Mapperley Village

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Newspapers Derbyshire Life Parish Magazine

Newspapers - 1960s - Page 2

The Mapperley Story Continues - Ilkeston Advertiser

September 19th 1969

In Europe

At  Easter 1965, the team visited Belgium where they played Olympic Koolskamp, beating them 2-0, and received a commemorative trophy which is displayed at the Black Horse.  Mr Mellors was succeeded as secretary by Mr Brian Hodgson, who resigned last season on leaving the district.  Mr Robert Roberts was appointed to succeed him.  Each year, the club's Sportsman's Trophy is presented to the player who in the opinion of the committee has reached the highest degree of sportsmanship.  This year the winner was Philip Beardsley, this seasons's captain.

Mr Frank Marsden
Mr Gordon Durow
One notably famous player for twenty years, and a first class goalie is Mr Gordon Durow (pictured right) of 2 The Limes.  Now serving on the committee, Mr Durow has rendered yeoman service to the club, and rumour has it that when spectating from the touchline, his feet still itch to get on the field and have a go!  Another lifelong supporter of the club, also on the committee, is Mr Frank Marsden (pictured left), of 9 Coachways, who worked at Mapperley Pit until it closed and is now engaged on the twilight shift at Ormonde Colliery.  He has also been a member of the choir of Holy Trinity Church for nearly fifty years and has sung bass through the services of rectors the Revs. Fleming, Swain, Vaughan, Spencer and Rev. J E Martin, the present Rector of West Hallam with Mapperley.

Mr Marsden recalls living as a child at Park Hall, in the west end of the village, where water was drawn from a spring nearby. The water usually contained several black beetles, which he felt could not be healthy but, as he had been told, they helped to purify it, he dutifully scooped them up from his pail and returned them to the spring.  It was not until the discovery later of three dead rabbits in the precious liquid that the water was condemned and the supply delivered regularly from the colliery.

Proud Pumpkin

Gardening is Mr Marsden's favourite pastime.  With a large garden round the house, and an allotment nearby, plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers are always at hand. Each year he endeavours to grow something different.  Once it was sweetcorn and last year a 14lb pumpkin flourished.  As no Cinderella was available, it was displayed on the counter at the Black Horse and eventually ended up in an Ilkeston Restaurant, as a stuffed and cooked delicacy, the chef making a generous donation to the harvest festival in exchange for his unusual dish.  This year, ten bunches of green grapes adorn the sunniest garden wall, hanging from the three-year old outdoor vine.  One member of the Marsden family has bet Frank they will not ripen into edible fruit.  With hopes of a later sunny summer, Frank still thinks he has a sporting chance of collecting his winnings! 

Holy Trinity Church has been the hub of village life in Mapperley for a great many years. The present very modern building, sometimes mistaken on first glance by strangers for a bungalow, was built by the Coal Board to replace the former church built in 1851, which suffered so badly from subsidence as to be dangerous and irreparable. 

Several unique stained-glass windows are inserted in the entrance doors, in complete contrast to the remainder of the large plain glass windows.  These depict old mining processes, and were originally placed at the head of the stairs leading to the main hall in Mapperley Colliery offices.  Mr Tom Wright, Area General Manager of the Coal Board, removed them to Eastwood Hall, but since the building of the new church, he felt their rightful place was back in the village of their origin.

The School

Closely connected with the church is Mapperley Village Church of England controlled Primary School, which for nearly a hundred years has been the local centre of learning.  Where formerly its pupils left at the age of 12-14, the school now caters for children up to 11 years, who then transfer to schools in the Ilkeston area.  Mrs M Foster has been headmistress for the past 16 years and her assistant at present is Miss M Bland.  Although there are now only 40 pupils, there were 70 attending when Mrs Foster first took charge. 

A recent highlight in the activities of the school was the taping of a concert by the infants, which was later broadcast on BBC radio.  In addition to the school children, there are quite a number of toddlers and babies at home all day with their mums. 

It occurred to a group of mothers early this year that there was no organised get-together during the hours of daytime while the older children were at school.  As a result of their deliberations, the Wednesday Club was formed, and although membership at present is not very large, it is hoped this will gradually increase.

At the home of Mrs Celia Stone, every Wednesday afternoon, young mothers and their children meet for a 'natter' over a cup of tea.  Officers of the club are Mrs Joan Law, president, Mrs Linda Moss, secretary, and Mrs Muriel Durow, treasurer.

It is hoped in due course to arrange a programme of speakers and entertainment, with perhaps an outing arranged during one of the school holidays.

The Womens' Institute in the village has a good membership, and new members are always welcome.  Their programme includes a number of interesting talks and visits to various places of note.  President is Mrs D Davis, secretary Mrs M Martin, treasurer Mrs T Wood and committee members are Mrs. J East, Mrs M Hartshorne,
Mrs F Cooke, Mrs J Law and Mrs H Riley.

Charter Anniversary

One of the most outstanding events which took place in the village during recent years, in which the women and men combined to make it the success it undoubtedly was, was the 700th anniversary of the granting of a Royal Charter to hold a fair and market at Mapperley. 

As a gesture of help towards the fair, the Coal Board presented to the village in 1966 the very last lump of coal to be mined within the parish before the pit was closed.  This hefty black diamond was duly delivered to the Old Black Horse Inn car-park and at 1/- a time, the public were invited to guess its weight.  From a long list of guessers, who included Mr Joe Baxter of High Point, Fort Madison, Iowa, USA and Mr T Lim of Seoul, Korea, nine people guessed its weight correctly 1 ton 19 cwts 56 lb, its actual size being 9ft high by 5ft wide by 3 in thick. 

A draw, eliminating eight of the nine, gave Mr Ken Brown of Hornchurch, Essex the thick mass of solid fuel.  He gave it to the village and it was eventually broken up and delivered by local children to the elderly residents.

Mr & Mrs Ron Richardson, who have lived at the Old Black Horse Inn for 22 years, gave valuable assistance with many others in all the preparations for the actual fair on May 27th 1967.

The opening ceremony was performed by Captain Patrick J B Drury-Lowe and the programme included the unveiling of some stocks erected opposite the church made by two local craftsmen the woodwork by Mr B Mellor and the brick supports by Mr K Birkin.  The day's events included a Rifle Club display, fancy dress parades, a display by members of Stanton Archery Club, a strong-man act, and a deer roasting. A tea was provided at the Black Horse, popular hostelry situated in the centre of the village.

Old Inns

The Black Horse, whose age is not known, is certainly a very old structure.  An extract from an article in a local newspaper of July 14th 1905, states that 'a sick club had been held at the Black Horse for 110 years, a sign of the thrifty character of the villagers' thus bringing its age well over the 160 mark.  The article also mentioned the licensee of the time, appropriately named Mr John Beer, whose garden he was always happy to show to customers, who admired his glasshouses, ferns, tomatoes, and vinery.  In fact, frequent visitors included Squire Mundy and his lady of Shipley Hall.

Major structural alterations and repairs were carried out at the Black Horse in 1961, and a car park has taken up a large part of the garden a necessary adjunct, particularly on account of the rather narrow village street.

Mapperley's Other Public House, The Royal Oak

Known locally as 'The Candlestick' is situated at Park Hall at the west end of the village.  Mr and Mrs Luther Martin and their young daughter, Diane, have lived there for the past eleven years.  The reason for the pub's nickname is one of their treasures, a somewhat battered old metal candlestick, probably well over a hundred years old which, until the advent of the oil-lamp, provided the landlady, Mrs Harvey, and her customers with their only means of lighting.  Thus, when a visit to the cellar, or elsewhere, was found necessary, the customers were left in complete darkness until she returned with the naked flame!  Since the acquisition of oil-lamps followed by Calor gas, and subsequently the installation of electricity 12 years ago, the famous candlestick has become a museum piece, but its name will certainly live on.

The actual age of 'The Candlestick' pub is not known, but parts of it are reputed to go back several centuries.  Major alterations and additions were carried out in 1850 and more recently in 1963, when it became the pleasant 'country pub' it is today. 

The old brass and porcelain pumps remain fixe to the counter for sentimental reasons, although superseded by modern equipment. 

Every year the pensioner customers are given a party and last year the children enjoyed a bonfire party.  The Martins find the public today very sensible in their drinking habits.  Those who arrive by car usually arrange for one of their number to consume only non-alcoholic drinks, to avoid a brush with the breathalyser, and ensure a reasonably safe drive home.

Mrs Irene Martin, Mr Luther Martin and Daughter Diane Martin

See also In 1979 Terry and Freda Underwood moved to the then Royal Oak.


A former resident of Mapperley, who played a great part in the life of Mapperley for 61 years, is Mr Charles Hill, who retired from Mapperley Farm recently, and now lives just over the border in West Hallam. 

At 85 years of age, Mr Hill has no wish to vegetate, and he takes regular walks to his old Mapperley haunts, for the benefit of his health and to make sure he does not lose touch with old friends. 

A widower for three years, he looks forward to his weekly visit to Derby Market and the annual journey to the Royal Show is an event he would not like to miss! 

It was almost by chance he became a farmer, having served an apprenticeship with a cabinet-maker but, on the closing of the business, he opted for farming a decision he never regretted. 

Mr Hill's time is still fully occupied, although the attendant worries of farming are absent. 

An avid reader, he keeps up to date with the latest agricultural procedures, and the large billiard table in the lounge indicates his favourite indoor game.  His son-in-law and daughter, Mr and Mrs Dennis Gilman, who live nearby, ensure that he is never lonely.

The story of Mapperley would not be complete without mention of Mr and Mrs W F Hooper and their Langdon herd of goats.

Their hobby, which began with one ordinary goat for the beneficial qualities of its milk, has developed during the past five years into an absorbing venture, with prize-winning stock to which the award of cups and rosettes has become a habit at the shows in various parts of the country in which they have been entered. 

There are not many villages today without a shop, and Mapperley has two.  The post office and general store has been in the hands of Mr Arthur Shooter and his wife Sylvia for the past ten years.  From its well-stocked shelves almost anything asked for, from an iced lolly to a hot-water bottle, can be produced in a moment.

A few paces away is a smaller, yet equally well arranged shop, formerly owned by the late Mr Oswald Howitt, for nearly forty years.


The village has an adequate bus service to Ilkeston, and a walk to Mapperley crossroads at West Hallam finds a good service between Ilkeston and Derby. 

Twice weekly, members of a group of doctors hold surgery at one of the houses in the village, and messages and calls for the convenience of patients, are dealt with speedily and efficiently. 

Mapperley seems to have everything, and its residents, young and older, appear to have discovered the right balance for happy communal living: not too closely knit to be insular in their outlook, yet not too deeply transformed by the changing pattern of life today as to be completely oblivious of the strong ties of family and work which bound everyone so closely together in past years.


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