Updated 26 Jul 2009

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 577


Royal Hotel football team 1905

What a lovely photo. I bid for it but lost. The winner most kindly sent this scan for me to use, and writes: "They are on the Cromford Meadows. You can see the railway embankment in the background. I have feelers out to identify the team members and will inform you if anything turns up." Regards Tony Holmes
They should all be in the 1901 Census and probably fought in the 1914-1918 Great War. If anyone recognises their grandfather, PLEASE contact , if I can link them with the Census it will almost bring them back to life. See E-mails.

Royal Hotel football team 1905

By very kind permission of Tony Holmes of Wirksworth

Unknown football team, also at Cromford meadows, the railway embankment can be seen in the background, as in the above photo.

By very kind permission of Marc Hallowes of Wirksworth


Stuart Flint writes
My daughter and I visited Cromford Meadows today and I believe you may be correct that the photo was taken on The Meadows as although there are no iron railings on the ground now other than a fence separating the Rugby ground from the more recent Football pitch, I believe where my daughter and I sat in the car (I have taken a photograph) the scene before us looks very similar to your photograph
In the early 1900s the trees that now abound on the embankment were far fewer than now, and it is possible that the house as shown on your photo is now hidden by the trees Also when I looked very closely via a magnifying glass at your photo I believe I could just make out the Archway of a bridge which allows railway engines to pass over the embankment and when we visited this morning was visible. On your photo a set of railings can be seen on the left of the photo leading out under what I believe is the railway arch
I am 95% sure that you are correct but to make sure I have enquired from Yvonne Daykin who runs the Cromford web site if she can throw some light on the topic.. A friend of mine Roy Hooton of Cromford is brother of John Hooton who was the Chairman of The Old Baileans Rugby Club (now known as Matlock Rugby Club) I have asked Roy if he has any knowledge of Cromford Football Club early 1900s. Unfortunately John Hooton (was Manager at Mills & Bunting Vehicle Repairs Garage at the rear of The Greyhound Hotel Cromford Market Place and Bakewell Road Matlock) [is not well]....
To make doubly sure that I am wrong about Bolehill being the site of the Football ground I have contacted the remaining lady who served on the 1982 editorial committee when the 1982 Bolehill W.I. Year Book was published.. My copy is one she gave me ..
Regards Stuart G Flint
Terry Fletcher writes
In search of my names for my Hopton Wood Football photo I , today, visited former Wirksworth resident , Marc Hallows and we put a date of 1935 to the photo and a few more names.
Whilst I was with Marc - he showed me this old photo of a Football Team - unfortunately no clues whatsoever as to Who or where or When.
Judging by the way the shinpads are worn outside of the socks - this may be early 1900s - just looking at the 1905 picture of The Royal Hotel team - (love the man with a shinguard on just one leg)
I'm intrigued by what looks like a Priest on the back row - have you come across anything Wirksworthwise that may give a clue to the identity of the team or of any of the players or the 'priest'
Terry Fletcher
Stuart Flint writes:
I believe the football team is that of Bolehill around as you say 1900 when Mr Thomas Hunt gave land for the building of Bolehill Mens Institute (you have a photograph of the Institute I sent you some years ago). It may even be Mr Hunt with the beard in the photo I have a photo of a much younger Bolehill team in the same strip I believe the field will be near Bolehill Institute where there are iron railings some on the lane leading into Cemetery Lane from Bolehill - Wirksworth ...The photo is in Bolehill W.I Year book 1982.
Regards Stuart G Flint

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