Nottinghamshire: Wishes its name was easier to spell

‘Boasting some of the worst school results in the country, Nottinghamshire makes no claim to being the sharpest knife in the drawer. Partly as a result of this, the actual sharpest knife in the drawer is usually concealed down its left trouser leg.’

Along with the poorest literacy rates in the UK, the county is troubled by unusually high levels of teenage pregnancy. Teachers and community leaders have attempted to combat the problem by making contraceptives more easily available, reminding students of the importance of safe sex, and pointing out that there is only one ’n’ in penis.

Educational issues have led to unusually high crime levels across the county’s cities, with a recent survey showing Nottingham at the top of the arrest rankings for police statistics on murders, burglaries, and vehicle crime. Much of the latter is not malicious, but simply created by residents breaking into their own cars after forgetting how to operate keys.

Although this paints a rather bleak picture, Nottinghamshire remains a bustling place with a good public transport system and rich history, even if its children are only able to engage with that history through the medium of Disney films. The ‘stealing from the rich to feed the poor’ philosophy of Robin Hood, the area’s most famous son, also endures to this day, once one has altered phrase such that ‘the rich’ means ‘whoever’ and ‘the poor’ equals ‘a thriving weed habit’.


  • POPULATION – Merry Men (49%) Maid Marions (51%)
  • GCSE PASS RATE – Doesn’t know, forgotten how to do percentages again
  • COSTUME – The green tunic
  • BEST JOB – Guy paid to be a picturesque regular in historically themed pub
  • CRIME – High
  • FEAR OF CRIME – Low, replaced long ago by weary acceptance / vigilantism


c. 600 AD – The area falls under the rule of a Saxon chieftain named Snot, with the region becoming known as “Snotingaham”. Snot gathers his people together in the Lace Market area, a region well known for its absorbency and softness.

1189Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is built, giving it a strong claim to be called Britain’s Oldest Pub, a unique title claimed by only twelve other pubs.

1201 – With Richard the Lionheart returned from the Crusades, Nottingham castle is beseiged after standing out in Prince John’s favour, eventually falling in spite of efforts from Hiss the snake.

1536 – Following the break with Rome and the Dissolution of the Monasteries to allow his divorce from Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII has Vicar of Newark Henry Lytherland executed after he describes the king as a ‘manslag’.

1809 – The first Bramley cooking apple is grown in the town of Southwell, the only fruit developed exclusively for the pie.

1959 – Describing it “a singularly unattractive town”, architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner bemoans Retford’s lack of distinguished buildings before it is pointed out Retford is in in fact just behind him.

2005 – Long-running Channel 4 programme The Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK names Mansfield as the 1,986th best place.

2007 – Newark’s Conservative MP Patrick Mercer is sacked from his position as a shadow minister after saying in a newspaper interview that it is just “the way it is” for a black soldier to be called a “black bastard”, and that some “idle and useless” ethnic minority soldiers “used racism as cover for their misdemeanours”. He pleads his innocence, accusing his critics of prejudice towards incompetent white males.

Did You Know?

Until recently bicycle manufacturing was a major industry in the county, with Nottingham the birthplace of Raleigh Cycles and other major cycling innovations. Sadly, the wheels came off during the 1980s.

Nottingham is home to the headquarters of many well-known companies, including Boots the Chemists. Founded in 1849 by Jesse Boot, the store quickly became popular after the success of its special three-for-two offers on cocaine and opium.

Recent research by the Campaign for Better Transport rated Nottingham as the least car dependent city in England, thanks to its good public transport links, provision of cycle lanes and the fact everyone had got used to having their vehicle stolen.

Covered with mature trees since the end of the Ice Age, Sherwood Forest today encompasses over a thousand acres of woodland, leading some zoologists to believe it could be home to as many as ten Winnie-the-Poohs.

Since being served by two winding up petitions from HMRC, Notts County have been forced to play in their ‘skins’ away strip.


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