Updated 6 Nov 2005

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Memories of Middleton
by Edith Taylor

Edith Taylor (1916-2002) was born and lived in the same house in the village of Middleton by Wirksworth for eighty six years. She tells of the changes that took place during that time and the effect on village life.

Front cover

The Basin on The Green before the Mount Zion Chapel was built in 1906.

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I have been asked to romanticise on the changes I have seen in Middleton during my lifetime, lots of friends may have seen it differently but this is how I remember it. The house where I live has such a lovely view, it has always been the same apart from the trees growing taller and spreading their branches. From my window I look across at Greener Fields with their humps and bumps. Where, in the spring and summer, wild pansies, daisies, eggs and bacon, buttercups, violets, bluebells and forget-me-nots have grown and spread for years. Beyond are Black Rocks and Barrel Edge where young people have always been drawn to climb and wander over the hills, these go up to my skyline.

When I was young I would walk over the hill to see what was on the other side. From the top of Barrel Edge you can see a famous structure called "Crich Stand" standing on the top of a quarry. In 1923 it was rebuilt in memory of the men of the Sherwood Foresters Regiment who gave their lives in the Great War. In those days it had a bright light which shone out like a lighthouse over the area where the men of the regiment had lived. There is still a light but the bright light was dimmed many years ago, fading like the memories of that terrible war.

My name was Edith Slack and I was born during the first world war in 1916 and I still live in the same house nearly eighty years later. There have been many changes, some for the better but not all.

I and my generation have lived in a time of great changes for ordinary people, perhaps greater than any previous generation. In my lifetime we have gone from using candles to electricity via paraffin and gas. From dolly tubs and pegs and mangles with wooden rollers to machines that deliver washing ready for ironing. At the same time we have gone from a wireless with earphones, to modern transistor radio and later black and white television to colour with video so we can record what we cannot see at the time. The telephone was a rarity when I was young but now we can speak with friends all over the world.

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I was around four years old when my sister Alice, brother Daniel and cousins from next door took me up to the Wesleyan Chapel for the 10.45a.m. Sunday School. There I learnt the hymns which are still sung today. I didn't go to Chapel in the afternoon or evenings at first but believe me, in olden times Sunday was a very special day set aside for worship. We were not allowed out to play and my mother would not sew on a button or knit. All the jobs, if possible, had to be completed before the day of rest even the vegetables for the Sunday were prepared on Saturday night.

When I was older I went to Sunday School morning and afternoon then into the chapel for the services and we had to behave with the adult congregation or else we would be in trouble when we got home.

There were, and still are, three chapels and a church in our village, and years ago our lives centred around the concerts, parties and festivals that happened during the year. We went to everyone else's efforts and would close for the evening service to unite with the other places of worship. All had large congregations and many scholars and I have seen each place of worship full and chairs put down the aisles. On anniversary days the choir, masters, parents and children went around the village singing our special songs and hymns in the mornings and sat on the stage afternoon and evening. On the Monday following the anniversary at the Wesleyans we had games in the afternoon in my Uncle John's field up Chapel Lane, then went back to Sunday School for a tea party (we called it a Treat) with lots of lovely sandwiches and jellies. The children from the other chapels had theirs during the summer. There were also school concerts etc.

We had then the Middleton Victoria Silver Prize Band, around thirty men and youths were in it and Joe Sam Spencer, who lived two doors below me, used to train the new starters how to play a cornet or other instrument. He was the conductor of the band and of our chapel. At the last Sunday School Anniversary he conducted he said it was the best singing he had heard for some time. On Monday, at work in Matlock, he was killed. What a shock for his family and Middleton.

The Congregational Chapel was built in 1785 by Captain Scott who was the minister of the Lady Glenorchy Chapel, Matlock Bath and was the first and only place of worship in Middleton for many years, later the Sunday School was added. The pulpit was acquired from the chapel of a famous preacher, Dr Doddridge, at Northampton.
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The Wesleyan Chapel was a small building in 1820 I have been told, some of the Walker family gave the ground and it was rebuilt in the year 1874 with a gallery and entrance on to Main Street the Sunday School with doors opening on to Chapel Lane is under the Chapel.

Holy Trinity Church was built in the mid 1800's. Bagshaw's Directory of 1846 says of it, "A small neat chapel of ease, with a turret, one bell, and a clock, calculated to seat about 400 persons, was erected in 1844, at a cost of £1,200, raised by subscription, aided by a grant from the Incorporated Church Building Society". The stone was from a quarry near Black Rocks and when the vestry and porch were added in the early 1920's the quarry was reopened.

The church clock struck each hour and could be heard all over the village, especially at night. If anyone was ill or couldn't sleep they could count the strokes and know the time, it was also company. Then birds and pigeons got in and made such a mess. It doesn't strike any more but John Doxey of Rise End still comes and winds it up and keeps the clock going so we can still look up and know the right time.

The bell was always tolled for a funeral, wedding and death, one strike for a man, two for a woman and three for a child. We always found out who it was and helped out if we could, that has all gone now.

On one day a year the church gates were locked at the top and bottom of the churchyard, this was to show that although it was a public right of way it still belonged to the Church Council. The Vicarage is the largest house in the village and in a lovely setting, I can remember vicars coming and staying for years before they moved on. They had servants living in and in summer would hold garden parties on the lovely lawns. The Gells of Hopton Hall gave the site for the School and at first it had restrictions and the chapel children couldn't attend. I've heard my mother say that she and her brother Billie had to walk to Wirksworth to school because they couldn't attend Middleton school.

In 1927 Rev. Cottle and helpers built a village hall and there were many chapel men and boys helping. The chapel ladies also raised funds but when it was finished it was called the Church Hall. That caused a feud which has been going on until the last year or two. Now it has been passed on to the village and is being modernised and is called the Village Hall.

The Primitive Methodists had a chapel on the site now occupied by Chapel Croft, the new chapel was built in 1906 and I have an old photo
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with a thatched cottage where the chapel now stands, later photographs show both chapels.

In early days all these places of worship were filled but not today.

by Edith Taylor

Another poem I must write                      Ernest Wheeldon was Sunday School Superintendent
Of the few at Main Street Chapel,              His wife Polly helped as well;
When it was the Wesleyan                       She had sisters, Gerty, Lizzie, Phyllis and Crissie;
More than 70 years ago.                        All had a tale to tell.

We were scholars in the Sunday School          Mrs Martin was spokeswoman,
And our elders there were many.,               Her husband Tommy organ-blower,
All had some little job to do,                 Cause in those days no electric power
And did it at the ready.                       Made the bellows fill with air.

On the organ were the Walkers,                 Billy Buxton played on violin
Tom, Maggie, Ada and Eric Sharpe.              Gladys Birley on harmonium,
Also Mary Clayton played,                      Joe Spencer was conductor
Someone always did that part.                  On all our special days.

The Misses Clayton from the grocers shop       We scholars sang our hearts out
Were very active too.,                         To let the village know;
Sarah Amelia taught us                         Afternoon and evening
And brought us sweets to chew.                 Upon the stage we'd go.

Her sisters Hannah and Millicent               Around thirty of us then
Sat in the choir and sang.,                    Would let our voices raise;
Their cousin Mary was a seamstress.,           All would be pleased to hear
Had a social hour band.                        Our special hymns of praise.

Daniel Millward was caretaker,                 On the Monday following
And kept it all so clean;                      A special treat we had.,
His wife and daughters dusted-                 All met on John Fox's field -
Pamela, Sarah, Lizzie and Martha               It was up the Chapel Lane.
                 made quite a team.

Some years later Arthur and Dolly Gregory      We had games and swings,
Took the stoking and cleaning on;              Ran races, had such fun;
Their daughter Mary was our age -              A bag with apple, orange, sweets and nuts
There was lots of fun as we sang and           Was given to each one.
                 played on the stage.
                                               At teatime all went into the Sunday School
                                               Had sandwiches and cakes;
                                               For afters red and yellow jelly,
                                               No ice cream was there then.

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We also had an outing,                         Our services we still keep going, 
One Saturday each year,                        I'm very pleased to say., 
Were taken off to Darley Park                  We can still get our chapel full 
In Mr Strange's bus.                           Upon Good Friday day. 

We hadn't any buses then,                      For more than fifty years 
Had always had to walk,                        I've tried to attend that day; 
So to be taken past Matlock to Darley          It's good to begin Easter-time 
Was talked about for days.                     In a Christian way. 

All went on the see-saw and swings,            Of course we have other specials, 
Had a turn on the motor boat;                  As the year goes round; 
Such a lovely lake there,                      Gift day, Harvest and Anniversaries, 
We hadn't seen many of those.                  But we only get a few of those. 

On Sundays we went to Sunday School,           When they look down from Heaven, 
Mornings and afternoon,                        Our elders gone before, 
Our parents, they took us there,               I hope they will be pleased to see 
That's what Sunday was about.                  We've tried to do our best. 

There was also lots of concerts                They were surnamed: 
Held in our room, you know;                    Birleys, Bodens, Brooks and Beesons, 
A special one at Shrovetide,                   Martins, Millwards, also Pearsons; 
When the place was always full.                Spencers, Walkers, and the Wheeldons. 

Ernest Wheeldon did the Laughing Song,         Goodalls, Goodwins, Gregorys, Sheldons; 
We children did our bit,                       Phillips, Houghtons., also Holmeses, 
Sang alone, or in groups,                      Likewise Evans, Claytons, Joneses; 
Dressed up in lots of scenes.                  The Slacks, the Southams and the Foxes, 
                                               Buxtons, Cordins and the Doxeys.


We come from Main Street Chapel,               And lots of friends come and buy,
Of Middleton you know.                         They linger with we few.
It was the Wesleyan                       
Many years ago.                                A gentleman came to view the place,
                                               He said we had dry rot.
Some of our elders moved away,                 In our schoolroom, also said,
And others had to die.                         It was quite a lot.
So we were joined with Wirksworth         
from Matlock Circuit, Why?                     We'd had new guttering and slates,
                                               New toilets put inside.
As years go by we fewer get                    A tarmac path, up to the door,
But do work hard the place to keep             And now we have a drive.
In good repair as people say              
When we meet them in the street.               Three estimates we had to get,
                                               From firms who have to do
There's Jumble Sales, coffee and tea,          With dry rot and wet rot too,
Served when we have to do,                     We could only find a few.

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Baddley and Jerkins was the firm we chose       Now we have two thousand, five  hundred pounds.
From Mansfield way they came.                   Of the three thousand, five hundred we owe
Two thousand, five hundred pound was the bill,  And the fund was only started,
How could we face the pain?                     Around six months ago.

They ripped out all the stairs and stage,       The men from Mansfield finished off,
Part of the floor was gone.                     And then we started painting.
Everywhere was such a mess,                     We also scrubbed the floor and chairs,
Whatever could be done?                         As it was no good waiting.

We had to meet the man again.,                  All the cups and saucers too,
A thousand pounds more was needed               Out of the cupboards came.
We'd been told no help we'd get,                As dust gets everywhere,
And the rot was so well seeded.                 When cleaning isn't tamed.

We couldn't leave the place like that,          We heard of someone saying, "Close the place"
So the workmen carried on.                      When dry rot set in.
One good thing that we must say,                But we prayed, and it was answered.
The dry rot has all gone.                       To have left that, would have been a sin.

We found some old attendance books,             Now our job is near completion.
In a cupboard on the stage.                     Just a few more hundreds more.
On one was wrote 1925                           There's shining paint, and well scrubbed floor.
On the very first front page.                   As you come in the door.

We got together once again,                     We're grateful to all friends who've helped
To see what next to plan.                       With money, or with time.
There was a challenge, we must take             Just shows what a few can do.
Make money if we can.                           Love, faith, and prayer will shine.

A close friend wrote a letter,                  So now my story I have told.
Another photocopied for us.                     Of the few at Main Street Chapel.
I think close on seventy-five                   No matter what the future holds.
Went out without a fuss.                        It was a well fought battle.

Many were posted, others went by hand,
And it wasn't long before,                      This story was composed by Edith
Replies came, cheques and letters too.          Taylor and tells how she felt during
We couldn't ask for anything more.              those last few months.
                                                March 1992

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When I was old enough I went to the village school, there were many more pupils in those days because we stayed there until we left at 14 years of age. The classes were much bigger with five or six teachers for 160 or so children. Mr Bames was the Headmaster and the infant teacher was Miss Buckley; she was very kind but like all the teachers in those days she was also very strict. I was left handed but I was made to write with my right hand, my left hand was tied behind me. Now I am able to write with both hands because I used to change over when I could.

Later I moved to a higher class with Mrs Woodiwiss, she taught the girls how to sew and knit. With being left handed I used to start from left to right instead of right to left. At the same time boys would either have gardening, football or cricket depending on the time of year. We girls also walked to Wirksworth and back each week to the cookery class at the old Grammar School near the Church yard. We took a variety of ingredients to put together and cook, sometimes eating what we had made on the walk back to Middleton.

We all had an exciting time on May Day, some danced round the Maypole and some did country dancing. I can remember when Kath Bunting was May Queen one year. All our school days were centred round either the school or place of worship we went to, so different today but they were happy days.

I was also in the school choir and we sometimes stayed behind after lessons to practise. One song was written by a teacher and John Dickinson and I can still remember the words and music, I have written it down while we still can recall it.

       Our school days are swiftly passing, 
       Soon their sands are run, 
       But while we live we'll cherish 
       Friendships there begun. 
       Play the game always Middleton, 
       Deep graven on each heart 
       Shall be found unwavering true
       When we from life shall part.

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Our strong bond shall ne'er be broken it shall never die It's far surpassing wealth unspoken Sealed by friendship tie. Chorus...

I was never a brilliant scholar but I did learn to read and write and add up and this has stood me in good stead to the present day.
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Starting work

I left school at 14 years of age. The choices for girls then were the mills at Masson, Lea, Bonsall and Wirksworth, in a shop or in service. The boys usually went to work at one of the quarries or farms or for a local tradesman or to one of the mills. Another employer was Millclose Mine at Darley Dale which meant getting up early and walking across Bonsall Moor. We all walked to work in those days.

My mother had been with me down to Masson Mill before I left school and I had got a job. I left school on the Friday and started work on Monday. We started at 6 or 7.30a.m. finishing at 5 or 5.30p.m. My wages were 13/4d (67p) a week. There was plenty of work in those days but compared with today we were poorly paid.

The quarry men were very often laid off during the bad weather in winter and had to report every day to the Labour Exchange to sign on the dole. Employers could apply to the Labour Exchange for help with seasonal or extra work and if there had been a heavy snow the men would be sent snow shifting on the road or railway. Not many of us had the opportunity to go to college.

When my friends and I were in our teens our mothers would let us walk to Wirksworth and stroll round the town, we would talk to girls and boys who were also round Wirksworth; one of the popular walks was round the church yard. It was there I met George Taylor, he lived at the bottom of Greenhill; there was a large family of them. For a time we just stopped and chatted with several other youths and girls, one night he said "I'll take you to Middleton".

At Rise End there was a wooden shop where John Thomas Hallows sold sweets, pop, ice cream etc. we called him Johnty. There was also a small shop opposite the school which also sold sweets, crisps, chocolate etc. George would walk me to one of these shops because I didn't want a bother with my mother, but after a while some friend told her and she stopped me going to Wirksworth (maybe we met underhanded). I was working at Masson Mill and George was working at the quarry down the road so we got messages to each other, anyway we got together again and went to the pictures in the Town Hall at Wirksworth. Fred Millward worked the projector and his girlfriend Maud saw to the tickets, I can't remember who the other people in charge were but there were dozens of children, laughing, cheering and shouting because we had never seen films only lantern slides.
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I remember one day we were walking down the road and met the Taylors, around ten of them, he introduced me and after that I started visiting the relations, George also came to our house so it was all out in the open. We used to go to Derby by train - one shilling in old money return - walk round then go to the pictures (more modern).

George would walk me to our house then have to walk back to Greenhill. There wasn't much money and we had to share the expenses because he had to pay his board and I did too.

We got engaged when I was twenty-one, he had already bought me a watch, we had to keep saving odd pounds as neither of us got a big wage.

George by this time drove a crane in the quarry helping to drag the huge blocks of stone off the rock face and had to work in the rain or his wage was down. I was still at Masson Mill but by this time Sam Slack ran a bus, it was a good day when we could ride both ways. The Watts brothers had been running buses several years before and we had been riding from Masson Mill up to Steeple House Arch then walking on Porter Lane. The Watts' buses were named Adam Bede, Seth Bede and Dinah Morris after the famous family who had lived down Derby Road many years before.

George asked me if we could get married in 1939 so it was decided for 9th September but there was much unrest in the country, war was looming. On the Sunday morning, 3rd September, the prime minister of that time, Mr Chamberlain, said England was at war with Germany. Our wedding took place as arranged and we had tea in the Church Hall, very good ham and tongue and salad, but we didn't go to Blackpool on honeymoon, we thought we should get blown up, but the following year and every year after we always went to Blackpool in George's holiday. We went by train as by this time his brother had got him work on the Railway at Derby. He used to walk to Cromford station every morning but got a lift back at night.

At the beginning of the war the woods opposite where I live between the back of Black Rocks and the Sheep Pasture down to the A6 between Cromford and Whatstandwell was covered with fir trees. As the war went on there was a shortage of timber and all the woods were felled and replanted including the one behind Bolehill. A family of woodcutters from Scotland and some local men including John and Ted Ward were employed to cut it down. I got a job helping with this work together with Ted's wife Clara and Ruby my two sisters in law. We had to strip the bark off the timber before it was cut into lengths for pit props and taken
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down to Cromford station. We worked in brace and bib overalls and boots and walked to and from the wood. I got blisters on my hands and tired from the heavy work but I really enjoyed being out in the fresh air with the smell of the pines and flowers. After the wood was felled it was replanted and those are the trees that are there today.

The war went on and food was very short, we had ration books and gas masks. Expectant mothers came from London and round that way to have their babies at Willesley Castle, which had been turned into a Maternity Hospital. Some of the mothers-to-be were sent to homes in Middleton to live until their time was due. Soldiers were billeted at the Pavilion, Matlock Bath and all large places were taken over by the government, our lives were upset but no bombs were dropped here the nearest was Derby because the planes came to find the Rolls-Royce factories. Lots of the large cities such as London, Coventry, Liverpool and Birmingham were shattered.

In 1945 I went to Wirksworth Maternity Hospital and had a son, we called him George after his father, it was the 4th day of April, 1945 and we were still having to be very careful not to waste food, but a pound was worth 20 shillings then.

George said "Shall we move into a larger house." but I said I was born here and couldn't we manage because of the beautiful view across the fields and hills. I guess in those days a new house could be built for around £500, but I'm very grateful we stayed.

Every Friday all through our married life, George put my housekeeping money on the top shelf of the cupboard and I paid cash for everything we bought. Today I write a cheque to pay the bills but it's hard to get used to after dealing with money for so many years.

When television became available we decided to buy a set, this was in the days of black and white. Our George was at Middleton school and used to bring pals home to look at the children's programme, they still talk about it to this day, we have always had children at our house and still do.

I got a job at the school helping to serve the dinners which I held for more than 18 years. Mr George Ludlam was the headmaster, he was a kind man, very strict but did get discipline. I still wave to the school children as they go down with their mothers, it was the mothers who were at school when I worked there years ago.
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Wells and spring-fed troughs supplied Middleton with water years ago. The trough on the Green known as the Basin was reputed to have been installed in 1768 and the trough on Water Lane was put in place in 1865 on two square yards of land bought by the Overseers of the Poor, the water being piped from Water Lane Spring.

When I was young water was always in short supply, nobody had water piped into their house. We used the stand taps and pumps at several places in the village. They have gone now but some of the stone surrounds can still be seen.

There was a pump at Rise End just along the old road to Wirksworth and the first tap was at Rise End in the garden wall of "Kneedene". The next was at the bottom of The Hillside facing down the road by the side of what remains of a well. At the top of the Hillside there was a tap in the garden wall of No. 5 but nothing of this has survived. Lower down at the junction with The Alley there was a tap in the wall facing up The Hillside but recent repairs has covered what was left.

The houses which were demolished as the quarry was extended were supplied by a pump and the source of the water was probably the spring which runs into the top side of the old quarry face.

We had a tap in our front yard, No. 11, which I think was put there by Uncle Jim who lived next door. The people who lived further up the road used the tap at the bottom of The Alley, the stand can still be seen. Higher up there was one in the wall of No. 38 and one in the wall opposite the Post Office now replaced by the drive of "Cwm Rhondda". The Green was served by the Basin and Water Lane by the trough which was fed from a spring, New Road had a tap next to No. 5

The Lanes (now Duke Street) was served by a tap in the wall which has been knocked down to provide a drive-in to No. 12. The Fields had a tap in the garden wall of Mr Killer's house, the wall has now been demolished to provide a parking space.

In summer we were always short of water and it was only available at certain times of the day, Mr Joe Harrison (who was lame) turned the water on at the Green and it ran down to Rise End and our families got water but were only allowed two buckets of clean water for drinking and cooking. For other purposes we had to save rain water, we had a tub in the back yard. Some people had a well in the garden or yard and a few
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inside the house, they were considered to be well off. The trough in Water Lane was filled from a spring on the moor conveyed via a pipe and was a reliable supply, people would leave their buckets there to fill up. The pump on the Hillside, which had a handle which had to be worked up and down to get the water, never ran dry. Some years later Harry Flint got a pump installed near Tuffa Cottage in Via Gellia and many gallons of water were pumped up to the reservoir on the moor each day, I can't say when that finished.

When I was young Friday night was bath night (not every day) for remember we had very little water. The tin bath which hung on the wall outside was brought before the fire. Hot water was put into it out of the side boiler of the fire grate. I think we had turns who was first to get in, it kept being warmed up until we were all clean for the weekend then the same water was used to clean the sandstone floor or the front steps. Now gallons of water goes down the drain and never has a second job to do as years ago.

It was a great pity when the basin was broken up and the tablet over it too because these were part of our heritage. The council took some houses down to widen the road and destroyed the basin at the same time. These days it would have been re-sited on the Green and preserved.

The Basin on the Green with the old chapel on the right

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T Water Taps
P Pump
1 Red Hill Quarry
2 Hopton Wood Quarry
3 Holy Trinity Church
4 School
5 Church Hall now Village Hall
6 Gas House
7 Hopton Wood Works and Sawmill now C+G fitting shop
8 Wesleyan Chapel
9 Mount Zion Primitive Methodist Chapel
10 Old Primitive Methodist Chapel - site now Chapel Croft
11 Slaughter House used by Jones now a garage
12 The Basin
13 Duke of Wellington
14 Congregational Chapel
15 Jos Slack's Shop
16 Nelson's Arms and Cottages
17 Statham's Shop and Newsagent - demolished
18 Clayton's Shop now P.O. sold groceries
19 Doxey's Clothes, wool, cotton etc.
20 Wigley's Bakehouse and Shop now 45 Main Street
21 Jones' Butchers - also fish, fruit and veg.
22 Belmont House now Eastas Gate
23 Allotments
24 Cottages and Police House
25 Vicarage
26 Co-operative Store now flats
27 Our House now No. 11 Main Street
28 Uncle Jim and Aunt Esther's House
29 Fountain House which was also doctor's surgery
30 Mr Brooks - pork butcher
31 Boden - barber
32 Uncle John Fox's Field
33 Gregson's Grocer and P.O. Mrs Gregson was a Midwife

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T Water Taps
P Pump
1 Cottages near Rising Sun
2 Rising Sun Inn
3 Beedlam Farm now derelict
4 John W. Hallows' sold sweets,
    ice cream and Sunday Papers
5 Railway Bridge over road
6 Middle Peak Wharf
7 Monkey Hole Bridge
8 Raven's Tor House, Mr Salmon,
      Hopton Wood Manager
9 John T. Hallows' Shop (Johnty's)
10 Monkey Hole Quarry

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Village Life

Years ago almost everything was moved by rail, coal came into Middleton and stone went out. The High Peak Railway was working and after school we would run down to Hopton Wood Quarry (Croxton & Garry now) and watch the steam engine bringing empty wagons into the quarry and taking out the ones loaded with limestone blocks. They were taken to the top of the Sheep Pasture incline and went down on an endless rope to the main line at Cromford from where they went to all parts of the country.

Most of the stone from the quarry was used for building and masonry, and several hundred have men worked there. Large blocks of stone were removed from the quarry face by putting wedges behind them and driving the wedges in with hammers until the block broke away, it was very hard work, no explosives were used as this would shatter and crack the stone. The stone was then taken across to the saw shed where it would be sawn into blocks to be transported all over the country. It was also used for interior decoration in many famous buildings including the Bank of England and the Houses of Parliament. Two lion statues, originally outside the City Hall, Sheffield, can be seen outside the Tarmac Offices in Matlock.

After the war was over in 1918 the works produced thousands of gravestones for the war cemeteries in France and Belgium. To help with this work stonemasons were brought in from other parts of the country including a contingent from Preston. The part of the works where they were employed was known as the "Preston End" for many years after. On Shrove Tuesday in 1928 The Prince of Wales visited the works and watched a gravestone being carved before going on to Ashbourne to start the football match.

The stone cutting saws were driven by engines fuelled with gas that was produced in the gas works next to the sawmill. We used to watch the stoker rake the coal out, stoke the pipe up with fresh, put lime paste over the doors to seal them then put water on the coal he had raked out and turn it into coke. The works also provided Middleton with gas and I can remember Mr Horace Killer coming to empty the pennies out of the gas meter and if we had used a lot of gas there would be a rebate.

Before we had gas in our house I remember going to bed with a candle in a candle stick, later we had a paraffin lamp. When we had the gas light
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this was big improvement but if you ran across the bedroom floor the mantle would break, they were so frail. In 1928 electricity arrived in the village and Cecil and Geoff Grace and Brian Cole came from Manchester to wire the houses. They lodged at Mrs Fox's at the bottom of Sandy Hill. Two of these electricians met and married local girls, Geoff Grace married one of the Walker sisters and Brian Cole to Jessie Fearn, they later kept the Post Office. The Millward brothers who later had the garage in Wirksworth also wired some of the houses. The power supply was via overhead cables which went from house to house and was taken through the wall into a meter in the bedroom. Some of the cottages are still supplied this way.

There weren't any motor cars in Middleton when we were small only horses and carts, the snow plough was kept up New Road and two horses pulled it downhill first then back up the partly cleared road. It never went on Porter Lane, that was full up for weeks. I don't know who that road belonged to then because Middleton was part of Ashbourne Rural District and it wasn't until 1934 that we were made part of Wirksworth Urban District. Years later my husband, George, said "We had to be taken over by Wirksworth to be civilised".

Gells of Hopton Hall made the road from Via Gellia (Rider Point) up to the Green at Middleton and called it New Road. The Gell gentleman and friends used to come round Via Gellia on horse back and up New Road, let their horses drink at the basin then go on their way to Wirksworth Market. They also came back that way and let their horses drink (remember there wasn't any motor cars).

At the side of Tuffa Cottage in Via Gellia there was a spring and water ran down the bankside, lovely pure clean water that was drinkable. Nearby was a brook that we children paddled in when on holiday from school, we took sandwiches and could stay there all day and be safe. We would go down the middle of the wood below Mountain Cottage to where, in August and September, blackberries grew. We took baskets and gathered them and our mothers made jam, pickle, vinegar to eat and drink during the winter. Our mothers only had to buy the sugar because there wasn't much money around.

There were also wood nut trees. We gathered those to eat and towards Whitsuntide we used to gather beautiful lilies of the valley from under the trees at the bottom near Rider Point, bunch them up and sell them for 6d a bunch to strangers and go to gather more. I can't say if they still grow because over the years things have been let go wild and because the children today don't, well can't, go and play the same, it's too dangerous with the traffic and strangers about.
Page 21
We hadn't much money but were happy, very happy, my friend Evelyn Jepson and I used to share a 2d. bag of crisps between us and eat a crust. I have made my tea of bread, butter with sugar sprinkled on hundreds of times.

My aunt and uncle, Esther and Jim Beeson, and cousins lived next door, my uncle worked for Marsdens as a tinsmith and mended kettles and pans in his spare time for 2d. He also grew plants in the allotments across the road and I would take them out to friends for 6d in old money, also tomatoes. All the allotments were used then to grow our own vegetables and flowers. People don't "Dig for Victory" now, it all comes from the grocers. and supermarkets.

Twice a week my friend Evelyn and I used to take a clothes basket full of dough to Wigley's bakehouse, now 45 Main Street. Our mothers and aunts used to knead flour, salt and barm, with milk and water then put it to rise near the fire then they would put it into the tins with their names underneath so they would know whose it was when it came out of the oven. After school we would collect the newly baked bread. Tom Wigley and his wife also had a little shop at the side and sold Wembley buns, ice buns, scones and tea cakes, that is how he started; later he had a van and took all kinds of bread and cakes around other villages. everyone was friendly then, they helped each other financially, did jobs for each other and minded each others children.

Mr Sam Hallows used to have cows down Eastas Lane and would go each morning to the barn half way down to fetch the cows in and milk them by hand, it took a long time, then he delivered it as he came back. He had a wooden yoke on his shoulders with two chains and two buckets, he also carried a pint and a half pint measures and a sieve. He would measure the fresh warm milk straight into our jug.

There were lots of smallholdings in the village then and a lot of people kept fowls and some pigs. When a cow calved the beastings were a special free treat, we had pies made of these lovely extras which were welcome.

Several people had cows and sold the milk, we had never heard of dairies or milk bottles. Some people had milk left over and used to shake it in a sealed tin until it was solid, that was butter to spread on the bread which was homemade. Mothers also made lovely barm bread and cakes.

Hopton Wood Stone Firm also had a coal sidings and took coal by horse and cart to people's houses. They would drop it in front of the
Page 22
house and friends would help to stack it in the coal-house, our coal had to be carried through the house.

Across from the Rising Sun public house was a road that one could walk and get to the top of Greenhill and The Dale at Wirksworth. Loads of coal were taken by horse and cart that way because the horses couldn't pull the loaded carts up the steep hill from Wirksworth. While I am writing about Greenhill, I would like to mention that in those days when Rolls-Royce had made new engines they used to test them on Greenhill then come through to Middleton and go down the valley. There was a bridge on that road too, which carried the road over the narrow opening to the quarry at the back (see the photograph on page 8). The entrance to the quarry was on Wirksworth Road and the bridge was famous and was part of our heritage but it was blown down when the quarry was extended and the road closed. We had always known it as the 'Monkey Hole' with a story behind it.

In days gone by a travelling Italian organ grinder used to come and would entertain the men working in the quarry by dangling a rope from the top on which the monkey would perform tricks and collect money. When the rope broke one day it brought the performance and the Monkey to an abrupt end, but the name has stuck since.

Middleton Band was well known years ago and used to play at the Baseball Ground when Derby County Football Club played at home, several friends used to walk round the ground at half time with a white sheet collecting money for band funds.

There was a town crier at Wirksworth named Luther Gould who also came round Middleton to tell of events taking place such as furniture sales and concerts, he had a very loud voice and a big bell.

Cricket and football have been played on the recreation ground all through my lifetime. In summer the field had to be mown with a scythe on Friday evening or Saturday morning before a match. In winter the well drained field had a reputation locally as being one of best to play on. The "Rec. " was a gift to the village and until the recent boundary changes was in Cromford Parish.

At the Institute - now No.14 Main St. - billiards were played and a team played in a local league and won many cups and trophies, the men were very, very keen. The Institute was also a branch of Lloyds Bank and the doctors' surgery. Later the Institute moved to new premises, now Duke Street Garage but the arrival of television proved to be a bigger attraction and it was closed. TV had an affect on other activities
Page 23
in the village and for a time people lost interest in local concerts and plays and visiting neighbours.

I remember when traders came round the villages with horse and dray to sell fish, meat, bread, cakes, sticks, logs, coal, fruit and veg, paraffin, clothes, bedding etc. but we also had shops, the Co-op, Gregson's (later Flint's), Post Office, drapers, bank, newsagent, two more grocers shops, Jos Slack and Clayton's, chip shop, barbers, several dressmakers, smithy I could go on, we were always self-supporting, then of course the motor vans arrived and cars and more speed, not many ride bicycles today as they did years ago.

In our young days there were no houses where Queen Street, King Street, Stile Croft and Churchill Avenue are today. I have an old photo which shows Stile Croft with a footpath going through it and two or three fields in front of the Duke of Wellington. Where Churchill Avenue now is Jim Clayton had fowls and turkeys, very big wooden sheds stood there. There were also several stiles and a path straight on to several barns. We went down Gypsy Lane to them, if you kept on then turned right it would lead you down Big Hill where we went every morning to Masson Mill, it came out half way down Cromford Hill. Straight on the road would lead you to the top of Bonsall Wood and the Mill in Via Gellia across from the Pig of Lead.

On the Hillside there were 23 houses which were demolished when the quarry expanded (they couldn't stop production). These were some of the best houses in Middleton at that time. After the houses had been taken down the managers decided to work underground which they still do today. The underground roads and channels being worked go under the moor and also to Hopton where there is now an entrance. Hopton had two quarries when I was young.

It used to be a winding main street and traffic had to be careful and go slowly but several houses were taken down to straighten the road so that now cars and vans go through much faster and the cars parked on the road make it difficult to get across.

I can remember when there were no tractors, mowing machines or muckspreaders. the farmers, with help, loaded their drays and carts with cow manure and took it up and down the fields where grass was grown for mowing and left it in heaps and after would spread it with a fork and then come with a chain harrow drawn by a horse or maybe two. This was done in early spring and then it was left to grow until July or August when it was mown with a scythe. It was hard work mowing a large field
Page 24
by hand and it was mown right up to the walls, that was called belting round (they don't bother with that today). Then they hoped for some dry weather and sun but the grass had to be turned over several times by hand to dry it completely, it was then raked into rows and heaps and loaded on to drays to be taken and either stored in a barn or made into stacks which were thatched like a house to keep the weather out.

The hay would settle down into a solid mass so that in winter the hay required for the day had to be cut out with a hay knife. This had a blade about three feet long and was worked like a saw to cut out a slice of hay - warm work on a cold winter morning.

Years ago there were no local planning authorities and people used to build what and where they liked. An example of this was the house next to where I live. I was told this story by Isaac Spencer (father of Isaac).

There used to be a bedroom window in my house which looked down the street and next to the house was a barn. The man who owned this barn wanted to convert it into a cottage so he built up three sides as far as he could but the family who lived in my house at that time kept the outward opening bedroom window open all the time so that he couldn't build up the fourth side. One winter night there was a blizzard and they closed the window. Next morning they awoke to find that during the night the wall had been built up past the window. The window has been bricked up but still shows through the wallpaper.

The stone wall opposite where I live has been there all my life, years ago it was bigger but as the road and footpath has been repaired over the years they have been made higher, coping-stones sometimes get knocked off but some kind friend will lift them back for us.

Middleton was a lead mining village, the last mine to be worked was the Good Luck Mine in Via Gellia. There are mine shafts in almost every field and even in the gardens of some of the later houses in the village. When we were young the shafts were capped with a cone of stones, this was made by building a wall round the shaft with each layer of stone set in towards the centre until after about twenty layers they met in the middle forming a cone, no cement was used but the structure was strong enough to keep out animals and people. We never went near them but today they have fallen into disrepair and not many can be seen.
Page 25

The Middleton Art Class
Edith Taylor 1994

We went to a Rotary party                  She told us she could only come
1986 was the year,                         Once a fortnight, not each week.
Held in Anthony Gell's school room         But we wanted a weekly session
Late May or early June.                    'Cause the atmosphere was great.

On each chair that year                    We spoke to Phil and asked him
An orange paper lay;                       What could he do for us.
the printing said, '"What can be done      He chose a man from an Education book,
To help the pensioners from now on."       And Jack Elliot an artist came.

They quoted music, singing, dancing,       He soon got us painting better -
Art and several other things.              We'd been happy, but very slack.
Six ladies sat round our table -           He came and told me straight away,
We agreed painting was the theme.          I had to draw, not trace.

Amy said "Can't we use your room?          A first class artist we've got now,
It is the ideal place."                    Firm, but very kind.
An item we put in the newsletter,          We all get on so much better
Saying all were welcome to paint.          At drawing and painting we find.

We bought some paints and brushes          The class has been going well
And water colour painting books;           For eight years now, and truth to tell,
I used to trace my pictures,               We have improved so very much,
Buildings. animals, flowers and such       With Jack's help of course.

We were on a six weeks trial;              We've had two displays of our paintings
Phil got Sonia West to come;               In the library down at Wirksworth,
There were ten of us to start with,        Also an exhibition
And we thought it was great fun.           In our own Community Room.

We met in Main Street Community Room       We never thought when we started
Where lots of meetings are held;           Such a very good class we'd become -
Two hours every Thursday,                  Just shows what a form can do,
With a tea-break half way through.         Just left on a chair to see.

The six weeks soon went by;                At first there was Amy, Sarah. Jessie
We'd got a very good class;                                        and John.
Twelve to fourteen friends came now        Phillip, Gweneth, Blanche and Ken.
From around our area - all were keen.      Irene, two Ediths, Elizabeth and Margaret.

Poor Sonia West fell ill -                 Then along came Freda, Joan, Marion,
In fact, she had to leave.                                    Evie and Jim,
A student then came along                  Two Dorothys, two Mays and John.
From Anthony Gell's school team.           Also Janet and her two daughters have

Page 26
Over the years there has been several characters in Middleton, I guess I am one myself, working at school for years, helping with any efforts at school and chapel with my cousin Sarah Wood and with others.

When the youth club was held in our schoolroom we tried to keep order but some didn't like me, they thought I was too strict but they still chat with me as I go about the village.

There was Jack Brooks, he was the one that when a load of coal was tipped outside the house, he would come and get it in using buckets and would stack it up neatly, leaving the small stuff to be used first, it was called ashless coal they didn't make bats then like today.

There was Arthur Wilson who used to live at the bottom of the pitchings (Sandy Hill now) and Chapel Lane. He was a chimney sweep and used to sit at the door on a stool along with Will Doxey (Edgar and Hubert's dad) and several other men, it was a popular meeting place as was the Basin on the Green. Every tale, large and small, was discussed in the evenings during the week.

As I have written in another chapter Tantie Boden was the barber in part of the grocer's shop, men used to go for a shave and a haircut before Bic razors and electric shavers were thought of. This was another meeting place, the razors they used then were cut-throats and they were sharpened on a leather strop. The men worked long hours then so most only had a shave once a week on Friday or Saturday to look spick and span for Sunday.

The other meeting place of course was the pub (for those who went), in those days most of the men wore a waist coat and had a watch and chain dangling, lots were silver, some had medals too.

There was also a Mr Goodall who lived on the Green and cut hair for people and shaved them for a small amount, nowadays it costs two or three pound coins.

Another active person was Mrs Martin who lived next to the Zion chapel and helped anyone. When the buses started to run and turned round on the Green she once went and helped move the snow there because it had to be moved by shovel and brush in those days.

Les Flint too was a well-known character, he used to ring the church bell for services etc. He married my friend Evelyn and came from Wensley. He loved to watch bowls, cricket and football and was involved in all kinds of sporting activities in the village and attended all the club meetings, if Les wasn't there something was wrong. He was also a keen domino and darts player.
Page 27
The Lilies Inn and the Hollybush in Via Gellia were popular with Middleton men years ago, they would walk down there, have a pint of beer and a chat then get watercress out of the brook on the way back. They also went down Bonsall Wood to the Pig of Lead. That could be a tricky walk back in the dark after a pint or two but they enjoyed it. In those days we had to walk everywhere or save up for a bicycle, which I notice are being used again. Nearly everyone has a car but to cycle is exercise for the legs. Most of the beer drunk years ago was draught, delivered to the pubs in wooden barrels. If anyone wanted to drink at home they would take a jug to the pub and have if filled from the pump, not in cans as today.

Amongst others Jepson's have always been undertakers in Middleton. I think Henry Jepson was Roger's great-grandfather and since his day the business has grown and now includes the long established Greatorex of Matlock and Mettams of Bakewell. Years ago Frank and Billy Buxton and Mr Webb were Funeral Directors. Billy used the old Jubilee Hall - the Primitive chapel before Zion replaced it - for whist drives during the war and raised a lot of money to help wartime organisations. He was also a very good violin player and used to play at funerals and concerts etc.

Another character I mustn't leave out was Joe Beastall (Beanie), I said I wouldn't use bye-names but Joe wouldn't mind. He used to walk with a scythe over his shoulder and cut down any long grass or hedge for a few bob. He would call at my neighbour Blanche's many a time for a slice of bread and jam or bread and dripping then go up to her garden and mow the long grass when she no longer could manage it herself
Page 28

by Edith Taylor 1992

When I get up in the morning,                Sat, or lay under the big tree,
And go to bed. at night                      With bread, butter, jam and tea.
I stand and gaze through the window          
And think it's lovely sight.                 Four seasons can be seen each year,
                                             Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter,
I look across at Greener Fields,             In Spring the trees come alive again,
Black Rocks is just beyond,                  And then we have some rain.
Barrel Edge is to the right,                 
With fir trees big and strong.               In summer everything's alive,
                                             Trees, grass and flowers many,
I stand there reminiscing,                   Autumn the leaves turn from green to gold,
Of lots of clays gone by,                    And we get lots of berries.
It's more than seventy years,                
Some times I stand and sigh.                 Winter brings the cold and fog.,
                                             Snow, sleet can linger on,
The sun is rising lots of days,              But looking out across the field,
Red, yellow, purple rays across the sky,     When the sun comes out it's fun.
At other times there is a mist,              
And sometimes black rain clouds twist.       My husband George came here to live,
                                             More than fifty years ago,
If I look straight ahead of me,              We're grateful for all we've achieved,
Neither to left nor right,                   But now we're very slow.
The view is just the very same,              
Only the trees grown tall.                   I remember Jack Harrison drove the engine,
                                             Andrew Martin was the fireman.,
The Vicarage is just across,                 They'd come and go past Black Rocks,
Was built before my time,                    To and fro, with wagons ten.
A fine building of gritstone,                
Once had 11 large chimneys proud.            Those days it was a steam engine,
                                             With pride they kept it clean,
The Vicarage as we know,                     Some men went early mornings
Has seen some vicars come and go.            To fire up and get the steam.
But sadly now it seems,                      
It's is all just pipe dreams.                Coming up from Sheep Pasture Incline,
                                             Were water tanks, and empty wagons too,
There is the Recreation Ground,              Some came to Middleton Quarry,,
The Pavilion been there years,               Those days there were no lorries.
We used to have events on there,             
Now only cricket and football teams.         Other wagons were shunted to the Wharf,
                                             And up the incline went,
When holidays from school we had,            An endless rope took those up there,
We played for hours on end,                  To Hopton and Intake Quarries.
In Eastas Fields, also the Dene,             
Where lots of wild flowers blend.            The empty wagons then went up.
                                             Those full of stone came down,
Lots of fun I can remember,                  A steam engine at the Engine House,
Had picnics lots of times,                   Worked the rope, and still works now.

Page 29

On a clear night I can see,                  I have lived here all my life,
Street lights at Holloway and Lea,           And happy I have been,
Also on the horizon I see Wheatcroft,        To stand and look through the window,
A big light is shining free.                 With lots of happy dreams.

Early Morning, Summer and Winter
by Edith Taylor 1994

I saw the sun rise this morning              In winter they all seem so dead,
Over the pasture way,                        Must be resting so it's said.
It came up like a ball of fire               No one takes them plant food,
Where the fir trees grow each day.           But in the spring comes a change of mood
It soon got high into the sky,               Thirsty little buds are seen,
Turned golden fairly quick.                  Where just branches all have been.
Reds, yellows, mauve formed colourful clouds.They all unfold we see each day,
I saw these wonders before six.              Until their leaves are seen to play.
It's almost now the end of March.            Rain, sun and winds do help,
The third month has come and gone.           But man does not a thing.
Most of us have stayed indoors,              He just admires what he has been given
As often as we can.                          As year by year they come again.
The winter's been so cold and wet,           The trees are Hawthorn, Elder and Beech
Heavy snow showers too.                      Oak. Ash and Chestnut.
The children do not seem to sledge           Sycamore, Willow. Fir and Elm,
As years ago could do.                       Pine and somewhere must be a Silver Birch.
Of course the roads are in demand,           In fields grow Buttercups and Daisies.,
Sand and salted for the traffic,             Cowslips, Bluebells and Violets too,
There's cars and lorries up and down,        Egg and Bacon., Soldiers Buttons.
Coming and going every minute.               Pansies, Coltsfoot and Forget-me-not blue.
Everyone seems in such a hurry.              So ought we not be grateful,
Getting from A to B so quick.                Living in this lovely part,
There's no time to stand and stare,          And thanking God for all he has given us
To look across the peak.                     From the bottom of our hearts.

I look across at the trees,
Waving lovely in the breeze,
What would a blind man give to see
Such a lovely sight, Lucky Me.

Page 30

We are Survivors!
(For those born before 1940)

We were born before television, before penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, plastic, contact lenses, videos, Frisbees and the Pill. We were before radar, credit cards, split atoms, laser beams and ball point pens; before dishwashers, tumble driers, electric blankets, air conditioners, drip-dry clothes... and before man walked on the moon.

We got married first then lived together (how quaint can you be?). We thought 'fast food' was what you had in Lent, a 'Big Mac' was an oversized raincoat and 'crumpet' we had for tea. We existed before house husbands, computer dating, dual careers, and when a 'meaningful relationship' meant getting along with cousins, and 'sheltered accommodation' was where you waited for a bus.

We were before day care centres, group homes and disposable nappies. We never heard of FM radio, tape decks, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yoghurt and young men wearing earrings. For us 'time-sharing' meant togetherness, a 'chip' was a piece of wood or fried potato, 'hardware' meant nuts and bolts and 'software' wasn't a word.

Before 1940 'Made in Japan' meant junk, the term 'making out' referred to how you did in your exams, 'stud' was something that fastened a collar to a shirt and 'going all the way' meant staying on a double-decker to the bus depot. Pizzas, McDonalds and instant coffee were unheard of In our day smoking was 'fashionable', 'grass' was mown, 'coke' was kept in the coal house, a 'joint' was a piece of meat you had on Sundays and 'pot' was something you cooked in. 'Rock music' was a grandmother's lullaby, Eldorado was an ice cream, a'gay person' was the life and soul of the party and nothing more, while 'aids' just meant beauty treatment or help for someone in trouble.

We who were born before 1940 must be a hardy bunch when you think of the ways in which the world has changed and the adjustments we have had to make. No wonder we are so confused and there is a generation gap today .... BUT
By the grace of God .... we have survived! Alleluia!
Page 31
It's not been an easy lifetime but how grateful I am to have had a silver, ruby and golden wedding anniversary with George.

There have been many happy days also sad ones too. I have two grandsons and one great-granddaughter.

You will agree times have changed over 79 years, we were happy living in our own village but now life is fast and if you can't keep up with it they say you're old fashioned, which I am but have tried hard and I still wander up to the chapel. I will close with this poem.

"Thoughts of the past"

We worked and we married a long time ago, 
We worked for long hours. when wages were low, 
No TV, no wireless, no bath, (times were hard), 
Just a cold water tap and a walk up the yard.

No holidays abroad, no posh carpets on floors, 
But we had coals on the fire and didn't lock doors. 
Our children arrived, (no pills in those days), 
We brought them all up without government aid.

They were all quite safe to play in the park, 
And old folk could go for a walk after dark, 
No valium no drugs and no LSD, 
We cured all our own ills with a nice cup of tea.

But if you were ill you were. treated at once, 
Not `fill out this form, come back in six months',. 
No vandals, no muggings, (there was nothing to rob). 
And we thought we were rich with a couple of bob.

People were happier in those far off days, 
Kinder and caring in so many ways, 
Milkmen and paperboys would whistle and sing 
A night at the pictures was our only fling.

We all had our share of trouble and strife, 
We just had to face it, that's the pattern of life. 
But now I'm alone, I look back through the years 
I don't think of the bad times, the troubles and tears, 
I count the blessings our home and our love, 
We shared them together, I thank God above.


Page 32


Parish Clerk,                 W. Killer
Cottle Rev Clifford John,     The Vicarage
French Edmund 0.,             Mountain Cott.
Birley John Richard and Son, Limestone quarry owners
Brailsford John,              Plasterer
Brooks Daniel,                Cowkeeper
Clayton James,                Poultry farmer
Doxey Alfred, farmer,         Woodland Cott.
Doxey Eliza, Mrs,             Linen draper
Doxey John Fredrick,          Farmer
Flint Harry S.,               Grocer
Gratton David,                Cowkeeper
Hallows Jn. Thos.,            Shopkeeper
Hallows Samuel,               Cowkeeper
Hopton Wood Stone Firms Ltd. (Charles Herbert Salmon,
       Managing Director) quarry owners, Hopton-Wood Stone 
       quarries, reg. office., Middle Peak, Wirksworth; T.N.9
Jepson Jsph,                  Farmer 
Jones Hugh,                   Nelson's Arms 
Jones Sarah Jane,             Mrs, butcher 
Land Jn Wm.,                  Rising Sun 
Middleton Gas Works           (Hopton-Wood Stone Firms Ltd.
Middleton Institute           (Geo. Fearn Sec.) 
Payne Benj.,                  Chemist 
Phillips Walter,              Farmer, The Moor (over 150 acres) 
Slack Frank,                  Poultry farmer 
Slack Henry,                  Cowkeeper 
Slack John,                   Cowkeeper 
Slack Josiah,                 Shopkeeper 
Slack Samuel,                 Duke of Wellington 
Spencer Frederick,            Farmer Moores Plantation 
Spencer Isaac,                Coal dealer 
Spencer Joseph Samuel,        Insurance Agent 
Spencer Joseph Thomas,        Cowkeeper 
Spencer Thomas,               Farmer 
Webster William,              Smallholder 
Wheeldon William,             Farmer, Rise End 
Wigley Thomas,                Baker
Wirksworth & District Co-operative Society Ltd

Back cover

Edith Taylor has lived in the same house in the village of Middleton by Wirksworth for eighty years.
She tells of the changes that have taken place during that time and the effect on village life.

The picture on the front cover.
The Basin on The Green before the Mount Zion Chapel
was built in 1906.

My thanks to all who have helped with this publication including:
G. Johnson - Typing
Rev. M. Smith - Photocopying
Greenaway Workshop - Printing Cover
Edith Taylor 1996

Sold in aid of Main Street Methodist Chapel, Middleton
Greenaway Workshop for Disabled, Greenaway Lane, Hackney, Matlock

Compiled, formatted, hyperlinked, encoded, and copyright © 2002, . All Rights Reserved.