Treasure 37: Poster for the Annual Athletic Festival, 1894

This treasure is a poster, advertising a sporting bonanza that took place on Matlock Cricket Ground on 15 September 1894. For sixpence you could have seen the ‘amateur gentlemen’ taking part in flat races, safety bicycle races and pony races. There was even an egg and spoon race – although that does seem to have been for school children rather than ‘gentlemen’.

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If you would like to support our work by adopting this document, for yourself or as a gift, have a look at the Adopt A Piece Of History page.aph-athletic-festival-poster-02

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Treasure 7: the Pleasley burial register, 1813-1893

Treasure 06 Pleasley register (a)

This register (D739/A/PI/5/1) records all the burials in the parish of St Michael, Pleasley, from April 1813 to January 1893.

Pleasley is one of the ancient parishes of Derbyshire, lying in the north-east of the county on the border with Nottinghamshire (Pleasley Hill is actually part of Nottinghamshire). It originally consisted of the townships of Pleasley, Shirebrook, and Stoney Houghton, which included the colliery villages of Upper Pleasley and New Houghton. The earliest surviving registers of baptisms, marriages and burials go back to 1553.

The register was nominated by Kate Henderson, a regular user of Derbyshire Record Office and a member of our Focus Group. Strictly speaking, the purpose of the register was to record the fact of a burial having taken place, and the name and age of the deceased – but Kate notes that this is not always all: “Occasionally a clerk will give fuller details of an unusual cause of death or of a great age achieved…

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…One can appreciate the interest such a vicar had both in his parishioners but also his understanding of the interest in these people in future generations.”

On this Day: ‘The Week’s Sports’

From the Alfreton and Belper Journal, 2nd December 1892:

The Week’s Sports

The football shown on Saturday by the different clubs was surprising and goes to show that football (like cricket) is a game upon which you cannot place much confidence as to the results, as the different matches lately played tend to show…

…Last Saturday Alfreton leapt out of the bucket and put another win to their credit, and this came when the least expected.  No one could have thought the Town would score two more points than their opponents last week who saw the teams previous to the commencement.  There were four of the Alphas team playing with the first, and whether it is owing to these four being included in the team that they gained their victory or no I cannot say.  Certain it is they had something to do with the result.  It was a pity the day was so unfavourable as the club are not having the best of gates, and it seems rather hard that they should receive so little support when they are proving themselves conquerors.  Many of the supporters thought there would be no match, as did also some of the first team players, in fact some were in bed while the play was on, and did not know anything of the affair until some considerable time after the match was over.  However, the Alphas were at hand and proved themselves equal to the task by their tactics and dash.  The Basford team were a tricky lot of fellows and played a fast game, but their defence is far from good, and it is chiefly owing to this defect that they were defeated on Saturday…

…Clay Cross journeyed to South Normanton and beat the home team by 4 goals to 2.  I have been in the company of the visitors lines man (Mr. Whitworth), and he tells me the language of the spectators was most disgusting I think the spectators ought to control their tongues a little…

…I am pleased to state that Chesterfield and Clay Cross have dispelled all the bitterness of rivalry that has existed between them , and Clay Cross are due at Chesterfield on Christmas Tuesday to face the “Crooked Spireites” in a friendly .  May the best team win.  Chesterfield have guaranteed Clay Cross £4 for the match.

Riddings received a severe beating at Ilkeston on Saturday.  Owing to the wet morning only nine of the team turned up, Wimbush and Brown being absent.  Starting with nine men, their misfortunes did not end there, Street straining his thigh after five minutes play and being of no further use to his side.  Partridge, the Riddings centre half-back, played a champion game, and was the best man on the field.  Burton also played a very good game.  Next Saturday Riddings visit Clay Cross, and have re-organised the team.  We shall see by the result whether it will be a success or not…

Lost again!  Belper Town three, Langley Mill four.  The best excuse to give for a losing team is they met better players.  I doubt it in this case.  Four to three leaves very little margin.  The ground at Langley Mill was in a terrible plight, pools of water and mud being plentiful.  Still I have a little excuse for Belper.  They had not the full team.  When the half-backs are absent it is like taking away the prop and down comes the whole structure.  Horrobin had promised up to Friday night to resume his place in the team.  Derby Junction got at him and he was tempted to Rotherham.  Jack Lynam could not go, and Green is on the sick list.  These three men would have won the match for Belper.  When the return is played I think there will be less croaking at Langley Mill than was the case last Saturday…

…I am reminded by a friend of a grand prize drawing Belper Town has arranged for Christmas on behalf of the funds of the club.  There are fifty prizes ranging from £3 3s. to two dozen of bitter beer.  Every little helps.  Who can tell what a stray ticket may do.  It is always the unexpected that happens.

RAMBLER        

We hold the Alfreton and Belper Journal on microfilm  – just ring to book a microfilm reader.

On This Day: ‘Mad Leap From A Buxton Train’

From the Derby Mercury, 14th October 1896:

By the 5.30 slow train on Saturday, Buxton to Manchester, was a passenger named Ralph Belfield, who lives at Dove Holes, but belongs to Burbage.  His intention was to alight at Dove Holes, but it is supposed he fell asleep, and did not wake up until just past the station.  On finding he had gone beyond the the station, he appears to have opened the carriage door, and jumped out.  He fell head first into the six foot, and there lay until he was found.  He was fearfully out and smashed about the face, and his condition was indeed sorry.  As soon as assistance could be procured, he was conveyed to the Devonshire Hospital at Buxton, but, from some cause or other, was refused admission.  Dr. Haslewood’s services were requisitioned, and he attended to the man’s injuries, after which he was taken to his brother’s at Burbage.  He was suffering from concussion of the brain, but his condition was not, in the doctor’s opinion, really dangerous.   

We hold the Derby Mercury on microfilm  – just ring to book a microfilm reader.

Will’s Work experience review

Having spent two weeks with the Derbyshire Record Office for work experience, I realised that archiving requires a surprisingly large amount of filing work! Watching programmes like “Who Do You Think You Are?” portrays a more simplistic view of local study offices where everything is prepared for the celebrity as soon as they arrive, with very little work clearly visible. So the level of research, attention to detail and thoroughness I met with at Derbyshire Record Office was surprising. I received a lot of valuable information about the correct way to store and protect documents…

(Below: How best to store delicate documents using the 4 flap folder method)

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…the importance of digitization to the Record Office and the heritage of both Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire through Picture the Past (http://www.picturethepast.org.uk/)
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In particular, I really enjoyed copying out the old recipes of several 19th Century cooks ready for digitization. Although this may not sound incredibly interesting to some, I found the quirky and sometime unintelligible recipes both amusing and a challenge. The recipes of Emily Mary Kilpin, a 15 year old domestic servant for the Thornhill family, were particularly entertaining with their unpredictability, supplying recipes for “egg jelly”, “furniture polish” and a a “cream substitute” in quick succession, and also for the insight into the trends in her cookery with recipes for two different types of lemon curd, a lemon pudding and lemonade all entered on the same page in her book.

(You can find Emily’s recipes in the Derbyshire Record Office online Catalogue by typing in “Mrs M Kilpin” or D307/H/28/5)
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On the other hand, the cookery book of her employers, the Thornhills, highlights a stark contrast between social classes in the early 1900’s society. For example, not only is the handwriting and language more advanced, there are far fewer recipes included by the family, possibly because they did less of their own cooking and relied more upon servants like Emily Kilpin herself.

(You can find the Thornhill’s recipe book by typing “D307/H/28/4” into the Record Office online catalogue)
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Overall, my work experience was hugely enjoyable, the new building and facilites are great, and the staff were all very friendly and helpful. I’d recommend anyone interested in local history or the humanities to make use of the opportunites that the Derbyshire Record Office provide, either for academic, professional or personal reasons.

By Will, the work experience student

On This Day: ‘Death of a Distinguished Derbyshire Woman’

From the Derby Mercury, 4th October 1893:

Death of a Distinguished Derbyshire Woman

The death is announced from New York of Mrs. Mary Monroe, on the 15th September, in her 98th year.  Born in Derbyshire, England, February 1, 1795, she early in life developed a passion for travel, and was counted at the time of her death the most travelled woman in America.  In 1830 she passed Easter week in the city of Rome as a guest of the Pope.  She was a friend of Lafayette, and was twice a guest of Sir Walter Scott, and she counted among her friends the Duchess of Kent.  When 70 years of age she travelled for 20 weeks alone, visiting every part of Great Britain and Ireland in order to investigate the condition of the working classes.  Her husband was an officer of the Customs service of the United States.

The County Local Studies Library holds the Derby Mercury – just ring to book a microfilm reader.  If you have a Derbyshire library card you can also view 19th century issues of the newspaper online at the libraries area of the council website.

New accession of educational records

Two new accessions that might interest anyone into educational history: the minutes of the Marston Montgomery School Board from 1888 to 1903, and the Sudbury District Education Committee from 1918 to 1923. School Boards were abolished after legislative changes in 1902, and the County Council decided to disband the Sudbury committee in 1923, so each volume covers the terminal phase of the body’s history. They are public records but had found their way into private hands, as sometimes happens. Happily, the historically-minded person who came across them donated them to us, so they are back in the public domain. They are yet to be catalogued but will have references D7413 and D7414.

Winster burials

More from Winster burials: a man buried on 5 October 1892: “A Man Unknown: 5ft 8″ high, full beard, scraggy whiskers, prominent front teeth, aged about 50. He asked at Concannons on Winster Bank for lodgings on Monday night Oct 3 1892 and was taken in to lie on the sofa, but died a short time afterwards. An inquest was held on Wednesday Oct 5 and a coroner’s order for burial of the body was given”