Cropwell Bishop Streets: — Barlows Close

Barlows Close

As we have seen already, naming streets in Cropwell Bishop after local people is popular. Marshall, Brownhill, Clarke – all the names of people who had an impact on our village.

With that in mind, what are we to make of Barlows Close?
I am not aware of a Mr, Miss or Mrs Barlows (with an 's' on then end) ever making their mark on Cropwell Bishop life – and neither is St Giles Churchyard.

In a previous article I stated that Rushcliffe Borough Council have the final say on street names and they make their decision with reference to their published guidelines.

Section 5.1, “General naming Convention”, states:

  • it should reflect the history or geography of the site,
  • it should not be difficult to pronounce or spell,
  • it should not be named after living people (except Royalty)
  • if named after a deceased person, the individual should have been dead for 20 years or be over 100 years old
  • permission must be obtained from the person’s family

Are these rules set in stone?

I feel sure that if you were to discover a vaccine for Covid-19, the Council would be only to happy to celebrate your name locally.

Other councils named streets after the 1966 World Cup Winners in the 1960s and Nottingham City named streets after skaters Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean.

More to the point, Kerrs Walk in the village, was named after Margaret Kerr just a year after she died!

Getting back to Barlows Close, where has the name come from? Does it refer to several members of the Barlow family perhaps?

Over the last 100 years many members of the Barlow family have been involved in the life of Cropwell Bishop.
So, the secret is out, Barlow is the name source for Barlows Close. But which Barlow?

Search the graves in St Giles churchyard and you will find 8 with the name Barlow engraved – and the first arrived little more than a century ago: the Barlow family entered the Cropwell Bishop spotlight, relatively recently. How did it all come about?

Thomas Barnet Barlow started his working life as a butcher in the village where he was born, Keyworth.

He learnt his trade with a local butcher and by the time he was 30, he had the savings and confidence to bring his wife and 5 children to Cropwell Bishop and start his own butchery business.

By 1911, when he and his wife, Sarah Ann, were 45 years old, Thomas was not only an established butcher, but also a farmer. They had been busy since their arrival: they now had another 5 children making a total of 10 - about average for those times.

Of these, the two youngest are of particular interest here; Arthur (born 1903) and Harold (born 1908).

Barlows Close
Barlow children and parents behind The Old House in 1910. From left: Violet, Tom, John, mother Sarah Ann Barlow, father Thomas Barnet Barlow, Nell, Ethel, Ernest, Harold and Ida.
(no 7 year old Arthur; was he holding the camera?)

In 1928, when Arthur was 25, he married Gladys May Salvin. Gladys’ father, David Leavis Salvin, was an established, principal land owner in Cropwell Bishop - and he was wealthy.

Arthur and Gladys had their first child, David (full name: Thomas David Salvin Barlow) in 1930 followed by a second boy, John, a few years later.

In 1938 they were living in Lenton House on Nottingham Road when they had their third child, a girl, Edith.

The children grew up, as they do, and when Arthur's eldest son, David, was 28, he married Audrey Starling from Cropwell Bishop. They had their first child Patrick and then in 1966 they had a girl, Sarah.

However, this was not the happy event it should have been: Audrey died after giving birth.

In 1968 David married Pamela Gould and they had a son, Mark.

David and Pam were living at the top of Mill Lane but in 1970 they moved into his grandmother's house, The Manor on Fern Road.

The Manor
The Manor in 1983

Barlows Close
David Barlow (2nd from right) at a ceremony around 1980

For decades, David served as a Cropwell Bishop Councillor and for a long time was chairman. He also became a Rushcliffe Borough Councillor and in 2001 he served as its leader.

Barlows Close
David Barlow at the turf cutting ceremony for the Harry Carlton Comprehensive School's new building at East Leake in 2002

Meanwhile, Pam committed herself to the organisation and running of the Memorial Hall and it was only recently that she stood back from her role as chair.
David died in 2010.

Barlows Close
David Barlow at the presentation of the 'Cropwell Bishop Plan' at the Old School in 2009

What of the other local Barlows?

David’s brother became a professor at Glasgow University while his sister, Edith, married local builder Denis Smith and they lived on Fern Road.

Then there was Harold Barlow. I have already mentioned that Harold was Thomas Barnet Barlow’s youngest son.

As Harold grew up, he worked to develop the butchery and farming businesses of the family whilst his older brother Arthur (who I have already described) was no doubt devoting much of his time in developing the farming interests of his farther-in-law, David Leavis Salvin.

Barlows Close
Butchers shop in 1970s. The building dates back to the 1930s but the new front was added in the 1950s

Barlows Close
Old Harold Barlow (1970s)

Never-the-less, Harold and Arthur worked side-by-side to develop their businesses and, when the time came, went on to share their father’s estate. But there was only one ‘Barlow Butcher Shop’ in the village, and that was Harold’s.

Barlows Close
Old Harold Barlow in the Butchers Shop in 1970s.

Harold was married to Rose and they lived their whole life at the ‘Old House’ on Nottingham Road – the building that is now occupied by the Hair Barn, Nyce and Heavenly Beauty.

They had 3 children but it was the 2 boys who eventually took over Harold’s two business interests. Older son, Tom, worked on the farming side whilst his much younger son, 'young Harold', worked on the butchery side.

Barlows Close
Young Harold Barlow takes charge of the horse and cart (1950s)

Tom married Kate and they had three boys: Richard is now running Home Farm on Fern Road, Mathew runs his veterinary practice, also at Home Farm, and Simon has developed a Fencing business elsewhere.

Tom’s brother, ‘young Harold’, married Lesley and they worked to develop the butchery business at the shop on Nottingham Road.

Barlows Close
Butchers Shop (1970s)

This was in the early 1970s when hundreds of new homes were being built.

When old Harold died in 1983 his wife, Rose, stayed at their bungalow (built 8 years earlier) on ‘Barlow land’ next door to the shop. She lived there until her death in 2006 when she was 98.

Lesley helped in the shop and also worked in the back to provide a range of prepared meals for sale. She also raised their 2 children, Kerry and Tina.

Sadly, Young Harold died in 2001 when he was just 51.

The Butchers Shop is now run by Gary Jowett but Lesley still lives nearby and her daughter, Tina, and her family occupy the home built for Rose – but now converted from bungalow to a house.

So now we face the same dilemma we had with Squires Close: who is Barlows Close named after?

Well the answer is, all of them. The death of David Barlow in 2010 raised the prospect of naming a road after him but his widow, Pam Barlow, suggested ‘Barlows’ and this found favour with both the parish council and the borough council.

As you can see, naming a street can be a complicated business. Now you know why some less adventurous parish councils name their new streets after flowers: shame on them.

Tony Jarrow

Particular thanks to Anne Terzza, Pam Barlow and Lesley Barlow for their help with this article.

David & Pam Barlow
Pam & David Barlow (1995)

Cropwell Bishop Streets: — Dobbin Close

Dobbin Close

The homes on Dobbin Close were built in the late 1970s. The purchase price for the first occupants was upwards of £24,000 – which might sound a bargain price today but it was well beyond the reach of most local people at the time.

They were built on land that previously had a large house and extensive land around it – see the old aerial photograph lower down: that was taken in the late 1960s. The large house was the vicarage and the site retains a link with the church because one of the houses on Dobbin Close is effectively today’s vicarage.

Many people may well associate a name like Dobbin with a friendly horse but Dobbin Close gets its name from someone who lived in Cropwell Bishop around 130 years ago: Reverend Abraham Joseph Lockett Dobbin.

He was born in Ireland in 1836. His father was a Methodist minister who regularly moved home to wherever he was needed: Cork, Limerick and Armagh to name but a few.

When Abraham was 28, he married Mary Milne - a young widow in Lancashire where he was a curate.

Within a year they were living in Ruddington (Notts) where Abraham had become the curate. While living there, their first child, Lillian May, was born but, sadly, died within weeks.

Two years later, in 1867, Mary gave birth to Lucy Maud and the year after to Ernest Harold Dobbin who would grow up to become a commander in the Royal Navy. The following year, 1869, she gave birth to Ethel May.

The family then moved to Nottingham where Abraham had been made curate of St James Church on Standard Hill, near Nottingham Castle: the church was demolished in 1936 to make way for an extension to Nottingham General Hospital. It was in Nottingham that their second son, Charles Herbert, was born in 1872 when Mary was 41.

In 1877, when Abraham was 41, he became vicar of Cropwell Bishop and Owthorpe and the family settled into their new life in Cropwell Bishop at the vicarage on Fern Road.

Four babies in five years must have been hard work. However, whilst we don't know details of their home life in Ruddington and Nottingham, we do know that in Cropwell Bishop there were four servants living in the home with them. No doubt modern parents will appreciate the advantages of such help!

For the next 23 years he and his family appear to have been fully involved with the people of Cropwell Bishop. As well as being the vicar, he also served as treasurer for the Parish Council and took an interest in the Cricket Team. The photograph below, shows him (centre) surrounded by the cricket team and villagers. This was probably taken in the 1890s. His wife, Mary, played the harmonium alongside him in church services.

At various times he was on the committee of a number of local organisations including the Board of Education and the Freemasons: he had also been president of the Thoroton Society. He took an active part in the restoration of St Giles and, under his superintendence, a partial restoration was carried out in 1893 in which the Organ Loft and Singers Gallery over the screen in the Tower Arch were removed when the, comparatively modern, pews toward the east end of the Nave were installed.

But in 1900, he suddenly collapsed and died. His health “was known to be in a precarious condition” but, even so, he had conducted a funeral at Cropwell Butler just a few days before.

His wife died just 6 years later and is buried alongside him in St Giles Graveyard. She was living in Castle Donington at the time. His eldest son (and his family) and both his daughters are also buried in the St Giles graveyard. Lucy died in 1934 and both Ethel and Charles died just weeks apart in 1955: they were both in their 80s. It is not known if any of them lived in Cropwell Bishop at the time of their deaths although we know that Lucy was living in the Nottingham area when she died.

Ethel was a keen artist and was also chair of the Nottinham Society of Artists in the 1930s. Some of her etchings and painting are still in the hands of the Dobbin family.

So, when you next pass Dobbin Close on your way to the Health Centre or the Allotments, think not of a horse, but of Abraham Dobbin and his family.

Tony Jarrow

Since the original publication of this article, I have been contacted by members of the Dobbin family who have kindly provided me with additional facts about Reverend Dobbin and his family: these have been incorporated into the text above. Additonal photographs are also included.

Dobbin Close
Dobbin Close
Dobbin Close
Dobbin Close
Dobbin Close
Dobbin Close
Dobbin Close
Janet Dobbin (right) visits the Close with mother and niece
(1980 approx)
Vicarage front. Prior to demolition in 1970s
Vicarage back. Prior to demolition in 1970s
Dobbin Close
Dobbin Close

Below: the photograph top left was taken about 5 years ago and the one below it, in the 1960s. The map on the right shows the location of the vicarage. (Photos from Jane Jones).

Dobbin Close
Dobbin Close
Dobbin Close

Below: Revd Dobbin surrounded by the cricket team and villagers in the 1890s.

Rev Dobbin & Cricet Team & Villagers

Cropwell Bishop Streets: – Kerrs Walk

Kerrs Walk

The homes on Kerrs Walk were built in 2009 on land that was formerly owned by the Chequers Pub.

Before that time, the Chequers car park extended to the wall of the building on the right, making it a very large space for patrons of the pub.

Why so big a car park? Well, not so long ago it was definitely needed.

On Saturday nights 40 years ago, the car park would be packed, and the music from the organ and the voices of people singing along, could be easily heard a 100m away (100 yards in those days), even after the 11pm closing time.

The breathalyzer test for alcohol, and the public's acceptance that drink-driving was unacceptable, helped put a stop to that. So did the availability of alternative forms of entertainment in an evening - such as colour TV and video cassette players.

These days, householders on Kerrs Walk are never going to be disturbed by pub singing like that - unless England should ever win the World Cup, and then they would join in.

So how did Kerrs Walk get its name?

It comes from the name of a lady who was an active member of the Cropwell Bishop Parish Council for many years in the 1970s: Margaret Kerr. See her photo opposite. Her name, Kerr, is pronounced “Car”.

She had recently retired but still had the drive and energy to make full use of her newly found spare time. She put herself forward for election to the Parish Council and was duly elected.

Margaret Kerr

When her councillor duties were not enough to fill her days, she made herself useful at the Day Centre when it was held at the Memorial Hall and, on occasion, could even be found calling out the Bingo numbers!

She lived in her house on Stockwell Lane until 2003 when, at 92 years of age, she went into ‘Care’. She died in 2008, the same year that her house was demolished and replaced by a very similar new one (there will be more about that in the Street Article on Stockwell Lane).

Her daughter, Fiona, grew up in the village and now lives in the north-east of England. She has fond memories of those times and still enjoys visiting this website to find out what is happening here.

One thing that does puzzle me is why Kerrs Walk wasn't called Kerr Walk. I must admit though, that it doesn't roll of the tongue quite so easily: maybe that is the reason.

I still have things to learn about street naming!

Tony Jarrow

Particular thanks to Anne Terzza, Pam Barlow and Fiona Stephenson for her help with this article.

Kerrs Walk
Clearing the site: 2008
Kerrs Walk
Building the homes: 2008
Kerrs Walk
Kerrs Walk in 2009
Kerrs Walk
Kerrs Walk in 2020
Kerrs Walk
Kerrs Walk in 2009
Kerrs Walk
Kerrs Walk in 2020
Kerrs Walk
Kerrs Walk in 2009
Kerrs Walk
Kerrs Walk in 2020
Kerrs Walk
Image used in sales literature in 2008
Kerrs Walk
Plan used in sales literature in 2008