Church Street – Street Story

Cropwell Bishop Streets: — Church Street — part 1

Street Sign

The names of some roads in Cropwell Bishop were not chosen by Councillors; they evolved from everyday conversations by people who used them when they were little more than dirt paths.

St Giles Church was built in 1215 and it must have been only natural for people to refer to a street next to it as Church Street.

So, no secrets to reveal about name of the street but lots to tell about the buildings — past and present, that line it.

Let's explore it, starting at The Turn.


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The Turn

The space in front of the Church, where Church Street, Nottingham Road and Fern Road meet, was for centuries called The Turn.


2020
2020

Look at this photograph taken in the 1920s and you will see why. There was a grassy roundabout where horse-drawn carts, and then carriages and bicycles could easily turn around.


1920s
1920s

The name stuck, even after the roundabout was replaced with tarmac and the pavement in front of the church wall was extended. Whilst the name is less well known nowadays, there is no better one for this spot.

It is interesting to compare photographs of Church Street taken from The Turn. Compare the one above with the others taken at later dates.

Inspect the vehicles, the pavement on the right-hand side, the number of telegraph poles (and wires), the gap after the cottage on the left, the telephone box, and the power lines.


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1930s

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1950s

In 2018, The Turn was as crowded as it has probably ever been when the Tour of Britain cycle race swept through Cropwell Bishop for the first time ever.


The Tour of Britain comes to Cropwell Bishop (8th September 2018)
The Tour of Britain came to Cropwell Bishop on Saturday 8th September 2018

The Tour of Britain comes to Cropwell Bishop (8th September 2018)
Crowds awaiting the racing cyclists, many of whom had recently completed the Tour de France (2018)

The Tour of Britain comes to Cropwell Bishop (8th September 2018)
Cheering on the riders during a hectic few minutes (2018)

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The Turn in 1989


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The Turn to the Postbox

The white cottage at The Turn is well over 200 years old.


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3 Church Street (2020)

The house next to it, No.5, is a modern home. It replaced the old cottage that was still standing in 1970: it can be seen in the photograph of the Easter Parade in 1919.


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5 Church Street (2020)
Easter Parade 1919
Easter Parade on Church Street in 1919.
House on right demolished in 1972.
(Photo merged with 2020 background)

After the twitchel or, to use its old name, Little Lane, stands Ebenezer House which was built for Sam Heasleden in 1904. He was the founder of the Heaselden Company that employed over 80 men to mine gypsum in the village during the first half of the 20th Century.


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Ebenezer House (2020)

The house was built on the foundations of the previous building, Fillingham Farmhouse which, in later years, became Shelton Farmhouse.


Fillingham Shelton Farm (1890s)
Fillingham/Shelton Farm (1890s)

Some of the farm buildings were left standing and remained a colourful view in summer until their demolition for the building of Stackyard Close in 2018.


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Partial remains of the Fillingham/Shelton Farm (2015)

The demolition of Fillingham/Shelton Farmhouse was accompanied by the demolition of Cropwell Bishop's original Post Office.

The small white thatched cottage stood in, what is now, the front garden of Ebenezer House. The path on its left still exists – it is the twitchel, Little Lane.


Original thatched post office. Ann Shelton
Original thatched post office with its
Post Mistress, Ann Shelton (1890s)

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The Postbox to Stackyard Close

Where the bus stop, phone box and postbox stand was, until fairly recently, one of the busiest spots in the village.


2008
2008

At that time, the bus service to Nottingham was regular and reliable and the phone box had a phone. Beside it was The Cabin (a newsagent, general store and post office) where, it seemed, everyone called in at least once a day.


'The Cabin' shop and Post Office (2006)
The Cabin shop and Post Office (2006)

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The Cabin in snow (2012)

'The Cabin' being demolished
The Cabin being demolished to enable the creation of Stackyard Close (February 2018)

During 50 years, I think only four different teams ran the shop – with the help of local part-timers and paper-boys and girls.

It started with Ken and Enid, followed by Lesley and Norman, Michelle Woodward, and, lastly, Chantelle and Mark — who still provide a newspaper delivery service to Cropwell Bishop and local villages.


Shop and Post Office (2006)
Ken Patrick and Enid's shop in 1978
Shop and Post Office (2006)
Michelle is in charge in 1999
Cabin shop and Post Office (1999)
Woody's Cabin in 1999
'The Cabin' shop and Post Office (2006)
Chantelle serving at the Post Office in The Cabin (2007)

Before The Cabin was built in the 1970s, the Post Office was on Nottingham Road at The Turn. The site where The Cabin would be built, was occupied by other businesses.

There was a fish & chip shop: it was next to the post box and you had to climb steps to its door. In years to come, it become part of The Cabin and was used for the sale of cards, stationery and diy items.

As well as the fish & chip shop, there was a black hut. We don't know its original purpose but at one time it was a Barbers, run by a Benny Snowden.

Then it became a shoe Repair Shop as well as a hairdresser. A man named Ernie Parnham did the shoe repairs and his father did haircuts.


Harry Smith outside hairdresser & cobblers on Churach Street
The Hairdresser & Cobbler hut on Church Street (1950s)

In 2019 Stackyard Close was completed. The phonebox remains as a reference point for comparing the view with old photographs.


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Entrance to Stackyard Close. The house wall behind the letterbox is reminiscent of the Cabin wall before it. And the black garage on the Close is so like the black Hairdresser & Cobbler hut of long ago (2020)

In the 1970s, the building across the road from The Cabin was the Mace grocery store.

In those days it was run by Val and Wilf Bellamy. In the distant past is was run by other families and, long ago, by a John Eastwood. Below is a photo which shows his shop in the background.


Mrs Edith Allen and daughter on Church Street outside Eastwood's shop
Mrs Edith Allen and daughter in front of Eastwood's shop (1930s)
Side of John Eastwood's shop at 4 Church Street
Side of John Eastwood's shop, looking towards the road. In the background on the right, is the Cart Shed that is now a barn-conversion on Stackyard Close. On the left is the hut that was a Hairdresser and Cobblers. (1930s)
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This home was the Mace shop in the 1970s. (2020)

This building is still there but is now a family home.

On its right is an old house that has been greatly modified in recent decades. At one time it was called The Homestead, and then Hyson Cottage.


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House called The Homestead in past times (2020)

On its right, effectively in the churchyard, is the building we now call the Parish School Room. This building was the first school for village children. Built in 1850, it was then called the National School.


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Parish School Room (2020)

At that time, education was not compulsory and many poor children would leave school as soon as they were able to work — at 10 or 12 years of age.

Attendance declined for another reason; the Vicar at that time kept an eye on the curriculum while many local people felt the school should be non-denominational.

In 1875 the school closed but in 1878 children had a big, new school to go to on Fern Road. We now refer to that one as The Old School. Its history is described in the Parkin Close Street Story.

The Parish School Room is now used by the Cropwell Bishop Heritage Group.


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Views from the Church Tower

Over the years, photographers have made use of the tower of St Giles Church to capture views of the village. In the photos here, we can see the changes that have occurred on Church Street during the last 80 years.

If only cameras had been invented 800 years ago, we would now have an even more complete history of the street.

I wonder if any artists sketched or painted the scene in earlier times. Could a drawing be hidden in the attic of a Cropwell Bishop cottage.


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1940s
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1940s — close-up view
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1949
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1949 — close-up view
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1970s
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2020


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Stackyard Close to St Giles Way

An earlier Street Story on Stackyard Close described how the Cart Shed came to be built and the high quality of its brickwork, even after 130 years, does not look out of place beside new buildings.


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Cart Shed — built in 1890

After the Cart Shed is a narrow lane at 90° to the road.

The houses are numbered from 19 to 13, with number 19 being the first one. They are all Church Street homes but the top one, number 13, has presented delivery people with a problem ever since Stackyard Close was built.

Full access to number 13 had long been via the old stackyard but this stopped when building began. Fortunately, the home can be accessed from St Giles Way but this has resulted in the house having a number plate on St Giles Way stating, "13 Church Street". Imagine the problems for delivery people!


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The house number that appears on St Giles Way

The owner of the village slaughter house once lived at number 17 and adjacent to it was the slaughter house itself. It doesn't look like one nowadays.


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19 Church Street (2020)
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17 Church Street (2020)

Here are some pictures of the cottages long ago.


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19 and 17 Church Street in 1970

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17 Church Street (1970)
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17 Church Street with slaughter house on its right (1970)

Back to the road and we come to two semi-detached houses, 21 and 23 Church Street.

The building looked quite different about 30 years ago: it had a flat roof.


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21 and 23 Church Street with flat roof (1989)
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21 and 23 Church Street with pitched roof (2020)

Number 21 was once occupied by Tom Simpson who was a baker and a member of the Simpson family that ran the Corn Merchants, 'H, Simpson & Son', further down the road.


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Looking further down Church Street (1960s)

Church Street is not a long road but as one of the four ancient roads in Cropwell Bishop is has a lot of history. In this article we have only covered about 50m of its length: the next three will continue its story.


Tony Jarrow


Note: Thanks to Anne Terzza, Pam Barlow, Jane Jones and Lynda Hatton for their help with this article.

Cropwell Bishop Streets: 18. Church Street — part 2

Street Sign
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The Chequers

The Chequers is one of the two oldest Inns in the village. The history of both The Chequers and The Wheatsheaf goes back centuries, and even before the current buildings were built, there were almost certainly earlier ale houses on their sites.

There were once five pubs in the village but now only these two remain.


Isaac Taylor and family on dray outside the Chequers
Isaac Taylor and family on dray outside the Chequers (1920s)

Photographs taken from the Church Tower illustrate the effects of transport on The Chequers during the 1900s. In 1949, the pub car park was a ploughed field and the tiny space for parking is occupied by a 3-wheel car.

No doubt, it was more of a local village pub in those days.


1949 view of The Chequers
1949 view of The Chequers

A year later, in February 1950, we see the Inn as the starting point for village bus trip.


Bus trip setting off from Chequers Inn (1950)
Bus trip setting off from Chequers Inn (1950)

From the 1960s onwards, increasingly more people had their own car and the popularity of a drive out into the country for a drink, or two, was a boon to country pubs like The Chequers.

Pubs would be heaving at the weekends and nearby fields would be the place for a hog-roast, BBQ or disco with loud music and flashing coloured lights.

This was all before the nation faced up to the deathly link between alcohol and driving.


Chequers in 2004
Chequers in 2004

The picture of The Chequers in 2007 shows the extent of its large car park, a necessity in the 1980s but not in the 2000s.


Chequers in 2007
Chequers in 2007
Chequers under snow (2012)
Chequers under snow (2012)

Health concerns about alcohol and cigarette smoke, drink-driving restrictions, warm comfortable homes, bigger TV screens and satellite channels all contrived, over many years, to dim the attraction of pubs for many people.

Digging up part of the car park to build Kerrs Walk was just one consequence of these effects.

Looking at older photographs of The Chequers, you notice that the little extension on the left-hand side was once just single storey. At that time, it was a shop for selling meat, not a full-time shop as such, but local butcher, Jack Tomlinson, would bring in the meat and sell it from there.

Later, in the 1960s, Harry Wilson made use of this little shop to sell clothes.


Chequers Inn. Landlord: Amos Atter
Chequers Inn (1930s)

Since those days, a second storey has been added to the extension and there is now an upstairs flat.


Church Street
2020


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Around St Giles Way

Creating the entrance to St Giles Way during the estate building of the 1970s caused, probably, the most destructive effect on the old buildings of Cropwell Bishop.

The 1949 photo from the Church tower clearly shows this area opposite The Chequers.


1949 view of street where St Giles Way would be built
1949 view of street where St Giles Way would be built

You can see a large grey house with, what appear to be, two extensions of declining height. This house was called The Yews and was owned by Johnny and Connie Starbuck.

Next came a yard known as Starbucks Yard and after that a passageway.


Old Blacksmith's shop on Church Street
Passgeway that led to the Blacksmith's shop
(in the centre of the 1949 church tower view above)

The passageway led to another yard where Kate Alsop sold groceries from a wooden hut. The blacksmiths workshop was also in this yard.

At different times in the early 1900s, the blacksmith working there would become the grandfather of two current residents in Cropwell Bishop: Alan Wilson, Chair of the Parish Council, and Anne Terzza, of Cropwell Bishop Heritage Group.

On Church Street, after the passageway, there was another building which appears to consist of three terrace cottages. These were called Stockwell houses.

Then, there was another passageway and a building which is still there: Simpsons Terrace.

These days, the long building contains three separate homes, but in the mid 1900s, it served many, different, purposes.


1960s map where St Giles Way would be built
1960s map of Church Street where St Giles way would be built

1977 view of St Giles Way
1977 view of St Giles Way

Across the road is the Pinfold: it will be fully described in the Street Story for Stockwell Lane.


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Simpson

Throughout the 1900s the name of Simpson had a strong association with Cropwell Bishop.

It started in about 1909 when 22-year-old Herbert Simpson set up a bakery business in the village. The bakery, and his home, were in the furthest building of this terrace, 41d, which is now named, aptly, The Old Bakery.


The Old Bakery (2020)
The Old Bakery (2020)

Herbert and others in the family continued baking bread but the firm then branched out into buying and selling grain, seeds, feeds and fertiliser, and other agricultural products.

At first the firm used a horse drawn dray but in 1925 it bought its first lorry.


Herbert Simpson on Baker's Cart (1920s)
Herbert Simpson on Baker' Cart (1920s)
Tom Simpson (Herbert's son) on Bread Cart (1930s)
Tom Simpson (Herbert's son) on Bread Cart (1930s)

In 1952 it baked its last loaf and the Simpson family concentrated on being an agricultural merchant.

Two of Herbert Simpson’s sons, Tom Simpson and Les Simpson took over the running of the business with the help of the next generation of Simpsons.


Tom Simpson, Peter Simpson, Paul Simpson and Les Simpson
Tom Simpson, Peter Simpson, Paul Simpson and Les Simpson (1985 approx)

The Simpsons firm owned the whole terrace and house number 41 was used by Tom Simpson as his office. Tom's younger brother, Les, lived in the bungalow he had built next to the office.


Office of 'H. Simpson & Sons', Corn and Agricultural Merchants
Office of 'H. Simpson & Sons', Corn and Agricultural Merchants (1970s)
Number 41 in 2020
Number 41 now (2020)
Number 41 in 2020
Bungalow that Les Simpson had built for himself (2020)

Even in the late 1990s, the business was still thriving and the big Simpson grain lorries were a familiar sight in the village.

The stackyard, where Stackyard Close now stands, had become known as Simpson’s Yard because the firm stored bags of grain in the sheds and parked its lorries there.

By this time, however, Simpson’s found itself amongst the last, privately owned, merchants. The gradual disappearance of mixed farming and small farms that valued a personal service, eventually led to its demise.

Number 41a was once the Village Co-operative Shop. It was founded by a group of Methodists in the 1870s. We know that in the late 1800s, it was run by George Squires and his wife Miriam. George was member of the Squires family, several of whom lived at 47 Church Street.


Number 41a, the old Co-op store (2020)
41a: the Village Co-op Store from the 1870s (2020)


Tony Jarrow


Note: Thanks to Anne Terzza, Pam Barlow, Pam Wregg, Jane Jones, Andy Trevers, Lynda Hatton and Pat Onions for their help with these Church Street articles.

Cropwell Bishop Streets: — Church Street — part 3

Street Sign
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Milk and Honey

You may be surprised to hear that the building which now houses the hairdresser, Snips, was once a farmhouse.

And you may be even more surprised to discover that it was once just one of four farmhouses on Church Street.


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A building that hides its history well (2020)

We have already identified the site of Fillingham Farm (later called Shelton Farm) as being opposite the Church, where Ebenezer House now stands, but in past times there were another three farms beyond The Chequers.

The idea of 4 farmhouses on a short stretch of road in a village seems odd in these days of massive farms located deep in the countryside.

Nowadays, a large farm with lots of machinery can be run by a few workers: in olden days a farm would be much smaller and all power would come from humans and horses.

In those olden days, farming was the biggest industry and the biggest employer in the village; it made sense for the farm to be located centrally. It is a similar story on Nottingham Road and Fern Road.

It was number 43 Church Street that was the farmhouse and The Snips building was the farm’s dairy.


Snips (1978)
Snips (1978)
Snips (1998)
Snips (1998)

The farm was called Stockwell Farm and the most recent farmer to live in the farmhouse was George Clarke (born in 1875) together with his wife Helen (born 1876).

On the right-hand side of Snips, a path led up to the milking parlour and malt houses; beyond them was farmland. At that time, the street, The Maltings, did not exist and there was then a gap before the next house, The Rosary.


1998
There was once a malt house up here (1998)

George Clarke was well prepared for the hard work of being a farmer. When he was 15, he was working underground at the gypsum mine in the village. Then, at 25 he was living in Nottingham and working as a railway porter.

Helen died in 1954 at the age of 78 and George died in 1955 at the age of 80.

On the opposite side of the road is No 10 Church Street.


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10 Church Street

Back in the 1930s a man named Harold Smith lived at the house and he kept bees in his back garden. His love of bees no doubt influenced him when he chose the name for his house, The Nest.

Nowadays, it goes by the name, Springfield House. This makes reference to the field that once stretched from the back of the house and up the hill. In it, was a spring that was still being used by villagers in the 1930s.


Spring field
The field with a spring that was behind Springfield House. (1960s)

On the left of number 10 is a new house built in a Victorian style that suits this ancient street. In the early 1900s, on the same plot, stood two, very old, linked houses, 12 and 14 Church Street.


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12 & 14 Church Street (1950s)

These houses were demolished in the early 1960s and a bungalow was built in its place, but it was not destined to stay there for long.

The bungalow was demolished and the present house built in the early 2000s.


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This house replaced 12 and 14 Church Street


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Shoes and Doctors

The Rosary was bought by retired farmer, Henry Barratt, in the late 1800s and was occupied by the Barratt family until it was demolished in 1998. It is probably best remembered as the home of Tom Barratt.


Rosary Cottage 1998
The Rosary 1998

Tom was born in The Rosary in 1894 and lived there until his death in 1985. Even more familiar than The Rosary was the shed that sat in the front garden for over 80 years. It was the shed where Tom Barratt worked as the village cobbler.


Tom Barratt's workshop
Tom Barratt's workshop

Tom was a well known and loved village character and deserves to have more written about him. Barratt Close is named after him, so his story is told in full in its Street Story.

The Rosary was a place visited many folk in Cropwell Bishop in the 1950s — not to have their shoes repaired, but to have their bodies taken care of: the local doctor had his surgery there.

Tom Barratt's young sister, Alice, who was a school teacher, also lived in the house. Later, her husband, Josiah Reader and their son Peter were there too.

It was in 1956 that a young Doctor Leadley came to the village and, initially, he lived on Hoe View Road. However, there wasn't a surgery in Cropwell Bishop — so he rented the front room of the Rosary.


Doctor Leadley (right) with Vic Hall in 1965
Doctor Leadley (right) with Vic Hall in 1965

Later, a single storey building with a flat roof was built on right of The Rosary and, for decades, it was the surgery for the village where both Doctor Leadley and Doctor Hindley served its population.

In 1982, the surgery was enlarged by the addition of an upstairs floor and a pitched roof. The surgery was closed in 1993 following the opening of the new Health Centre on Fern Road.


Church Street
2020

On the left-hand side of the surgery building, there used to be a culvert down which rain water often flowed from the fields behind. It was one of several that drained onto Church Street before drains were designed to cope with the occasional flooding.


Rosary Cottage demolished 1998
The Rosary demolished 1998

Following the demolition of The Rosary in 1998, two new houses were built on the site of The Rosary.


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1 Church View (2020)
Church Street
2 Church View (2020)


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Squires House and Knights Farm

The big house after the ‘old doctor’s surgery’, number 49, was once a farmhouse.


49 Church Street
49 Church Street

It was originally known as Squires House after the Squires family that lived there during the 1800s. But in 1921 the house, and land behind, were sold to William Knight. He was just 23 years old at the time and had fought in the First World War.


William Knight
William Knight (1917)


Squires Farm on Church Street
The Knight family at Squires Farm (1930s)

I suspect the house was put in his name for convenience, because both his mother and father also lived in the house and, later on, so did William’s wife and family. For many years, William was Henry’s assistant in the running of the farm.


Mr Knight at Squires Farm
Henry Knight at Squires Farm (1920s)
Mr and Mrs Knight at Squire's Farm
Henry and Alice Knight with son William (1920s)

The house and land cost the Knight family £350 in 1921. After taking account of inflation, that is equivalent to about £18,000 today. Don’t you just yearn for some aspects of life a century ago.

Behind the house, where Squires Close now is, used to be the stackyard. We can see from old photographs that this yard was often a hive of activity.


Knights finishing building haystack in Squires Farm stackyard
Building a haystack in Squires Farm stackyard (1930s)
Threshing machine in Knights stackyard
Threshing machine in stackyard (1930s)
Squires Farm stackyard farmed by Knights
Henry and Alice Knight (1930s)
Mrs Alice Knight with cat
Mrs Alice Knight with cat (1930s)

Alice Knight died in 1936.
In 1939, the National Register (like a census) lists Henry as the farmer and William as his assistant even though Henry was 70 years old.

William and his wife, Hettie, finally took charge of everything in 1950 when Henry died.

William died in 1967, at the age of 69, leaving Hettie to plan for her future. She sold the house in 1970 but kept the attached house, number 49, for herself to live in. Hettie died in 1979 when she was 79.


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49 Church Street (2020)

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Find out more about Church Street in Part 4, which will be published in a few days.


Tony Jarrow


Note: Thanks to Anne Terzza, Pam Barlow, Pam Wregg, Jane Jones, Andy Trevers, Lynda Hatton and Pat Onions for their help with these Church Street articles.

Cropwell Bishop Streets: 20. Church Street — part 4

Street Sign
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The Old Co-op

The Co-operative shop food shop stood on its site on Church Street for over 50 years. During that time the shop changed from having separate counters and being served, to being self-service. There were also periodic modernisations of the shop with it getting a bit roomier each time.

But now it has gone from Church Street and workmen are preparing the building for its next life. Of course, the Co-op has only moved just round the corner onto Nottingham Road so the 150 year history of co-operative shops in Cropwell Bishop will continue.


Co-op (1999)
Co-op (1999)
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A burst water pipe on Church Street makes shopping more difficult for a short time (1986)
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Free car washes? (1986)
Co-Op when it was on Church Street (2008)
Co-op shopping following a makeover of the store (2008)
Shopping at the Co-Op (2008)
Service with a smile (2008)
2020
Refurbishing the building for a new use (2020)


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Springfield to the Bend

Number 51 is set back from the road. The space in front of it was described as Squires Yard in the past.


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Number 51 (2020)
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Number 53 (2020)
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The entrance to Squires Close is just before number 59
(2020)

A hundred year ago, number 59 was called The Croft. At that time it was occupied by one of the village’s most respected citizens, William Parkin, the School Master at the Village School from 1878 to 1920. He moved into the house on his retirement from teaching.


The Croft a hundred years ago
The Croft on Church Street a hundred years ago
Church Street
2020

Church Street
2020

At that time, there was another home behind The Croft, called The Croft Bungalow and William Parkin’s brother lived there.

Number 61 was once owned by Michael Thurlby who also had a street named after him. Some time after his death in 1925, the house was occupied by the Farnsworth family.


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61 Church Street in 2020

Eddie Farnsworth was a grocer who stood out from the competition by taking the shop to his customers. He became a mobile-grocer; he towed a mobile grocery shop around to his customers.

He was also a poultry farmer and his sister, Hilda, worked for an electrical manufacturer as a shorthand typist.

As recently as 35 years ago, office secretaries, journalists, and others looked upon shorthand as a skill that was essential for doing their job. How quickly times have changed.

Just beyond Number 61, where the road turns sharply left, there was once a large open ditch. There were times in the past when the volume of water that flowed down this ditch from the fields, was so great that the road was flooded at this corner. Better drains have now overcome this problem.

Across the road are two houses; one either side of the entrance to Springfield Close.


On the right of Springfield Close (2020)
On the right of Springfield Close (2020)
On the left of Springfield Close (2020)
On the left of Springfield Close (2020)
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Looking up Church Street in 1989
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Looking up Church Street in 2014
2020
The view east, across fields in 2020

The fourth of Church Street's farms was on the other side of the road. It was called Old Hall Farm and was still there in the 1980s — but its days were numbered.


Old Hall Farm in 1972
Old Hall Farm in 1972

It was demolished to make way for the building of Springfield Close and Rawlings Court.

Its name comes from the old "Hall", or maybe we should say, old "Manor House", that stood there long ago.


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Round the Bend

When you go around the bend at the foot of Church Street what confronts you is a bit of a shock.

After being surrounded on both sides by buildings with a wide variety of designs and history, when we round the bend there is nothing to see — except the white houses at the next bend.

You come to realise that there are houses on the right but they are hiding behind a tall hedge.


Church Street
2020

The truth is that these houses are confused; they don’t know if they belong to Church Street or to the street on the other side of them.

In fact, their postal address says ‘Hardy Close’, the street on the other side. That is where the residents park their cars and where they usually enter their homes — so that makes sense.

It wasn’t always this way. There was once a row of homes along this stretch of Church Street and they were in no doubt which street they belonged to, and they faced it full on.


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Etheldene Cottages

The row of terraced houses faced Church Street — as did a lone detached cottage, from an earlier time, called Springfield Cottage. They were built in the mid 1800s and behind them were just fields and orchards. Also behind them were their back yards with wash house, coal house and outdoor toilet.

It was called Salvin’s Row. The name comes from the Salvin family of Cropwell Bishop —probably David Salvin who lived from 1830 to 1919.

He was a master builder and built the Cart Shed at the entrance to Stackyard Close. Whether Salvin’s Row got its name because he built the houses or because he owned them, we don’t know.

Either way, the name had competition: most villagers commonly referred to it as Bottom Row. Just to be clear, it got this name because it was at the bottom end of the village, unlike another row of cottages, Top Row, that was at the top end.

Unlike humans, buildings have no say if someone wants to change their name.

Early in the 1900s, Salvin’s Row was bought by Herbert Heaselden who owned he gypsum mine in the village. He renamed the row, Etheldene Cottages. That is remarkably similar to his wife’s name, Ethel!

This may have confused the postman but not the villagers; they still called it Bottom Row.


Wedding of Samuel Simpson and Nellie Smalley. Outside Etheldene Cottages
Wedding of Samuel Simpson and Nellie Smalley. Outside Etheldene Cottages
J. Lewis bus at bend at north end of Church Street outside Springfield Cottage
A 'J. Lewis bus' stops outside Springfield Cottage (1930s)

J. Lewis himself with two of his buses
J. Lewis himself with two of his buses (1930s)

Springfield Cottage and Etheldene Cottages were all demolished around 1970 to make way for the detached houses that now belong to Hardys Close.


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Tall hedges (2020)
Church Street
At the bend (2020)

After the second bend the road becomes Cropwell Butler Road — but that's another Story.


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Tony Jarrow


Note: Thanks to Anne Terzza, Pam Barlow, Pam Wregg, Jane Jones, Andy Trevers, Lynda Hatton and Pat Onions for their help with these Church Street articles.