A Better Bus Service: Have Your Say

Nottinghamshire County Council will soon be drafting a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) for Nottinghamshire and Nottingham, in collaboration with the county’s bus operators.

This stems from the government’s recently published National Bus Strategy (called ‘Bus Back Better’), which requires all English local transport authorities to work with bus operators to come up with bold plans for improving their local bus services and encouraging more people to use them.

Government has pledged £3 billion in funding across the country to help deliver these plans, and Nottinghamshire and Nottingham are aiming to secure a fair share of that funding.

As an important input to the plan, Notts CC want to find out what people think would improve local bus services and what would make them use local buses more. They are keen to hear from people who already use buses and from those who currently don’t.

They also want to hear from public, private and voluntary organisations who have an interest in making our bus services work better.

You can make your views known by taking part in its online survey which you can access by clicking the link below:

Bus service improvement plan survey.

In addition, the County Council are planning to host an online Drop In session at 2pm on Tuesday 24th August providing stakeholders with an opportunity to reflect on the issues in more detail; any Parish Council that responds to this survey will be invited to attend.

Your views will help us shape our plan, so thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.


Elliott Mizen

Facilities & Partnerships Manager
Nottinghamshire County Council

Saturday Cafe Guidelines

1. Hand sanitizers will be stationed at the entrance to the Old School so please use these. These facilities are also available in the toilets and kitchen.

2. A track and trace sheet and QR code card will be left on each table for you to enter your contact details and we will be checking to ensure that everyone has completed this.

3. Please wear a face mask (if possible) until you are seated at your table. There will be waitress service as usual. When you leave your table it's probably best to replace your mask.

4. The one-way system is still in use in the Old School so enter by the automatic door on the left-hand side of the building and exit through the back door.

If the weather is still good, we may be able to have a few tables set up on the lawn.

I'm sure you will agree that adhering to the suggestions above is a small price to pay for the opportunity of getting together once again after this dreadful episode in all our lives.

Let's hope this is the first of many more such occasions to come.

Look forward to seeing you next Saturday.

See poster in 'Events'.

Cropwell Bishop Streets: 44. Nottingham Road - part 6

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100 metres to The Turn

As we make our way down the final stretch of Nottingham Road, we are getting closer to St Giles Church and so the most ancient part of our village. Of course, the buildings that occupied the street a thousand years ago have long gone and left no trace - except, maybe, the gentle curve of the road. Why is it curved, I wonder.

For all we know, some of the stones in the walls of buildings or street walls, may have once been part of the home of a 14th century farmer or merchant.

If ever you see the road being dug up (it often is) look closely at the spoil heap and contemplate the cart wheels and feet that once trod those stones and dirt.

Other Street Stories have already covered some of the buildings ahead, including Yew Tree House, The Methodist Chapel, the Butchers shop and Mill Lane, but what of the others?

We will look first at the homes and then the businesses, before exploring the sites close to The Turn – the space in front of the church which earned its name from vehicles turning around there.

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From Richards Close to The Turn – the homes

This is No.3, Nottingham Road. It is named, 'Wheelwrights Cottage' – and with good reason.
Back in the early 1900s it was home to Henry Smith - a man who made cart wheels. (2021)
Wheelright's shop at rear of No3 Nottingham Road
The wheelwright's shop at the rear of No.3, Nottingham Road.
On the left is Henry Smith with his two sons and, on the right, Charles Harper. It was Charles Harper who made the wrought iron gates at the entrance to the Church on Fern Road. And he was the father of Aubrey Harper, who wrote the book, "Chronicles of Cropwell Bishop". (1900s)

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From Richards Close to The Turn – the businesses

As we approach The Turn, the first business we come to is the Butchers: you will read more about it in the next section.
Beside it, is the beauty salon, once called Beauty Box, but now called Heavenly Beauty. (2020)
This is how Beauty Box looked in 2008.
Beauty Box became Beauty Barn and now it is Heavenly Beauty. Whether Box, Barn or Heavenly, it has long been the place for Beauty on Nottingham Road. (2017)
This ancient building, is now home to three modern businesses, but was once the family home of Harold Barlow, the village butcher. (2020)
Get your hair done at The Hair Barn, (right), then treat yourself to food at Nyce, next door. (2020)
The back of Harold Barlow's home in the 1970s
The staff at the Hair Barn have put a smile on the face of these two customers (2008)
The Wheatsheaf and Nyce buildings are joined, but don't appear to have been built at the same time: can we tell which was built first? (2020)
It looks like there was once a double window on The Wheatsheaf's gable end; the adjoining roof overlaps it.
Also, The Wheatsheaf's gables were originally built for a thatched roof, whilst the gables on the other building were not.
This all points to The Wheatsheaf being the older building. (2020)
The Co-op shop moved to Nottingham Road from Church Street in early 2019. (2020)
In June 2018, the frame of the building was erected: 6 months later the shop was ready for opening. (2020)
Opening Day: January 5th 2019 and the Co-op awaits its first customers.
1960 Coop
In 1960, a Co-op shop opened on this very same spot!
Here is the first customer on its 'opening day'.
However, it wasn't there for long: 2 years later it moved to Church Street where it remained until 2018.

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The Butchers

Harold Barlow Butchers (1970s)
H. Barlow & Son Butchers in the 1970s. You can find out more about Harold Barlow and his son in the Barlows Close Street Story.
Gary Jowett Butchers (2015)
In 2001, young Harold Barlow died and a few years later Gary Jowett took over the Shop. (2015)
Gary Jowett Butchers (2020)
Gary Jowett Butchers. (2020)
Compare this photo with the 1970s photo above: notice that the earlier bungalow next door is now a house.
Gary Jowett Butchers (2020)
Gary Jowett (2019)
Gary Jowett Butchers (2020)
Until about 50 years ago, Harold Barlow made use of the slaughterhouse at the back of the shop, but then new regulations forced it to be closed. However, the building itself is still there. (2021)
Nottingham Road

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The Turn

The Turn, that is the junction of Fern, Church and Nottingham Roads, has probably looked the same, more or less, for centuries. Evidence for this comes from maps and documents.

The invention of photography, and its eventual use in Cropwell Bishop about 120 years ago, changed all that.

Now we are able to compare photos taken since that time, and search for changes ourselves. We don't have to rely upon the fallible memory of humans.

Nevertheless, the dating of old photos often relies on some detective work and can be an imprecise art.

Church in 1920s
St Giles Church towers over the trees in the churchyard and, in the foreground, is a regular field: this is where the car park now is. (1910s)
Girl with pram
Girl with pram (1920s).
The trees around the church are now much taller. Notice that the house on the left has had an extension built on the end. The church has a chimney, clearly visible to the left of the tower.
Nottingham Road
There is a wide pavement on the left, but none at all on the right. (1930s)
Wheatsheaf with 5 people
People with a bicycle outside the Wheatsheaf. (1930s).
There is scaffolding around the church chimney.
Nottingham Road
Girl Guides and Brownies parade on The Turn in the 1930s. Is the lady at the top of the steps saluting them? Are the two standing against the wall backing off from the fearsome guides? We shall never know.
The very same spot today. (2021)
Nottingham Road
The bend round to Church Street at The Turn in the 1940s.
The church no longer has a chimney but, if you walk around the church, you will find that there is still a chimney in the same location - it just doesn't have a high stack.
Fete float in 1985
The float, created by the Playgroup, rounds the same bend during the Village Parade in 1981.
Nottingham Road
Woman with a pram (1950s).
Good pavements on both sides now and a telegraph pole has appeared on the left: it is still there today.
Nottingham Road (1989)
The two daughters of Ann Mansell, who was a teacher at the Primary School, walk down Nottingham Road in 1989.
Nottingham Road 2004
A peaceful scene in 2004.
Nottingham Road 2008
The Turn has always been a busy spot. (2008)
Nottingham Road 2008
Nottingham Road 2008
Church 2020
Church 2020

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Looking up Nottingham Road from The Turn

Steam Mill
People gather outside the Wheatsheaf Inn in 1905.
On the right, you can see the steam-powered mill on Mill Lane. Discover its history in the Mill Lane Street Story.
Nottingham Road
Compare this photo with the previous one. Taken over a century later, the scene is still instantly recognisable. The vehicles on the road are the biggest difference.
Nowadays, it is rare to see the road look like this: it is usually dominated by cars and vans, both parked and moving. (2021)
Nottingham Road
Bus waiting for passengers (1930s)
Nottingham Road 2021
Nottingham Road 2008
Church Tower view
Church Tower view
Church Tower view
Church Tower view

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The Wheatsheaf Inn's Car Park

Jubilee Walk
In June 2012, it was the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and there was a long weekend of events, both nationally and in Cropwell Bishop, to celebrate the occasion. First off, was a 3 mile walk to the top of Hoe Hill and then along the Grantham Canal. Here, in the Wheatsheaf's car park, villagers get in the mood before setting off.
These days, the car park is very busy 7-days a week and cannot be used for anything else. But that wasn't always the case, as can be seen by the Jubilee photo above. (2020)
Wheatsheaf car park
The Village Feast was held on the site of the car park in the 1950s. Viewed from The Wheatsheaf Inn
Read all about The Feast in the Mill Lane Street Story.
Village Walking Group
For years it was the starting point for walks with the Cropwell Bishop Walking Group. (2008)
Village Walking Group
The Walking Group were not put off by a sprinkling of snow. (2010)
Village Walking Group
However, sunshine was preferred for those Sunday morning walks. (2012)
Wheatsheaf car park
A last look at the car park before the builders of the new Co-op arrive. (2016)

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The Wheatsheaf Inn

At one time, there were five pubs in Cropwell Bishop and The Chequers Inn and The Wheatsheaf Inn are the oldest. The Wheatsheaf is many centuries old, and the present building was almost certainly built on the site of a previous one.


Nowadays, we call it a pub, but before the days of motorised transport, it would have been a genuine inn – somewhere for you and your horse to rest overnight.

It would also have been an important meeting place for village folk. To appreciate why, you have to imagine what life was like for working families a hundred years ago.

You and your partner lived in a two-up, two-down house with as many as 8 children. Your cooking range was fired by wood, or maybe coal, and the only other heat in the house might come from a single open fire in the living room. Your toilet (in some form) and wash-house were out back, and you fetched fresh water from a spring or the canal.

Imagine a long, dark, cold evening in winter when your only lighting is from candles and the flames of a coal fire. Putting a fresh lump of coal on the fire could be distressing: it was like burning money. I recall my own grandfather putting a brick or two in the fire-grate to make the fire smaller and burn more slowly - and so save money. And he was an ex-coal miner who received a free coal allowance.

As for home entertainment, there would have been none, unless you made the effort to create it. But then, you were tired after 10 hours hoeing the fields, mining gypsum, or making bricks. Or tired from doing the housework, mending clothes, and cooking for everyone in the house.

For men, at least, the attraction of escaping to a pub with heating, lighting, drinks and the company of others must have been irresistible. For housewives, it was not an option.

The Wheatsheaf is a stones-throw from St Giles, and so the go-to place after church events, like funerals. And not just funerals. A newspaper report of a hundred years ago describes an inquest being held at The Wheatsheaf.

Then there were the Hunts, with horses, dogs, riders and followers who would gather in the field opposite (now a car park). All good trade for the landlord.

Hounds meeting outside the Wheatsheaf Inn
The Hunt, meeting outside The Wheatsheaf Inn. (1930s)

Indeed, being the landlord of a pub could be an attractive and profitable occupation. The photos we have from the 1930s when a Percy Brown was landlord, appear to support this idea.

Horse and cart outside the Wheatsheaf
Percy Brown watches horse and cart outside The Wheatsheaf Inn. (1930s)

Similarly, wealthy farmer Robert Smith had the Lime Kiln Inn built in 1840 and appears to have made it highly profitable.

More recently, successful footballers were also attracted to the idea of running a country pub after retirement. Tommy Lawton, a star international player with Notts County in the 1940s, took over the Magna Charta pub, in Lowdham, in the 1960s.

Pubs, everywhere, face a challenging time. Life has changed in every respect since their heyday, and it will need imagination, courage and investment to ensure their future. Our two surviving pubs are no exception.

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The Wheatsheaf Inn – in the 1930s

Percy Brown (landlord) and wife
Percy Brown (landlord) and wife at the front door of The Wheatsheaf. (1930s)
Percy Brown looking out of cellar trapdoor
Percy Brown looking out of the cellar trapdoor of The Wheatsheaf. (1930s)
Water cart outside Wheatsheaf
Percy Brown, Lucy Guy, Margaret Brown, Marjorie Knight and Barbara Hall with a water cart.
The cart was used for carrying water from the canal before piped water came to the village in the early 1930s. Water from wells in the village was very hard because of the gypsum. The canal water was used for washing and also for brewing beer. The carts were hired for a copper (penny) or two. (1930s)
Percy and Margaret Brown outside Wheatsheaf
Percy and daughter, Margaret Brown, outside The Wheatsheaf with a brewery lorry. (1930s)
Men drinking in backyard of Wheatsheaf
Men drinking in the backyard of The Wheatsheaf. (1930s)
Wheatsheaf backyard with landlord, Percy Brown, centre
In the backyard of The Wheatsheaf with landlord, Percy Brown, centre. (1930s)
Percy Brown on tricycle
Percy Brown on a tricycle, although he doesn't look like he was a regular cyclist. (1930s)
Percy Brown and Margaret with pig
Percy Brown and Margaret with his pig. (1930s)
Mrs Brown and daughter Margaret
Mrs Brown and daughter Margaret. (1930s)
Mrs Brown
Mrs Brown. (1930s)
Lucy Guy and Margaret Brown
Lucy Guy and Margaret Brown in Wheatsheaf backyard with motor car. (1930s)
Mrs Brown with dogs
Mrs Brown with dogs in Wheatsheaf yard. (1930s)
Brewery delivery man
Brewery delivery man at The Wheatsheaf. (1930s)
Lady in backyard of Wheatsheaf
Young lady in the backyard of The Wheatsheaf. (1930s)

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The Wheatsheaf Inn – from 1960s to 2021

Backyard of Wheatsheaf
Backyard of The Wheatsheaf (1960s)
heatsheaf Inn in 1978
The Wheatsheaf Inn (1978)
Wheatsheaf at night
The Wheatsheaf Inn at night (2013)
View of The Wheatsheaf from the fields behind. (2015)

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Thanks to Anne Terzza and Jane Jones for their help with this article.

Tony Jarrow

Street Stories – where are they all?

All the Street Stories can be found in the Heritage page.

Click the 'Heritage' tab on the right (with mobile phones rotate screen into horizontal position or click the 'More' tab).

Tony Jarrow

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Traffic lights – Barlows Close junction

Traffic Lights

Traffic lights for New Roundabout build

Traffic Lights

Memorial Hall Survey

Memorial Hall

The July edition of Cropwell Bishop News has been printed and will arrive through your letterbox in the next week few days.

In it, there is an article about the future of our Memorial Hall: this was referred to in the website article that appeared on 12/7/21.

If you can't wait for your copy of Cropwell Bishop News to arrive, the article about the Memorial Hall is reproduced below.

Cropwell Bishop Memorial Hall needs your help

Your Village, Your Hall – Have your say

You will have noticed that the Hall has been closed for some months because after many years of community use and service, the Hall is now in need of significant structural repair. We have been forced to close because the insurance company will not provide indemnity for any incidents directly attributable to the structural defects identified by the Consulting Structural Engineers.

The Hall was built by the people of the village to commemorate those who fell in the Great War 1914-1918. It consequently has a very significant place in the heart of the village and is much loved by the residents. When it was built it was done so with the materials and technology available at the time, which has now left the building significantly structurally compromised and in need of significant repair, refurbishment and upgrading. Over the last 20 years a number of surveys have been carried out on the Hall and these have consistently highlighted that it was approaching the end of its life. Unfortunately, this point has now been reached, and we must now decide upon its future.

Following receipt of the most recent report from the Consulting Structural Engineer, we engaged Pulse, a firm of Chartered Surveyors & Chartered Project Managers, to undertake a Feasibility Study into possible options available to the committee. The findings of the Feasibility Study point to two possible courses of action:

Option 1:

• Carry out all essential repairs to the Hall (which stands at 236 sq m), to enable us to open again, with or without subsequent refurbishment and upgrading to meet current standards.

• The repair and full refurbishment costs are estimated to be £537,000 plus VAT and fees.

• For Cost / Benefit analysis assuming a 15-year lifespan cost is approximately £42,960 per year.

This Option has significant issues, as highlighted in Pulses’ Feasibility Study.

• High level of risk, due to the difficulty in quantifying the precise nature and scope of the works until the building is opened up, and that the true extent of the structural problems may only become evident at this point so we should therefore prepare for very significant additional costs.

• Such repair works will potentially only add another possible 15 years to the projected lifespan of the Hall.

• Raising funds for this option would be problematic, particularly with regards to the anticipated lifespan of the building. The Structural Reports (2004, 2013 & 2019) and the Pulse Feasibility Study (2020) will be available to view on the Cropwell Village Plan web site ( from 16th July 2021.

Option 2:

• Raise funds towards a rebuild, for a larger Hall of 495 sq m, which is also significantly expensive.

• The budget cost for a new hall would be approximately £1,416,288. As a new build it is assumed VAT will be zero rated.

• For Cost / Benefit analysis, assuming a 60-year lifespan (as estimated by Pulse), cost is approximately £23,605 per year.

• The Pulse Feasibility Study states that funding sources for a new build are more plentiful and will be a more attractive proposition to potential funders; and the building use would be optimised by a bespoke layout.

The Pulse Feasibility Study (2020) will be available to view on the Cropwell Village Plan web site ( from 16th July 2021.


Should you wish to comment in writing please reply, by email or post, to either of the contacts below:

Cllr. M. Beazley, 11 Cropwell Butler Road, Cropwell Bishop. NG12 3DD
Mrs C. Herrington, 10 Newberry Close, Cropwell Bishop. NG12 3DY


Please also note all replies to be received by 1800 hours on:

15th of August 2021

• Please ensure that you include your full name and address on all replies.

• This consultation is only open to residents of Cropwell Bishop who are registered to vote and whose names appear on the current Register of Electors.

• All anonymous replies and replies from people outside the village will be disregarded.

Reg Charity Nos 220504/220504-1

Mick Beazley

Chair of Memorial Hall Committee


The Feasibility Study and Structural Reports referred to in the article, can be viewed or downloaded by clicking the links below:.

Feasibility Study

Structural Report 2004

Structural Report 2013

Structural Report 2020

Things are happening again in Cropwell Bishop

Events to come

No one is claiming that everything is back to normal, but things are starting to happen again in the village.

Click on the Events tab to see what you can look forward to in the next couple of weeks.

Tony Jarrow

Cropwell Bishop Memorial Hall Survey

Memorial Hall

The July edition of Cropwell Bishop News is about to be printed and will arrive through your letterbox in the next week or so.

In it, there is an article about the future of our Memorial Hall and a request for feedback from Cropwell Bishop residents.

The article makes reference to a Feasibility Study and several Structural Reports.

Whilst it is not possible to supply printed versions of these documents, you can view or download copies by clicking the links below:

Feasibility Study

Structural Report 2004

Structural Report 2013

Structural Report 2020

The article provides contact details for making comments and, for your convenience, they are reproduced below:

Cllr. M. Beazley, 11 Cropwell Butler Road, Cropwell Bishop. NG12 3DD
Mrs C. Herrington, 10 Newberry Close, Cropwell Bishop. NG12 3DY

Memorial Hall
photo by Colin Bryan

Cropwell Bishop Streets: – Nottingham Road - part 5

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Cropwell Bishop Methodist Chapel

Methodist Chapel

Our Methodist Chapel was built in 1842.

A hundred years earlier, there were no Methodist chapels anywhere. John Wesley had only just started preaching his alternative approach to the Christian religion.

Wesley's ideas on Methodism attracted a growing number of people and, in 1802, its seed was sown in Cropwell Bishop.

Robert Hopewell, a farmer living opposite the Chequers on Church Street, registered his house with the Archbishop of York, as a place of public worship.

The number of villagers to join him was small at first, but steadily grew, until his house was no longer big enough for the congregation. No matter, he had a solution.

In 1817, he converted a barn into a chapel and registered that with the Archbishop of York.

Methodist ministers included this makeshift chapel on their Circuit and over the next twenty years, the congregation continued to grow.

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The need for a more worthy place of worship led to the opening of a ‘subscription list’ – a list of people willing to invest their money in a scheme to build a chapel.

There were 250 subscribers on the list and it included several prominent local names like: Hopewell, Shelton, Squires and Clifton, who gave up to £20 each. The smallest amount a person offered was 3 pence.

They soon had the money to buy a suitable piece of land from a Mr J. Bell of Hickling – who also happened to be one of the subscribers.

John Bell
John Bell (1815-1876) of Hickling who sold the land on which the Chapel was built.
Photo provided by Rev. Owain Bell, an ancestor.

In early 1842, they paid £156 for the land on which the Chapel now stands – including the building that we now call, the School Room.

School Room building
This building came with the plot of land bought for the Chapel (2021)

At the time, the building contained two cottages, and this is still evident in the brickwork.

Evidence of being 2 cottages
Between the two windows, the brick pattern clearly reveals where the doorways to the cottages once were. (2021)

So, they bought the land early in 1842 and on 8th September 1842 the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel held its opening service. That is fast work, and the workmanship was sound: the Chapel still looks good after nearly 180 years. The total cost, including the land, was £516.

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It was calculated that the Chapel could accommodate 400 people. That should have been plenty large enough for a small village. Or, at least, you would have thought so.

Inside the Chapel in 1880s
Chapel in the 1880s: the pulpit was on the left-hand side
Inside the Chapel in 1880s
There was tiered seating against the right-hand wall (1880s)

Much was made of Chapel Anniversaries, and on the second one in 1844, people even came from neighbouring villages to attend the last event of the day, the evening service.

There were so many people that only half of the congregation could fit inside the Chapel!

A temporary platform was quickly erected at the chapel door and the preacher used it to address both the people inside the chapel, and those outside on the grass.

Methodist Chapel doorway
Preaching to 400 people inside the front door and 400 people outside – at the same time – must have been challenging. I wonder what he chose for his text. (2020)

In 1859, a harmonium was purchased for the Chapel but 13 years later a pipe organ was bought to replace it.

The same organ is still there today although it was enlarged in 1929 and now the blower is electric.

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In the 1890s, a large number of improvements were made for the benefit of both the congregation and children.

Until then, the Chapel had also been used as a meeting place for the Sunday School and this, it was increasingly being felt, was far from ideal.

In the 1850s, over 100 children attended Sunday School and, for some, this was the only schooling they had, this being the time before free compulsory state education.

In 1893, the decision was made to adapt the two cottages to form a Schoolroom. This was done using voluntary labour at no cost to the Trust funds.

You have to imagine this room full of Sunday School children in the 1890s.
The building is now about 200 years old. (2010)
How many children have entered the Schoolroom through that door, I wonder. (2019)

In 1897, the interior of the Chapel was upgraded by members who removed the interior fittings and then created a different layout with new pews and a rostrum – which are still there today.

The cost was £134 but this sum was raised by fundraising efforts so that no debt was incurred by the Trust.

New pews in 1897
The pews and fittings in the Chapel today were fitted over 120 years ago.
The stained-glass window was given by Herbert Heaselden in 1953, in memory of his wife, Ethel. (2018)
The pipe organ was installed almost 150 years ago
The pipe organ was installed almost 150 years ago (2008)
Pews in 2018
The pews were popular on this day in 2018.

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In 1899 the Chapel was licensed for marriages and many marriages have taken place since then.

A marriage at the Chapel
The marriage of George Hopkinson and Annie Simpson at the Chapel in the 1920s.
A marriage at the Chapel
Married at the Chapel in 1971: Peter Mason and Marian Robinson of Fern Hill Nursery. On the right, Marian's older sister, Jean Robinson, who served the Chapel her whole life, and lived on Hardys Close until her death in 2019.

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You will no doubt have noticed that the Schoolroom has an extra bit of building on the end of it. It wasn't there when they bought the land:, so where did it come from?

Schoolroom extension
The Schoolroom has a 'new' extension. (2021)

It was in 1922 that the decision was made to build this extension to accomodate a classroom and a kitchen. Think of it as a modern addition: only 100 years old compared to the Schoolroom which is about twice as old.

Schoolroom extension
I wonder what the loft was used for. (2021)

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Methodist Chapels were visited by ministers and preachers who called on the chapels on their ‘circuit’. Cropwell Bishop was originally on the Newark Circuit.

These people did not, in general, live close to the chapels they served, so were not available to consult members in the same way as, say, a local vicar.

As a consequence, every chapel had its class leaders. These were people who the congregation looked upon as spiritual leaders.

They were not preachers, but facilitators – someone who could organise small meetings of followers and also look after day-to-day practical affairs, including the state of the Chapel, its finances, and the welfare of the congregation.

Class leaders played an important role in Chapels and it is interesting to note who took on the task in Cropwell Bishop during the early days.

Initially, they included Robert Hopewell, who held that first meeting at his home in 1802, and John Squires, who served as a class leader for nearly 50 years.

Then there was: William Knight, Richard Barlow, John Cumberland, William Parkin, Herbert Simpson, Harold Smith, Ernest Smith, Leslie Simpson, plus a host of others over the years. Many of these characters we have come across in other Street Stories.

People who served the Chapel in other ways, include all members of the Heaselden family. Sam Heaselden took an interest following his arrival in the Village in 1903 and his son, Herbert, became its Steward in 1917 – and continued in that role for 35 years.

Most of the class leaders and stewards also gave substantial financial support to the Chapel.

George Smith supported the Chapel in different ways. For 54 years he played the organ. Then, in 1953, he used his wood-carving skills to carve the frame of the War Memorial plaque that hangs in the Chapel.

Memorial Tablet
Memorial Tablet unveiled in 1953 and on display in the Chapel. The frame was made and carved by George Smith. (2020)

George's brother, Harold, preached at the unveiling ceremony, and Harry Smith (son of George and a Sunday School Teacher), laid a wreath. Quite a family affair, it would seem.

Harold Smith and George Smith in 1930s
George Smith (organist) and, on the right, younger brother, Harold Smith (Class Leader) (1930s)

George Smith in 1920s
George Smith in 1920s

George Smith and his wife Winifred in the 1940s
George Smith and his wife Winifred in the 1940s.

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The prime concern of Methodism may well be the souls of its members, but it doesn't neglect their material welfare.

Just a few months after the Chapel was opened in 1842, its officials launched a 'Friendly Society'.

The object of the Society was to give financial assistance to its members in times of sickness, bereavement or death. The entrance fee was 5 shillings (25p) and membership was not limited to Methodists.

This venture clearly filled a need in village life and it prospered. In 1886 there were 120 members and the account had a credit balance of £534.

The Society also owned two fields of allotments which it let to members. One of those fields is, today, occupied by the Cropwell Bishop Allotment Society.

Methodist Chapel allotment plot
At the back of the Chapel is a small allotment plot that is still in use. (2021)

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Methodist Chapel in 2009

Now, in the 21st Century, the days of large congregations and crowded Sunday Schools, seem a distant memory.

Nevertheless, there are still occasions when a large number of people go to the Chapel for a wedding or a funeral.

It remains a bright, spacious and attractive building which people enjoy visiting during Village Celebration Weekends. And the Schoolroom is a handy place for people to have a meeting, sell craft items, or just enjoy tea and cakes.

It will be interesting to see how the future pans out.

Thanks to Anne Terzza for help with this article.

Tony Jarrow

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Methodist Chapel
Methodist Chapel
Methodist Chapel
Methodist Chapel

The layout is becoming clearer ...

Drone photo of house building

Thanks to Colin Bryan for the photos.

Drone photo of house building

A46 Northbound – Resurfacing for 4 months with overnight diversions

At Highways England, we believe in a connected country, and our network makes these connections happen. In the East Midlands, we strive to improve our major roads and motorways, to keep people moving today and better tomorrow.

I’m writing to let you know that we’ll be continuing our timetable of essential carriageway maintenance work to the A46, between the M1 at Leicester and the A57 Carholme Roundabout at Lincoln that started on 12 July 2021.

What work will you be carrying out?

We’ll resurface sections of the carriageway and some of the slip roads, refresh road markings and renew road studs. Once completed, all road users will benefit from improved road safety and a smoother carriageway.

To minimise disruption to the local community and road users we plan to deliver our scheme in phases, working overnight while the road is less busy, Monday to Friday between 8pm and 6am excluding Bank Holidays. This will also ensure that our road network is as free-flowing as possible during the day as the carriageways will remain open outside of our working hours.

When will the work take place?

Our next phase of work is planned to start on Friday 30 July 2021 and is scheduled for completion by early-November 2021. To maintain a safe environment for our workforce and customers we will need to close various sections of the A46, along with the adjoining exit and entry slips.

As the dates for each phase are confirmed we will notify you although they may be subject to change.

During the closures we’ll put in place a diversion route which we’ve agreed with the Local Authority.

Maintaining safety during Covid-19

All our sites have strict safeguarding measures, in line with Public Health England guidance, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and none of our sites are open to the public. All projects are closely monitored, and the situation is kept under constant review.

Contact us

If you have any queries about this work on behalf of your community, please contact the Public Liaison Officer, Karen Reeve, as follows:

• Email:
Alternatively, you can also keep up to date directly by contacting our Highways England Customer Contact Centre as follows:
• Email:
• Telephone: 0300 123 5000
• Twitter: @HighwaysEMIDS

Yours faithfully,

Matthew Carruthers
East Midlands Operations Directorate
Highways England

Children's Path Games Questionnaire

Your Opinion Matters!

Which is why the questionnaire is quick to complete with only 10 short questions and is completely anonymous. The questionnaire can be found online at: (click here).

The closing date is 20 August 2021.

The Parish Council is seeking the views of Cropwell Bishop residents (aged 18 and over) to see if there is community support to create trails, hop-scotch and other simple/traditional path games for young children on several of the public pathways which intersect the green amenity space at the back of Cooper, Brownhill and Newberry Closes.

This could make a fun children’s activity space without being intrusive to the residents whose properties border this green space.

This short video was posted to social media and is attached as an indication of what the Parish Council has in mind, click here.

Your views will be included with other considerations such as permissions and funding before the Parish Council makes its decision whether to go ahead or not with the project.

Questionnaire Information

If you are happy to take part in further research on this topic, then please include your contact details at the end.

If you have any questions, email Jan Towndrow, the Parish Clerk or call the parish office: 0115 9894656.

A questionnaire and interview participant information sheet can be found by clicking here and the interview participant consent found by clicking here.

Questionnaire results and non-identifiable quotes from interviews will be published to the Parish Council website click here, the Parish Plan website click here and in the Cropwell Bishop News.

Substations in the Village: Western Power Explain

The installation of two new substations on Hoe View Road & behind Newberry close, are all part of a network reinforcement scheme to improve the distribution system for Cropwell Bishop as part of our obligations as distribution operator.

There are multiple contributing factors, having been assessed by our design engineer, to reach the solution – such as balancing the network, fault restoration timescales, network configuration to enable back feeding, and existing apparatus is aging/inaccessible.

As part of the reinforcement to connect these substations, the cable lay involved along the highway will be the routes shown on the outline plans below.

All excavation and reinstatement will be carried out by our contractors, Network Plus.

At present, having spoken to the technician coordinating the scheme, dates are to be confirmed, but is anticipated July/August.

Heather Pynegar
Western Power

(Thanks to Councillor Colin Bryan for obtaining this information)

Cable map

Cable map