4 March 2012

Hans Christian Andersen in Nottingham

Not far from J. M. Barrie's old lodgings on Birkland Avenue is the pub the Gooseberry Bush on Peel Street: an acknowledgement that the street once had a maternity hospital. Anyone familiar with Wetherspoons pubs will be aware that this gives them a perfect excuse to hang things on their walls.

Such as a photo of Hans Cristian Andersen, who wrote a short story called 'The Storks'. A note underneath this states that the expression 'gooseberry bush' replaced the legend of the stork delivering a baby in a sling hanging from its bill, which it says was popularized by Andersen's story. (It notes that the stork has long been a symbol of 'happiness, fertility and prosperity'.)


 
Also on the wall is a representation of a scene from the story by Anne Anderson. The link here is to M. R. James's English translation of 'The Storks'.
'The
Gooseberry Bush

These licensed premises were built
in 1984, on part of the site occupied by
Nottingham Women's Hospital. The hospital had
replaced a Victorian mansion, called Sandfield House.
The first patients arrived in January 1930. The last baby
born here was in November 1981. The hospital
closed, with the site then partly cleared for
The Gooseberry Bush, named after the place
where babies are said to arrive.

These premises were refurbished
by J D Wetherspoon
in June 2011.'

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