Plowright Press - Community History - St Ann’s Nottingham: inner-city voices

St Ann’s Nottingham: inner-city voices

St Ann’s Nottingham: inner-city voices

by Ruth I. Johns
ISBN 9780954312718
£20.00 (plus £3.00 toward p & p UK)
576 pp (including 940 photos, maps and index)
Second edition [2006]

Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, writes the foreword to the second edition. She says: “Ruth Johns’ study of life in St Ann’s, a low income neighbourhood in the heart of Nottingham is in some ways a typical inner-city story, tracked over many years, in a way that brings to mind other authentic accounts of communities under pressure such as Bethnal Green in East London, the Gorbals in Glasgow or Hulme or Mosside in Manchester. Yet this study is unique for the huge range of people who are given voice, for the detailed on-the-ground accounts of community life in people’s own words – from the perspective of the school teacher, the vicar, the pub owner, the old lady, the grandmother, the young mother, the single man and many others...There are several crucial messages that we can all take from this fascinating and profound book...

Mumtaz Begum Khalique
Mumtaz Begum Khalique on the way home with her book after the launch of the First Edition at St Ann’s Library on November 8th 2002. The book includes an interview with her about running the first Asian shop in St Ann’s with her husband.

St Ann’s Nottingham: inner-city voices by Ruth I Johns has established itself as a much-loved book on readers’ bookshelves in the UK and abroad. It is a valuable book for those studying social and community studies, housing and urban environment subjects, and social policy.

St Ann’s is an inner-city district of Nottingham where 340 acres were bulldozed in the late 1960s/early 1970s and 30,000 people compulsorily uprooted. The ‘old’ St Ann’s was stereotyped as a slum and the ‘new’ St Ann’s as an area of multi-deprivation and crime. But, as this book records, there is much more to St Ann’s than its imposed reputation. This book covers most of the 20th Century and up to 2002.

Author Ruth I Johns has been mindful throughout research and writing of this book, its original launch in St Ann’s, in Press interviews and in the book’s developing role as a serious addition to community history that the role of the people of St Ann’s is never overlooked. Creating the book was a participative project in which all, including the author, donated their time.

This is one of the most fascinating books in my collection.

TB, Nottingham

A truly impressive work, written with commitment...The book operates on two levels. First, it is a piece of history and the author has used the techniques of oral history most effectively to detail the social development of an inner city district over the period of the last century. But then she has gone on to analyse and suggest remedies for the problems that have arisen in that time...Radical, refreshing...

East Midland Historian 2003 by Roger Moore, University of Nottingham

An ‘epic history’ of an inner-city in living memory. It has been painstakingly pieced together in partnership with the people of the district.

The Nottingham Evening Post

[Ruth I. Johns is] a real regeneration guru

The Guardian

Johns makes no effort to homogenise or aggregate the diverse views of this working class neighbourhood. The community, she says, ‘doesn’t speak with one voice, it shouldn’t speak with one voice. And if you think it speaks with one voice, it’s a ‘phoney’.

Interview in Regeneration & Renewal

St Ann’s Nottingham: inner-city voices is the result of a marathon project taken on by a woman drawn to the area and driven by a desire to record ‘the way St Ann’s was and the way it is’ through a vast array of facts and opinions.

County Lit

Many perfectly good houses were demolished as whole areas were cleared of homes, pubs, clubs, cinemas and people. Read that story in the words and pictures of the people who lived through those difficult times. But much more, read about life before the bulldozer arrived and then life afterwards as new communities started to form. Not just a book for those interested in Nottingham and St Ann’s, but a chronicle of life throughout the last century and stories that will be similar to many found in other cities.

Review on www.amazon.co.uk

Urban planners, social scientists, politicians and others could learn much from listening to the voices in this book.

Building for a Future

An astonishing achievement. I have looked at a lot of local history publications for the post-war period and know of nothing else remotely like it.

David Kynaston, author of Family Britain 1951-57
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