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Warwick author wins award for Nottinghamshire County Council

History researcher, and Warwick Chaplain, the Rev Dr Stuart Jennings’ latest Book has helped Nottinghamshire County Council’s Archive service win a national award for publishing a book charting how a quarter of a county town’s population was wiped out in the 1640s.

Cover of Newark and the Civilian Experience of the Civil Wars 1640-1660 His book , has led to the council winning the the Alan Ball Local History Award which they will receive at a special ceremony on Wednesday October 12th.

The award will be presented by Library Services Trust Chairman Michael Saich to County Council Chairman Councillor Keith Walker at Nottinghamshire Archives in Castle Meadow Road.

It is in recognition of the support that archive staff have given to the Rev Dr Stuart Jennings for his book and also how he worked together with those staff to catalogue precious and previously undocumented papers which had been brought to Nottinghamshire County Council Archives from Newark Museum. The Rev Dr Stuart Jennings worked with the archive team to piece together parish and town records from the civil war period.

Coun Keith Walker said: "We are delighted to receive this award and it is just recognition for the fantastic work of everyone in the archives team in supporting this vital research into a valuable piece of Nottinghamshire’s history.”

The Rev Dr Jennings said: "I was delighted to hear that the archive service has won this award. My research there took place from 2002-2008 and at a time of austerity, I thought it showed great courage and commitment that the council understood the importance of this research and the team gave me such support.

"What happened in Newark during the Civil War had not previously been highlighted especially from the perspective of local people and this book has been able to document and promote that.

"On the historical side Newark, sitting on the banks of the River Trent and the Great North Road, was a prominent location during the Civil War. Key figures such as King Charles and Oliver Cromwell were present in that area at some point during the war.

"However, it is the suffering of ordinary people which has been brought to the surface in this book. More than 1,000 people of 2,500 people died in just four years and with many of the deaths involving young people it took at least 100 years for the town’s population to recover. It was up there with the Black Death in terms of its devastating impact in Newark.”

 The Rev Dr Jennings research work for These Uncertaine Tymes, Newark and the Civilian Experience of the Civil Wars 1640-1660, was able to confirm that typhus (body lice) was the biggest killer in the winter and plague was the biggest summer killer among the civilian population during that devastating four year period in Newark.

The Alan Ball Local History Awards were established to encourage local history publishing by public libraries and local authorities, and are organised by the Library Services Trust. In terms of Nottinghamshire Archives’ entry, the judging panel said: "This very detailed study of a specific period, well researched and well produced, has all the hallmarks of an excellent local history publication.”

As well as the award, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Archives service has been awarded four stars in the National Archives self assessment of local authority archive services.


For further informnation please contact:

Simon Redfern, Senior Media Relations Officer at Nottinghamshire County Council on 0115 9773791 or email:

or Peter Dunn, Head of Communications, University of Warwick
Tel: 024 76 523708 or mobile 07767 655860

PR150 10th October 2011