Nottingham Castle often features in my stories. When a small child, I often had to stay in my grandmother’s house, one of whose cellars had a bricked up door, apparently leading to a network of tunnels honeycombing the nearby castle rock. I visited the Castle tunnels last year. and collected a tiny pinch of dust for my Museum. My grandmother wasn’t a happy woman. Sometimes she sang hymns in the middle of the night, if there had been a ‘sighting’. The singing was much more alarming than any potential ghostly apparition.
I loved exploring the Castle, its exterior often wreathed in thick fog, and was intrigued by its dusty and eclectic displays. Years later, my great-grandmother’s frock, a poison green and black silk affair, was on show in one of its glass cabinets. It has since been moved, and is now stored in Newstead Abbey, once Lord Byron’s home. In the 1970s, Nottingham University used one of the sandstone tunnels under the castle for cosmic ray experiments.