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View of Trent Bridge and Nottingham from West Bridgford
West Bridgford shown within Nottinghamshire
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West Bridgford is a town in the Rushcliffe borough of Nottinghamshire, England, immediately south of the city of Nottingham, delimited by the River Trent. It forms a continuous urban area with Nottingham, effectively making it a suburb of the city, and means it was chosen as the administrative centre for Nottinghamshire County Council.
As part of the Rushcliffe constituency its MP is The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke, QC (Conservative Party). The headquarters of Nottinghamshire County Council moved to the town in 1959 from the traditional county town of Nottingham. The town is enclosed by the A52 and the A6011 (former A52).
Most of the main roads in central West Bridgford are named after wealthy families that dominated the town's early history. There are also, however, new developments that are, in effect, suburbs of the suburb named after different things. For example, the Gamston development has roads named after the Lake District, and Compton Acres has roads named after Dorset and the Purbeck Coast.
There are no 'Streets' in West Bridgford. When the town was planned in the Victorian period the roads were originally named as streets: for example, Musters Street and South Street. However, the planners eventually decided that the term 'Street' was too urban, so today the town has Musters Road and South Road.
West Bridgford is notably different from the other suburbs of Nottingham in a variety of ways. During the Victorian period, Nottingham was growing rapidly, but development in West Bridgford was restricted, as much of the land was owned by the Musters family.
At the end of the First World War the Musters family sold the Trent Bridge Inn and the Trent Bridge Cricket ground to the cricket club. The club only briefly owned the inn as they resold it to a brewery for a sum in excess of the money they had paid to the Musters. After much pressure, the Musters sold land for building, but they applied strict planning regulations to the area then known as the West Bridgford Estate. This estate was planned over a grid of tree-lined streets. The main roads such as Musters Road had restrictions on the density of housing and house size. All houses were specified to contain a certain number of bedrooms. Smaller houses were permitted on side streets, and terraces were erected on roads such as Exchange Road for the servants of the wealthy Nottingham merchants who bought up property in West Bridgford.
What has resulted from these strict plans is a community that is still very separate from Nottingham. The town has no formal ties with Nottingham. In Nottingham itself, West Bridgford is often called "Bread and Lard Island" in the belief that its inhabitants spend most of their money on big houses and fur coats so they could only afford to eat bread and lard behind closed doors. Chris Arnot in the Independent commented, 'Bread and lard? Not likely - it's all ciabatta and tapenade these days'. Population:
- 1801 - 235
- 1851 - 258
- 1901 - 7,018
- 2001 - 43,395
- 2011 - 45,509
Nottingham Express Transit, a light rail system opened in Nottingham in 2004, runs from Hucknall in the north to Nottingham railway station. Plans had been made to include West Bridgford in future phases of the project. Analysis by the joint City Council project has determined it unlikely that the centre of West Bridgford will be part of further evolution of the tram line: it now extends south of the Trent to Clifton along the route of the former Great Central line, which forms part of the boundary of Nottingham and West Bridgford. As the city boundary runs to the immediate west of the line the three stations on this part of the route (Wilford Lane, Compton Acres, Ruddington Lane) are in West Bridgford, and serve western parts of West Bridgford, which opened August 2015. Extensive bus services frequently serve most of the town.
- 1: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Loughborough Road) - Wilford Green - Clifton - East Leake - Gotham - Loughborough.
- 2: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Loughborough Road) - Wilford Green - Clifton.
- 3: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Loughborough Road) - Wilford Green - Clifton.
- 4: Nottingham Trent University City - West Bridgford (Loughborough Road) - Wilford Green - Nottingham Trent University Clifton (NTU term-time only).
- 5: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Central Avenue) - Gamston.
- 6: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Central Avenue) - Edwalton.
- 7: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Central Avenue) - Gamston.
- 8: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Central Avenue) - Wilford Hill.
- 9: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Central Avenue) - Wilford Hill.
- 10: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Loughborough Road) - Wolds Estate - Wilford Hill - Ruddington.
- 11: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Radcliffe Road) - Trent Boulevard.
- L1: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Loughborough Road) - Wilford Green - Wilford Village - Silverdale.
- L2: Silverdale - Clifton - Ruddington - Wolds Estate - West Bridgford (Muster Road & Central Avenue) - Gamston.
- 22: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Central Avenue) - Gamston - Tollerton - Langar - Granby.
- Bingham Xprss: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Trent Bridge and Radcliffe Road) - Bingham.
- Cotgrave Connection: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Central Avenue) - Cotgrave.
- Keyworth Connection: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Melton Road) - Tollerton - Keyworth.
- Radcliffe Line: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Central Avenue) - Radcliffe - Bingham/Cropwell Bishop/Gunthorpe/East Bridgford.
- Ruddington Connection: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Loughborough Road) - Wilford Green - Ruddington - Ruddington Business Park - Clifton.
- Kinchbus 9: Nottingham - Bunny - Costock - Rempstone - Loughborough
- 19: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Loughborough Road) - Melton Mowbray - Oakham.
- 90: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Radcliffe Road) - Farndon - Newark.
- 90A: Nottingham - West Bridgford (Radcliffe Road) - Farndon - Newark - Balderton.
West Bridgford UDC ran its own fleet of buses with a 'chocolate and custard' livery of brown and yellow, merged with Nottingham City Transport in 1968.
Several bridges across the River Trent allow rapid access to the city of Nottingham. The easy access to Nottingham has been an important aspect of the high popularity of West Bridgford as a suburb.
Trent bridge A road bridge with three lanes in both directions. It is highly decorated on the sides with carvings that can be seen from the river.
A pedestrian bridge (including cyclists) to the west of Trent Bridge, linking the town with The Meadows, Nottingham.
Since August 2015 this bridge carries the next phase of the tram route (Nottingham Express Transit) connecting Clifton, Nottingham, Ruddington and Compton Acres suburb of West Bridgford to the centre of Nottingham and beyond. This dramatically speeds up connections and reduces cost to the residents affected also allowing quick access to the Railway Station and tram access to the Queens Medical Centre (QMC). The small suburb of Silverdale is well served by the adjacent ring road but may not be well served by the tram which passes very close. The tram passes by the Becket school and travels through Compton Acres into Clifton.
A two-lane road bridge, originally the rail crossing for the Midland Railway's "alternative route" from London to Nottingham via Melton Mowbray. Despite passing right through the middle of West Bridgford, mostly on a high embankment, there was never a West Bridgford station: the nearest station on this line was at Edwalton, and even that closed in July 1941, the line itself in May 1967. Today much of the embankment has been removed and its route built over, however part of the line's emabankment has been converted into a public footpath. As a result, parts of railway sleepers and stones can still be seen on the path.
West Bridgford was created as an urban sanitary district in 1891. It became an urban district with an elected council under the Local Government Act 1894. In 1935, the parishes of Edwalton and South Wilford were added to the urban district. This then became part of the larger borough of Rushcliffe under the Local Government Act 1972.
The northern boundary of West Bridgford is the River Trent, spanned by two road bridges, Trent Bridge and Lady Bay Bridge, and two pedestrianised bridges consisting of a suspension bridge and a toll bridge near the Ferry Inn linking nearby Wilford village with the Meadows area of Nottingham city. The pedestrianised bridges link particularly well with cycling routes to Nottingham, the railway station and the university areas, making several rapid, safe, car-free routes available.
Two spans of the original mediaeval bridge still remain, surrounded by a traffic island on the south side of the river, adjacent to Trent Bridge.
Architecture and housing
The central West Bridgford area has a rich diversity of buildings, mostly Victorian, although the larger properties are being demolished for development as no protection exists for common housing stock. St. Giles Church is medieval but heavily restored at the end of the nineteenth century.
- Nottingham to the north
- Holme Pierrepont to the north‐east
- Gamston to the south‐east
- Edwalton to the south
- Clifton to the south‐west
- Wilford to the north‐west
West Bridgford should not be confused with East Bridgford, which is some miles away and much smaller.
West Bridgford is renowned for its sporting facilities and heritage.
Nottingham Forest Football Club play at the City Ground on the banks of the River Trent. The club was founded in 1865 and have played at the City Ground since 1898. Their best achievements came between 1975 and 1993 when they were managed by Brian Clough and won a Football League title, two European Cups and four Football League Cups as well as fielding some of Britain's highest regarded players including Peter Shilton, Trevor Francis, Stuart Pearce and Roy Keane.
At local level, West Bridgford also has a number of football teams for all ages. West Bridgford Colts FC are one of the largest youth football clubs in the country with over 1000 Club members, running over 50 teams; the club includes West Bridgford Football Club the Senior section for Colts, which started in 2011 on Saturday afternoons in the Nottinghamshire Senior League. Holy Spirit Celtic Sports Club and Edwalton Cavaliers also provide coaching and opportunities for boys and girls to play youth football. While adult football is very well catered for, with clubs such as AFC Bridgford who have been established for many years playing in Nottingham’s biggest Saturday League.
Trent Bridge cricket ground was first used for cricket in 1838 and hosted its first Test Match in 1899, for England playing against Australia. It is the third oldest ground to be used as a Test cricket venue after Lord's in London and Eden Gardens in Calcutta, India. It has been described by some as the finest Test cricket location in the world.
The Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre is Britain’s centre for water sports and is located in Holme Pierrepont, next to West Bridgford. Its facilities include a regatta lake, a white water slalom and water‐ski jumps. West Bridgford also hosts two rowing clubs, Nottingham Rowing Club and Nottingham and Union Rowing Club, and a rowing shell manufacturers, Raymond Sims Ltd. Several of the town's secondary schools have rowing activities on their curriculum.
West Bridgford is home to a number of Rugby Clubs, most notably Nottingham Moderns R.F.C in Wilford village and West Bridgford Rugby Club. Additionally Nottingham R.F.C moved their training base and reserve team ground to Lady Bay following the 2005/6 season in Ireland Road Beeston. They currently play 1st team fixtures at Meadow Lane, just over Trent Bridge from West Bridgford.
West Bridgford's main shopping district runs from Central Avenue through Tudor Square to Gordon Road. Multiple retailers in the central area include Specsavers Opticians and Hearing centre, Vision Express, Boots, Greggs, a large Co-operative supermarket, Iceland. Marks & Spencers opened a food supermarket in early 2006. These established chains complement a variety of independent specialist shops.
Cafes include Caffè Nero, Costa Coffee and Philos. There are pizza chains including Pizza Express and Mud Crab (specialist burger restaurant) as well as contemporary restaurants, typified by Spanish restaurant Escabeche, and oriental tapas brasserie Yumacha. Cafe Indulge, serving crepes, pancakes and waffles, replaced Five Rivers (Indian restaurant) in late 2014.
Carluccio's Italian deli and restaurant opened mid 2014 on Central Avenue, and The Parlour tea room and bar opened mid 2014 next to Costa Coffee.
There are two large food superstores in the area: Asda in West Bridgford and Morrisons in nearby Gamston. A Sainsbury's is currently planned for Wilford Lane opposite Roko, next to The Becket School. Planning permission has been granted for a large Waitrose in Edwalton next to the planned Sharphill housing development. A small Sainbury's was meant to be built on Melton Road, opposite Dovedale Road, but was pulled out of by Sainsbury's.
West Bridgford has a place in British retail history as the location of the UK's first major out-of-town shopping development. In 1964, an American company called GEM opened a store on Loughborough Road. However, despite ambitious expansion plans, GEM's British operations were not a success, with only two other stores (at Cross Gates, Leeds) and Cliff Mill, Dundonald Street, Preston being opened. National concessionaires withdrew from the stores and, in 1966, the fledgling Asda company (then known as 'Associated Dairies') of Leeds acquired a controlling interest in the GEM operations. The Loughborough Road site still houses a major Asda store, although it was resited and rebuilt some years ago. (For a fuller history of the site and GEM, see Whysall (2005) in The International Review of Retail Distribution and Consumer Research, 15(2), 111-124).
Pubs and restaurants
As West Bridgford expanded in the Victorian and Edwardian periods The West Bridgford Protection Society was formed that worked hard to prevent any licensed premises being opened in West Bridgford. This has meant that there have been a relatively small number of pubs in the area until recent years. In fact there was no licensed premise of any kind until 1938; at that date the Trent Bridge Inn was still in Nottingham.
In the late 1930s, planning was granted for the Wolds Hotel effectively a pub (on Loughborough Road) and the Test Match Hotel on Gordon Road. Many of these establishments are called 'Inns' as public houses were prohibited in West Bridgford, but hotels were thought to be more acceptable. In reality, places like the Test Match never operated as a hotel. The Test Match Hotel was awarded the "Pub Grub of the year award" by CAMRA in 1992 presented to the then longest serving managers and chefs Terence and Jean Heath. The Test Match was refurbished a few years ago by its then owners, Hardy and Hansons Kimberley Brewery, and was recognised as the best refurbishment in Britain by CAMRA, reflecting the care and attention given to preserving its distinctive art deco features (which were recognised as important by English Heritage). Hardy and Hansons has since been taken over by Greene King.
March 1970 saw Nottingham Forest Sportsmens Club open its doors to the fans from the Football Club whose name it bears.
The secondary schools are now both academies in West Bridgford, the West Bridgford School and Rushcliffe School respectively. The Becket School is a local Catholic school, although in a separate Local Authority from West Bridgford, as is The Emmanuel School, a local C of E school. The largest site of Central College Nottingham is in West Bridgford and the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University are within three miles.
The Becket School is fed by primary schools around Nottingham but only one school in West Bridgford; this school is St. Edmund Campion Catholic Primary School. The feeder schools are; Blessed Robert, St Edmund Campion, Our Lady and St Edward's.
The main primary schools in West Bridgford feed into the West Bridgford School. They are West Bridgford Infants and Junior School, Jesse Gray Primary School, Heymann Primary School and Greythorn Primary School.
- Rushcliffe Leisure Centre
- Rushcliffe Arena
- Edwalton Golf Club
- West Bridgford Library
- Bridgford Park
- The Studio Theatre - home of West Bridgford Dramatic Society. The only registered public theatre in Rushcliffe/West Bridgford.
The Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke, QC MP lives in West Bridgford.
Stuart Broad England and Nottinghamshire cricketer.
Leslie Crowther born 6 February 1933.
- Wynne-Thomas, Peter. "A Brief History of Trent Bridge". espncricinfo.com. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- http://www.wbs.notts.sch.uk/site3/index.php wbs.notts.sch.uk