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How did Staveley develop?

Our VCH county editor has recently written a very brief overview of how Staveley initially developed. There’s never really been a serious account of Staveley’s history. At VCH we’d like to put this right. Indeed, we started work on this town but had to concentrate our resources elsewhere. A planning application been submitted to convert …

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An introduction to the Shambles, Chesterfield

There’s a brief introduction to the Shambles area of Chesterfield in this blog. We also dispel the incorrect theory, often repeated, that the area was originally temporary market stalls which became permanent structures over a period of time. There’s no evidence – as our ‘Chesterfield Streets and Houses’ book states – that the Shambles were …

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Stainsby school in the news – but what is its history?

The former board school at Stainsby is in the news at the moment as the National Trust seeks to sell the property. But what is its history? In this blog we’ll take a brief look. Our Hardwick: a great house and its estate paperback, published in 2009 (out of print but available in local libraries), …

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Water, Jam and locally produced histories

To end our short series on jam and preserves manufacturing we’re looking at a very small, basically one-man business, in Brimington, near Chesterfield. We’ll also look at how VCH doesn’t replace locally produced histories. Water and jam The story starts when land, at the north end of Coronation Road, Brimington was sold to a Frederick …

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Poor Law and poor tenants

Spotting this newspaper clipping from the Derbyshire Courier – Saturday 02 May 1840 on the Ashover History and Genealogy Facebook page prompted the obvious question: why were the Poor Law Commissioners ordering such sales to be made? A quick email to our Editor, Philip Riden, generated this explanation:- “It’s probably to raise cash towards their …

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The Midland Fruit Preserving Co., Chesterfield

Last week we took a look at jam and preserve production in Bolsover – this week it’s Chesterfield’s turn, with the Midland Fruit Preserving Co., Avenue Road, off Sheffield Road.* Brief history The business was established in 1893 by Ernest Shentall, Mr A and Mr J Shentall (all members of the same family with connections …

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The Bolsover Home Grown Fruit Preserving Company

Back to Bolsover for our latest blog, which features, what might now be regarded as an unusual activity for the area – jam and preserves production. The Bolsover Home Grown Fruit Preserving Company was established in 1900. The chairman was JP Houfton of the Bolsover Colliery Company. Other directors included members of the Tinsley family, …

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A brief look at Steetley Church

Were taking a brief look at the important Norman church at Steetley, courtesy of our Derbyshire VCH volume III – ‘Bolsover and adjoining parishes’. It’s well worth seeking out this attractive building. Our illustrations here are taken from Lysons’ 1817 Magna Britannia (volume V). These were based on measured drawings. The chapel, in the north …

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A brief look at Chesterfield Grammar School

We are taking a brief look at Chesterfield Grammar School in this blog. With the school closing in 1991, quite a few people might not realise that Chesterfield actually did have such a school. Surprisingly few photographs of the old Chesterfield Grammar School, on Sheffield Road, appear in the public domain – at least those …

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