William Lee: in 1589, William Lee of Calverton invented the framework knitting machine, which became the basis of an important cottage industry for several hundred years afterwards. Lee’s inventions slowly evolved over the centuries and is still at the core of the computer-controlled machinery used in the worldwide hosiery industry today.
Thomas Hawksley (1807-1893) was born at Arnold. He famously argued that living conditions, water supply and water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid were linked. He designed a network of pumping stations with steam engines, to bring water to the surface into reservoirs on higher ground, before being piped to homes and businesses. His ideas were implemented in cities across the world and have since saved countless lives.
The Robinson Family of Bestwood & Daybrook: William Robinson of Home Farm, Bestwood derived income from different occupations, including, in his case, farmer, wool merchant, maltster and brickmaker. When commercial opportunities arose, maltsters were well placed to take over breweries and public houses. William Robinson’s son, John Daniel Robinson (1839-1929), was an entrepreneur with several successful businesses to his name. In 1875, he founded the Daybrook Brewery, which was developed by the construction of an up-to-date brewery complex. In 1890, John transferred the business to the Home Brewery Company Limited, which retained the original connection to Home Farm in Bestwood. Robinson went on to establish the Daybook Laundry and was also involved in the tobacco trade and in cement production.
George Robertson Papplewick: In the late 18th century this Scottish entrepreneur built up a system of millponds and channels along the River Leen to store water for, and feed water to, his six large cotton spinning mills. In the 1780s he installed some of the first Steam Engines to be used in factories.
Joseph Thackery was a local lace manufacturer and politician who had come to Nottingham from Manchester in the 1780s, due to the outbreak of machine breaking in Lancashire. He established himself in Nottingham and the business in time passed from father to son and then on to grandson. John Lawson Thackeray, Joseph’s grandson, continued the family business.