Current issue – 10th June 2013
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SUMMER IS HERE!
A fantastic 52 page glossy magazine packed with ideas on what to do and where to go in the peaks and dales this summer.
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Three pages full of fantastic ideas for your home
Regional Victory for Lady Manners School Athletes
The Year 7 girls’ athletics team from Lady Manners School have beaten competition from across the East Midlands to take the title of Sportshall Athletics regional champions.
The team of eight 11-12 year olds: Emily Croft, Ava Holden, Alyssa Stout, Hope Hanby, Georgia Pursglove, Emma Botham, Cerys Lessiter and Eleanor Ives, have been training since October. They won their place at the East Midlands regional competition by beating rivals at cluster and county events. Students travelled from Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire and took part in a fiercely contested competition in April. The Lady Manners School girls won the competition by a convincing margin.
Sportshall athletics enables students to take part in athletics events throughout the year. The mixture of track and field events includes relay and running races, shot putt, speed bounce, standing long jump, standing triple jump and vertical jump.
Jayne Roach, the team’s coach, said, “We are very proud of the girls, who remained focused and determined to win at all times. Their attitude and hard work really paid dividends in the face of really tough competition.”
Derbyshire's Dalediva Scoop Silver in National Competition
Derbyshire chorus DaleDiva has beaten off stiff competition to achieve its best-ever result and take silver in a national singing competition.
The Cromford-based women’s a-cappella group took the stage at The Sage in Gateshead last weekend (May 11) to battle it out alongside 21 of some of the UK’s best choruses.
Following a full day of competition assessed by an expert panel of judges from America, the Divas were named as silver medallists with 634 points behind previous champions Forth Valley Chorus from Edinburgh.
DaleDiva musical director Ally Law (43) said: “We’ve worked so hard for this result and the Divas did an amazing job. I’m still in shock – euphoric, emotional and absolutely thrilled.
“It’s only the fifth time we’ve taken part in this competition so to come second is unbelievable.
“We’re so proud to bring a silver medal back to Derbyshire and the result will certainly spur us on to build on our success and aim even higher this year.”
The competition is an annual event organised by global singing organisation Sweet Adelines International based in the USA. DaleDiva is a member of Sweet Adelines’ Region 31 which features choruses from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Netherlands.
DaleDiva, which was formed in November 2007, has 71 members aged 26 to 70 from around the county including Matlock, Cromford, Belper, Derby, Wirksworth and Sheffield.
The Divas won Channel 5 talent show ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ in 2010 after receiving the most public votes to be named Britain’s best showchoir.
•DaleDiva will be performing in a concert organised by Wirksworth Women’s Institute at the Whitworth Centre, Darley Dale on Friday 14 June at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from Robert Young Florists in Matlock, Traid Links in Wirksworth or by calling 01629 823597.
In Memory of John Linehan
On Saturday afternoon the 18th May Bakewell Carnival Committee, relatives and friends of John Linehan, gathered in Bakewell park to dedicate an oak bench in memory of John, who gave endless time and effort in helping make Bakewell Carnival over the years a brilliant success, raising money for local charities.
He also helped every year with the making of the well dressings and the installation of the British Legion well in the Bath Gardens.
The bench was donated by Bakewell Carnival Committee and dedicated by Reverend David Briggs the Methodist Minister.
Down Memory Lane... Brassington
Family trees are rooted deep in Brassington, a limestone village built by centuries of toil on, and beneath, the surrounding hills.
For Annie Buckley, whom we interviewed back in 1990, her old stone cottage had been linked to her family since 1908, when it was bought at auction in the Miner’s Arms and paid for on the spot with seventy pounds’ worth of hard-earned golden half-sovereigns.
Annie, née Gould, was the daughter of a lifelong Brassington quarryman, whose own father had worked at Harborough brickworks. Her maternal grandfather, Joseph Repton, owned and worked a mine on Carsington hill into the early 1900s, just like his father before him and his sons after him.
By popular belief, beer gave good protection against lead poisoning, and Brassington was certainly well provided with pubs. Grandad Repton favoured the George & Dragon, now long closed, as are the Thorn Tree and the Red Lion. Only the Miner’s Arms and Ye Olde Gate are still open for business.
Granny Repton led the traditional lifestyle of a leadminer’s wife, washing ore at the surface of the mine. Somehow she also found time to take in laundry for the Gell family of Hopton Hall, wheeling it home and back again along rough unmade lanes in a huge wicker basket.
Annie’s dad was a Special Constable and on Saturday nights he had to wind the church clock. Around midnight he would stoke up the church fire, returning around six o’clock to riddle out the ashes and have the building warmed up for the day’s services. His wife and daughter, meanwhile, had cleaned the church – as they did every Saturday night for some 30 years. Once a year they scrubbed the interior from end to end – ‘pews and all’.
Hid in the potato patch
Annie had attended the Primitive Methodist Chapel as soon as she could walk. Every child went to one of the three village Sunday Schools and each chapel held an annual tea party, nothing fancier than a choice of brown or white bread or currant bread and butter, washed down with tea. Wakes week was something else to look forward to, when everyone followed the band in procession around the village; the children were given a school tea party, and sports were held on Sports Croft Field, with prizes of a penny or so.
In 1918, Annie Gould was given a Council School prize book for ‘Attendance and Progress’: 408 attendances out of a possible 413. Perhaps an early encounter with Attendance Officer Mr Fritchley had kept her on her toes, for just after her 5th birthday he came looking for Annie because she hadn’t started school. She had heard of encounters with ‘the kidnapper’ and hid in the potato patch but not for long.
Children ended their education at 13, having known only the one school. Attitudes of the day made it difficult for girls to break the mould of their mothers … and their mothers before them. Schoolmistress Miss Smith fought for Annie to become a teacher but mother, as usual, had the last word. The word was ‘no… because teachers don’t know how to work!’ In the event Annie still did her old school proud, spending 20 years as Head Cook.
As work in the lead mines dwindled, women took on domestic jobs to supplement family incomes. This, from the point of view of Mrs Gould, was real work. She was not only a skilled dressmaker, making children’s dresses at half-a-crown each (12.5 pence today) but also took work cleaning and decorating. Few families had little money to spare once they had paid their way.
Every quarter, a number of houses received a visit from their landlord, John Watson from Derby. He would spend the day collecting rents, based on around two shillings a week per property. En route Mr Watson called into all the pubs and by nightfall was too drunk to travel home. He invariably ended up below the Gould’s bedroom window, shouting that he would have them kicked out if they didn’t put him up.
A pub crawl
Old Mr Tunnicliffe and his son combined their itinerary with a pub crawl too, but theirs was very dusty work. They were chimney-sweeps, arriving on foot from Ashbourne with their rods and brushes on their backs. By 8am they were sweeping their first chimneys at nine-pence a time. Throughout the day, multiples of nine-pence were being spent in one or other of the pubs.
Brassington lay on the rounds of tramps, also gypsy families who sold combs, brushes and pegs. Then there was the rather more respectable Mr Brimble the Betterware man.
Electricity came to the village in the early 1940s, around the same time as mains water. Many people had previously fetched their water in yokes from the green or from a pump below the old post office, but that one always ran dry on washdays. Nearby wells regularly dried up in the summer but Shothouse spring, about four miles away, never failed. Farmers would trundle there and back by horse and cart, loaded with many buckets. A few lucky people had garden wells, and Annie’s house had a brick-built reservoir to catch rainwater for washing etc.
Unless you could afford to pay for delivery, coal was fetched in buckets or sacks, but at least that meant going only as far as Longcliffe wharf on the Cromford and High Peak Railway.
A brick-built tower stands at Longcliffe, where during WW2 Annie Buckley and schoolmaster Mr Baldwin were on Observer Corps duties on the night that bombs fell on Brassington. A total of 17 dropped around the village, mercifully all landing in the open. The real target was presumed to have been the Rolls Royce factories in Derby but that plan failed and the bombs were jettisoned as the Luftwaffe set course for home. Brassington sounded its air-raid siren on the village hall while the Observer Corps – call sign ‘Love 4’ – alerted Derby HQ. British fighters could soon be heard giving chase.
An explosion during another raid caused widespread breakages in Brassington, blamed on enemy ’planes bombing an illuminated object – actually a hurricane lamp carried by a farmer out in his fields at Idridgehay.
Wartime over, life became extremely difficult when Brassington was cut off during the notorious winter of 1947. A few of the fittest men struggled across the fields to Hognaston, returning with sackfuls of bread to be shared out amongst the villagers. Snow still lay in the Dale and below Harborough Rocks into late July.
An ingenious beetle-trap
Until the 1920s, when it became a chip shop, a bakehouse on Maddock Lane served local needs. When things got too hot in there, its resident ‘blackjacks’ (cockroaches) would move out to cool off, marching in a bold battalion across the road. They plagued nearby houses for years and in desperation Joseph Buckley copied an ingenious beetle-trap invented by Oulsnams, the local joiners. Baited with beer, Joseph’s trap once caught 147 cockroaches in a single night.
Oulsnams operated as undertakers, builders and blacksmiths from what is now Forge Cottage. Further along the lane, next to Pennyfold Cottage, stood the old pinfold. Annie Buckley could never remember it penning a stray animal – for many years it was used as a communal rubbish dump.
Annie was one of few villagers able to recall the original Co-op on West End, later moving to premises which subsequently became the Post Office. That had originally been run from a private house opposite the church and next door to the most fascinating shop in Brassington – ‘old Mr Brindley’s’. His speciality was patent medicines and he could make up a cough mixture to suit your symptoms. ‘Umpteen things’ went into the bottle, recalled Annie, but especially Syrups of Almonds and Syrups of Squills. Mrs Brindley sold drapery, curtains and calico from what subsequently became a general shop on the corner of Maddock Lane. The Brindleys later took over the Red Lion.
Taylors sold groceries and sweets at Dale End; Miss Allsop of West End stocked eggs and toffee but mainly specialised in fresh pork joints, sausages and black pudding delivered by a Derby pork butcher. A woman on Ivy Bank used to make a sticky treat called ‘blackball’, wrapped in greaseproof paper and sold in half-penny and penny sticks from her cottage door.
It was a rare treat for villagers to go far from home. Between the wars, transport was laid on to Wirksworth market for a few pence in farmer Spencer’s horse-drawn tarpaulin-covered cart – and that was the limit of most people’s travel. Spa Motorbus eventually introduced a twice-daily service to Matlock, passing through Wirksworth and Carsington.
By 1990, that too had become just another fast-fading memory, possibly shared by only a handful of people living in the old White Peak village of Brassington today.
Sally Mosley’s Favourite Walks ~ Ravensdale
May is the best month for wild flowers and this year sees them in abundance. However, it’s unusual and extreme to see daffodils out at the same time as orchids, but as spring was late, the floral calendar for 2013 seems to have been turned into chaos.
This is one of Sally's favourite wild flower walks which starts at Tideswell Dale car park.
To read the whole of Sally's walk please follow the link below and in this issue it is on page 48.
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