Updated 7 Jun 2009

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 405


South-east to Wirksworth

South-east from the Green

North-west to Via Gellia

Main Street, Middleton

Middleton has only one road running through it. Until the 20th Century it was mainly the home of miners for lead and stone. High up, water supply was a problem, it had only one tap, in Main Street. A wonderful book Memories of Middleton has been written by Edith Taylor, who was born and lived all her 80 years in one house in Main Street. The Author's family lived in Middleton 1606-1870.

Photo taken:
Source:J R Williams

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Edith Taylor's description of Middleton in 1928.
See Memories of Middleton.

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

    Stuart Flint writes:

    Hello John

    Top Photograph

    Shows Main Street just below The Green

    The old gate shown in photograph top right led into a field which Mr Walter Hadfield owned his farm on Vicarage Lane just below The Fields going out of the village towards Middleton Recreation Ground over Greener Fields towards Steeplegrange. (The Arkwright family endowed the land to the Trustees of Middleton Recreation Ground my father one of the original Trustees). I often helped to take cattle from Vicarage Lane Fields via Chapel Lane and then on to Main Street up to the fields shown also helping with Hay Making as I did with my brother and our mates at other farms in the village ie Willowdene Farm owned by Mr Webster (his wife sister to Mr Howard the Baker of Middleton his sons having a Bakery at Cromford up to recent years which Wrights took over. Mr Wright retired, related to my Uncle Charles Lesley Wright deceased Gents Outfitter Cromford. Howards baked the best bread and today I still buy bread from a local baker at Middleton who worked for Howards, baked to Howards recipe..

    Just across the road from Hadfields fields just a wall showing was where Mr Benny Gretton lived his wife a Slack of my wife's family..Mr Gretton was a Beekeeper and I was often asked to help transport his hives. He made some of the best honey only surpassed today by honey made by Mr Headon of Tufa Cottage Via Gellia today

    Just below Grettons was Middleton Post office still such today then in my youth owned by Mr Brian Coles who came to Middleton as an Electrical Engineer in the 1930s to connect Middleton to the Mains. His colleague was my Uncle Geoffrey Grace (married Anne Walker my mother's sister). Just below The Post Office old Photo was Howards Bakery taken over by Mr Thomas Wigley and below Wigley's Bakery was Jones The Butcher they of my kin via Flint Killer Spencer Greenhough Axe Slack and Doxey.

    Bottom photograph
    The houses and shop shown running up Main Street Middleton from bottom of photograph were known as Alexandria Buildings..My father Harry Sprake Flint had the shop as a Fancy Goods and Newsagency which afterwards came into the ownership of Mrs Goodwin who lived in the house below the shop on Main Street ..Her heirs still live in the village ..My father and his mother Gwenillian Flint nee Sprake lived above the shop ... Alexandria Building was split level twixt Main Street and The Alley My Grradmother's house entrance was from The Alley Dad married Kathleen Walker dau of John and Annie Walker nee Cauldwell of Manor Fields The Fields from this house in 1937 he born in 1894

    Just above Alexandria Buildings not shown too clearly was Central Stores just visible which my father leased from the Gregson Family who were the former Grocers at the shop. Dad sold near enough everything barring the kitchen sink the shop three storey's high Dad was a Master Grocer but also had a Drapery Shop at Wirksworth and eventually he converted a house next to Central Stores as a Drapery outlet.. We also sold Provisions which came lose this meaning that my brother sister and I on Saturday mornings spent the time skinning cheeses or unpacking new barrels of Butter and packs of Lard or boning Bacons. In the Sugar Room we would weight out 2 lb bags of suger into the blue sugar bags a tedious job or weighing loose flour into 3lb bags in the Flour room. Once a week the flour was transported from a Mill at Darley Dale in 56 lb sacks which has to be winched through the floor via a hand cranked crane..We also sold Boots and shoes, Patent Medicines, Pots and pans, crockery, china and at Christmas Toys and Gifts

    Dad employed local village people in the shops ie Mr Eric Sheldon of my kin he reared from youth with my mother in law by my wife's Grandfather Herbert Evans of Sheldons Yard Duke Street Middleton. Eric went on after war service to be Transport Manager at Shellards Quarry Griffe Grange owned by his brother Albert Sheldon..Dad also employed as an Apprentice Mr Edgar Doxey deceased who was brother of Councillor William Hubert Doxey J.P. M.B.E. they kin of Mr John Palmer.. Edgar who in his last years lived next door to my mother at Duke Fields Senior Citizens bunglaows retired as a Foreman at Masson MIll When he became ill Mother who on selling the business became an auxilliary nurse at Wirksworth Maternity Hospital in her 80s looked after him along with the other residents of the bungalows.. Others who worked for Dad were Margaret Slack Betty Harrison Herbert Doxey and Daphne Bunting whose mother was sister to George Else who married my father's sister Millicent Flint..Daphne worked for Dad from leaving school and when Dad was nearing his end she came back in the 1960s and stayed until mother sold the business in the 1970s. Her sister Jean drove the shop van and taught me to drive. Jean and her husband in the 1980s ran The Whitworth Hotel Darley Dale serving the best meals in the county. When my daughter celebrated her 21st birthday we held it at The Whitworth Hotel when Jean was Landlady Many of her / my cousins were present who lived at Bolsover ..

    Above Central Stores a house jutted out into Main Street. This was owned by Mr Bertram Petts who with his brother John James Petts founded a Monumental Masonry Works at a workshop just across the road on Chapel Lane from Highfields The Fields my family home. John J Petts was father of my Aunt Ada Flint nee Petts who married Dads brother John Samuel Flint a Steam Engine Driver who lived near Crewe.. Aunt Ada's sister Lillian married Councillor Norman Harrison who was of my mother's Land and Brookes family of Steeplegrange and Bolehill. Bertram Petts's Grt Grandson is now owner of the Monumental business still in the same yard. Across the road from Central Stores just visible above the Telegraph Posts were The Barns one time owned by Gregsons where they kept Horses and a Carriage. In the 2nd W.W. under emergency orders all biscuit tins and the like had to be saved and so Dad stores all manner of tins etc in the barns. The upstairs Lofts had been sealed before Dad ever took over the barns and in the 1960s Mr Arthur Wilson who lived just above Central Stores on The Pitchings (now for some reason known as Stoney Hill) and myself broke into the loft and found old saddles and harness and riding gear.. Mr Wilson had one of the Barns and kept ferrets in them.

    Just below the Barns on the bottom side of the Telegraph Posts was Belmont Cottage owned by Mr Tom Walker who had an Engineering Works at Sheffield I believe.. His more recent kin was a lady who marreied into the Olivers whose daughter married into the Bennett family of Hosiery Manufacturers of Wirksworth.. Mr Tom Walker along with my father and another kinsman William Brace they great friends often attended Queen Park Chesterfield to watch Derbyshire Cricket Club play ..I have recently found out that before Belmont Cottage was built a row of thatched roofed cottages stood on the same site and that one day a tenant at one of them on arriving home from work down one of the lead mines at Middleton looking forwards to a meal of Oatcakes found his wife had run out of fat.. In anger he grabbed hold of a hand full of Tallow used for making candles and threw this fat into a pan which was already to hot..The pan caught light and the thatch caught fire burning all the cottages down to the ground... Between the Barns and Belmont Cottage was Main Street Weslyan Methodist Church which Mrs Edith Taylor attended, she of my wifes Slack family.. Her cousin lives today below my home at Wirksworth..

    Regards Stuart G Flint

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