Mapperley Village

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The Greatorex Family and Their Connection With Mapperley Village

My name is John Greatorex. I was born in 1946. I have four sisters all of them younger than me. They are June (1947), Janice (1949), Patricia (1953) and Gillian (1956). We moved into 21 Mapperley Village with our mother and father in 1962 after the death of my father’s parents. My grandmother died first in 1961 and my grandfather died shortly afterwards in January 1962.

Our parents were John Arthur Greatorex (1921-1985) and Muriel nee Unwin (1926-2013). Muriel’s family were from Yorkshire.

John Arthur’s father was William Greatorex who was born in Shottle near Belper. John Arthur’s mother was Ada Millicent Hawley and the connection with Mapperley is through her and the Hawley family.

The first documented information I have for the Hawley family is Leonard Hawley who was born in 1769. He married Mary in 1798. They had five children. They were Hannah (1799), Martha (1802), Sarah (1805) Ann (1808) and Joseph (1816-1861).

Ann married John Hardy although I have no documented evidence for this. They had a son called John Hawley (1828-1892) who married Emma Roe in 1851. John didn’t take his father’s surname Hardy and I have not been able to find out why. (Any ideas?) John and Emma had 14 Children of which I have information but will not list them all here. The fourth child was Francis Leonard Hawley who was my great grandfather. He was born on 3 March 1858 and married Harriet Weston in 1880. Francis Leonard and Harriet had 10 children, the oldest being Ada Millicent, my Dad’s mum and my grandmother.  One of Francis Leonard’s brothers was George Edward Hawley. He married Charlotte Musson and was Mollie Hawley’s grandad. Mollie is married to Billy Skinner and they still live in the village.

My Grandmother, Ada Millicent had 9 siblings. Three of them were Hannah (1885-1971), Emma (1887-1958) and Thomas (1892-1963). Hannah married John Bridges and gave rise to Gladys who married Les Webster and had Tony and Jean Webster. All lived in the village at one time.

Emma married Samuel Saxton and had five children including Doris (1909-1993), Annie (1913-1984) and Sam (1922).

Doris married Tom Davis and gave rise to Alan and Mick Davis and their siblings. Alan now lives in Holland but Mick and his wife Pauline still live in the village. Annie married Harry Appleby and had John, Keith and Graham Appleby who lived in the village as a young family. Sam Married Elsie Winfield and had Eric Saxton. Sam and Elsie lived in one of the gatehouses near Coachways. Thomas married Ada Durow and they had Les Hawley. He married Mary Pritchett and they had Michael (Mick) and Robert (Bob). They lived on Coachways.
All of these people are my second cousins.

With regards to more immediate family, John Arthur had a sister Harriet, a brother Leonard and an adopted brother Wilfred.

Wilfred was born in 1903. He was married to Irene (Renie) and had two sons, Eric and George. Eric was married to Hilda (Peggy) and they had a son called Kevin. George never married.

Harriet married John (Jack) Riley in 1934 and they had five children. They lived in the row of houses opposite the Black Horse. Rex (1934-2000) was married to June. They had four children. Robert, Karen, Kay and Jeff.  Barry (1937-1993) never married. Terry (1941) married Marion (1941). They had Wayne, Fay, Donna, Julie and Terry.   Marlene married Bob Clarke and they had John and Mandy and Pauline married Alan Ogden and they had Gail Mark and Michaela. Bob and Marlene lived next door to us at the top of the twitchel.

Leonard married Linda in 1944 and they had Jennifer (1946) and Susan (1952) and lived on Coachways, Mapperley.

I have researched my family tree as far as I can with my limited time and finances but if anyone is interested in any of it, you can always contact me through Elaine Sarson on this site and I will be happy to help if I can.


The History of The Storms


Left to right
Alan Davis (Dallan) - Alan James - Everard Peacock with John Greatorex on shoulders (Gret) and Bob Hawley

My name is John Greatorex. I was born in Derby Women’s Hospital on 16 March 1946. At that time, I had no idea of Mapperley Village.

My mother’s maiden name was Muriel Unwin; my father’s name was John Arthur Greatorex.

We lived with my mum’s mum and dad in Chaddesden on the outskirts of Derby until I was about two years old then we got a council pre-fab in Stanley Common. My very first memories are there.

My mum’s immediate family are from Yorkshire, mainly the Bradford and Halifax area. My mum’s mum was a housewife and mother; my mum’s dad was a painter and decorator and he and his family followed his brother to Derbyshire where he had a decorating shop. Their family history is another story.

John Arthur Greatorex (my dad) was a coalminer born at 21 Mapperley Village, the house at the top of the twitchel opposite The Old Black Horse.

His mother’s name was Ada Millicent Hawley (born 1877). My Grandma was part of a large family that lived in Mapperley at the time. His father’s name was William (Bill) Greatorex (born 1878). They were married in Belper Register Office in 1898. William came from Shottle near Belper. I have never been able to fathom how they met in those days of Shanks’ pony and horse travel!

When I first moved to Stanley Common with my mum and dad we lived in a pre-fab at 25 The Crescent. I remember they were made of aluminium I think. They were small chalet type houses but they had everything including a fridge and gas cooker and two bedrooms and they were brand new.

In those days I must say we saw more of my mum’s mum and dad than my dad’s. My mum’s mum and dad owned their own house in Chaddesden with all the mod cons. My dad’s mum and dad’s house in Mapperley had no hot water and an outside toilet, which was a plank over a bucket at the top of the garden and it smelled. They had no electricity just gaslights and a coal burning range!

I went to Stanley Common Primary and Junior School and in 1957 I somehow managed to pass the 11 plus exam and went to Ilkeston Grammar School.

My grandma and granddad Greatorex both died within a year in 1960/61. My mum and dad somehow got the coal board owned house and we moved in within the year.

Mapperley amazed me. Everyone was so kind and friendly. It wasn’t until much later I discovered most of them were my relatives.

I left the Grammar School in 1962 at 16 with little to show for it and started work with a firm called Telefusion Ltd. It wasn’t long before I had fitted most people in Mapperley with a television aerial so they could watch the two channels that were available in those days.

One of the lads that worked at Telefusion was quite musical. He was from Liverpool and could play the piano and guitar and wasn’t bad on the drums. I had always been interested in music myself and was well up with the hit parade and loved to sing, as did all of my family. There was always music in our house.

He had his guitar at work and he let me tinker on it; in fact he encouraged me.

Before long I could play a few songs and I eventually managed to save enough with the help of mum and dad to buy my own guitar. I still have the original receipt but sadly, not the guitar.

This was the early sixties. Radio Luxemburg was popular on the new transistor radios that were becoming available. Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Cliff Richard. The Seekers, Joe Brown and his Bruvvers. Adam Faith and even Jim Reeves and many many others were inspirational and quite easy to play.

In 1962 a song came on my transistor radio late one night under my bed covers whilst the rest of the house was asleep called ‘Love me do’ by a band from Liverpool called the Beatles and my life changed.

One of the best friends I had made in Mapperley was Alan Davis. I later discovered that he was my second cousin. His grandmother and my grandmother were sisters. Alan is a special character full of ideas and get up and go. We went here, there and everywhere doing all the sorts of things that teenagers do and somehow came up with this idea of forming a band to compete with the Beatles (Ha Ha!).

With another second cousin (Eric Saxton) we enrolled at Scargill night school for woodwork and guitar lessons. We made our guitars and learned to play them. In truth, Alan was the only one to complete his bass guitar and he used it later for many gigs on stage in our band, which after much deliberation and alcohol in The Old Black Horse was to become known as ‘The Storms’. Sadly, Eric lost interest. But not Alan and me!

Alan and several others in Mapperley (Bob Roberts, Bob Hawley and others) were Boy Scouts. Alan had worked his way up to Scout leader and was involved in organising camps and other events. One of these was a Gang Show, which was to be held at the Methodist church in Ilkeston. It was Alan’s idea to take part in this show as a Rock Band. This was in 1962/3. The original line up for the show was David (Bullet) Shooter on drums, Dave (Chick) Hicken on lead vocals, Dave Grainger on rhythm guitar, Alan on bass guitar and myself on lead guitar. We learnt about half a dozen songs and that was that. The event went down well and we even got a write up and a photograph in the Ilkeston Advertiser. We went on to do several scout related events including a beat service at a Sunday school in Stanley. As time went by, Bullet began to lose interest and we had to try and find another drummer. In those days we used to practice in our front room at 21 Mapperley Village. We advertised for a drummer and this is when Pete Toplis joined the band. He was a good bit older than us and was a lot more experienced as a musician and we were all amazed when he said he wanted to join us. I have to say that his experience leap frogged the band immediately to another level! By this time we were getting fairly well known and did a couple of wedding receptions and eventually we got a booking at Marlpool Social Club. From there we slowly got more and more work in pubs around Derby, Ilkeston and Nottingham. We had a stint at West Hallam Social Club (Quirky’s) as it was known and we managed to persuade the landlord of The Poplar Inn in Ilkeston to let us practice for free in the back room on Sunday nights under the condition that the public were allowed in. These sessions became quite popular and the landlord promoted us to Saturday nights and started to pay us.

Sadly, after a while, Pete was offered a job with an outfit called Reg Guest and his Organised Music playing on a cruise ship and he left. We advertised again and found another drummer whose name was also called Chick but I am afraid I cannot remember his proper name. This line-up was to continue until the band finally broke up in 1964/5 when we were all courting or married and went our separate ways.

- More About The Storms -


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