30 Years ago this week in the Derbyshire Times

Here’s a selection of news and events from this week in 1986 as featured in the Derbyshire Times:

It was election time in West Derbyshire and the candidates were:

CandidatesBill Moore- Labour

Patrick McLoughlin – Conservative

Robert Goodall – Independent

Christopher Sidwell – Rainbow Alliance (Loony Crocodile Tears)

Mr Sidwell was from Coventry, but had set up his campaign headquarters at 15 Jackson Road, Matlock. Does anyone remember this party? The main issue overshadowing the election was the bombing of Libya by American planes from British bases.

There was also a visit by Divine at Chesterfield’s Moulin Rouge nightclub, who the interviewing journalist found to be quiet and reserved…Divine, born in the small town of Marilyn in the States also added that “it took a long time before people accepted his outlandish act, especially the conservative British.” Does anyone have any memories of this apparently very popular Chesterfield club in the 80s?

Divine Derbyshire Times May 1986

The Top Ten that week was an interesting mix, with a song you not wish to remember at number 5 in the charts – ‘The Chicken Song’ by Spitting Image…at 4 was Janet Jackson with ‘What have you done for me lately,’ 3 was Madonna with ‘Live to Tell’, at 2 ‘Rock me Amadeus’ by Falco, and George Michael was top of the charts with ‘Different Corner’.

The eagerly awaited film ‘Absolute Beginners’, starring Patsy Kensit and David Bowie was showing at the ABC in Chesterfield and the Ritz in Matlock. And local heavy metal band ‘Coldsteel’ were offering music lessons in return for being their roadie!  I wonder what became of them…

Top Ten

Football wise, Derby appeared to be in the Third division but on the verge of promotion to the Second if they beat Rotherham at the Baseball Ground.  Apparently the support from fans was “remarkable” despite “a series of unconvincing and jittery performances raised serious doubts about promotion.” Sound familiar to anyone..?!

Rams

Our Local Studies library has lots of Derbyshire newspapers available to look at on microfilm if you want to search for a particular article or just feel like a trip down memory lane!

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50 years ago: this week’s Hit Parade, from the Derbyshire Times

A New Year, and a new resolution…to highlight the number of newspapers we hold on Microfilm in the Record Office. This week, we bring you our most popular, The Derbyshire Times, dated Friday 7th January 1966.

In addition to the usual newsworthy stories (many, sadly, about road traffic accidents over the New Year period), there was a full page spread advertising holiday getaways, bookable in local travel agents, some weather statistics for December, showing not much change in our current January outlook!

Interestingly, there was also a music column written by Peter Murray, reviewing the previous year’s releases, as well as showing the Top Twenty for that week.

TopTwenty

Who remembers any of these?  An attempt to find consensus among eleven members of Record Office staff has failed – but we generally like The Beatles, Peter Sellers and The Who.  But who doesn’t?

On This Day: ‘A Struggle with a Thief’

From the Derbyshire Times, 30th April 1881:

UNSTONE

A STRUGGLE WITH A THIEF

On Monday noon an impudent till robbery was committed by a tramp, at the shop of Jabez H. Walker, grocer, Unstone.  Whilst Mr Walker was at dinner the tramp entered the shop without ringing the door bell, and took from the till its contents, amounting to £1 6s. 6d.  But on going out of the shop he accidentally rang the bell, and Mr Walker entered the shop as he was going out at the door.  He was asked what he wanted, and replied half an ounce of tobacco.  This was supplied, for which he tendered sixpence in payment and Mr Walker going to the till for change discovered the robbery, which he charged the prisoner with committing.

The prisoner went away to the Fleur de Lis Inn, where he was followed by Mr Walker.  He acknowledged taking the money, which he gave to Mr Walker,  but on being informed that he would not be allowed to leave the place he took out a large clasp knife, and made a violent attempt to force his way out of the room.  The door of the room was, however, secured, and finding his escape cut off, he attempted, after doing some damage in the room, to jump through the window, one or two of the panes of which he first destroyed.  Whilst attempting to jump out, a man on the road threw a cinder, which struck him on the head, knocking him down insensible.  He was then secured, his hands being tied with a rope, until the arrival of Inspector Spencer, of Dronfield, who took him to the Dronfield Police Station.  He gave the name of George Jones, but refused to give his address.

He had an accomplice, who stood outside Mr Walker’s shop at the time Jones went in and committed the robbery, and who it is said went to the Fleur de Lis Inn and asked to be admitted to the room where Jones had been secured.  Inspector Spencer, with praiseworthy promptitude, went in search for him, and ultimately apprehended him in Dronfield.  He gave the name of Jack Curtis, said he was an Irishman, but refused to say where he hailed from.  On being searched a large knife with long blade and sharp point, similar to the one taken from Jones, was found upon him.  He professed to have no knowledge of Jones.       

We hold the Derbyshire Times on microfilm; Chesterfield edition from 1854, all editions from 1963 – just ring to book a microfilm reader.

On This Day: ‘A Swindler at Matlock’

From the Derbyshire Times, 18th July 1885:

 A SWINDLER AT MATLOCK

During the past few days a man giving the name of Thomas Fletcher, having also a number of aliases has been busily engaged imposing on the charitably disposed, in the neighbourhood of Matlock.  The fellow who wore clerical attire, visited Mr. Slack butcher, and represented himself to be a “local preacher in distress” and he attributed his poverty to the fact that he was suffering from a failing in the eyes, for which he had tried almost every kind of remedy without any benefit.  He also said that he had spent £180 in obtaining treatment and he succeeded in obtaining a gift of money.  He also said that Mr. Marsh of Wirksworth had generously assisted him, but fortunately it happens that Mr. Marsh and Mr. Slack are related and the fraud was discovered.  The police apprehended the man and found two hymn books and a number of religious pamphlets on him and it was discovered that he has been practising his imposition in the neighbourhood of Ilkeston and Langley Mill.  He is a stout tolerably good looking man about 50 years of age and is most plausible.  He has been accompanied by a woman of low repute who has been “fire eating” at public houses, and the pair were recently turned out of a lodging house at Matlock in consequence of their conduct.  When in the lock-up the man admitted that he had been in trouble at Chesterfield for selling a useless preparation supposed to be “vermin killer”, and was committed for trial.  On Monday morning he was brought before Dr. Harrison at Matlock and was sentenced to 14 days hard labour as a rogue and a vagabond.

The County Local Studies Library holds the Derbyshire Times (Chesterfield Edition) from 1854 – just ring to book a microfilm reader.