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..?!


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!

Advent Calendar – Day 17

A week to go until Christmas Eve. We will be closing at 1pm on Christmas Eve and reopening at 9.30 on Tuesday 29th December. It will be a three day week though, as we will also be closed on the Friday for New Year’s Day, reopening as normal on Saturday 2nd January at 9.30.

Until then, we have a few more advent doors for you…

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Photograph of the football team at Chapel-en-le-Frith High School, c1960s (Ref: D3512/10/3)


Chapel-en-le-Frith High School was originally established as a boys school in 1830, with a girls school established in 1887. In 1934, the boys, girls and infants schools merged to become the Church of England Mixed School. From 1947, the school accommodated children of secondary school age only (primary school children being taught at what had been the Methodist Church). A new school was erected and opened in Long Lane in 1952 as Chapel-en-le-Frith County Secondary School, and is still there today as the High School.

Other records held in the school’s archive collection at the Record Office include log books 1935-1960, admission registers 1875-1947, governors’ minutes 1991-1993, and papers relating to courses taught between 1986 and 1988.

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.


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

Explore Your Archive – Get the Ball Rolling

As we await kick-off of the first Explore Your Archive week, here is a vigorous selection of images for sporting ladies and gentlemen.

D5459/2/23/9 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1799

D5459/2/23/9 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1799

D5459/4/32/5 A Cricket Match Extraordinary, Thomas Rowlandson, [1811]

D5459/4/32/5 A Cricket Match Extraordinary, Thomas Rowlandson, [1811]

D5459/3/11 A Mistake at New-Market, or Sport and Piety, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, [1807]

D5459/3/11 A Mistake at New-Market, or Sport and Piety, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, [1807]

The Derby Races advert, Derby Mercury, 29 July 1813

The Derby Races advert, Derby Mercury, 29 July 1813

D5459/2/23/14 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 21, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

D5459/2/23/14 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 21, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

Boxing report, Derby Mercury, 13 May 1829

Boxing report, Derby Mercury, 13 May 1829

D5459/2/23/12 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 18, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

D5459/2/23/12 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 18, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

The Football, Derby Mercury, 28 February 1827

The Football, Derby Mercury, 28 February 1827


Derby Olympian: Horace Bailey (1881-1960)

Horace Bailey

With the Olympic football tournament having already kicked off around Britain, we look back at Derby’s gold medal-winning goalkeeper from the first time London hosted the Games.

Horace Peter Bailey was born in Derby on 3rd July 1881 to Peter Bailey, an iron and brass moulder/iron foundry foreman, and his wife Sarah.  By 1891 the family had moved to 36 Dairy House Road where they lived for over twenty years.  Horace attended St James’ Church Boys School in Derby in the early 1890s.  That decade St James’ had footballing success in the Derbyshire Boys’ Junior Shield; having lost in the final in 1893, they won the competition in 1894 and 1895.  Horace wasn’t in the 1895 team (he had probably already started work) but I’d be interested to know if he was involved in previous years – I haven’t found much information so far.

After leaving school he was employed as a clerk with the railway whilst also playing football as an amateur.  He kept goal for Crich, Ripley Athletic and Leicester Imperial before joining Leicester Fosse (later Leicester City) in 1907, and in his first season there the club won promotion to the First Division.  Horace made his debut for the England Amateur football team in February 1908.  He also won five caps for the main England team that year, starting with a 7-1 win over Wales.  The other four games were played during their central European tour; the first internationals they ever played against countries other than home nations.

That summer London hosted the Olympic Games, stepping in at short notice for Rome, as the Italians had to divert their funds to cope with the aftermath of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.  It wasn’t until October however that the football tournament was held, and the England Amateur team (with Horace in goal) represented Great Britain.  Over the three matches he only conceded one goal: the team beat Sweden 12-1, the Netherlands 4-0, and Denmark 2-0 in the final to win gold.

The 1908 GB Olympic Football Team: Horace Bailey is on the back row, fifth from left

After making 68 appearances for Leicester Fosse, he came to the aid of injury-stricken Derby County for the last few games of the 1909-10 season.  The Rams were in the running for promotion to the First Division, but away to West Bromwich Albion they only drew 0-0, meaning they finished one point behind the league champions Manchester City and lost out on the second place promotion spot by goal difference.  From the Derby Mercury, 6 May 1910:

The hero of the match was the “Rams’” new amateur goalkeeper.  Despite serious injuries he kept his charge intact from frantic onslaughts.  True, the occasions when he was called upon were few, but once or twice he saved in magnificent style.  All praise to him for a thorough sportsman, his indomitable pluck served his new love well in the hour of danger.  And it meant much to him, for so seriously hurt was he that he has had to forego a trip to Copenhagen with an amateur team, a trip he had set his heart upon.

Horace joined Birmingham (later Birmingham City) in 1910 and finished his career there after making 50 appearances for them.  He was reserve goalkeeper in the Great Britain squad that won gold again at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, but didn’t get a game.  On 6th August 1913, Horace married Minnie Dorothy Smith, the daughter of a jeweller, at Hazelwood parish church.  During the First World War, he enlisted with the Royal Engineers 109th Railway Company, reaching the rank of corporal, and was posted to Italy.  Interestingly his army service record lists his height as 5ft 8¼, which was not very tall for a goalkeeper even back then.  Though after the war he moved to Bedfordshire, where he died on the 1st August 1960, his old school magazine reports that he kept “up his connection with (St James’) school through its Old Boys’ Association”.


Derby Mercury, 18 Mar 1896

Derby Mercury, 6 May 1910

Derby St James’ Church Boys’ School Magazine, No 14, May 1929 (D6560/4/14)

Hazelwood marriage register, 1847-1933 (M281 vol 3)






Smedley, Duesbury and the football

[2018: images from the “Thank You For Your Letter” project have been deleted to make space for new posts.  The images have been retained within Derbyshire County Council’s internal records system so that we may re-use them in the future.]

D6808/3/1: St Andrew’s Middle Class School, Derby, April 14th, 1882

[Pupils who fell foul of this school’s laws had to submit written apologies to the headmaster – here are two, about the same incident]

Dear Sir,

Somebody told me that Sharp had a ball, so I asked him to put it down.  Smedley then said if he did, he (Smedley) would throw it over the wall.  Continue reading