Mapperley Village

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My Memories. Dictated By Marie Taylor (Nee Hawley) To Friend Barry Dibb

Marie was born in 1924

The Village School

Marie started school at 4 ½ years of age, which would be January 1929.

She remembers her first day at school very well; she went to school without her underwear. Her mother had to bring it to school in the break.

Miss Heathcote she describes as a lovely lady who taught the infants. Miss Hunt taught the middle class and sewing while the headmaster, 'Gaffer' Johnson, taught the seniors and gave the cane.

Marie recalls that in her eyes 'Gaffer' Johnson’s only good point was that in icy weather during the winter months he allowed the boys to pour buckets of water onto the school yard. This froze and the children made slides on the ice.

Some contemporaries she remembers from schooldays were Olive Thornley, Evelyn Hawley, Joan Hobson, Harry Monks and Desmond Martin.

Marie admits to being sweet on Bob Hog and Malcolm Thornley.

At 11 years of age Marie won a Scargill Scholarship to secondary school in Ilkeston. She says that she had to catch a certain bus from the crossroads, it was a blue bus, but she can’t remember the name of the bus company.

She thinks the fare to Ilkeston was 1d (one old penny) each way.

King George V Silver Jubilee Celebrations

Marie cannot remember much about the village party except that she remembers the weather being fine and she thinks they had tea in the Institute.

Mapperley Pond (Reservoir)

Marie remembers the drowning of a local boy, Douglas Hudson, in Mapperley Pond. This occurred in the early 1930's. Douglas went swimming in the pond with Jack Lowe. 'Duggie' got into trouble and unfortunately drowned.

Marie describes how some miners from the village, just home from their shift at the pit (to quote Marie, unshaven, unwashed and braces flopping) ran to the pond but were unable to save Duggie. They found his body and bought it back to the village using an old door as a makeshift stretcher.

Another memory Marie has is that she was taken down to the pond as a child to be shown how the pond had flooded across the road and flooded the whole of Mapperley Woods.

Mapperley Pond

She can’t remember the date but it could have been around May 22nd 1932 as it is well documented that on this date Ilkeston, Derby and Long Eaton experienced serious flooding after nearly 36 hours of continuous rain.


Marie recalls Polly Beale having the best apple trees, they were near The Pool. Marie says that they did not dare take her apples as she would “have your guts for garters”.

Arthur Suggett (born Mapperley 1923) says that it was actually Polly Beer, and not Polly Beale (Arthur’s aunt), who had the best apple trees!

Lennie Hawley The Shoe Repairer

Marie’s father, Lennie, repaired shoes in a shed he had equipped as a workshop behind her grandmother's house, 18 Main Street. Her father had learned shoe repairing from a cobbler at Stanley Common. Marie can’t remember the cobblers name but believes he was disabled.

Lennie bought leather in strips for carrying out repairs. Marie says that he always repaired Olive Thornley’s parent’s shoes and boots and that he also repaired her shoes until she married.

As was common then he used to fix Blakey’s segs to the soles of boots and shoes to protect the leather. The children liked these metal segs being fitted to their footwear as it allowed them to slide better. (Blakey’s still make segs today).

Lennie also worked in the lamp cabin at Nibby pit.

The Village Postal Service

Marie’s uncle, Les Hawley, was at one time the village postman. He had to collect he mail from the Post office at Shipley and bring it to the Post Office at Mapperley.

The Post Office was in Walkers Yard (now called Coronation Road) and the post mistress was Polly Hart, who married a widower from Heanor. Marie recalls that when her uncle cycled with the mail between Shipley and Mapperley a fox would often run alongside him.

The Old Black Horse

Marie remembers a Mr. Sherwin being the landlord,. She believes he was ex-military or police. He was very tall and stood and walked very straight. Mrs. Sherwin, his wife, was a small lady, very thin and she had a small dog.

Mr. Sherwin would caution his wife about serving Marie and her friends with the words “be careful these girls are very young – Marie says she was an under age drinker. She drank I.P.A  (India Pale Ale).

The Reverend Pleming

The Reverend had a sweet tooth and he used to buy himself small chocolate bars from the village Post Office.

Marie and her friends would contrive to be in the Post Office when the Reverend called in for his “fix” – he would ask the children “what would you like?” and they would receive a small chocolate bar each and go away happy.

Bridge Farm

As a young child Marie believed a witch like person lived at Bridge Farm. She was called Old Bet.

Marie would not walk past the farm alone and her mother would have to meet her to pass the farm.

Marie remembers the Stanley village air crash of 12/07/1942.  Marie was eighteen at the time and worked for the L.M.S. Railway Co. in Derby.  Because it was wartime they had to work some Sundays.  This particular Sunday Marie got off the bus from Derby at the cross roads and was walking towards the village with some others when they heard the Wellington bomber in trouble and saw it crashing towards the ground in the direction of Stanley.  Thinking it was a German plane they cheered.  They soon knew different.

Dick Durow, a.k.a. Bobby Dick was a special constable who acted as an A.R.P. man and monitored the blackouts in the village.  Bobby Dick was often given the run-around by a gang of lads from Shipley sometimes led by Jack Whitworth.  They would hide from Bobby Dick at Marie’s, knocking at the door and asking to be let in.

There were evacuees from Southend-on-Sea in the village.  Marie thinks some stayed where Gladys and Evelyn Bridges lived at the top of the twitchell, she also thinks that Olive Thornley had an evacuee.  She also thinks that sometimes soldiers were possibly billeted at the Bridges.

Marie was a member of the church choir but didn’t think too highly of the Rev. Swain.  According to Marie he would tell the girls that he didn’t want them coming to the choir with their heads full of nothing but the boys they were going out with.

Marie also tells of Amy Morgan (nee Durow) who told fortunes.  She then related how she once visited Amy Morgan and what she told Marie upset her.  Amy Morgan told Marie that she would be going away and the house where she would be going to there would be a tragedy with death on the doorstep. At the time during school holidays Marie would often go and stay with her great uncle,Elijah Hobson and his family at Mansfield, Elijah would collect Marie from Mapperley in his Wolsley car.  Elijah was a rich man.  Marie was due to go on one of these visits shortly after she had her fortune told by Amy Morgan.  This visit Marie never made, Elijah died within half-an-hour of Marie’s fortune being told.   Elijah was Marie’s mother’s uncle and when his estate was distributed between the many beneficiaries of the will Marie’s mother received the sum of sixpence (Old money)

Her mother was according to Marie the boss of the Mapperley Football Club and according to Marie, mother used to select the team.   Jack Taylor, who at the time was courting Marie was considered to be the best player Mapperley had, or so Marie tells me.  But best player or daughter’s boyfriend or not Mother decided to drop him from the team much to the astonishment and the amusement of the others.

Marie also recalls that there was once a shopkeeper in the village who was so mean that he would split a raisin to make sure no one got more than they were entitled to.  The shop was the one opposite where Mollie and Bill Skinner live and Marie seems to think the shopkeeper was related to her great uncle Elijah.

Marie Taylor 2011

The family dedication to Marie who sadly passed away on 22nd October 2012

Marie was born 29th June 1924, the eldest child of Ethel (née Durow) and Leonnard Hawley in Mapperley Village and sister to Geoff (1928) and Mollie (1942).

She attended Mapperley Village Primary School, won the Scargill Scholarship to attend school in West Hallam, which then secured her entrance to the Ilkeston Grammar School, where she stayed until 1939, leaving when she was 15. She started work at the LMS Railway Company in Derby.

She spent the war years working in Derby, and by all accounts having a lot of fun, and then married Jack in December 1946 in Mapperley Church. For a while they lived in a “caravan” in Mapperley but then moved to rent part of Babbington Hall in Cossall. During this time she worked to support Jack gain his degree at Nottingham University and then she attended Teacher Training College in Warrington, travelling home at the weekends.

Her first teaching job was at Granby Junior School in Ilkeston. They moved to Heanor Road, Ilkeston in 1954 and had daughter, Pam,  and then resumed work at Kensington Infant School. Following her son’s birth, John (1963) she home tutored but then took a post at Holy Trinity Infants School. Having passed her test she was then able to drive, in her light blue 3 gear Ford Popular to Breadsall Hill Top Infants School where she was deputy head. In 1974, when she was 50, she became Head teacher at Arnold Infant School and carried out this job with great success until she retired and the authority closed the school in 1982.

Throughout her life Marie loved sport, football, cricket, horse racing. She maintained her season ticket for Derby County into 2012 – her last attendance at Pride Park was March 2012. She followed Derbyshire Cricket Club and loved the formal lunches – she went on their training tour to Bermuda in 1993. She continued to score for Ilkeston Rutland Cricket Club even after Jack’s death in 1992.

She was a gregarious and fun loving character, who loved going out and relished holidays and travelling. She had a natural, old fashioned way of striking up conversation. She was a “character” and anyone who met her would not have forgotten her.

Marie died peacefully at Ashfields Care Home on Tuesday 22nd October 2012.

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