Mapperley Village

Home - The Village Today - History - Maps - Memories - Newspapers - Picture Gallery - World Wars
Contents Contents - Comments - Contact Me - Links - Nearby Villages - Notice Board - Search - What's New? New

Drop-Down Navigation Menu

I would love to receive your memories. Just Click Here

John Martin
My Memories


Public Places

There were two pubs, the Black Horse and the Royal Oak in ParkHall commonly known as the Candlestick, allegedly because at one time the only source of light was a candlestick which went with the landlady when she left the bar leaving the customers in darkness. This pub was closed later due to a build up of methane in the cellar and despite local protests never re-opened.

The Black Horse was run by Mr & Mrs Sherwin early in my life and then Ron and Joyce Richardson took over. There was a best room, the passage and a room with a billiard table, darts board and a piano and also dominos and this was the room my friends and I always used. A sign of the times is that we played billiards. When someone once suggested snooker, and after a search, the balls were found no-one was quite certain of the rules so it was back to billiards. I believe the table was slightly smaller than a full size one and had been specially made to fit into the room. I have spent many happy hours in this room, drinking (in moderation), playing billiards and darts and just talking. One topic which occasionally came up was that of the miner who disappeared down Mapperley Pit, there were people around who had been alive at the time and various strongly held theories were discussed at length. The subject is very well covered in the book: Tyler, Hector. 2007. The Mysterious Disappearance of Thomas Severn. Alfreton: Higham Press. 

Both of these pubs are dealt with elsewhere on this web site in much more detail.

The Mapperley Miner’s Welfare Institute (Stute) was also used for various activities, such as whist and beetle drives, dances etc. Of course there was dancing and four cinemas in Ilkeston, which however involved a walk to the High Lane to and from the bus. We took for granted as the village bus service, when it did start, was very limited. I was told that before WW2 people often used to walk to Ilkeston or Heanor to shop and would find it very annoying as they were always caught by certain people who would ask for something to be brought for them.

The recreation ground (Rec) had a set of tall swings and later a roundabout. There had been a sand pit which was half full of dirt and a seesaw, the upright of which remained. I believe that the rest had been dismantled after a serious accident, which I believe left Lennie Hawley with a limp for life, although I could be corrected about that.

Mapperley Miners F.C. played on the Rec. and changed in, at one time, the Black Horse and at another in the school. It had varying success and I remember watching cup finals played at both the Manor Ground, Ilkeston, and at a pitch in Heanor. It was said that the Rec. gave the team a 1 or 2 goal advantage, certainly playing the second half up the slope with a sodden leather ball was difficult. Apparently before my time the village had both a football and a cricket team which played in the field below the Institute. 


There were three shops and a Post Office in the village the largest belonging to William Wesley (Wes) Derbyshire who sold groceries and other necessities. During the war when you had to be registered to a shop for your groceries you had a choice between him and the Co-Op on Newdigate St in West Hallam.   

The shop was on the corner of Lodge Row and Main St. Outside the front of the shop was called ‘Top of the Street, It was a place where people would gather to chat. The miners could squat with their bottom near to the ground and their feet just in front of them as they had flexible knees due to their working in low seams. They almost all sported black scars due to coal dust getting into cuts and scratches underground.  Many goods did not come pre-packed and had to be weighed out. There was a tale, probably apocryphal, that one of Wes’s predecessors was so mean that he split a raisin to get an exact weight and became known as “Split Raisin”. I certainly saw Wes or his helper break a biscuit in half saying “This will go well with my tea “but it was probably a joke as the subject of Split Raisin had just been raised.

‘Ozzie’ Howitt’s shop was on Walkers Yard, the first of the first semis on the right. He sold cigarettes, tobacco and sweets. He also sold yeast for baking (a pennorth of balm); as many people baked their own bread then; blue for washing and at weekends, ice cream. Harry Stenson a coal Merchant from West Hallam used to deliver a large block of ice and Ozzie would make the ice cream in a wooden churn, which needed a lot of turning, and sell it as cornets or sandwiches. Later on both he and Wes Derbyshire sold Wall’s and Pearce’s ice cream.

Wint’s shop, adjoining the Black Horse sold sweets but didn’t open very often.

Reckitts Blue For Washing

There had been a shop, Harvey’s’, photo elsewhere on this website, just below the Methodist Chapel which I heard had been involved in the “Battle of the Tarantellas” with Wes Derbyshire or his predecessor, undercutting each other in the price of tinned tomatoes. It would be interesting if someone could confirm this.

The Post Office was on the left side of Walker’s Yard, the first of the semis, and was run by Polly Boam. Gaffer Johnson seemed to send lots of Postal Orders and would send one of the boys to fetch them. She never seemed to have one of the correct denomination and would send two to make up the amount required which made the poundage more, angering Gaffer Johnson. I sometimes wonder if she did it on purpose. As she became older she would lean on the counter and then turn and fall towards the bureau in which she kept the stamps etc and turn and fall onto the counter. For years on a high shelf there were a few packets of cornflakes which never got sold and the colours gradually faded away.

A story my grandmother told me was that Polly had looked after her parents and married late. I can only remember her as a widow. She was the first bride to have a car to take her to the wedding, but after taking the guests the driver forgot her and sat in his car by the lych gate. The verger eventually shouted to the driver “Yone com wiout orr” There was a report in the Derby Evening Telegraph headed “Left at the Post” It would be interesting to confirm this from the paper’s archives, as the date of her wedding is in the Parish register.

Brides did tend to walk through the village to church and coffins were also carried. People would also draw their curtains; depending on their closeness to the deceased; either from the death or on the day of the funeral as a mark of respect.


Disclaimer - Copyright - Is this page correct?   Something wrong or missing?   Please let me know.   Also contributions very welcome