They Call It The Candlestick
The other inn in Mapperley is at the other end of the
village, surrounded by a handful of small cottages. Its official name is ‘The Royal Oak’, but if you ask anyone to direct you there don’t be surprised if you are answered by a frown, and then after a few seconds deliberation, “Oh, you mean the Candlestick?”, for everybody for miles round calls it by that name.
The reason? Well I was enlightened by grey haired Mrs Jane Monks, who together with her husband, looks after the inn.
“Many years ago” she said “the inn was lit by candles, which stood on one candlestick. If the landlady wanted to go into another room, she just whisked the candlestick away, leaving the room in darkness; the customers had to leave their drinks until she came back”.
Now the inn is lit by gas, but that is about the only change it has seen.
There are still the low oak beams supporting the ceiling and the small glass window panes which just allow enough light to filter through to light the inn.
The inn’s charm lies in its rugged simplicity; especially in summer when white roses bloom outside the entrance.
The rose trees climb up the wall and then branch out and cling to the ceiling of the glass house.Patrons of the inn are allowed to pluck the roses, providing of course, they put a small donation in a box, which goes to help the blind.
Mr and Mrs Monks have been living in the inn now for 16 years and they have loved every minute of it, but very soon they are moving to West Hallam, where they hope to have a rest from their labours. Mrs Monks is 60 and her husband 71.
Mrs Monks has lived in Mapperley all her life. She first met her husband while she was helping out with the housework on one of the farms. He was a builder and had come to make some alterations to the farm. They got into conversation and some years later they were married at Holy Trinity Church, Mapperley.
Apart from the inn and her children, one of Mrs Monks’ main interests is music and she often likes to accompany herself on the piano while she sings old romantic ballads.
Mrs Monks is still very active. Whenever she wants to catch a bus into Ilkeston to do her shopping she either walks or cycles to West Hallam crossroads to catch it, but she has no complaints.
Her husband Harry, retired four years ago and he spends much of his time in the garden.
The Price Of Coal is high and a man who has had to pay dearly for it is 34-year old Eddie Marsden, of
No 3 Mapperley Village.
Nine years ago, dark and handsome Eddie was involved in an accident at Mapperley Colliery, coal and stone fell on him, crushing his spine, since that day he has never been able to walk a step. He has spent a considerable time in hospital undergoing operation after operation, yet he has fought his illness with courage, determination and fortitude and with the help of his family and friends, has managed to start life all over again. While he lies in bed, he makes leather purses, rugs and scarves.
Eddie is at present in hospital, but his mother showed me some marvellous examples of the articles he had made. Before he had the accident, Eddie was a keen member of Mapperley church choir. Now he can no longer go himself, but whenever he is in good enough health, his brother Frank pushes him in a wheelchair.
Frank also takes him to see Mapperley play football and often in summer pushes him through Mapperley Woods or round the village to ensure that he does not lose touch with the outside world. All through his illness, Eddie’s mother has given him every attention, Mrs Marsden, incidentally, is 72.
Mr and Mrs. Marsden have seven children, John, Harold, Gertrude, Frank, Louise, Eddie and Nancy and they have lived in Mapperley for most of their lives. Both of the parents are regular churchgoers and Mrs. Marsden recalls how she used to clean the church for two shillings a week. Before he retired Mr. Marsden worked at Spondon.
Soccer Men Up With The Times
So far as fashions are concerned Mapperley footballers like to keep up with the times. When I visited the home of Mr and Mrs Gordon Durow at ‘The Limes’, Mrs Durow was busily altering one of the players shorts and giving them the ‘continental touch’ and it seems that many other members of the team are going in for the new look.
Mapperley football fans had better be warned in case they are led to think that the Italians have come to play on their pitch.
Mrs Muriel Durow has lived in Mapperley since 1945. Her father was the vicar of Mapperley for six years. She loves to cook and experiment with exotic dishes, but she explained that she wanted someone to try them out on, as her husband did not appreciate them. Any volunteers?
Both Muriel and Gordon are in the church choir, Muriel is secretary to the church council and Gordon is the verger.
Gordon, who is a miner, is also an enthusiastic footballer and upholds the true Durow tradition by keeping goal, as did his father and grandfather before him.
He was educated at Scargill Secondary School, West Hallam and his favourite lesson was gardening, although now it is Muriel who does most of the gardening.
Full Day’s Work At 82
A woman who is perhaps one of the oldest post mistress in England must be 82 year old Mrs Mary Hannah Boam. Small and frail, but with bright blue eyes Mrs Boam has worked in the post office for 46 years now and is proud of the fact that her birthday falls on the same day as Princess Margaret’s.
Mapperley Post Office has been in Mrs Boam's family just over 70 years now. Her father before her took over the post office at the suggestion of the vicar who advised him only to undertake light work because of his ill-health.
Mrs Boam is certainly good at figures, and her memory is almost infallible. Her day begins at about 5.30 am when she gets up to sort the mail. All day she serves in the shop and she finishes work when the mail is collected at about 6.30 pm.
But I don’t usually go to bed until 10.30 pm. She told me. “sometimes I listen to the wireless or my friend comes to sit with me”. For almost 40 years it was Mrs Boam who used to deliver Mapperley’s letters.
In rain, snow or sunshine she used to walk around the extensive parish bright and early in the morning, calling a hearty “good Morning” to passersby. Soon after her mother died Mrs. Boam married Cornelius, who was a winding engine driver. She was then 56. Mrs Boam has lived in Mapperley all her life, and she was full of praise for the ‘good old days’ when Squire Mundy was responsible for the upkeep of Mapperley village and the welfare of its villagers.
I well remember the time when you had to go to church early to ensure getting a seat” she recalled “but today the churches are nearly empty”
“No” she signed “Mapperley is not half as nice as it used to be”. However, Mrs Boam likes to be independent. She lives alone, but one of her friends comes into sleep with her.