Mapperley Village

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My Memories - Albert Hartshorne
Albert aged 22 years

Albert was born at The Royal Oak (Candlesticks) at Park Hall, Mapperley and has lived in Mapperley all his life.

Born to parents Hilda and Harry on 27th October 1921 Albert was the firstborn of ten children. His brothers and sisters being William (Bill), Ron, Les, Eric, Ivy, Edward (Ted), Eileen, Cyril and Margaret.

Albert’s grandparents Bill Saxton and Elizabeth Hartshorn had the Candlesticks at the time of Alberts birth. Albert lived then at the end cottage at Park Hall next to Park Farm. This is currently run by Alf Shaw but Albert recalls when it was in the hands of the Hoggs he was the under manager at Mapperley Pit.

There used to be 3 cottages opposite the Candlesticks, a detached and a semi detached.  Granny Wright lived in the detached cottage and the Turners and the Peacocks lived in the semi detached.

Albert also recalls a cottage in the grounds of the Candlestick.
The name Candlesticks came as the landlord Billy Gamble went down the cellar using a candle in a candlestick.

Albert recalls the following as being landlords of the Candlestick;
The Bees, Sawyers, Albert Walters, Jane Monks (during the 2nd World War) Charlie Waldron, Luther Martin and The Underwoods.

Note Jane Monks was sister to Alberts father. Jane had a daughter Jessie who also still lives in Mapperley (Jessie Thornley)

On October 31st 1949 the family moved to the newly erected council houses at The Coachways and into No. 14.  Yes, Albert even remembered the exact date!

Here the family remained and brothers and sisters leaving over time to get married. Albert and Cyril remained at home, Cyril passing away very suddenly on 25th May 1993 aged just 58 years.

Albert had moved to the pensioners bungalows, right next to No 14 The Coachways in 1989 after his marriage to Muriel.

Albert went to Mapperley School until he was 14 years old. Then Scargill School was opened and he attended there from his 14th birthday for 3 months leaving at Christmas 1935.


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Albert went to work at Stanton Ironworks in 1936 and remained there for 3½ years. He then went to work at Mapperley Pit when he was 17 ½ years working underground manually mining coal. The mechanical extraction of coal came in just as Albert was leaving the pit 28 years later.

He went on to work for Derbyshire County Council, Highways Department, for 18 years and then retired.

Whilst working at Mapperley Pit Albert recalls the horse ponies who worked down the mine all year, coming out only once a year for a weeks 'holiday'. There would be 120 ponies enjoying the fresh air in the surrounding fields, initially trying to get used to the sunlight. Albert recalls 14 being badly injured which led to them being shot.

Albert tells of an incident in 1941 when there was very heavy snow, a lot of the men could not get to the pit that day but 21 turned up for work which meant just enough men for a shift. However, one man got injured and the ambulance could not get through the snow so the miners carried the injured man by stretcher from Mapperley Pit to West Hallam Crossroads where he was collected by an ambulance and taken for medical attention.

Drury Lowe was a big landowner in that area. Albert remembers the pit managers living in various properties at Park Hall. Mr Butler the pit manager lived at Park Hall Farm, Mr Brown a pit director lived on Park Hall Lane, Mr Mayfield the pits surveyor lived at the cottage opposite Park Hall Farm.

The Old Black Horse was the public house in the centre of Mapperley village. Albert remembers the row of 3 cottages at the rear of the pub. The middle cottage being used as a Fire Station.(no fire engine!) There were 12 volunteers, all villagers, in this fire service, with practice sessions being each Sunday. If there was an air raid then the crew had to turn out. Joe Wood was the leading Fire Officer. Joe was a very active member of the Parish Council and was responsible for getting the Swedish timber houses built in the village in 1946 at The Limes and the houses at The Coachways.

Bill Hawley lived in the end cottage nearest to Manor Farm, the other end cottage was owned by either Joe Hawley or
Mr Watchorn.

Albert's family were chapel people. He remembers a teacher at the chapel, Jack Harvey. He also had the shop which was next to the chapel on Lodge Row. The middle cottage in that row was lived in by Arthur Moon.

Albert's uncle Tommy had an evacuee staying with him, there were quite a lot of evacuees in Mapperley in 1940/41 from Birmingham and Southend. They all attended Mapperley School. The head was Mr Johnson (Gaffer) who taught Class 2 which went to Standard 6, Miss Hunt from Heanor who taught Class 1 and Miss Heathcote who taught the infants. There were only 2 classrooms in the school so the bigger room was partitioned off to create a third room.

The children would play out in the streets in their spare time and on the recreation ground. The best field for games was the field by the Institute which was a cricket pitch and football pitch. (below Irongates Lodge) Ilkeston Excelsior cricket club played there. The opencast eventually tore up the pitches.

A traumatic event in the village was when a young boy, Douglas Hudson, drowned in Mapperley Pond. Douglas lived in what is now called Peacocks Cottage and was reputedly the first Ale House in Mapperley, the cellars still remain. Albert recalls that Douglas had a brother Jack who used to sell bread round the village from a horse and cart. Another of his brothers was Bob.

The Earl of Harrington's Hunts are a memory Albert has, being held regularly in the village.



Advert from 1937

Albert even remembers the landlords of the Old Black Horse starting with Mr. Beer, then Billy Holland, Jim Sherwin then my parents, Ron and Joyce Richardson.

Church Farm was at the crossroads in the centre of the village. It was owned by Captain Drury Lowe. Jack and Amy Morgan lived there as Jack was a hostler who took care of horses including the pit ponies. When Jack passed away Amy allowed the Dr Skinner practice to use her home and the farm buildings used by another local farmer, Charlie Hill. Between Mrs Morgan's and the farm building (now a house) there is and still remains a water well.

Mapperley has many families who have lived here for many many years. The Hawley's and the Martins being the main ones. Albert remembers being told that at one time there were 26 families which were either Hawley's or related to them.

Albert will be 91 years old this year and I have to say that his memory is quite amazing; he was able to recall events and dates so easily from his younger years. He also looks the same as he did when he came into the Old Black Horse when my parents were landlord and landlady during the 50's to the 70's.

I have spent a few hours in Albert's company whilst he recalled his memories and I have enjoyed every minute.
Thank you very much Albert for your contribution and treasured memories of a village you love.


- More Memories From Albert -


Mapperley pit closed in 1965. Shipley closed soon after. Most men went to Ormond Colliery (Loscoe area) or the Derby Drury Lowe Colliery (on main Derby to Ripley Road).

Stanley had already closed and most of the men were moved to Mapperley.

Wagons would come from Toton Sidings to Mapperley by the railway line to collect coal. due to the incline 75 empty wagons could make the journey but only 25 filled wagons. They called it the Over and Under line as there was one bridge to go over and one bridge to go under.

A dust plant was created at Mapperley Colliery after the pit closed and Albert worked for that. Wagons would come from Wales loaded with coal and then transferred to lorries at Mapperley pit for onward transmission to Stanton ironworks. The plant only lasted about a year.

When Mapperley pit was open there would be 3 bus services each day run by Bartons to cover the morning, afternoon and night shifts. They would come from Derby, Belper, Heanor and Ilkeston.

Villagers were allowed to catch the same bus from Derby Road, Ilkeston but had to stay on until Mapperley crossroads or the village as it wasn't a proper service bus.


Albert recalls football teams from the early 1940's until a few years ago. It was usually called Mapperley Miners Welfare Football Club. He recalls the team won the 1946 Derbyshire F A Medals. He also remembers they played Eastwood Town FC at Heanor and Mapperley won 2 - 1. There were celebrations in the Black Horse afterwards!


Albert remembers Desmond Martin (mentioned on the tablets under the church lych gates). He lived at Park Hall. He went to war and later came back home injured. He recovered and went back to war. Albert believes he was killed in France in a transport lorry which was blown up by a landmine.

Luther Martin, who later had the Candlesticks, also went to war and came home injured but recovered.
Tommy Bridges, brother of Gladys Webster, went to war and was killed in Japan in a POW camp.

During the war he remembers National Days of Prayer held in church. These were generally attended by the local Home Guards, Fire Service, Wardens and Fire Watches. Rev Swain was the vicar.

Villagers would hold dances, whist drives and other events in the church institute to raise funds for 'Comforts for the forces'
Albert remembers 2 bombs being dropped in Mapperley, both by Mapperley Wood and close to the railway line. No one was injured. They caused 30ft craters.

Memorial Page in Memory of Albert Hartshorne 1921 - 2021




So sorry to have lost Albert. He always had time for a friendly chat, any queries we had about the village past we could always “ask Albert” And he mostly knew the answer. A lovely man and a true gentleman he will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
R.I.P. Albert

Bill and Mollie Skinner.

On behalf of all on Mapperley Parish Council I would like to express our great sadness at the news that Albert Hartshorne has passed away.
Our sympathies are extended to his family and friends and we know he will be widely missed. I suspect few others can ever claim to have lived in Mapperley as long as Albert, especially one so well liked and respected.

Jeremy Williams. Chair of Mapperley Parish Counil

I have been a neighbour of Albert’s for many years. I have very fond memories of Albert living with his family at 14 Coachways. In particular, the many books I would take him to read which he really enjoyed.

You will be sadly missed Albert.
Joan Law

Albert, my adopted Grandad. He was a true English gentleman. He loved his football, Derby County, and cricket. Always happy to see us when we visited and made us feel so welcome. Our little dog loved him and would jump onto his lap for cuddles. I have so much admiration for him. He worked down the pit from a young age in times when the pit was a very dangerous place to work. He married our grandmother when he was 67 years of age, his first marriage. They had many happy years together and he lived on his own for 6 or 7 years after Grandma Muriel passed away. We will miss him.

Simon (Pats son) Pat was one of Muriel’s daughters

I loved to visit Grandad, his comforting house, his warmth and he was both quick to smile and slow to temper.. There was much laughter. I will never forget the lovely smell of meat and potato pie and the sugared almonds always there for us on the hearth. Not forgetting the beer he bought for us in the fridge. We are a big family so he had lots of grandchildren. The house came alive when we visited. His bungalow in Mapperley overlooked the fields and it was always a delight to look out at the view and the many beautiful birds that would visit his ample birdfeeders. He loved to talk cricket and I think it fair to say that Albert, passing away just before his 100 th birthday, in cricket terms he retired at 99, 100 not out and didn’t quite make his century. He fought for every run.

Christopher (Pats son)

A Thank you to Albert Hartshorne from Andrew Saxton.

Albert, I first met you when my dad Ernie Saxton brought me as a child to Mapperley. Mapperley was a legendary place in the Saxton family. I was born in Breadsall and my dad came from Cotmanhay, but I knew that my grandad, Vincent Saxton, and his people, were born and brought up in Mapperley. Dad and I would get the bus and walk down the lane, or else we would cycle over from Breadsall. That first time we came to see you, the first thing I learned was that you had lived in two houses because of the large family, so I thought you must be rich! I remember you as a tall, handsome, smiling man with a gentle voice, the same sort of Mapperley voice as my grandad Saxton. I sat and listened, rapt, as you and my dad talked about the past, about Polly Boam, about Grandma Harvey, the Candlestick, Squire Mundy and tried to unpick the complicated connections that meant so much to me. Step brothers, half-sisters, full siblings, cousins and aunties. Grandma Harvey was spoken of as the matriarch, and although she wasn’t a blood relation of mine, in the greater Mapperley family, that didn’t matter. It made her more special because of her kindness to so many children. She was Miss Mason, then Mrs Hartshorne, then Mrs Saxton, then Mrs Harvey. I knew we were all connected, and my confusion about Hartshornes, Hartshorns and Harts was unimportant because in Mapperley I could feel at home.

Years passed, I grew up and moved away from Derbyshire, but I came regularly to see my mum and dad in Breadsall. After my dad died, I was busy visiting my mum in Breadsall, then later at Bramble Lodge in West Hallam where she lived until she too died. I always kept my interest in my family history and so was drawn to the Mapperley History Website and began to correspond with Elaine Sarson. It is thanks to Elaine and her loyal closeness to Mapperley that I got in touch with you again. I asked her if I could visit you and I was very happy when you said you would be pleased to see me. And so I started visits to you in Sycamore Close.

The first time I came I brought you a bottle of beer and you told me you didn’t drink! I’m sure someone found a use for it. I would usually phone you to make sure it was ok to come and then turn up and knock on the door and you’d shout, ‘Come in’. We would sit and chat and look out of your wonderful picture window at the birds on the feeder and the fields beyond. You’d tell me where you’d been on your mobility scooter. You’d talk about your time in the pit and then the job you loved out and about working on the roads. You’d talk about my grandad, who you called Vin, and my granny, Agnes, who I never met because of her early death. I could picture them when you spoke of them with such affection. You told me about your trip to the Cup Final with my Uncle Bill. You talked about Ethel and Gladys and Eva and the visits my granny and grandad made to Mapperley, walking from Cotmanhay. It created pictures in my mind and brought me close to the past and all my loved ones. I would go into the kitchen and put the kettle on and you would shout through instructions to me about where the cups and the milk were and we would sit back down and look at the model train you were so proud of. I think I have been so lucky to be brought up with so many people I trust and love, and you were one of them Albert.

We’ll all miss you Albert. You were a gentle man and a gentleman. We’ll remember you on your 100th birthday on 27 October. We are all so much richer for knowing you, and I thank you for your friendship.

You’ll always be remembered, Albert.

I loved our chats when I visited each month with the free newspaper. We would talk about Derby County, the team we both supported. I wore my Derby County shirt for your funeral Albert, just for you.

Joan Waterfall.

Albert and Murial's Wedding 2nd June 1989 at Ilkeston Register Office.

This was Alberts first marriage and he was 67 years of age.




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