“Each car had two of them in”: The Wollaton Park gnomes sighting 38 years on

Wollaton-Gnomes
Picture: A drawing by one of the children who claimed to have seen gnomes at Wollaton Park.

A historian has launched a fresh appeal to trace a group of children who claimed to have seen gnomes in Nottingham almost forty years ago.

The bizarre sighting happened in 1979 when seven children went for an evening stroll in the grounds of Wollaton Park.

They reported being approached by about 30 small cars each with a gnome driver and passenger wearing yellow tights, blue tops and bobble hats.

After the group spoke to schoolteachers about the experience, the story made the local press before fading into local legend.

Now Dr Simon Young, a historian and British folklore writer, is appealing for the six witnesses, who would now be in their forties, to contact him as part of a new study he is conducting into the tale.

Some of the children were interviewed at Southwold Primary in Radford and a transcript found by Dr Young reveals how the gnomes were “friendly and joyful”.

He said: “What’s fascinating about the Wollaton case is that in September 1979 a group of children were in the park possibly trespassing where they shouldn’t have been.

“They suddenly saw a number of small cars, noddy like cars, ride out from the bushes and all of the children who were asked afterwards said that each car had two gnomes in them.”

Dr Young has been investigating the case, spending hours conducting research in an attempt to find out what happened.

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The children were approached by the gnomes in the grounds of Wollaton Park. Photo by Rich Murphy.

The medieval historian became interested in mystical sightings of fairies and gnomes after recovering from a serious illness.

Dr Young, from Hebden Bridge in the West Riding, has dedicated several years to researching and writing about people’s experiences.

He added: “Three years ago I actually helped publish a book about a Nottingham woman, Marjorie Johnson, who had collected four hundred sightings of fairies, most of them from Britain.

“I have absolutely no idea what happened, it’s like a murder mystery without any obvious suspect and of course humans love mysteries and here we are in front of a pretty big one.

“The dream would be to talk to any of the children who were there and we have the full names for Angela Elliott, Glen Elliott, Andrew Pearce, Rosie Pearce and Patrick Olive.

“The other name we have is Julie.

“Of course I would treat their information confidentially so they are not put in any kind of a difficult situation.”

Dr Young can be contacted at simonyoungfl@gmail.com

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