Mapperley Village

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Newspaper and Magazine Articles

1950 - 1999

WHM Magazine June - July 1955 in its entirety

Rail Strike












Long Eaton Advertiser

Friday 27 May 1960



SUNDAY LUNCHTIMES: Old Age Pensioners' Produce Shows: Entries accepted same day. Judging at 1. p.m.



West Hallam leisure centre

WITH its sports and leisure facilities stretched to breaking point, West Hallam is planning a £150,000 alternative.

In the last six years, housing developments in West Hallam have more than doubled its population, which is expected to grow beyond 5,250 by the time the building ends.

All the village's clubs and societies are bursting at the seams, having by far outgrown the village hall, and indoor sports facilities outside the parish are fully booked.

A new building next to open space is planned, not to replace but complement the village hall, possibly on the Station Road recreation ground. Next to this site Erewash Borough Council has already made open space provision.


The hall would be used for: an additional playgroup; accommodation for the youth club intermediate (10-13) and senior (14+)—as the present club is tied down to 65 members and has a waiting list through lack of space; new sports clubs such as badminton, judo and gymnastics; larger social functions of village organisations; Tampa Hart Rowdies Football Club would use the neighbouring football pitch; daytime facilities for Scargill Primary School which is increasingly becoming over-crowded; daytime facilities for mothers; and larger scale public meetings and private functions, such as conferences and exhibitions.

The plan is being looked into by a special consultative committee formed by the parish council and West Hallam Village Hall Charity Committee. It is expected that the scheme will cost between £100,000 and £150,000 although these are only preliminary figures and several layouts are being considered. The money will come from several sources, the parish council having already added an extra parish precept rate for the purpose.


But more money must be found. Several sponsors and charities are being asked for help and the Newdigate Trust, of which the parish council is trustee, will be contributing.

Although talks are still to be held to decide the final shape of the new leisure centre, it is expected to comprise: a Large multi-purpose hall; two dual-purpose rooms; kitchen; toilets; lobby with coffee bar; store room; upstairs lounge with licensed bar; upstairs meeting room; and car parking for 40 cars.

The large multi-purpose hall would cater for indoor sport, social functions and possible daytime school facilities while the two dual purpose rooms would serve as changing rooms with showers and club meeting rooms. Daytime users would make use of the coffee bar while club members using the leisure and sports facilities would enjoy the licensed bar. A likely scheme of managing the centre would be through an amendment to the Village Hall Charity Committee's constitution.

Doctors Move from Newdigate Street to the New Dales

Taken from WHM Magazine November 1987


Passing The Buck Cartoon by 18 yr Old Bob Smithies

Shown in the WHM Magazine of December 1989


Click Photo to Enlarge, Double Click to Reduce

Derbyshire Life - August 1993

Derbyshire Village

West Hallam

by Roy Christian

The casual traveller probably regards West Hallam as a monstrously long ribbon of houses flanking the A609 as it approaches Ilkeston from the west. The ribbon actually begins near the summit of the climb from the Rose and Crown at Smalley and continues without a serious break for more than five miles, crossing on the way two parish boundaries without any break in the monotony. Smalley Common merges into Stanley Common and that into West Hallam, which ends where Straw’s Bridge strides over the bed of the Nutbrook Canal. From there Ilkeston has its own ribbon building.

West Hallam’s stretch of the ribbon, more than two and a half miles long, is called the High Lane, as it was long before any of the present houses were built. In the 18th century it didn’t go to Ilkeston but turned off to the south at its eastern end and went to Little Hallam, where it split into sections, one going on to Trowell and the other to Cossall. The ribbon-building began in the 1920s: the 1921 Ordnance Survey map shows the area virtually uninhabited west of the pottery, and only lightly built up on the north side between there and Ilkeston. Much of the building must have been done between 1921 and 1928, for in that year my parents brought me to live in the next village, Stanley, and apart from in-filling, the High Lane has not greatly changed though it’s now conveniently divided into three sections: High Lane West, Central and East, which must be a relief to the postman.

But the parish itself was, in my time, divided into three parts of which the High Lane was but one, though the most conspicuous.


The Main Street through the village and ‘The Punch Bowl’

The least conspicuous, and most attractive, was The Village itself. This is the ancient core of the place. The church of St Wilfrid, the old schools, the traditional village inn with a traditional name, The Punch Bowl, are all here. It is, ironically, superbly compact without any sense of overcrowding. You feel that those High Lane developers should have been brought here and told, ‘this is how to use space’. It is now a conservation area; a model of its kind.

The third part of the West Hallam I knew is Station Road. The 1921 map shows it as two distinct settlements, but it had just about merged into one when I first knew it. One part lies around the White Hart facing the road into The Village, of which it seems almost an extension, though it is outside the conservation area and separated by playing fields and modern schools. I suspect it grew up when the Great Northern Railway arrived in 1878. The other part, including Newdigate Street and Bagot Street and a stretch of main road immediately west of West Hallam cross­roads, dates from around the turn of the century, though its most striking building is much earlier and must have stood in isolation for many years.


Cinder House - one of the village’s more unusual features

This is Cinder House, as much a structural oddity as Tufa Cottage in the Via Gellia. Sir Francis Newdigate, the squire, had it built as two cottages, partly as an experiment with new building materials and partly to celebrate the birth of his seventh son. Its walls are of cinders from large lumps of clay specially dug for the purpose in Mapperley Park and burnt a rusty brown colour. Because the cinders are porous and the walls 30 inches thick (except perhaps on the end wall nearest the road where souvenir hunters have removed chunks) the house is said to be warm in winter, cool in summer. In red cinders above a window are the initials F.N. and the completion date 1833.

East of Station Road, and running right away to St Wilfrid’s Road, a large area of pastureland - locally called, fairly accurately, ‘The Square’ occupied the former West Hallam Common. The last acre or so of the Common still faced Station Road in 1928, but the last remnant of the old post-mill (erected in 1593, the year when the promising young Will Shakespeare was writing Richard III and II) had been demolished in 1916. The present Mill house Garage now occupies the site, facing that of the gallows which had gone much earlier.

But it was in St Wilfrid’s Road that I first noticed evidence of change. In my day, this pretty, tree-lined lane (a continuation of Mapperley Lane) ran smoothly down into a dip and then up on the other side to the church gates. Now, the roadway has developed a sort of permanent wave — there’s a similar one in Station Road — which reminds you that West Hallam’s economy once depended on coal mining as well as agriculture and that, as a road-sign points out, the road is ‘liable to subsidence’. But the ‘bulge’ helps the natural lie of the land to screen quite effectively the post-war housing that has replaced some of the trees down in the dip.

At this point, my curiosity aroused by the number of cars turning up Derbyshire Avenue, I followed their example and discovered what I had not previously suspected: that the parish is now divided into four parts. For Derbyshire Avenue (named after Councillor John Derbyshire, through whose former fields it runs) is just the introduction to the vast Beechcroft Estate which since 1974 has covered the former grassy ‘Square’ with every conceivable type of dwelling, doubling the population to around 5,000 and transforming for the better the social life of the community.

Allergic as I am to huge estates, I find this one a masterpiece of its kind because of its self-effacement. I had driven around the parish several times, admittedly on a drenching, opaque June morning, without spotting the estate, though it comes up to almost all the roads I had covered. Although from the air it must look like a dense mass of featureless housing, at ground level the appearance of West Hall has been preserved because the estate fills a natural bowl of land which gives it, quite literally, a low profile.


The Square and The Village Post Office

So having found The Village unchanged in 60 years except for the insertion of a bus stop sign — in my day you walked to the White Hart because Felix and Trent buses used Station Road — it came as a surprise to discover hidden away behind the Punch Bowl a new shopping precinct (supermarket, take-away food shops, health centre, and the like) such as you would expect to find now in a small town. It is ideally placed to serve the oldest as well as the newest part of the parish but so unobtrusively sited as to leave the distinctive character of The Village undisturbed.

That character stems from a unity of design in the buildings. Building lines may be irregular, building dates must vary considerably, but certain features like steeply pitched roofs, prominent barge-boards and porches shaped like sentry boxes, recur. This continuity results from the fact that until 1914 West Hallam was owned by squires who planned and maintained it as carefully as any local government planning officer.

Of the first of these, Gilbert of Ghent, we know only that he was a nephew of William the Conqueror, but by 1200 the manor had passed to the Cromwell’s (unrelated to Oliver) who held it until 1467, when the heirs of Ralph, Lord Cromwell, Lord Chancellor and builder of Wingfield Manor and Tattershall Castle (who had died childless 12 years earlier) sold it to the Powtrells. The moat of the manor house which the Cromwells built, according to Mrs Brenda J. Hunt in her excellent West Hallam Heritage (published in 1978), is marked on the latest Ordnance Survey map east of Cat and Fiddle Lane, and west of Foxhole Farm, well to the south of West Hallam Church.

The Powtrells, who stayed for 220 years, built, and later demolished, a new house on the hill west of the church, which they seem to have packed with priest holes, where Father Campion, among other Jesuit priests, hid during the religious struggles of the 17th century. But theirs is an exciting story which there is insufficient space to tell here.

They were made to suffer for their adherence to the Old Faith before the last male Powtrell died in 1687 and the estate passed by marriage to the Hunlokes, another Roman Catholic family whom we have already met at Wingerworth, their main seat.

Neither the Hunlokes, nor the Newdigates, who bought the estate from them in 1821, seem to have lived much at West Hallam (except for an unmarried younger son who was Rector from 1849 to his death in 1876) until they built the last West Hallam Hall towards the end of the last century. Their stay then was quite short before they let the house to Judge Bristow, who was shot in the back by a disgruntled litigant on a platform at Nottingham Victoria but survived. The Newdigates, donors of the Newdigate Poetry Prize at Cambridge, are better remembered for employing at their main seat, Arbury Hall in Warwickshire, an agent, Robert Evans, whose daughter became the famous novelist George Eliot.

They sold the West Hallam estate in 1914 to Albert Ball — father of the Nottingham V.C. — and he split it up, selling many of the houses to sitting tenants. The village today is almost entirely owner occupied. The Hall, a gloomy, undistinguished Victorian house, redeemed by magnificent views from its hill top site, was demolished more than 50 years ago. A cul-de-sac called Hall Court now occupies part of the site.

All squires, from the Cromwells onwards, exploited the minerals below West Hallam, usually by leasing the rights for others to work, though both Hunlokes and Newdigates had brief periods when they worked their own coal mines. As early as 1379, Ralph Cromwell leased pits in Halumwood to a local consortium, and in 1398 extended the lease to include Symundfeld, where numerous old mine shafts are shown on the 1921 map. There must be many men still around who worked either at ‘Symon’ (Mapperley Colliery) or ‘Nibby’ (Stanley Colliery) so called because ‘the owners were for ever nibbling at the men’s wages’. This was where deep mining ceased in the parish in 1959, though drift mining continued for another two years, and open-cast coal was worked through the 1970s. The base of ‘Nibby’s’ headstocks has been left as a memorial in a small industrial estate. The later of the two West Hallam Collieries, north of High Lane Central, closed about 1930. Digging for ironstone behind the Newdigate Arms off High Lane and the making of iron at the works farther east both stopped well before the First World War.


The Bottle Kiln

On High Lane West, close to its junction with St Wilfrid’s Road, bricks for the Newdigate Estate were made in the 19th century from clay dug and fired on the site. A saw-mill later replaced the brickworks, producing pit-props from locally-felled timber, but the local clay was dug and fired again after 1922 when West Hallam Art and Earthenware Company built two bottle-kilns to make pottery, with a popular line in small animals, until the 1930s depression stopped production. Peak Pottery’s attempt to revive the industry a few years later fared no better, and for nearly 50 years the site stood idle. One kiln was demolished and its bricks reused; the other was gutted. Then in 1983, a local artist and ceramic sculptor, Charles Stone, bought the site, renovated the shell of the old kiln, and, reusing old materials, built around it a new business which seems exactly right for this old pottery site. In a fine-art gallery, Mr Stone displays work from his own and other studios. In an adjoining buttery cafe, you are offered a choice from a bewildering selection of different blends of coffee and tea. Behind the buildings, a tree nursery and a newly-created Japanese garden add an exotic touch to this charming oasis which so delightfully relieves the monotony of the High Lane.

Another oasis is School Square in the heart of the village. It takes its name from its most prominent and most attractive building, that housed the boys of Scargill School from 1832 until 1935, and the 8s-lIs until 1974, and is now two private dwellings. The school for girls and infants, built in 1852 just below School Square in the same sham - Tudor style, has become the Village Hall. Both are now listed buildings. The original school building, erected within two years of the death of the donor, John Scargill, Rector, in 1662, as directed in his will, stood opposite the church gates and was long ago replaced by cottages.

After various recent changes, senior children now go to Ilkeston schools, while their great-grandparents occasionally have nightmares about being at Scargill School during the reign of the efficient but fearsome E.E. Raby, who was headmaster from 1895 to 1932.


St Wilfrid's Church - Photographs by Frank Rogers

Two other buildings deserve fuller treatment than space allows: St Wilfrid’s Church which stands high, its medieval west tower (rebuilt by the Powtrells, whose monuments are a feature of the church) a landmark for miles around, and the Punch Bowl, where a friendly argument in 1924 about who could plough the straightest furrow led to the formation of the West Hallam & District Ploughing and Hedge-Cutting Society and the annual ploughing match.

Gordon Wathen Retires as Head of Scargill School 1995


Gordon-JeanWay back in 1966 West Hallam Primary School was in two 19th century buildings with quite primitive facilities, and not much seemed to have changed for years. The Headmistress had retired and six School Managers, who, to be honest, had fairly limited experience of educational matters, had the task of finding a new Headmaster. We realised that change was needed, we had been encouraged by the applications we had received for the post, including some from men (which was unusual) and we waited for inspiration at the interviews to discover the qualities most needed in the new Head for this rural School.

Into this scene entered a self confessed city-lad called Gordon Wathen. Most of the candidates seemed quite knowledgeable about education, several seemed enthusiastic, which we realised was essential if change was to be brought about, and one even expressed enthusiasm for football, but the thing that set Gordon apart was the way he expressed his vision. He impressed upon us with some passion that his desire was to enable every child in his care to achieve their full potential, not only academically but as rounded maturing people, so that a less bright child who achieved all of which they are capable was just as great a success educationally as getting gifted children to achieve scholarship or distinguish themselves at music or sport. In fact he gave us the uncomfortable impression that unless we were all prepared to share this vision he did not wish to join us. This was the sort of challenge we could not really refuse.

Well, Gordon has persisted with his vision, to the enormous benefit of several thousand children over twenty-nine years, but it has certainly not been easy. The School has been expanding from a little over a 100 children to almost 500, with an ever enlarging staff, albeit never quite large enough, who also needed to be integrated and inspired with his philosophy for the School, and it soon became evident that he was a shrewd more managerial role without losing his vision, and one of the greatest unspoken tributes to his success in this is the stability and loyalty of the teaching staff, and their willingness to take on extra responsibilities, over many years. He also motivated parents to form the PTA, previously unheard of, and has gradually integrated more parents into school life via the library into the classroom.

The old buildings were patched up and improved to some extent at his insistence, but eventually the new Infant Department was planned and opened in 1970, and then in 1974 it was possible to move the rest of the school into the abandoned Secondary School building. Through all this, and the subsequent expansions, Gordon has never lost sight of his main vision, and has constantly reminded all the rest of us that we must remember it too. It is very fitting that the latest improvement, the Computer Room, should bear his name.

While doing all this Gordon has also found time to study for an Open University Degree, to be Churchwarden, and then to study on the East Midlands Ministry Training course and become ordained as a priest. In fact, even before his ordination, he was fulfilling what was really a priestly role in caring for members of staff and children and their families in times of grief and trouble. His ministry at St Wilfrid's seems to be a logical expansion of his activity at School, as anyone who has heard his sermons will know, a blend of teaching and inspiration, expressed clearly and with humour but revealing deep thought and a loving desire for everyone to achieve their full potential as a child of God.

We may be sad to see him retiring, but when he might have been winding- down a little it is absolutely typical of him that he is working even harder, coping with the ever-changing demands of education in both content and management, to ensure that he hands on the School to his successor in the best state possible. He deserves a little respite from the constant pressure, but I have no doubt that many people will continue to benefit from his thought and inspiration.

And has he been alone in all this? Well no. Jean has been a constant presence and support, who in the early years was often pressed into service in School, fill-ing-in for absent teachers at short notice, as well as looking after Mark and Shirley, and later Rachel, all of whom went to Scargill School, whose high reputation now, is very largely Gordon's achievement.

Perhaps part of the secret of his success lies in his ability to sleep, no matter what! If you have not heard the tale about having to wake up early in the morning during his spell in the Army then get him to tell you; no one else could relate it with quite the same feeling!

George Futers

Memories Cllr John Hart, November 1995

JohnJohn was born in Stanley, and continued to live there until about 16 years ago when he built himself a house on High Lane East. He had a brother and a sister, and his father was a driver for the Felix Bus Company. The house in which they lived was also a shop — run by John’s mother and was a general grocery store and off-licence.

As a youngster, he attended Stanley Infants School, but transferred to Scargill School in West Hallam at the age of 11. His head-master was Mr Carter, but John’s great joy was to be in the school football team.

At 14, John began work as an apprentice joiner to C E Mellors of Chaddesden, a firm specialising in housing and bank alterations. He continued to work there for the next 26 years, becoming foreman for the last 8 years. Like many youngsters of that time, he served a 7-year apprenticeship, attending Derby Technical College for 3 nights a week for 3 years.

On leaving the Mellors’ firm, he set up his own building business, specialising in new housing and some extension work.

As a boy, John sang in Stanley Church Choir and later served on the Village Hall Committee. However, the great interest of his life has been football. For many years he played in the Stanley Village team, and also for the Felix Bus Company at their annual Boxing Day match. John and his wife Carol are keen Derby County supporters, and usually have season tickets for their games.

Now, John takes tremendous pride in the West Hallam Junior Football Club, of which he has been President for about 10 years. There are 10 teams and about 150 youngsters involved, from the under 8s to the under 16s. They play in the Derby City League and receive free coaching— usually from keen parents. John and Carol sponsor the teams and buy new “strip” for one of the teams when necessary.

John became Chairman of West Hallam Parish Council for the second time in May of this year. He is currently a trustee of the Anne Powtrell Fund, a trustee of the West Hallam United Charities and is also on the Village Hall committee.

For 23 years John was a committee member of the Federation of Master Builders and was a delegate of the Derby branch.

John and Carol were keen walkers, and used to enjoy the West Hallam Rural Society walks. Indeed, he was their President for 3 years. However, since his heart problems, he has found the walks too long.

He decided to retire early, following his heart operation, and this has given him more time to enjoy some very good holidays. They have a cottage in Norfolk and also an apartment in Malta.

A favourite holiday would be another trip to Malta, where the climate is so good and the people are kind and friendly. Even so, the highlight of their recent holidays came on a trip to Barbados on Concorde. Carol had written to British Airways explaining that John was recovering from heart surgery and had been advised to fly Concorde because of the shorter flight (3 hours instead of 10 or 12). She wondered if he could be allowed to visit the flight deck. As soon as they were on board, John was invited into the cockpit, strapped into the sliding seat behind the pilot, given earphones for the intercom and ground control and watched the pilot- as they took off, climbed steeply, went through the sound-barrier and cruised at 1,600 mph. The heart surgery was obviously a great success if he was able to cope with so much excitement!

Although John doesn’t find much time for reading books, he does enjoy books or magazines about sport, especially football and grand-prix motor racing. He has recently enjoyed Nigel Mansell’s autobiography.
Favourite music has to be the “Big Band Sound” and good old-fashioned dance music, such as the orchestras of Glen Miller, Cyril Stapleton, Ted Heath and Joe Loss. A local band that they really enjoy dancing to is the Stapleford Big Band.

A luxury item to take on holiday would be another camera, so that they could take even more holiday photographs, but especially to photograph young Lisa.

Lisa is a charming young lady aged 4 ½ and is Carol and John’s great niece. She visits them regularly and always spends one night a week with them. The conservatory appears to have been taken over by Lisa and contains a large Wendy house and lots of toys.

John has been a Christian since boyhood, though he is not a regular churchgoer. He greatly appreciates the Rector’s visits and is a firm believer in the power of prayer.

As for the future of West Hallam, John thinks that it should be good as long as we can avoid any further outcropping of coal—which he would certainly oppose. There is unlikely to be much more building in the village, and the green belt area appears safe. He would like to see more policing in the area—at the moment there are no police “on the beat” in West Hallam. There has been some vandalism in the village— some caused by youths from outside this area.

At the moment, the Parish Council are updating the 4 children’s play areas by removing the hard-surfaces near the swings, etc, and replacing them with 9 inches of bark.

We are grateful to people like John who give up so much of their time and energy to make our village a better place to live in. He and his fellow Councillors often sort out problems themselves, such as cleaning the war memorial, removing litter, and cleaning the village hall playground with his power wash.

Perhaps we should give our local Councillors more support? They meet at Scargill School on the first Thursday of the month. 7-7.30pm is an open session when members of the public are invited to ask questions. At 7.30pm the meeting begins, but the public are invited to stay and listen to the proceedings.

R I P John Hart taken from WHM Magazine of July 1996

A Tribute by Cllr Henry Shaw

With the passing of John the Community of West Hallam is a poorer place.

The amount of work and effort, often unseen and sometimes perhaps seemingly unappreciated, carried out by John was of tremendous benefit to the Parish.

His interest in sport and his generous financial donations to cricket and football has had a beneficial effect for young sportsmen and their clubs. His work on the Community Centre Management Committee and the Village Hall Committee has been much appreciated by other Committee members. As a charity trustee, John served and was keenly interested in the Anne Powtrell Foundation, the West Hallam United Charity and the NewdigateTrust.

His work on the Parish Council for the last fourteen years, especially his years as Chairman, resulted in many improvements throughout the area. John was a practical man with practical ideas and will be sadly missed.

Donations were given in John's memory in lieu of flowers. Over £1,500 was donated and divided between the Cardiology Department at the DRI and the Derby City General Hospital

Lionel & Doris Wood, Golden Wedding, Shown in December 1995 WHM


Lionel was born at Stanley Common in 1923 the oldest of two brothers. He attended Stanley Common C of E School, followed by attendance at Scargill, where he started on the first day of the new school opening. On leaving school he joined Aiton and Co Ltd pipework engineers of Stores Road, Derby, starting a career in the foundry industry. He spent 25 years with the company, leaving as head of the foundry training school. On leaving Aitons he took up a post at Derby College of Further Education lecturing in the engineering workshops, first at the Normanton Road College, followed by a move to the then new Wilmorton College. He continued lecturing in the modem foundry complex, until his retirement through ill health in 1987, ending a further 25 years service.

Doris was born in 1926 the youngest of 6 children at 1 Burns Street, Ilkeston. She attended Gladstone Girls School, on leaving she started work with Rutland Garments.

They met at a dance at the Ilkeston Co-op ballroom (now the Regency Rooms). Courting had to be done on weekdays and Sundays because Lionel spent Friday and Saturday evenings playing drums in the Swing Aces Dance Band. The band attracted a good group of supporters, Lionel is still reminded of this fact by several of these followers. They were married at St Mary’s Church, Ilkeston, and lived with Doris’s parents for 5 years, before moving to the new council estate, at the Crescent, Stanley Common. Remaining here for 15 years before moving to High Lane West, their present home, where they have lived for 30 years. Lionel and Doris have 2 sons Roger and Nigel. They have always been associated with the Methodist Church. Doris attended the South Street Methodist Church Ilkeston before moving to Stanley Common. Lionel attended Stanley Common Middle Chapel where they both later became members. On moving to West Hallam they joined the congregation at the chapel, becoming active members, helping to create the new church as it is to-day. Lionel lists gardening, woodwork and embroidery as his hobbies. Doris helps out in the garden and spends much time cooking, knitting, reading and sewing. Both share an interest in local history, for several years they were members of the Ilkeston History Society. At present Lionel is putting his woodworking skills to good use by constructing the props for next years Chapel flower festival. Celebrations for the Anniversary include a family party arranged at Morley Hayes, followed by two other parties with close friends.

Congratulations to Lionel and Doris from all our readers and good wishes for many more happy years.

West Hallam Bygones by Lionel Wood

WISantaThe speaker at the November meeting of West Hallam & District Women’s Institute was Mrs Nancy Hawksworth, who spoke on “Christmas Fare”. She demonstrated the making of the items all of which were offered as tasters at the tea-break and thoroughly enjoyed by all. The vote-of-thanks was offered by Mrs Mavis Carter. Tickets for the Christmas Carol Service at the United Reform Church, Ilkeston, on 8 December were offered for sale. The final arrangements for the Christmas Dinner to be held at the Mackworth Hotel, Derby, were made. The annual reports and accounts were considered and the new committee was confirmed.

The next meeting to be held in the Village Hall on 13 December, will have, as its speaker, Mr Ron Applegate and a faith supper will complete the evening.

MW Wilks, Sec.

Roger Wood - 1996

RWRoger was born in Heanor, but the family lived at the home of his grandparents in Ilkeston. Later, they moved to Stanley Common but for the last 31 years Roger has lived with his parents, Doris and Lionel, at High Lane West.

His first school was at Stanley Common, and Roger remembers the large class sizes. For extra space, the school used the Church Institute, 300 yards away, with its corrugated metal roof and large log-burning stove. He attended Stanley Common Church Sunday School, and enjoyed taking part in their special Christmas, Easter and Harvest Services.

At the age of 11, he moved to Scargill School, which was then a Secondary Modern School. Mr Hunt was the Headmaster at that time, but Roger remembers especially Mr Sims, who gave his pupils the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities and pursuits, such as hiking, boating, map reading and gardening. School days seemed full of adventures, and the long holidays were a wonderful opportunity to explore the local countryside.

This was the time when Roger developed his love of the environment and the natural world. He and his friend Stephen explored the local woods and fields, rescuing sick animals and birds. They took it in turn to nurse the casualties back to health, on one occasion using an outside toilet as a temporary aviary for a green woodpecker with a broken wing. Stephen's mother was not amused!

On leaving school, Roger began an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner with Aitons, the pipework engineers at Derby. However, weekends tended to be directed to birdwatching. Graham Lowe, who lived on Beech Lane, gave Roger the opportunity to start ringing birds, which helped him to identify the various species at close quarters. Most of the ringing was done at Hilbre Island off West Kirkby in the Dee estuary. The bird ringers had a large shed fitted with a kitchen and sleeping accommodation, so that evenings could be spent on the island.

Roger also became involved with the Brathay Exploration Group, which was based at Windermere, in the Lake District. This organisation was started by the father of Sir Peter Scott, to give young people from different backgrounds the opportunity to take part in expeditions. Roger chose Iceland for his first expedition, which involved camping at the foot of the Vatnajohull glacier. The group did a lot of bird ringing, especially the Great Skua, to determine their movements after leaving their breeding grounds. Roger was the assistant leader, and the expedition was a great success, setting the seed for future travels and exploration.

After completing his apprenticeship Roger left the company and began work at Derby College of Art and Technology, as a workshop technician. He has been employed there for 26 years, though it is now called the Mackworth College, and Roger is the Head Technician, responsible for the 20 technicians working throughout the site. This of course has involved further study of production engineering and management.

Whenever possible, Roger has continued with various birdwatching expeditions, in all parts of the British Isles, and also abroad. He has led birdwatching tours to Mallorca, Southern Spain, Eilat in Israel, Manitoba, Winnipeg and Churchill in Canada, and Arizona in the USA He has recently returned from his second expedition to Iceland, when he noted the changes due to global warming, as reported in his October 'Birdwatch' article.

In 1988, Roger and 11 fellow enthusiasts started the Shipley Birdwatching Group, based at the Shipley Park Visitors' Centre. This has now grown to a membership of over 70, with about 50 members regularly attending the indoor meetings. Interest in the environment has developed over the years, and residents are prepared to fight on local environmental issues, such as opencast coal mining. Roger has been able to support objections to both the Stanley Common and Stanley opencast projects with details of birdwatching reports on these sites.

Next Easter, there is to be a return trip to Eilat, a birdwatcher's paradise, where thousands of birds migrate over the Negev Desert. Roger has developed a great expertise in caring for sick or lost birds. A Manx Shearwater was found locally after severe gales had driven it inland from the coast.

Enthusiastic naturalists tried to launch it by throwing up in the air. Of course, this did not work since these birds have a very curious anatomy, in that their legs are placed too far back in the body to take off from land. Roger duly fed it up with a tin of sardines, and took it to Gibraltar Point, Skegness, where it was ringed, and then carried into the sea. After floating and paddling around for a while, it was able to take off and fly.

Injured Kingfishers enjoy fish fingers, at least the bits of fish inside the finger, and owls love a chunk of raw meat wrapped in the hair combed from a pet animal, so that they are convinced that they are swallowing a baby mouse!

Roger dislikes being called a "twitcher", a name intended for a group of people who only see birds as part of tick list, and who often know very little about birds and their habitat.

When he has time to relax, Roger enjoys the music of Dire Straits, Mark Knoffler, and Chris Rea on his CD.

BirdHis favourite reading matter is, of course, any book on birds, especially those he is likely to find on the next expedition. Binoculars and telescope are essential on a birdwatching tour, and he is already looking forward to his next trip to Eilat.

Roger's hopes for the future of this area are of course that there is no more destruction of the environment, e.g. by opencast mining, and that more and more people will become involved in these vital environmental issues.

We send our good wishes to the Shipley Bird watching Group, and wish Roger and his friends "Happy Birdwatching".

On Sunday, 3 November, there will be a bird watching walk - meeting at 2pm at Straws Bridge, Swan Lake, carpark, West Hallam. Please bring your binoculars.

John and Jean Moorley - Shown in June 1996 WHM

Profile JJJohn and his wife Jean, live on High Lane West and attend Stanley Common Methodist Church. They met through Methodist Youth work.

Born in Ilkeston, John was a pupil of Hallcroft School. Leaving school at the age of 16, he began work with his father as a florist. At that time the family attended Nottingham Road Methodist Church and John felt called to work for the church. He entered Cliff College, near Baslow, the Methodist training college, initially for 1 year, but he was then accepted onto the Evangelistic staff and stayed for a further 2 years.

Jean was born at Stanley Common and attended Scargill School. On leaving school she worked in the Borough Surveyor's department at Ilkeston Borough Council. Jean has been a lifelong member of Stanley Common Methodist Church, which they both now attend. Jean is church secretary and John is the treasurer.

While at Cliff College, John became very interested in literature. Although he enjoyed preaching, he was not sure that he wanted to be ordained. After discussions with the College Principal, who pointed out that he had a good business brain, the idea of a Christian bookshop developed, John talked this over with his father, who was keen to help and they eventually bought a grocer's shop at 8 Nottingham Road, Ilkeston, which opened in September 1966. It was called "Moorley's Bible and Book Shop" and was essentially a general book shop with a Christian influence.

Jean was involved in the shop from the beginning and has continued to play an important role in the firm. She is now a director of the company and is responsible for sales and invoicing.

The shop was a great success. John became interested in educational book supplies and they began working for both Derby and Nottingham County Councils, taking orders and delivering books to schools over the two counties.

In 1969, the company published it's first book, which was a collection of poems and recitations for children written by a church member in Birmingham. Within a few moths they had sold over 500 copies. Their first Christmas play, for children, called "Star Over the Stable" was published a year later and to date has sold over 35,000 copies.

By now, the tiny premises on Nottingham Road had become somewhat cramped and so they opened an extension on Park Road, as a warehouse and printing works.

However, disaster struck in 1985. Within a few days and for various reasons, neither Nottingham nor Derby County Councils renewed their contracts to supply schoolbooks and so there was a massive loss of turnover. They prayed for guidance and help and had long discussions with their accountants, but eventually had to sell the Nottingham Road shop.

Concentrating on the Park Road premises, they began to restructure the business, particularly developing the printing and publishing aspect. After talks with Scripture Union, who were opening a book shop in Nottingham, the retail side of the business was closed in about 1987.

Although it took the company 5 years to recover financially, the publishing side of the business had grown steadily and they have been able to update their equipment and buy the latest computer technology. They now have over 400 books in print, involving over 100 authors. John reads about 5 manuscripts a week, but only about 14 a year are accepted for publishing. There are plays, paperbacks and painting books. The largest book in print is "Wesley's Sermons—in modern English" One very successful book has been “Graces for all Occasions" by Ivan Street, who broadcasts on Radio Derby. Their "School Assembly" books have also been very successful. The company now supplies Christian book shops all over the country. They have 8 employees, but also employ freelance artists and part-time representatives.

In addition, the company also does commercial stationery, such as letterheads, invoices, business cards, menus, catalogues and wedding stationery. Much of the business is done by mail order and John often takes a sales stand at Christian gatherings such as the Easter People and the Baptist Assembly.

They work with Cliff College on some joint ventures and they now work together with Nimbus Press. They do accept some private publications, for example, local history and poetry.

John and Jean have lived on High Lane West since 1971. They have two children—Andrew is a systems architect who "writes" computer software for merchant banks. Daughter, Karen, is an occupational-therapist working at Stafford and specialising in mental health.

Despite running a very time consuming business, John still finds time to be a Methodist Local Preacher and preaches on about 30 Sundays each year, in various Churches of the Erewash Valley circuit.

Although there is little time left for holidays, John and Jean do manage a holiday each year, usually in this country, though on the occasion of their Silver Wedding anniversary, they managed a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. They have relations in Australia and New Zealand and so a favourite holiday would be a trip "down under".

As for music, they enjoy light classical music and 'easy listening'. Books are a problem since they have to read so many as part of their job, but Jean enjoys an Alistair McLean thriller, and John would settle for some good magazines and time to read a daily newspaper.

John's favourite version of the Bible is the "New International", while Jean prefers the "Good News".

Their hopes for the future are that church attendances will increase and that there will be much closer cooperation between the various churches in the Stanley, Stanley Common, West Hallam and Mapperley areas, similar to the covenant which now exists between the three West Hallam and Mapperley churches.

Although there is no longer a bookshop, Park Road premises have a display area of all Moorley's titles, to which the public are welcome during normal office hours. A current catalogue is always available.

Alan Bennett:
"The CofE is so constituted that
its members believe almost anything.
But, of course, none of them do!"

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