My Memories Growing Up in Mapperley Village by Bob Hawley
Back Row L to R - Ev Peacock, Alan Davis, Alan James.
My name is Bob Hawley, and many other families of Hawley’s have lived in the village for many years. My grandfather Tom married Ada Durow, they lived on Coronation Road and they had two children, Les (my Dad) and his sister Barbara. My granddad worked at the pit and my Dad followed him into the pit as was common in those days.
My mum Mary’s father was one of the Pritchetts from Stanley Common; she lived in Derby but was brought up from an early age by her aunt who lived on Bagot Street, West Hallam.
Mum and Dad married in the early 1940’s living in a cottage at the end of the existing row (Lodge Row) down from the chapel entrance and next to the school. The cottage lay between the end of the row as is now and the chapel drive, it was subsequently demolished when the newer house which stands back next to the chapel was built.
Mum and Dad had three children, the first was David in 1943 that died at approx 13 months and is buried in the churchyard, the second was my brother Michael in 1946 and finally I was born in 1948. I grew up in Mapperley, attended the village Primary and Junior school then moved on to Ilkeston Grammar School. I went to the chapel for a while and then moved to the church where I was a regular in the choir; I was a regular player for Mapperley Miners Welfare Football Club and spent approx 8 yrs on the Parish Council. My mum was the postmistress and I delivered the papers for approx 5yrs. So we both went to everyone’s house over the years and knew everyone in the village very well. I finally left the village, with regret, in 1980.
Growing up in the village was a marvellous experience, everyone was friendly, all knew each other well and there never seemed any locked doors and everyone was welcomed at any house in the village
The adults were all friends, the men meeting in the Black Horse and the women attending whist drives, bingo nights, women’s institute, jumble sales, dances etc. at the village institute which was a well used building. I was regularly at the institute when my Mum was there and I used to wait in the glass lean to at the Candlestick for a drink and crisps when my Dads shift finished at the pit and they used to stop for a pint at the Candle.
In the early days we were into everything, at weekends and holidays we would disappear at 9.00am and return home around 6.00pm. We would be around the pond, in Mapperley wood, Mapperley Park wood, Abbots wood, Manchester wood and up in the estate. We would do all the things kids do in the woods, building dens, climbing all the trees, shooting and trapping, cooking and eating wood pigeons etc. We would camp a lot in local fields, be swimming in the pond in summer and skating on the pond in winter when possible. It was a very busy time growing up. Pete Heywood’s dad Fred was the bailiff at the pond and we had many run ins with him whilst swimming/skating and Pete had to be very careful at the time not to be seen involved for obvious reasons.
We also became involved in most things that were happening in the village including piano smashing competition, tug of war, football matches, darts, dominoes and skittles at the pub. Some of the lads actually formed their own group called The Storms who we used to follow. We also seemed to be having parties, Birthdays/Christmas etc., any excuse would do. These were at various houses in the village with plenty of beer flowing.
I must pay tribute to all the friends I had growing up in the village, some no longer with us sadly, who made it such a great time for me including Ev Peacock, Alan Davis, Eric Saxton, Graham Appleby, Tony Webster, Pete Heywood, Alan James, Steve Peacock, John Greatorex, Bob Roberts, John Appleby, Barry Riley and Mick Hutchinson. If it hadn’t been for these mates it would not have been such a great place, thank you all.
Later of course we all began using the Black Horse as all our friends and parents were in there. I remember all the other lads were able to get in the Black Horse before me and before they were 18 but Ron the landlord knew my birthday as it was two days after his daughter Elaine’s birthday. I was using the Newdigate, the Batemans and the Candle for a while.
I have been left Mapperley for a good while now but I still try to get back as much as I can and still know many people who still live there and it is the one place I would love to move back to live remembering all the really good times we had growing up.
Things are different now from when I was growing up with the institute gone, the chapel closed, the candlestick closed, the post office which was at one time on Coronation Road is gone, the three shops have all gone, the road through the Park to Heanor is closed off and there is no longer a bus service and of course the pit is closed.
This all seems rather drastic but Mapperley Village is still the one place I would love to return to as I still feel it is my village.
Bob Hawley 2021