Gladys Lillian Turton (1906 – 2008)
West Hallam Local Historian and Artist
Gladys Lillian Turton was born 15 October 1906 at Ilkeston. Daughter of Job Henry Turton (1873-1918) and Lillian Pound (1882-1929). Born at West Hallam Station her father was John Maddick Pound (1852- 1941) the Station master.
The family lived at ‘Nesfield House’, St. Wilfrid’s Road, West Hallam. She was a well- known person often seen around the village carrying her note pad, paints and easel. Gladys married John Charles Hardy (1906-1934) on June 11th 1932 at St. Wilfrid’s church West Hallam. Sadly John died in 1934 and he is buried in the churchyard. Another historian and the village plumber, the late Dick Thompson often spoke to Gladys and he was able to copy some of the local scenes painted by her.
During the severe winter of 1929 when the daily temperature was often -10 degrees and the ice on Mapperley reservoir was recorded as being 15” thick. Gladys decided to brave the elements and sketch the skaters. What her picture clearly shows is the old Coach Road Bridge at the West End of the reservoir. On closing this road it was decided to demolish the centre span ensuring that the newly built road leading up to Shipley Hall would be used. Unfortunately on doing this it became a playground for children using the old bridge as a diving board. This resulted in a tragic accident when a local Mapperley boy dived off the bridge, struck his head on a stone and drowned. This resulted in the men from the Mapperley Colliery Company being called out, with explosives to completely demolish the whole bridge. This valued painting is the only known record of the bridge.
Gladys died on 20th February 2008 at Littleover Nursing Home in Derby aged 101 years, Her ashes were interred in St Wilfrid’s churchyard. Her last wish was granted to bring her home.
Roger Wood 2016
Mapperley Reservoir Ice Skating Feb 1929, Gladys Hardy
Mapperley Crossroads, Gladys Hardy