Ockbrook in old picture postcards

Ockbrook in old picture postcards

:   J.Lec. Smith
:   Derbyshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2983-1
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

Levertijd: 2 - 3 werkdagen (onder voorbehoud). Het getoonde omslag kan afwijken.


Fragmenten uit het boek 'Ockbrook in old picture postcards'

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9. Church Row was a string of tiny tenements set at right-angles to the raad between Church House and the cruck cottage, the right-hand end of which can be seen in this picture with a white sign over its door, which presumably reads 'Church Row'. Each dwelling had two rooms up and two down, but there were na doorways at the back. In front were narrow strips of garden ending in a line of dry-earth privies. Humbie dwellings indeed, but the homes of many thriving families over the years, and aften beautifully kept. The left-hand end of the row can be seen just above the Church House gateway in Collier Lane. Tros gateway and the lang garden wall to its left still survive.

10. In this more distant view the Church Street end of Church Row can be seenjust behind the tomb stones in the churchyard, and beyond its far end here is a large building lying at right-angles. This was a gimp factory, and it may have been the 'raison d'ĂȘtre' for the building of the cottages. The boy on the stile was perhaps recalling how, when the snow was on the ground, he had lifted his sledge over it to savour the thrills of the Red Hills toboggan run, and how he had later clambered back, soaked to the skin, having been precipitated by his headstrong steed into the winter-swollen Ock Brook at the bottom. No Ockbrook boy was, or is, an Ockbrook boy, until he has been christened thus.

11. The hollow beside Cole Lane lies in the centre of this picture, and one wonders whether it is the remains of an ancient outerop of coal which perhaps gave the road its name, the ridge along its left-hand side possibly being part of a waggon way to the main road or the river Derwent. However this may be, by the nineteenth century Ockbrook had to import coal from the pits beyond the Dale Hills in the north. In hard times these provided employment as well as fuel, and little groups of Ockbrook men would daily trek by footpath across the fields to earn a living. They had to leave their homes in the early hours, which meant contending with darkness as well as cold in the winter, to begin a ten-hour shift a sometimes up to their waists in water.

12. Going south along Cole Lane from the top of Carr Hili in 1900, one would pass the newly built castles of the nouveau-riche high on the left, and open fields tumbling down to the brook on the right, then turning right at the main road junction, and passing through the little hamlet of Shacklecross, one would plunge intothe vast nurseries of William Barron. Previously employed by the Earl of Harrington at Elvaston, William became an eminent landscape gardener, and his services, including the speciality of moving fully-grown trees, were in demand all over the country and beyend. By 1900 the nurseries were managed by his son John, and the Borrowash day continued to be much governed by their start and stop-werk bell. But John had already been astute enough to recognise the enhanced va1ue of his land near the railway station, and there, instead of plants for sale, a commutors' dormitory was growing.

13. The present bridge carrying the raad from Borrowash to Elvaston over the river Derwent, the midstream line of which constitutes the southernmost boundary of the parish, was built in 1898 out of funds accumulated from tolls levied for crossing the Cavendish and Harrington bridges over the Trent. The only previous bridge at Borrowash was a narrow wooden swivel affair owned by the Harringtons, situated a few yards upstream, to gain access to which it was necessary to turn right into the mill complex after crossing the railway. Payrnent had to be made for its use, so that the opening of the new 'wide' bridge, with its freedom of passage, provided the parish, in effect, with a new gateway to the south. The cotton doubling mills of John Towle had been a mainstay of Borrowash for most of the Victorian years, but by now the family had quitted their stately Riverside House, and mill races were definitely old hat,

14. The railway came early toBorrowash, the Midland Counties Company opening a station here on the other side of Station Road in 1839. For sixty years thereafter, until mechanised road transport started feeling its feet, a railway conneetion was of prime importance to the well-being of any town or village, and those places which were fortunate enough to have one, themselves became important to the railway company, witness the high standard of buildings and equipment at what was no more than a minor country station. Good housekeeping was the order of the day, and with shrubberies and flower beds en suite, it won several beauty contests. The very best people travelled by rail, the 8.20 or whatever being known as the 'top-hat train'. The stationmaster too was important, as testified by the tribute of 1876 to William Boddington in the churchyard 'for his integrity and generous regard for the public convenience, universally esteemed and lamented'. And take that smile off your face.

15. It is difficult to associate this spacious scene with the centre of Borrowash, but the Manor House, fronting on to the main road a few yards west from the Victoria Avenue junction, was in full residential use wen into the twentieth century. Long, long ago, local landowner, the Reverend Henry Swindell lived there, and later, in the 1840's, Bryan Balguy, the Town Clerk of Derby. The grounds originally stretched down to the canal bank, where a small lake had been constructed, but towards 1900, like Barron's ground opposite, the roadside strip was ripe for classy commutors' residences and most ofthe present houses were built there about that time. The Manor House was then the home of Hepworth T. Alton, a Derby company director.

16. To commemorate Queen Victoria's Jubilee, lime, elm and chestnut trees were presented to the parish by our Hepworth and planted along 'Victoria Avenue', Alas, as they flourished, the significanee of their planting faded, and they fought a losing battle with telephone poles and wires competing for their air space, double-deck buses demanding the removal of their lower branches, and increasingly suburban-minded householders clamouring for more light and less leaves. So for many years they were cruelly butchered by a succession of Philistines, so that the magnificent avenue envisaged by Barrons when they planted them, has never been realised. They are now better tended, but recently the dreaded Dutch elm disease took over from their human enernies and decimated their ranks.

17. Judging by the bull-nosed Morrises and mesdames' attire, the time of this picture was the late 1920's, when house-building was creeping down the hili and threatening the sanctity of the cricket field at the bottom. Had one trotted back to the Queen's Head from Borrowash some forty years earlier, the gig would have passed only four residences, Bloso House, Brookfield and the Vicarage on the right, and Greenway Cottage on the left. About 1895 Dr. Hunt transferred bis surgery from The Poplars at the top of Green Lane to Brookfield, since when 'the doctors' has remained in that vicinity. DL John Aspinall Hunt, M.R.C.S.Eng., L.R.C.P.Edin., L.M., surgeon & medical officer & public vaccinator, medical superintendent Draycott Isolation Hospital, was bom in Ockbrook to the important Hunt family of Bartlewood Lodge. He was a member of the Parish Council and lived at Brookfield for thirty years. Bloso House was the home of Miss Mary Hannah Towle, then of James Newbold J.P., and the Derby Market Place grocer Thomas Hodgkinson lived at Greenway Lodge.

18. Travelling along Victoria Avenue in more modern times, a student of the domestic architecture of the Midlands could probably find an example of every change in fashion during the past 150 years. All along, house-building there has been sporadic and hap hazard, and without any help from town planners it has become an attractive place to live, with residences to suit all tastes and purses, from fout-room terrace to swimming pool in the garden. No. 244, 'The Knoll,' was a c 1912 contribution, the home of George William Biddies, a boot inspector, which stood at the top of the hill on the east side. No doubt a design leader in its day, yet with its feet firmly in the past, with drab service rooms and a row of eaU bells in the back hall. It became sadly neglected in later years, and eventually the cleared site was valued more highly than the building, and down it came. The Vicarage and Brookfield were of course sacrificed for the bypass flyover bridge.

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