Blidworth in old picture postcards

Blidworth in old picture postcards

:   W. Richards
:   Nottinghamshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3355-5
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Blidworth in old picture postcards'

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59. These scholars are being given what was known as physical exercise on the playground of the Wesleyan School. This school was opened in 1885 and had three rooms which were heated by large solid-fuel stoves. It was always used as headquarters for the sports and other events which were held on the adjoining Mil! Croft, and aften evening meetings were held in the school. One such meeting was the Band of Hope when the evils of strong drink and the virtues of temperanee were pointed out. Sometimes a visiting speaker would demonstrate how dangerous alcohol was by putting a lighted match to some methylated spirit in an upturned boot polish tin-lid - then show the effect on the same match when it was plunged into bright sparkling water. Sometimes the magie lantern, the proto type of the slide projector, was used to illustrate Missionary Meetings.

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l: 60. The saddlers' shop on the right with the horse-collars hanging on either side of the door was run by the Maxfield brothers who lived in the white house in the picture. The doorway on the extreme right ofthe picture led into an arched walkway to two caverns used for storage. Not only was harness needed for farm horses, all the repairs to the harness of the ponies werking down Rufford pit were carried out in this shop, being brought weeklyon a dray. The bottom half of the building between the 'White Lion' and the saddlers' shop was in use as a butcher's shop when this picture was taken - Tommy Wightman bringing meat from Kirkby; but it had several other uses bath before and since. The 'Red Lion' which flourished until about 1910was between the butcher's and the saddlers' shops. There was a trough in the cellar of the good-looking house on the corner and spring-water ran through it.

61. The driver of the pony and trap coming up the Main Street was always Mrs. Henson of Robin Hood Terrace, Fishpool. The passenger was always her husband Jim Henson who worked in Rufford pit yard around 1920. Jim would rise at 4.30am to catch and feed the pony, and the 5 miles journey to Rufford would be made in time to start work at 7am. Mrs. Henson would then return to Fishpool to do the daily chores. She collected her husband at Rufford at 3.30pm and was a familiar sight to Blidworth children as they came out of school. Leaning against the wall on the left is Alec - a well-known village character. Notice the gas-lamp in the middle of Black Bull Square. The pavingstones on the right-hand side of the road had been worn concave by use over more than two centuries and in wintertime children delighted in making a long icy slide.

62. Opposite the end of Beek Lane was a row of houses caJled Mermil Terrace. The shape of the bricks suggested that the houses were built in the seventeenth century and they were probably more accessible from the road at that time, as later that part of Main Street had its gradient altered so that the hill wouJd not be so steep. Pictured are some of the zig-zag steps which were the means of access to the houses. Just out of the picture to the left were holes made in the sandstone by children's boots. These are pictured elsewhere in this booklet. Inside one of the houses a very narrow winding staircase led to the bedrooms. On one occasion when the occupant was ill in bed two villagers were heard coming up the stairs to see the invalid, and one of them was heard to say: Tl! bet it's a job getting a coffin down these stairs,' and on entering the bedroom he marched straight over to the window, obviously 10 sec if it was possible to get a coffin through. What this did to the invalid's state of health is not recorded.

63. Holly Tree Cottage must have derived its name from the splendid holly tree at the gate. For about seventy years the tree's distinctive shape was tailored by two of the occupiers - Neddy Godfrey and his son Percy. The trench running the length of this part of Main Street can be seen. Befere sewage pipes were laid in 1928, washing water from sinks and dolly-tubs found its way into this trench, eventually 10sing itself down Dale Lane. It cao be seen that there were cultivated fields beiare the hotel and colliery village were built in 1926. The wal! on the left was built early in the nineteenth century when the roadway was cut through the sandstone to make the hill less steep at that point.

64. Grove House is that part of the building on the left of the picture. By the side of the doorway, which was reached down the steps through the !ittle gate, was a brass plate which read: 'John Collins, Insurance Agent and Registrar.' Before the 1920s Blidworth folk were required to register births and deaths at Mr. Collins' house, and this was not easy as he was rather deaf. This together with his impatience with the proletariat sometirnes led to mistakes being made. In the yard at the back of the house is a weil more than 100 feet deep. Also in the yard is a flight of stone steps leading up to what was once a granary but in the years around 1930 was a Mens' Clubroom known as the Institute. In this Clubroom were a threequarter-size billiard table, skittles and other table games. The house on the right was occupied by the Maxfield family who worked the saddlers' shop a few yards higher up the street. There is no sign of street lighting in this picture, and it was probably taken about 1902.

65. Joseph Whitaker wrote in 1912 of the curious hollows in the sandstone at the side ofthe footpath opposite where Beek Lane joins Main Street: You see on the top ofthe hili where the road has been lowered and where a piece ofthe sandstone has been cut through to take the nose offthe hill, a strip of about fifteen yards has been left, running from six inches to two feet deep, on its face about twenty-five or sa curious markings are to be seen. This is wh ere generations of Blidworth children and young people have scraped their feet down; Twenty years ago I aften saw them, six or more at a time, standing on one [oot and drawing the other down the hollow pZace. Whether they did U to clean their boots or wear them out I know not, perhaps it was to hear the grating noise produced - at any rate it was a curious proceeding and must have been done by many generations to have made the impression on the rock U has. When eouncil workers partly rebuilt the stone wall they destroyed all but one of these historie holes.

66. This was the class of infants taught by Miss Hodgekinson at the Church School in 1922. Miss Hodgekinson usually rode to school on a bicycle from her home at Forest Town, but when the snow was too deep for the bicycle she would walk the whole way if no help was offered from another vehicle. The boy and girl wearing leggings were Horace and Minnie Renshaw, gamekeeper's children, who walked from Syke Breek. Children from Fishpool and outlying farms who 'stopped for dinner' at school brought their lunches in a satchel because it was too far to walk home and back in 1112 hours. There were no school dinners, but from 1928 children eating sandwiches were provided with a mug of hot cocoa. The writer of these notes was the boy standing fourth from the left on the back row.

67. Fishpool Ebenezer Chapel was built in 1864 and became disused in 1949 with the exception of lettings to the Ministry of Food for ration-book distribution. When the chapel flourished the evening service began at 6pm but Mrs. Rose who Iived opposite the chapel said: 'You had 10 be there a quarter of an hour befare or you wouldn't get a seat.' Folk attended in all weathers. The Band of Hope and Christian endeavour meetings were held on weeknights and young people from the district went regularly. At anniversary times and other special occasions visitors from Kirkby and Mansfield came by horse-brake and overflow meetings were necessary. At a special treat for children one Good Friday there had to be three sittings for tea. A former Sunday School superintendant. Mr. Richard Clay, had been buried at the bottom of the pulpit steps which made it difficult to obtain permission to sell the building. However, the body was exhumed and re-interred in Blidworth churchyard.

68. This view of the church has been painted and photographed many times. The vehicle standing outside Church Farm is Chinky Knowles' travelling shop which was based at Nuncargate. The tank at the back of the cart contained paraffin, for which there was a ready sale before gas was brought to the village. Hardware, brushes and cleaning materials were also offered for sale. The railings in the front of the picture were rolled on in the early 1920s by a char-à-banc on its way to Skegness from Kirkby. The driver chose to travel by way of Rickett's Lane because he was wary of the hills near Larch Farm and the church, but the brakes failed as the vehicle neared the church and it rolled over on the bend. Some folk were injured but none were killed. Part of a huge stone post can be seen on the extreme right, but this was removed in a road widening scheme.

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