I lived in Mapperley from 1951 until my marriage in 1980 and still have connections with the village in that my eldest daughter Rachel and her family live in the house (No 31) where I was raised by my parents Albert and Alice Redgate. My grandsons, Benjamin and Alexander attended Mapperley School as did I and my mother. My mother was also secretary and school dinner lady; Rachel is following this theme as she is secretary to the PTA (Parent Teacher Association). My mother descends from an old Mapperley family – The Hawleys; over the years she lived at No 31, No 7, the priest house (No 29) before finally returning to No 31. I recall that No 31 had its own well in the living room which was eventually filled in and capped with concrete when I was young. I believe several houses had their own wells, but generally outside. Like many properties in the village No 31 was affected by mining subsidence but not seriously and some walls were
Many of my early recollections relate to Mapperley School and Holy Trinity Church. Mrs Chalons was my infant teacher and Mrs Foster was Head Mistress. My classmates included Karen Miles, Susan Greatorex, Barbara Lodge, Robert Richardson and Paul Moss ( no relation to my husband). Highlights of the school year were the school trips, bonfire night and the Christmas party. Mrs Chalons took us to Newstead Abbey every year and I well recall paddling in the stream and getting rained on requiring us all to seek shelter in the Abbey’s little shop.
Mrs Foster organised some brilliant trips, including visits to York, Coventry and London.Every year we went to Tissington for the well dressings which also involved a walk along the River Dove and a climb up Thorpe Cloud.
Bonfire night was preceded by the lighting of sparklers in the classroom (what would Health and Safety say to this in these modern times). The Christmas parties were enjoyed by all and it wasn’t until many years later that I found out that my Mum once had to stand in for Santa and was unrecognisable with the beard, padding and black wellies. Being a school dinner lady she knew the children so well that they were amazed when Santa knew in advance what they wanted for Christmas.
Holy Trinity Church, the Methodist Church and the Black Horse public house were at the heart of village life together with the village shop and post office; only the rebuilt Holy Trinity Church and the Black Horse pub continue in their roles today.
Holy Trinity Church had a thriving Sunday School and choir. Sunday School was run by my uncle, George Pearson and Alan Burton. Some of the vicars I remember were Mr Spencer, Mr Vorley, Mr ( Holy Joe ) Smith and Ted Lyons.
There was an annual church trip followed by a Sunday School Anniversary event where we all dressed in our Sunday Best.
The Sunday School prize giving was based on attendance, the better your attendance the more you had awarded to spend on books which could be purchased from a bookshop on Ilkeston’s Bath Street. I still have all my Sunday School prizes together with a bible presented to my Mum by Reverend T Pleming / Mr Birkin (Superintendant) in 1924 which was her Sunday School First Prize.
The church year wouldn’t be complete without the church bazaar. Mum together with her (LOWE) sisters Edie Pearson and Connie Wood used to run the cake stall.
Mum was also church secretary for many years and stayed in post until she was eighty – she received a large bouquet on standing down.
The villagers used to parade around Mapperley on Rogation Sunday, this was one of my favourite services, I seem to recall parading for Sunday School Anniversary as well. Although Cof E the family always went along to the Methodist Sunday School Anniversary; I was always fascinated by the Chapel with its gallery, Mum told me she used to go there for Sunday Temperance and used to sing ‘ Never Never Drink – If you want your youth and beauty – Never Never Drink’.
I always enjoyed watching the ladies go for afternoon tea at the Methodist Chapel on Good Friday dressed to the ‘nines’.
Mapperley is still very special to me, I regularly visit to see my family, to enjoy Shipley Park and the surrounding countryside.
I attend the weekly quiz night at the Black Horse pub and help my family in their recently acquired allotment at the rear of the Holy Trinity Church. My father, Albert also had an adjacent allotment plot so it’s as if this family tradition continues.
For me there is a sense of continuity, my mum and I were raised in Mapperley and now my grandchildren are enjoying village life. I hope they will come to fully appreciate what a special place it is to the family.