Serving the people of Kegworth

Local History

Kegworth has it's own museum located on the High Street. It features many facts and historical findings about the village.

ABOUT KEGWORTH (Kegworth Karacters)

Thomas Bond - a Landlord of "The Red Lion" High Street

During his twenty odd years at "The Red Lion" Thomas Bond built on his reputation for being a "straight John Bull" type. One of his pet aversions was having wives come to the pub to fetch their husbands away. His sympathies were, in fact, invariably with the wives. He turned away many a customer by ordering him to take his money home to his wife!

The Vats at Wells Brewery Market Place

In pre "Health and Safety" days, when the vats at Wells Brewery were periodically emptied for cleaning, it was not uncommon for dead mice and rats, and even birds and cats, to be recovered from the bottom of these! We should, however, be tolerant of these unsavoury habits, for the brewing industry within Kegworth encompassed other trades, upon which many families were dependent.

The Naughty Mynah Bird at the former Public House,

"The Horse and Groom", Market Place

Owen Widdowson was a popular Landlord during the 1930'. During his tenure a mynah bird, renowned for its bad language, was kept in a cage in the bar. Whenever a lady customer came in, the bird was either covered over or banished to the living quarters. The pub ceased trading in the 1970's. The property then became a laundrette, then a pet shop and, by 1999, the offices of Excel Engineering Services.

The hat club at the former public house

"The Oddfellows", Packington Hill

The Oddfellows was once home to The Hat Club. Apparently, there were certain times of the day when members were only allowed into the Pub if they were suitably attired in a hat! Former members tell us it was good fun and a very good money raiser for charities in the village.

The fox at the former public house

"The Fox and Hounds", Packington Hill

Folklore has it that a pet fox, named Minnie, was kept by Landlord Percy William "Fagin" Thompson during his tenure in the 1920's. Witnesses, and descendants of William's wife, Margaret, a member of the Heafield family, confirm ownership of the fox. The fox apparently had the run of the bar, where its habit of drinking from customers' beer glasses so angered a customer that he returned with a large dog, which then chased the fox. The fox, followed by hound, leapt through a blazing fire up the bar room chimney never to b seen again!

Mary Dakin – a former Organist at the Methodist Church

Mary was taught how to read music, and by the time she was 16 she was playing the organ at the Wesleyan (Methodist) Chapel on High Street. Dennis Wallis was also an organist at the Chapel. Mary remembers how, during the War years, when her determination to find music for a hymn she was asked to play, inadvertently caused a near riot. She set the words to a tune she believed went very well with them. Only after there was total uproar in the Chapel, did she discover that it was the tune for the German National Anthem!

Robert Wootton of Kegworth and Kegworth Church Spire

'The vane at the top of St. Peter's, Nottingham spire, which was placed there in 1735, and measured 33 inches in length, having become insecure, the parish officers agreed with Mr. Robert Wootton, of Kegworth, to take down and reinstate it. This venturous man, henceforth known as "the steeple climber" commenced his undertaking by placing a ladder against the steeple, and securing it to the wall with tenters. He mounted that with another on his shoulder, which he fastened above it in like manner; and so on till he reached the top. To prevent himself falling, he was girded round with belts, which he connected with the ladder by means of hooks. In this manner he rebuilt four yards of the steeple, and replaced the vane and cock.

The celerity with which the man placed the ladders was remarkable. He began to affix the first at eleven in the morning, and brought the vane down in triumph by two in the afternoon. The bells were then a-ringing, the congregation of people became very great, and Wootton re-ascended the spire to exhibit his daring.

He extended himself on its summit, only thirteen inches in diameter, and spread out his arms and legs. He afterwards balanced himself on the uppermost stave of the top ladder and for a quarter of an hour capered about in every imaginable posture, the admiring crowd beneath expecting momentarily to witness his descent in a manner much less agreeable than precipitate. Subsequently, when his undertaking was accomplished, to excite admiration and obtain money, he again balanced himself on the apex of the spire, beat a drum and drank a bottle of ale in the sight of thousands of people, on a market day; but the reprobation of the man's temerity so far preponderated over public approach as in a considerable degree to diminish his expected reward.'

Robert Wootton died in Nottingham Gaol in May 1804, when confined for debt.

No. 1 Churchgate

For 40 years from 1880 no.1 was the butcher's shop of William Brown and in the 1930s George Raynes moved his butchery there from the Dragwell. By 1951 Paul Tuckley had moved in. He sold his greengrocery business to John Hough in the 1960s and after Hough moved out the Kegworth Chop Suey House moved in about 1982. One nameless lady customer recalls John Hough finding a used condom in a box of mushrooms, much to his embarrassment. The mushrooms were still purchased, but from a different box.

The Co-op Store, Dragwell

Before and during World War I Mr Green was in overall charge of the store. He was known as "Split Raisin" because of his parsimonious attitude when weighing out dried fruit and other commodities. If they weight was a small amount over he would literally split a raisin to get it exactly right.

A shop on High Street

In 1917, Edward Reid had his cobblers shop at No.3 before moving to Derby Road. Then the shop was the site of J T Adkins, greengrocery. For some unknown reason he was called "India Rubber Jesus".


This was previously known as Workhouse Lane. Presumably the large block of buildings which stood on the bottom corner was used as a workhouse at some time. The factory on the top end was built by Geo Bramley, Builder, of Station Road., and was owned as a lace factory by A. Leatherland,

High Street – No. 55

in the nineteenth century a pack of hounds, complete with Huntsmen, kennels, men and Whippers - In etc., were kept in Kennel Yard, which was part of what is number 55 High Street. The "Red Lion" was previously named The Horse and Groom".

Market Place

Originally the south side was known as "The Cross". The "Horse and Groom", now closed, was previously "The King William IV". It is reputed that there is a document in existence by which Lord Hastings, let Kegworth market rights to a number of traders, one of the provisos being that they should provide water troughs supposedly signed by his agent, at the Horse and Groom. It is said that a Cross, which was sited in this area, was built into the Whatton brook bridge.

The Ropewalk

The story goes that many years ago an old man who lived in one of these cottages used to walk to Castle Donington one day a week, presumably to collect a pension or such. Returning home on his last trip he was caught in a snow blizzard, missed his way over Sibsons Stile off the A6, now footpath L 59, and was found next morning standing upright in a hedge, frozen to death.

Last updated: Mon, 13 Jul 2015 16:50