Category Archives: What’s new?

Fields in the Landscape (22nd Sept 2023)

Goodness – what an evening!

We put out 50 chairs and needed twenty more; many thanks to everyone who supported the event!!

Our speaker, Emily Gillott was lovely, lively and passionate – thought-provoking (but I didn’t manage to get a photo of her …).

‘Fields in the Landscape’ showed us how to spot periods of landscape change from our travels but also using online resources free to us all and from the comfort of an armchair. Then she took us on a timeline through the changes in our landscape from the palaeolithics who began by pruning trees to improve fruit-yield or clearing glades to encourage deer into easier hunting positions. Through the earliest farming settlements (still visible in Cornwall and the Scottish Isles, for example) to the Romans who used the Trent Valley as a bread basket to feed their empire but who left, leaving the landscape to over-grow their presence. Then we travelled up to and beyond the mediaeval open field systems and self-sufficient communities before the cataclysmic changes brought by the Enclosure Acts of the late 1700s, population movement and industrialisation. We are in a period of change again – how do we learn from the mediaeval systems and the problems created by enclosure? What a story.

Scarecrows 2023 – page updated!

Our scarecrow pages have been updated to include photographs, winners and the answers for the Hickling Scarecrow Festival 2023. We also have videos of the Hurricane & Spitfire flypast and a vintage car drive-thru.

If you have any photographs that you would like to share, please contact us through the website or through our FB page.

You can also follow the official Hickling Scarecrow Festival through their Facebook page.

Please join us for our next local history event!

Fields in the Landscape

By Emily Gillott

(Notts County Council Archaeologist)

Hickling Village Hall

September 22nd 7.30pm – please email us to reserve your tickets in advance.

“The talk will be about how clues to the past are hiding in plain sight, and in the most seemingly mundane things, all around us. We’ll take a look at how the shape and layout of fields can help us look into the past using maps, aerial photos, and Lidar, all from the cosy comfort of your armchair and laptop. It might also help you see the landscape in a different light when you’re out and about too!”

Are you a ‘Piscatorial Enthusiast?

We’re collecting your Hickling fishing stories – are you a “piscatorial enthusiast”?!

Unfortunately, we probably have to accept that the legend of the Whale of Hickling Basin is just a fishermen’s tale or a story to frighten the children; nevertheless, there are lots of fish.

We’d love to hear your fishing tales and memories and we’d love to hear from you if you fancy contributing an article about fishing in Hickling.

Follow the link for news clippings including the story of Min the fishing cat who successfully stole fish as they were pulled from the water to feed her kittens.

One of these news articles from 1932 records that, “Perhaps Hickling is principally known for its Basin which is a favourite haunt of piscatorial enthusiasts”, the writer goes on to describe a bream weighing 4lb6oz caught by a Mr Langford and which gave a “wonderful fight for fifteen minutes” and was proclaimed the largest catch for two seasons. “These are not fishermen’s weights but the actual ones, the fish being weighed before several of the enthusiastic villagers.”

Sadly, there are no longer any eels to be caught but pike and bream continue to be a sought after catch.

A new line of 12 fishing pegs was added in August 2023; hopefully, there are more fishing tales still to be written.

The Coronation of King Charles III

(3rd May 2023) It’s time to break out the bunting and get together with your neighbours (especially at the Plough Inn and the Village Hall)!!

Please take lots of photos over the Coronation Weekend and share them with us all by emailing

New page: The Coronation of King Charles III – click here

Dr Lucy Jocelyn Burnett

Welcome to the wonderful story of Dr Lucy Jocelyn Burnett – she was Hickling’s first lady doctor and she practised in our area from 1927 to 1935. Maggy Wadkin wrote that her arrival, ‘put the cat amongst the pigeons’ but that everyone quickly became very fond of her.

She was ‘a little slip of a thing’ but she did her rounds on an early Enfield motor-cycle or in her sports car and she was always accompanied by her dog, Christopher – he rode pillion on the back of the motorbike, wound up the local dogs with his barking and sat outside each home as the ‘Little Doc’ made her visits.

As a young woman of 26 when she came to the area she was a pioneer amongst women emerging in the medical profession and she undertook all the roles that you would expect; including weekly drop-in clinics at the Chapel, midnight dashes on horseback through the floods to attend a Hickling birth and the work we now associate with paramedics – first on the scene at accidents and tragedies across the Vale of Belvoir (the news clippings of these incidents paint a vivid picture of her life).

There are lots of anecdotes, news clippings and memories of her at her retirement and the time of her death – we hope you will come to love her as much as we do!!

In 1935 she moved to Clive in Shropshire where she remained until her death in the 1970s; we are very grateful to the local history group in Clive and Grinshill who have filled out her story and given us the only photographs we have of her. We hope that more will follow!

Dr Lucy Burnett with her motorbike and her dog, Christopher
Dr Lucy Burnett with her motorbike and her dog, Christopher