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.
Albert recalls the following as being landlords of the Candlestick;
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.
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
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
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.
- More Memories From Albert -
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.
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'