plans to introduce more significant changes. As of early 2012, the Stonebridge Park Estate is undergoing a long term transformation that is selectively removing problem pockets but refreshing most of the estate and building some modern homes.
In common with other parts of the city, the largely working class population is still affected by the collapse of manufacturing industry and much of the area scores badly on government measures of deprivation. Taking those factors into consideration there is much to commend the area: it is ethnically mixed with a strong sense of community. There is also a free urban farm which is active in the community.
- St. Ann with Emmanuel, Nottingham
- RCCG Covenant Restoration Assembly St Anns, Blue Bell Hill Community Centre
The St Ann's Allotments is the oldest and largest allotment site in England, created in the 1830s and now Grade 2* listed as being of "Special Historic Interest". The allotments have received National Lottery funding for restoration, and were featured on the BBC's The One Show and Radio 4.
- Nottingham City Transport
- 39: Nottingham – St Anns (Beacon Hill Rise) – Thorneywood – Carlton Valley.
- 40: Nottingham – St Anns – Sherwood – City Hospital.
- 41: Nottingham – St Anns (Direct).
- 42: Nottingham – Abbotsford Drive – St Anns.
- Premiere Travel
- S11: St Anns – Thorneywood – Carlton – Netherfield – Victoria Park.
- Ray Gosling, broadcaster and writer
- "Latest Nottingham population figures (October 2004)". Document showing the population of Nottingham broken down into areas. Archived from the original on 2 May 2005. Retrieved 7 October 2005.
- "Stonebridge Park Estate: Stonebridge set for new £2.9m Investment".
- "Oldest allotments in Britain". BBC. 14 September 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- Clover, Charles (4 March 2008). "Britain's oldest allotments to get Lottery grant". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- "£330,000 lotto boost for historic St Ann's allotments". Nottingham Post. 11 February 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- "Gardeners’ Question Time". BBC Radio 4. 14 August 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- "BBC Inside Out — Gun Crime". The BBC's "Inside Out" investigates how one group in the St Ann's neighbourhood are doing their bit to fight in the battle against crime. Retrieved 7 October 2005.
- "St Ann's Under Construction". Local history page charting the creation of the St. Ann's area. Retrieved 7 October 2005.
- Gosling, Ray (1962), Sum Total. London: Faber. (Republished by Pomona in 2004. ISBN 1-904590-05-5.)
- Gosling, Ray (1967), Saint Ann's. Nottingham Civic Society.
- Gosling, Ray (1980), Personal Copy: a memoir of the sixties. London: Faber. ISBN 0-571-11574-8.
- STAA — St. Ann's Allotments
- Stonebridge City Farm
- Ecoworks — community organisation based on St Ann's Allotments
- The Renewal Trust manage St Ann's Allotments and provide community regeneration