Location of an 18th century Hucknall-under-Huthwaite windmill literally presented height of earliest powered mechanisation in this rural hamlet. Long before being lastly mapped atop an 1884 Sutton Road, exposed position overlooking far steeper southern valley meadows could initially claim east extremity towards Sutton, passing only a few borderline farms en route to bigger market towns.
Noted from 1804 Nottingham Journal is April sale of the windmill and house in Hucknall Huthwaite had preceded its advertised May auction. This dated fact strongly suggests how local needs for milling flour must have commonly begun through previous century.
The initially titled Mill House established a Mill Lane farm track beneath Windmill Cottages stood topside. Other featured topics are raised from this Sutton Road scene beyond its facing Portland Arms. Extending that growing mining village boundary increased 20th century developments after enticing additionally influential manufacturers, with shops supporting branching residential streets.
Modern demands have reclaimed residential use of most smaller shop fronts. Some can still evoke fond memories, especially for elder generations who enjoyed pleasurable experience of visiting the past Huthwaite Lyric Picture Palace. Nevertheless, selling off my Huthwaite house circa 1985 recalls that displayed South View 1905. Date is good indication when completing greatest demand for affordable housing managed to privately fill in majority of those left roadside plots, typically offering rented accommodation.
Larger individually styled properties began lining south side along this section of Sutton Road from Mill Lane rather later. However, the biggest plot was firstly claimed by Hucknall Huthwaite Urban District Council for the official 1889 opening of cemetery grounds with caretakers lodge and mortuary chapel. Their 1887 purchase at auction of grass lands known as Crossley Close furthermore afforded a future school site, but eventually resulted in presenting Beech Avenue lined by prestigious 1935 retirement bungalows.
Private developers start filling in this right section of Sutton Road from 1913. As well as proposing two pairs of houses atop Mill Lane, G R Bailey & Co adds the two first larger detached houses upon other top corner facing Sutton Road. And they did include an Institute complete with rear bowling green. Intriguingly, Mr George Robert Bailey is a previously identified licensee for the Star Brewery in their recently acquired Portland Arms. That surely questions motive behind building this new facing club house.
Their biggest residential property becomes focus of attention after 1914 plans making additions to that companies premises asserted club status. Despite costly investment, this business venture didn't get any historic mention. Except for closure just a few years afterwards, when finally offering its name.
Specification of works to be done and materials to be used in certain works of building that may be necessary and incidental thereto in altering and converting the building known as the Portland Club Huthwaite into 2 semi detached dwelling houses for the owner Mr John Bailey of Stanton Hill and according to the plans and this specification prepared by his surveyor M W Bishop of Sutton-in-Ashfield - June 1917.
First paragraph of several highly detailed pages gives a self explanatory introduction to why the building stands today presenting individualised semis addressing 98 and 100 Sutton Road. Their precise specifications and instructions for a bid winning contractor resulted in two distinctly separate residences. Genealogists might incidentally note how John Bailey could well be a related member of the company headed by Mr G R Bailey, plus the address given for George taking immediate delivery of a removed bar counter, beer pumps, lead piping and taps, among all other licensee fixtures was, Masons Arms, Eastfield Side, Sutton-in-Ashfield.
But major alterations don't conclude historic public use of at least one half. Focus zooms into right end property. It's since held number 100 Sutton Road, long after attracting greater communal need than a Portland Club bar room ever managed.
Taking up residence here on return to Huthwaite as a qualified Medical Surgeon, finds Ernest Wardman Wilbourne Esq. proposing to add a garage, plus open his own 1922 home surgery. Amended plans for an anteroom followed soon after.
Visitors to Dr Wilbourne's surgery recalled use of the right bay windowed front being used as his consultation room. Their past told memories likely date through latter years when the doctor reestablished his Huthwaite practise. He returned after spending several years gaining experience elsewhere, and throughout time away apparently permitted community use of idle ground floor rooms.
Widespread plight of 1930s unemployment resulted in the 1935 opening of a Huthwaite Social Centre. The Duchess of Portland performed that informal ceremony, adding a finishing touch to the rest room with her comfortable furnishings, by bringing cushions for the bay window seat. Her Grace showed great interest and generosity in this charitable concern, making several surprise visits and further donations throughout that year. Reportage identifies Mr J Bingham as Steward. His November claim numbering 80 - 100 men using the centre daily, must have increased by another 30 from having recently allocated time for a woman's section.
The problem of unemployment becomes somewhat overshadowed by outbreak of a Second World War. A 1941 directory listing for surgeon Dr E W Wilbourne can therefore only lastly confirm Ernest is back home. His 1954 death aged 75 is best indication behind selling off the property, which thereafter can be seen presenting more individualist modifications under private residential owners.