The Sneinton Dragon

October 10, 2008 at 7:54 pm | Posted in Oddities and Oddments | 10 Comments
Tags: ,

Sneinton Dragon

The Sneinton Dragon stands at the junction of Manvers Street and Sneinton Hermitage in Nottingham. It was unveiled on 21 November 2006

Made from stainless steel it is 7 feet tall and its wingspan is 15 feet.

Local craftsman Robert Stubley spent 3 month sculpting the piece after residents of Sneinton were asked by the Renewal Trust what they would like to see as a piece of public art to represent their area.

The Original Sneinton Dragon

In 1914 Robert Mellors wrote about Sneinton:

For more than half a century there has existed in certain parts of Nottingham a monster who has devoured in the first year of their lives a large number of infants, and, what is worse, probably an equal number who have survived have dragged out a pitiable existence in weakness, small in stature, deformed, or anaemic, with diseases, lack of energy, unable to maintain themselves, and therefore dependent on others or the public charge; and, worse still, some have had a natural tendency to vice or crime.

Who is this monster, and what is his name ? His name is SLUM.

Robert Mellors, Old Nottingham suburbs: then and now, 1914.

It was not until the 1930s that the slums of Sneinton were cleared to be replaced by new housing and the wholesale market

Sneinton Dragon


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Great Dragon photography!

    Cheers, Mark (Sneinton, Nottingham).

  2. wow, i dont know nothingham have beautiful views

  3. Ahhh Sneinton, One of my favourite places in Nottingham. I go there often. I submitted a post about Sneinton a couple of weeks ago. See it here –

    Please subscribe. Cheers

  4. Great shot of a Dragon i never knew existed, I will have to go and take a look when i get chance.


    Why did they pull down Drury Hill? Why did they waste it that day??
    From Weekday Cross to old Broad Marsh it had ever led the way.

    Small it was and oh so steep, but worthy of this humble ditty
    with tiny footpath, this cobbled street,run down yet oh so pretty.

    Never could a car get past, its road being far too narrow, the only traffic built for it, were feet and the odd wheelbarrow.
    A bookshop stood here and one on the right,a cobblers and clockmakers too
    and traders lived behind their shops, though of comforts there were few,
    In summer the sun was warm and kind and bathed it in gentle light,
    But it was postcard perfect when frosted over in glorious winter white.
    Slippy it was sometimes and I took the odd tumble there. But it didn’t ever stop me using that ancient thoroughfare.
    But ‘they’ thought it in the way and would stop their shopping mall, so they took a vote and sent this street cruelly to the wall. Oh later ter they said they were sorry, it had been a big mistake! And now the market at Sneinton is facing the same horrid fate.
    We finally know it’s going, the council is seeing it off, frequented for centuries by the poor man and the toff.
    It’s supported thousands of families, clothed and fed many more. Kept Nottingham City going, right through the second world war.
    Through all these many centuries, of the market folk t’was said, ‘They stood out in all weathers to earn their daily bread.’ Jacky Pownall sold baskets of pots, he’d haul them up on his hip, throw them high in the air and they’d crash down with never a chip.
    I’m glad old Sally Slick Slacks gone, all alone she just sold rags. A tanner for a bunch of lace, earned enough for her pint and fags!
    ‘Reg the veg’ stood near the school, everyone’s mate, no-one’s fool. Tough as old boots who midst the clamour, filled pensioners bags and said “Giz a tanner.”
    I went there wi’ me mam once, she bought me a cardi of blue. I’d never owned anything before, so soft and pretty a hue.
    She paid a penny halfpenny and I wore it with great pride, till she washed and spoilt it and I cried and cried and cried.
    And shoes I got with ankle straps, brown leather with a shine. On showing them to my friend Pat, she said “They once were mine.”
    Every market manager, be he Joseph, Sam or Jack, was always known as ‘Toby’, bet a quid you didn’t know that.
    And there have been hundreds of ‘Toby’s’, on that market through many ayear but on their death bed you can be sure; the council won’t shed a tear. Oh Sneinton I shall miss you, your noise and friendly chatter, some brave folk tried to stop them but it was far too late to matter.
    They’ll swap this institution for high gloss granite and chrome
    and fancified upholstery of chipboard and coloured foam.
    And not too far along the years, trust me, just you wait, some council men will take a vote and say it’s out of date!
    Oh there’ll be gyms and fancy shops, of those we have enough
    and to folk like me who mourn its loss, the council men say ‘Tough!’
    I know not who thought this one up, by face nor yet by name, but I sincerely hope I live to see you hang your head in shame.


  6. […] Sneinton – there’s an interesting story to it.Was actually after a decent shot of the Sneinton Dragon nearby on the corner of Manvers Street as it happens – I’d quite spontaneously fancied a […]

  7. Your article mentioned in Nottstalgia Forums.

  8. Hi Joy James, love your poem; especially where you write of buying some ankle straps that once belonged to a friend! Christine.

  9. Thanks Christine. Here’;s another one concerning a part of old Notts you might recall and even the person in question!


    I’m going to tea at the Reasons,
    such an elegant up market affair.
    I’ve scrubbed me hands me face and neck
    and brushed me ‘basin’ cut hair!
    Terry’s asked me to be his Valentine,
    his red shop bought card told me so,
    Today he waits on my answer
    but will I say yes or no?
    I skip down the hill in me plimsolls,
    heading for tasty treats,
    He lives in the shop next the Cavo,
    the one that sells chocolates and sweets
    Their house is dead posh, there’s none finer,
    silk curtains held back with a frill.
    There’s always fresh fruit on the sideboard,
    even when nobody’s ill!
    I sit at their sumptuous table,
    look in wonder through bone china plates,
    my tea’s in a cup with an ‘andle
    and I eat bread made wi’ nuts and dates.
    We said us prayers before we began,
    though his snooty mam called it ‘grace’.
    And I dabbed me lips as the adults did
    on a napkin of flowers and lace.
    Their sugar came in tiny squares,
    that was such a shock to me,
    I used the real silver sugar tongs,
    and dropped some in me tea!
    I’ve made up me mind and wink at him,
    he’s the Valentine I want.
    He blows me a kiss across the cheese
    and salmon vol au vent!
    He’s blonde and wears blue plastic glasses;
    they call him four eyes at school,
    He woos the girls with Mars Bars and Kit Kats’,
    cos this lad is nobody’s fool.
    Chrissie Dunn wants him all to herself
    but she’s far too old at aged ten.
    But then that’s Christine all over,
    allus going for much younger men!
    But I had a trick up my sleeve
    and captured my beau fair and square,
    I’d done what the other girls daren’t;
    I’d taught the lad…. how to swear!
    Now I‘ve seen the way he looks at me
    and I know I have made him mine,
    Though as yet, I’ve not quite turned eight,
    he’s just that bit older, he’s nine!
    Stuffed to the gills I’m so ‘appy,
    as we stroll arm in arm up the hill,
    Me pockets filled wi’ tuffees
    and the tanner he’s nicked from the till.
    In our twitchel he stops to give me a kiss
    – I blush cos it’s me first!
    But our noses crashed, his glasses smashed,
    our affair was sadly cursed.
    Only pals now wi’ no spark of romance,
    though I got the odd Mars bar or three,
    Chrissie Dunn got all his attention,
    she steamed his glasses, not me!
    I saw him a few years ago,
    he asked how I was I said ‘Fine!’
    Now as wide as he once was tall,
    he was so nearly my first Valentine!
    *This was written for Terry Reason who gave me my first valentine card when I was about 8 in the late 1940’s. He now lives with his wife in Bottesford – her name is NOT Chrissie!

  10. On a Sunday round about now, as the days grew colder and shorter our mam would pack a few bottles of drinking water and we’d all take the long traipse up to the Hungerhills where dad would systematically put our allotment to bed for the winter. We kids would be put to work scrabbling about in the rich red soil gathering up the last of the marble sized potatoes which dad loved best of all. Mam would cut down bunches of mint and parsley gathering the stalks into elastic bands ready for drying over the gleaming Zebo polished kitchen range.
    Then she’d hunt beneath the fruit trees looking for any fallen apples and pears that had escaped the sharp gnawing teeth of the mice rats and other nibbling animals and beetles. Those she found she bagged up ready for cooking, for these months all had an ‘R’ in them, meaning delicious pork, crackling and apple sauce were once more on the menu. Dad meanwhile had pulled up the last of the brussel sprouts which he’d allowed the first frost to touch in the hopes of killing off the black fly that smothered them so. It never did but we ate them anyway. Little by little the last of the harvest found its way into the bottom of Sandra’s pram or into brown paper bags which we’d all help carry home or were tied onto dad’s bike handlebars ready for the off.
    As the light began to fade, he turned to the remains of the rhubarb patch and began to pull the huge shocking pink stalks off the plant and using his rusty trusty pen knife, sliced the poisonous tops off and threw them onto the compost heap. Now a caravan of kid’s mam dad bike and pram made the final journey home for the last time that year, just in time to see the street lights being lit by a man on a bike with a vee shaped ladder balanced on his shoulder. The two men gruffly greeted each other in the passing ‘Ow do!’
    Once home, the kitchen table became a hive of industry as the harvest was sorted, hung, salted and stored. Turning her attention to the rhubarb, she showed us how to pull the silky pink outer skin off in long strings leaving the wonderful green fruit beneath. This she’d chop into our old faithful brown stewing pot and tuck it into the fireplace oven to stew gently in its own juice. As she’d chopped each stalk, she’d left a generous 2 or 3 inches of fruit still attached to the pure white base, for these were our treat. A page from last night’s Post was ripped into four and with a few deft twists mam turned them into cornet shapes in which she’d put a spoonful of our precious war time rationed sugar. We dipped our portion of fruit into the sugar and chewed and sucked contentedly as the radio sprang to life with a ‘Dum diddle dum diddle dum di dum….Dick Barton special agent’.
    When was the last time you saw a kid delighted by such an historic and oh so simple treat?
    Joy James

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: